Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

When I pulled this cookie magazine off of my shelf today, I foolishly was curious about the date on the cover…

2001! What? I was simultaneously crippled with age and glowing with nostalgia.

I started making these cookies for my friends when I was just 20-years-old…. Working backwards, that’s 4 dogs, one bout of cancer, a failed attempt at growing out my bangs, countless stretchmarks, three kids, another failed attempt at growing out my bangs, one husband, a vet tech job, and one house ago.

I haven’t made these cookies in forever. 

Why? Because that young thing with no kids or husband or household to maintain considered them to be a project, and that’s how they stuck in my memory.

Well, I’m making cookies today, so laundry will have to wait. There’s no time!

Hmm. I was going to give my dog a bath, but I’ve got these cookies to make today… I’ll have to pencil that in for next Sunday.

[laughs until crying but not too hard because I’ve had three babies]

Oh, Young Adrianne, you silly girl! You had no idea what a “project” was!


[wipes tear]

These cookies are amazing and it’s way past time to bring them back to the rotation. So, if you’re 20, clear your calendar to fit these in. If you’re 36, they’ll take about an hour with a load of laundry folded during the chill time.

I changed a few things from the original: Instead of vanilla, I used vanilla bean; Instead of shortening, I used butter; And I split the cocoa to be half regular, half Special Dark. It was time for the cookies to “grow up,” since I have…. ish.

Gas will make me laugh until the day I die.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies


  • 2 C white flour
  • 1/4 C regular unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 C Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR half a scraped vanilla bean
  • 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 C brown sugar


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, white sugar, and 1 C brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully combined after each addition.
  3. Add vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa and mix until fully combined.
  4. Add flour and mix until MOSTLY combined.
  5. Add in chocolate chips and mix until flour is no longer visible.
  6. Cover and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and the rest of the brown sugar.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment (or cooking spray).
  9. Drop 1 Tablespoon of dough at a time onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie.
  10. Fill the thumbprint with a small blob of peanut butter mixture.
  11. Top with a second, slightly smaller Tablespoon of flattened dough. Carefully mold the dough to cover the peanut butter.
  12. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. (If baking both cookie sheets at once, rotate pans halfway through.)
  13. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.
  14. Remove cookies from baking sheets, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Need a visual?