Magic in the Middles

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 26

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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 coffeepot!

Magic in the Middles

star rating (78) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 26
Published: 01/01/2010


Chocolate Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Tips from our bakers

  • The most reliable way to make sure you have equal amounts of filling and chocolate dough is to use a cookie scoop. Our teaspoon scoop yields exactly 26 fillings when scooped with the dough level across the top. Our tablespoon scoop when filled level will yield exactly 26 chocolate blobs of dough to match.
  • If you're doubling this recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough.
  • If you're making this dough ahead of time, add an 2 tablespoons of milk to the chocolate dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies.


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1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. 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

4. stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.

5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.

7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.

8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center;

9. roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.

11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.

12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they're set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 cookie Servings Per Batch: 26 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167 Calories from Fat: 79 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 98mg Total Carbohydrate: 20g Dietary Fiber: 1 Sugars: 12g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 03/07/2015
  • from
  • This recipe is great! I haven't had a problem with he amount and extra peanut butter. If you do, you can flatten out the cookie dough as if you were rolling it out and then wrapping it around the peanut butter. I love these cookies!
  • star rating 02/16/2015
  • Sara from Millington, NJ
  • Every year, my wonderful next door neighbor gives us a tin of her homemade cookies for Christmas. She includes several different kids of cookies, but these are the ones I pull out of the tin and hide before anyone else in my family has a chance to get their hands on them. In fact, I'm so quick they don't even know these cookies exist. This year, I'm going to try to make them myself! (In light of the comments, though, it looks like I'll be adding the Tbsp of milk!)
  • star rating 12/22/2014
  • Cheryl from Kentucky
  • I have made these cookies several times and they are delicious. Friends have really enjoyed them. it does take some extra time to make them, however, well worth the extra effort.
  • star rating 12/19/2014
  • Catherine from Minneapolis, MN
  • These were a bit fussy, but worth the extra effort. A few notes ... I read that several people complained the dough became crumbly with storage. I added 1 oz Neufchatel with the butter, (had some leftover from another cookie dough,) and 1 tbsp milk with the egg. I stored my chocolate dough in the freezer for a week before baking. The dough, with my modifications, was soft, pliable, and almost sticky after thawing. I imagine I could skip the milk next time and it would still be easy to work with! I used freshly-ground, natural peanut butter in both the dough and filling, which tends to be drier than regular peanut butter. I had to add a few teaspoons of milk to the peanut butter filling to get it to stick together. These cookies are rich, chewy, and just about perfect, for those of us who love peanut butter and chocolate together. Can't wait to gift these to friends and coworkers and see what others think! I imagine these will be a frequent repeat at holiday time at my house. (Additionally, I think if you weren't feeling like doing all of the rolling, shaping, etc., these would make delicious bars!)
  • star rating 12/15/2014
  • Lori from Willington Ct
  • First time making these. I will follow what another reviewer said about the filling. I will go 1/2 cup pt butter and conf. sugar as I did have some leftover. I only got 14 cookies and I used the tablespoon cookie scooper & teaspoon scooper for the filling as recipe recommended. I will double recipe next time. Thanks KAF. This is a keeper. :)
  • star rating 06/01/2014
  • Rachel from Charlotte, NC
  • I love these cookies! The peanut butter center is a fun surprise. As others have said, the chocolate dough does tend to dry out so I used the suggestion of adding a Tbsp of milk and found that to work great!
  • star rating 03/29/2014
  • from KAF Community
  • Very very good cookies! One of my all-time favorite KAF recipes! As others have said, they do take some time, but I really do mean it when I say they are worth every second! Wonderful combination of chocolate and peanut butter. My one suggestion is to only use 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for the filling, I always have some left over.
  • star rating 01/26/2014
  • from KAF Community
  • These cookies are to die for! They do take a bit of time and effort to bake with all the wrapping of dough and peanut butter, but I promise they are so worth it, especially for those other peanut butter and chocolate lovers out there like me!
  • star rating 12/21/2013
  • jerihurd from KAF Community
  • Lovely cookies! Definitely follow others' advice and add an extra Tblsp or so of milk to the cookie dough to avoid cracking. I've used this recipe both "as is" and substituting an Andes mint for the pb center. Replace the peanut butter in the dough with 1/4 cup butter.
    Wow - thanks for sharing your tips and your variations for this recipe. Irene@KAF
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