King Arthur Baking Company’s Magic in the Middles

The recipe for these irresistible cookies comes from the newly revised classic, The King Arthur Baking Company Essential Cookie Companion (Countryman Press, 2021). Here’s what the folks at King Arthur have to say about it:

“Reminiscent of a chocolate peanut butter cup candy (or a buckeye, if you’re into homemade candies), this recipe is one that’s been making the rounds for years. We guarantee these will disappear in a snap, whatever the audience—​from hungry kids after a soccer game, to your co-workers gathered around the office coffee pot.”

Yield: 26 cookies



  • 1½ cups (180 grams) unbleached all-​purpose flour
  • ½ cup (42 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar (and extra for dipping)
  • ½ cup (107 grams) brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (68 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg


  • ¾ cup (203 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  1. To make the dough: In a medium-​sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another medium-​sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
  1. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. With floured hands, roll the filling into 26 (1-inch) balls.
  1. To shape the cookies: Break off about 1 tablespoon of the dough, make an indentation in the center with your finger, and press one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation. Bring the dough up and over the filling, pressing it closed; roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  1. Dip the top of each cookie in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use it to flatten each cookie to about ½-inch thick. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, until they’re set. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack.


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Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at info@pastryathome.com. We would love to hear from you!

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