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Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

  • Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2000


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter


  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and 1 cup light-brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully combined between each addition. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until fully combined. Remove from mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats (nonstick French baking mats) or parchment paper.

  4. In a small bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir together peanut butter and remaining 1/4 cup light-brown sugar.

  5. Using a 1 1/4-inch scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie. Fill thumbprint with 1 teaspoon peanut-butter mixture. Top with a second scoop of dough, and carefully mold dough to cover "surprise."

  6. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks.


Reviews (20)

  • stacyleepatton 20 Dec, 2013

    As everyone says: delicious. Made them with my 10 y.o. son and he's in heaven. 'Those cookies are too good for this world!" Almost more like brownies? We made them a bit too big, but overall they live up to the hype.

  • SLOMomOf2 13 Sep, 2013

    I love chocolate & peanut butter so I had to make this recipe. It is one of the best cookies I've ever had. They're dangerous b/c you can't stop eating them and the recipe makes so many. Absolutely amazing. My family made ice cream sandwiches with them too. Definitely making these again and again and again.

  • KissMyApron 14 Jan, 2011

    I used these cookies to make ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party. They were a fun, nostalgic and not to mention utterly decadent hit!

  • mtigertwo 25 Jan, 2009

    love this cookie family and friends love it. Best cookie yet

  • bkawosa 19 Dec, 2008

    These turned out very well. I did not have Dutch Cocoa, only Ghiradelli, and did not have shortening so I used another stick of butter. The cookies may have been a bit moister I'm guessing with shortening, but were still great. I also used organic creamy peanut butter. Will make these often, loved them!

  • KathrynEnglish 12 Dec, 2008

    I have made these cookies everything Thanksgiving and Christmas for last 4 years. People are obsessed with them and heaven forbid that I ever decide NOT to make them, I might be facing an angry mob. I use the mini chocolate chips because it is easier to make the wells for the peanut butter filling. My in-laws think I am some kind of culinary expert and they are not that difficult to make. Viva la Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises!

  • mammag 12 Dec, 2008

    I use a cookie scoop and make an indent, insert the peanut butter and roll the cookie in my hands - perfect little balls and hidden peanut butter - also roll them in sugar before baking .

  • julialovesmartha 25 Nov, 2008

    Hi everyone! I must say I LOOOOVE these cookies-they have NEVER failed
    to please the people I've made them for-I've made them many times over now..
    I always use the Ghiradelli chocolate chips-wish I could use their cocoa but
    it wasn't Dutch. :( My biggest challenge is being able to perfectly hide the peanut butter within the cookies. But these are completely yummy--you won't go wrong with it--- I give them five stars!!

  • ariley0929 10 Nov, 2008

    these were soooo yummy!! not that hard to make either!!! i think i put too much on the cookie sheet, becuase mine came out huge!! but they are still delicious!!!

  • Derailedlisa 2 Nov, 2008

    WOW, some of the very best cookies around! Was a little tedious to make, but worth the effort!

  • cakebelieve 12 Sep, 2008

    We made these and used natural peanut butter instead of processed peanut butter. They were delicious! The whole family was fighting over the last one!

  • Talulasvoodoo 26 Aug, 2008

    These cookies are extremely yummy! I am usually not a fan of chocolate cookies, but these are the exception. The brown sugar that is added into the peanut butter makes it taste like Reese Peanut Butter Cups

  • lovesbaking 30 Jul, 2008

    Yum!!! I made these today and everybody loves them. I followed the exact recipe

  • StatsBabe 11 Jul, 2008

    Delicious! These are easy and everyone I've offered them to loved them. Most want the recipe. If you're looking for a "healthy" cookie recipe (an oxymoron if I ever heard one!), don't bake these and don't complain when others do.

  • mommylicious 18 May, 2008

    I just baked these for the first time...of course they aren't healthy- are you kidding? They are AWESOME, especially if you like peanut butter cups, it tastes similar but with a warm, rich homemade spin. I thought they were fun to make too (I even did it with my kids!).

  • teye 30 Apr, 2008

    I think it's too sweet. Surely, it's not healthy recipe.

  • ajlockard 23 Feb, 2008

    These are great. I used them on a dessert bar at my wedding--there were none leftover.

  • chachamon 10 Feb, 2008

    Wow, this sounds so yummy! I was wondering though, would it be possible to replace the peanut butter centres with something else? Like something fruity? Or because it's not as viscous or "gooey" as peanut butter it might ruin the recipe?

  • krisvishy 26 Jan, 2008

    i just baked these Surprise cookies. it is so delicious.tastes good.Nice to bake a different cookie

  • bobbysmom 17 Jan, 2008

    Just got the first batch out of the oven, these are so good. Soft if not baked too long, These are great especially when wanting something a little different than the standard chocolate chip cookie. The second tray I doubled the peanut butter mix and when cooled I topped some with a bit of buttercream icing.

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