This Magic Middles recipe by our friend (and former Durham neighbor) Emma Laperruque on @Food52 is both comforting and delicious. It has a dark chocolate cookie shell and a crunchy peanut butter middle, and when you pair it with a glass of your favorite alternative milk, you’ll feel like a kid again!
Peanut butter filling:
- ¾ cup (200g) Big Spoon Roasters Crunchy Peanut Butter
- ¾ cup (85g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick, ¼ pound, or 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 large egg or egg substitute
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (43g) cocoa powder
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour, plus 5 tablespoons (40g)
- 1 pinch flaky salt, for sprinkling
- Stir the jar of peanut butter to incorporate any separated oils. Stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until it’s very firm.
Make the filling. Combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start on low, then gradually increase the speed to medium-high. Form the peanut butter mixture into 28 little balls (about one heaping teaspoon each). Stick the mixture in the fridge while you make the cookie dough.
Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of the standing mixer (no need to clean it out). Cream until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg. Continue creaming until fluffy, scraping as needed. Add salt and baking soda. Mix to distribute. Add the cocoa powder. Mix until just incorporated. Add the flour. Mix until completely incorporated.
Form the cookies. Fill a small bowl with white sugar. Use a cookie scoop to scoop 1 Tablespoon of chocolate dough. Flatten into a thin patty in your palm. Place 1 peanut butter ball in the center and wrap the chocolate dough around it. Roll around in your palm a few times to smooth it out. Roll the ball in the sugar. Place the cookie on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chocolate dough and peanut butter filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Fill a cookie sheet with the dough balls, spaced a few inches apart — about 9 to 12 per tray. Smush the balls each with a water glass—they don’t spread much, so you want them fairly thin, 1/8 to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm). Sprinkle with flaky salt and press in slightly so it adheres.
Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The cookies will puff up, but they shouldn’t crack. Cool cookies slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough balls.