Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are rich, bite-size sweets with a mini Reese’s cup nestled in their centers. Serve alongside a tall glass of milk – Santa will thank you!
Full disclosure: I make these cookies year-round. But my Christmas cookie giveaway trays would not be complete without them! Everyone loves them. Especially Reese’s peanut butter cup lovers. These cookies are baked in a mini muffin tin, which creates the perfect size chocolate cookie cup to hold a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. They are chocolatey, chewy, and so delish with that perfect center of peanut butter.
Portion the dough.
Use a cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) to portion the dough and then roll them into balls between your palms. The chocolate dough has a little peanut butter in it, so it is unsticky and very easy to shape. Place each dough ball in the cavity of a mini muffin pan. My mini muffin pan has 24 cavities. This recipe makes about 36 cookies so I had to re-wash my pan and re-grease it for the last dozen.
Before you start baking, go ahead and unwrap the 36 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and have them ready to hand.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. They come out of the oven looking a lot like mini chocolate muffins!
Add the peanut butter cups.
Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, press a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup in the center of each baked cookie. Be careful, though! The pan will be hot. Now, you could stop right here and have some really good-looking cookies. But the holidays call for something a little extra.
Dress them up!
Whip up an easy peanut butter drizzle by melting peanut butter baking chips with just a little vegetable oil (I used olive oil). This makes the peanut butter mixture more fluid, more drizzly. I put the peanut butter mixture in a piping bag with a small hole snipped in the end, but you could use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped.
Get out your favorite holiday sprinkles to give these some festive color. I used some holly berry quins, but jimmies would look nice, too.
The chocolate cookie cup is so soft and chewy, which perfectly contrasts the peanut buttery flavor of the peanut butter cup. These are so poppable – a little too easy to eat, if you ask me!
Related recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Hot Cocoa Bombs
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 36 Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures unwrapped
- 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the cavities of a mini muffin pan with flour-based baking spray (or grease pan with nonstick cooking spray).
In small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, peanut butter, and unsalted butter on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed until blended.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. (I used a cookie scoop, 4 teaspoon capacity.) Place one ball into each muffin cup.
Bake 12 minutes. Immediately press 1 peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Cool in pan on cooling rack.
Combine the peanut butter chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals until the mixture can be stirred smooth. It should be a little runny and pourable. Transfer the mixture to a zip-top bag with a tiny hole in the corner snipped. Drizzle over hot cocoa bombs. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.
Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over 5 cookies at a time, then immediately top with sprinkles. Continue working like this until all of the cookies are drizzled and sprinkled. The peanut butter drizzle will set up quickly, so be swift with your sprinkling.
Allow the cookies to stand until set, about 5-7 minutes. Store the cookies airtight until ready to serve.
Place the unwrapped peanut butter cups on a plate and then on a countertop away from the stovetop. This prevents them from softening and melting. They should be firm enough to press into the hot cookie cups right when they come out of the oven. If your kitchen is particularly warm at room temperature, place the peanut butter cups in the refrigerator while the cookies bake.