Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Magic in the Middle Cookies

Warning: These cookies may result in a serious addiction. Especially if you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Bake at your own risk.

Magic in the Middle Cookies

Yield: 26 cookies; Prep: 25 minutes; Bake: 10 minutes + cooling

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dipping)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

2. To make the dough, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. In another medium mixing bowl, beat the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients, blending well. Set aside.

4. To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 1-inch balls.

5. To shape the cookies, scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut). Make an indentation in the center of the dough with your finger; place one peanut butter ball in the indentation. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together to cover the center. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. 

6. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until set and you can smell the chocolate. Remove baking pans from the oven and transfer to a rack; let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

1. This recipe claims to only take 25 minutes to prepare. Whoever wrote it obviously was not baking them with two young kids around. These cookies took me at least 45 minutes to prepare, what with stopping to make lunches, changing diapers, wiping hineys, and laying Ben down for a nap and all...
2. If you are trying to bake these with your kids, do not allow them to distract you and mistakenly add the sugars to the dry ingredients. It is a pain to have to try to scoop it all out to move to the second bowl. I recommend not making these with your kids.
3. The amount of filling will make more than 26 1-inch balls. Don't be tempted to make the filling balls any larger to keep the count at 26, otherwise the cookie dough will not fit around it; size does matter with these balls cookies.
These are TOO large. I had to split most in half.

4. You will probably need to make the cookie dough balls larger than a walnut if you want it to completely cover the filling balls as indicated by the recipe. You will still have more than enough cookies. (Mine made 28 cookies). You will definitely have extra filling balls left over. And take the time to smooth out the cracks.

I did not smooth out all cracks. This was already cutting into my "Mommy Free-Time".

5. Don't press the dough too hard when flattening with the glass, otherwise the "magic" peanut butter filling will no longer be a surprise. (This did not happen the first time I made this a few months ago. My dough seemed to be drier this time around).

Peek-a-boo! I see you peanut butter!

They should not look like this.

They should look like this. Three of mine did.

Even though these cookies really seem like a lot of trouble and a pain in the behind to make, they are worth it! And really not as much trouble as I'm letting on. As long as the kids aren't around. I had no problems with these the first time I made them.


  1. Oh, I will DEFINITELY be making these.

  2. Please let me know how they turn out if you do! They don't last very long in my house.


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