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Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

These cookies will have a moist, brownielike texture the day you make them and get crispier the following day. You can also make them with other favorite chocolate candies.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 36
Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2003


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough
  • 36 mini peanut butter cups, chilled and unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches.

  3. Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet.

  4. Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 6 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.

Reviews (48)

  • Sandra Tau 21 Dec, 2012

    I roll my Moist peanut butter cup cookie recipe into a small ball..then roll them into the granulated sugar, (or you dont have to) then I put them into miniature cupcake tins that hold 28 cookies at a time... I then press the peanut butter cups into the cookie ball then bake 10 minutes at 350; let cool completely till candy inside is dry and it makes the best peanut butter cup cookies around.. people have loved this recipe of mine fo well over 20 years.

  • nikkilee123 24 Nov, 2011

    Definitely for peanut butter lovers! I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter but these are delicious! I did chill the PB cups a few min before I baked them and they came out just like the pic!

  • Shangelle 31 May, 2011

    This is a great recipe! everytime I make them people can't beleive how good they are. I don't put the rease peanut butter cup in the center. I just make the cookie. The dough is a little hard to work, but you get used to it after a couple scoops. Yummy brownie like texture!!!

  • aboutapixie 16 Feb, 2011

    One of my favorite cookies of all time, I share them with my friends and family and everybody loves them!

  • Shangelle 29 Aug, 2010

    I always make these for my boyfriends curling league and they all love them!!! i don't put the reeese cup. These cookies have a brownie-ish texture! DEliecious!

  • riteofcake 18 Apr, 2010

    these were so so so so good! highly recommended, my man-friend's fraternity demands these on a regular basis now ;)

  • mykele 8 Apr, 2010

    I just made these cookies in my mini-cupcake pans and actually used
    a Tablespoon size ice cream type scoop to just drop the dough into
    the was too soft to roll into balls. They came out just fine
    and I call them peanutbutter cup tassies...more suitiible name than
    cookies. They were for a special collegiate and she was
    very happy...she is a peanutbutter cup nut. Success and a
    happy baker too. Mykele

  • Maris_Cakes 5 Apr, 2010

    Awesome, I can't wait to try this recipe. love baking regular peanut butter cookies, but this is a guarantee success!

  • mhoang 16 Jan, 2010

    I made 6 dozen for a dinner party and they were all gone! I couldn't believe how fast they were eaten! People were eating them throughout the night and even fighting over who can take the leftovers home..too bad there were no leftovers! =)

  • mhoang 10 Jan, 2010

    I just made these cookies and they are sooo good! Follow the directions as is and make sure to roll dough in sugar and chill the PB cups. Yummy!

  • lgid 3 Dec, 2009

    Simply click "print" at the top of the page, and it will come up sans any ads.

  • channeltool 14 Jul, 2009

    just do a search for peanut butter surprise cookies on Marthas search site and this cookie recipe will come up without the ad

  • kozmonaut 14 Jul, 2009

    Agreed, PElaine. I would really like to make these cookies and that ad is totally in the way!

  • PElaine 14 Jul, 2009

    Why is there an ad right over the ingredient list? I can't seem to get rid of it. Darn!

  • TaurusJM07 30 Nov, 2008

    I loved these cookies. They came out very moist and flavorful. I baked them for 7 minutes and then an additional 3 minutes after the peanut butter cups were pushed in them. The chocolate peanut butter cups took a while too cool so they were difficult to store.

  • annieelizabeth 29 Nov, 2008

    I use a mini muffin tin to bake the cookie balls - then when you push in the mini peanut butter cups, it makes for a perfect fit. I also don't roll the balls in sugar - it's not necessary.

  • AmandaD 19 Sep, 2008

    The peanut butter you use and rolling in sugar makes a big difference, especially if the peanut butter isn't very sweet. Plus if you over cook, they become rather stone like.
    I added these to my Christmas Cookie Box. They have to be tasty to be able to be added the the 500 I make each December

  • chocltlovr 12 Sep, 2008

    They taste like dog treats!! I'm disappointed. I didn't roll them in sugar (who has room in their diet for sugar-coated stuff?); but I'm not sure if it would have made much of a difference. This is not a good recipe. Seriously, I would feed them to my dog if it weren't for the chocolate in them.

  • lampillar 4 Sep, 2008

    i made them for my sis-in-law's bridal shower (with kisses and hugs, of course). really delish cookie!

  • evamae 20 Aug, 2008

    I have made a similar cookie which those of us who need Gluten free can enjoy. and toped it with a candy kiss.. I egg, I cup sugar and 1 cup peanut butter mix well spoon out dough roll in palm of hand to make a ball and press in the candy or just press down with a fork. Delish! Eva

  • sew 14 Aug, 2008

    I tried a few dark chocolate candies in the center of these cookies and wow were they good!

  • Annushka 9 Aug, 2008

    I made these many times but yesterday I made them with Cowgirl chocolates truffles, spicy cappuccino, instead of the mini peanut butter cups. Way cool and delicious.

  • Raspberry2 8 Aug, 2008

    I made these in a very small size muffin tin with the liners. They turn out really good like this. As a matter of fact, I think this is the same receipe that is on the small peanut butter cup package.

  • sew 8 Aug, 2008

    I've made these cookies for years and my family loves them but I never wait more than 2 minutes to cool the cookies before I remove them from the cookie sheet. Leaving them for 10 minutes would make them stick really bad. Just be gentle when you do remove them from the pan to the rack. They are very soft.

  • Marm 8 Aug, 2008

    I make cookies like these for Christmas and bake them in mini tart pans--the mini peanut butter cups fit in perfectly. Marmee

  • subis 23 May, 2008

    Really chewy and easy to make. I did not chill the peanut butter cups and it turned out fine. I would recommend parchment paper to avoid sticking.

  • DelainaMc 6 May, 2008

    I made these today with my 4 1/2 year old and we had a blast. They were really easy to make and they turned out like the photo. I used a pampered chef baking stone so I added 1 minute to the baking time; just an fyi. But I also agree with th first comment to remove them from the baking sheet after about 5 minutes because the sugar makes them stick.

  • arieschick79 23 Feb, 2008

    I made these last week and they were really, really good! I followed the recipe to a 'T' and they were perfect; nice and chewy! My recommendation is to transfer to a rack after baking after 5 minutes or so.. I waited the 10 minutes for one sheet and the cookies were a little stuck. The sugar coating had really adhered some of those suckers to the cookie sheet! Also, I did use a tablespoon to measure out the cookie dough, but the recipe yielded 30 cookies for me. I will double next time!

  • adozeneggs 16 Jan, 2008

    Just made these tonight and they came out perfectly. Just like the photo.
    Really no need for the muffin pan thing. They didn't spread much at all and the texture was just as described, moist and brownie like.

  • DomesticSpice 12 Jan, 2008

    These turned out FANTASTIC!! I made them to give as a gift

  • krmez 11 Jan, 2008

    These are yummy! Made a nice back-to-school treat for my daughter's teacher.

  • krmez 11 Jan, 2008

    These are yummy! Made a nice back-to-school treat for my daughter's teacher.

  • Alison 6 Dec, 2007

    My friend has made these cookies twice and both times they tasted delicious. She followed the recipe as is and did not have a problem with them flattening out. The second time, the peanut butter cups were not chilled and never hardened, making storage tricky. Fantastic recipe!

  • irish4747 1 Dec, 2007

    I just made these cookies and they are wonderful! The best ones yet. The only thing I did different is bake them until just about done , took them out, added the peanut butter cup, let them cool on the cookie sheet. Remove, let cool and eat! Share this reciepe with your friends and family.

  • alexjo 28 Nov, 2007

    i have reciently joined this room, i would like it if some one could tell me about using the mini-muffin pan for the cookies. thank you alexjo

  • rosebud56 28 Nov, 2007

    To Ranedrop, a BIG thanks for the shortcut info, worked perfectly!

  • Ranedrop 28 Nov, 2007

    The mini-muffin tin is the best way! The shapes are a little smaller but really perfect for the peanut butter cups. Be sure to use a sharp knife to cut around the inner edges and to let them cool completely! You can also use a pre-made peanut butter cookie dough ... if you're in a hurry! Love these goodies and so do the kids!

  • Catt 28 Nov, 2007

    Hi I make these cokies all the time for christmas but i put rosebud in the center of them now I will try the peanutbutter cup

  • witchyD280 28 Nov, 2007

    I have a simular recipe tha has been in my family for years that is always a big hit. Its a little different, but same idea. Try baking the cookies for just 10 min. then place the candy in them and let cool. That might work better.

  • caryperk 27 Nov, 2007

    I tried these at a party last weekend and found them too crisp (hard) and they were fresh. If you bake them in a mini-muffin tin you'll be much happier...they hold their texture and aren't so enormous. Seriously, they were too big to be pretty, and they looked just like the picture, so it wasn't a mistake on the part of the baker!

  • jbowan9250 27 Nov, 2007

    I make these but I put the rolled ball into tiny muffin tins and baked them for 12 minutes. I then take them out of the oven and quickly add the peanut butter cup pushing down on each. For those who don't like peanut butter you can add a Hershey's kiss......Yummy!!!!!

  • Pattys41 27 Nov, 2007

    HI I made these cookies and the chocolste did just fine my grandchildren help me and they enjoyed them very much

  • LISA5327 27 Nov, 2007

    The chocolate will be fine - its like making the cookies with the chocolate kiss on top that holds its form in the hot oven! The cookies will come out exactly as pictured.

  • valeriegail 27 Nov, 2007

    Don't think melting chocolate would be a problem; I make Maple Bud Cookies and bake each cookie with a maple bud on top; it does not melt and is in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

  • speederaser06 27 Nov, 2007

    I haven't tried this, but it seems like the chocolate would melt over the cookie in 6 minutes. I understand that you chill the peanut butter cups, but wouldn't 6 minutes still be too long and have the chocolate oozing over the cookies?

  • speederaser06 27 Nov, 2007

    I haven't tried this, but it seems like the chocolate would melt over the cookie in 6 minutes. I understand that you chill the peanut butter cups, but wouldn't 6 minutes still be too long and have the chocolate oozing over the cookies?

  • speederaser06 27 Nov, 2007

    I haven't tried this, but it seems like the chocolate would melt over the cookie in 6 minutes. I understand that you chill the peanut butter cups, but wouldn't 6 minutes still be too long and have the chocolate oozing over the cookies?

  • blueyes1125 27 Nov, 2007

    I have made these cookies and after i make the balls I bake them in tassie pans until they are brown and remove from oven and add peanut butter cup. I find it works well that way

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