chocolate peanut butter surprise cookies

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Have you ever tasted that mixture you get after the first step of baking cookies – the one where the butter and sugars are creamed together?  Imagine that with peanut butter.  That’s what’s in the center of these cookies.

Okay, so it’s not exactly that, but it’s peanut butter creamed with powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla and salt (my additions), and that seems close enough for government work.  Also, they’ve got sugar-encrusted chocolate dough wrapped around them, and where there’s peanut butter and chocolate, I stop being picky.

These are sturdy little buggers, so I’m feeling especially guilty for not shipping them off to Boston to my sister and her boyfriend, who have been begging shamelessly for baked goods since she moved a few months ago.  If you have someone in your life who’s not close enough to receive these straight from the oven, I suggest you consider popping them in a box and sharing long-distance.  If – IF – you can stop eating them yourself.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Adapted from here

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for dipping)
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
¾ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375º.  Whisk together first 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugars, butter, and ¼ cup of peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and egg, beating to combine.  Stir in the flour mixture until combined.  Set dough aside; stir together the powdered sugar and remaining ¾ cup of peanut butter until smooth.

To make cookies together, break off a generous tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and flatten it with your hands.  Break off a smaller piece of the peanut butter mixture and place it in the center of the chocolate dough.  Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center, pressing to seal.  Roll the cookie to smooth it out.  Drop into a bowl of sugar and roll the cookie in the sugar.  Place cookies on a silicone lined (or lightly greased) [*Allison’s note: parchment worked great] baking sheet 2 inches apart.  Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about a ½ inch thickness [*Allison’s note: I definitely forgot to do this.  They were plump little guys, but still delicious!].

Bake at 375º for 7 to 9 minutes, or until set.  Let stand on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

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