Magic Middles Peanut Butter Cookies

Every cookie that I make for my yearly holiday basket is normally made for someone in mind. I am feeding about 20-25 people’s different tastes, so it goes to accept that every cookie that is sent out isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite, but someone will appreciate it. I try to keep tabs on which family likes what so that I can send them more of an item while lessening that item for another family that may prefer more of a different item, but everyone gets a little of everything.

My side of the family likes caramel and vanilla flavors, while my other side of the family is more into richer flavors of coffee and chocolate, my cousins family loves spicy flavors such as cinnamon and ginger, while I also also have a couple that enjoy fruity flavors. My husband’s sister really enjoys nutty flavors, especially peanut butter. This past year, I started making these peanut butter cookies that will be a perfect inclusion into the holiday basket. The creamy center of peanut butter makes it just different enough that it is elevates the cookie above the normal cross hatched peanut butter cookie, making it the perfect present. If you are allergic to peanuts, you could get creative and use a different nut butter to suit your taste. Enjoy!

Magic Middles Peanut Butter Cookies

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3/4 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

1/2 cup All-Vegetable Shortening

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

Creamy Peanut Butter Middles

1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 cup Confectioners Powdered Sugar

Topping

1/4 cup  Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine crunchy  peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.  Roll into a log shape in wax paper. Refrigerate for two hours.

In small bowl,  granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

In another small bowl, stir creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.

Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.

Roll each covered ball in cinnamon sugar mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with Cooking Spray; press into remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.

Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.

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27 thoughts on “Magic Middles Peanut Butter Cookies

    1. Yes. Natural is a little looser than the smooth and crunchy. For the crunchy, pull back to just 1/2 cup natural in the recipe. For the creamy, try adding another 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to the peanut butter. You want the peanut to roll into balls without sticking to your hands. It is definitely do-able, you just need to play with the texture a little.

  1. Cookie, there is a whole world out there .. full of them. Can see from the photo how chewy they are .. and I can feel the smell, but not a peanut fan. They look so yummy!

  2. I’m a peanut butter junkie. I made some oatmeal sandwich cookies the other day with peanut butter filling. Mmmmmm. These look so good!
    P.S. Love the chalkboard in the background of the cakestand photo. :)

    1. I am a big peanut butter fan too, but I grew up surrounded by peanut farms as a kid, so it goes with the territory. These are very good peanut butter cookies. I like giving them to people who aren’t suspecting the middle to be smooth. The chalkboard was a gift from my husband when we moved, because my old chalkboard was not packed up during our move. It is shaped like cheese/cutting board which is cute. He got it from a local kitchen gadget store. The cakestand is from walmart or target.

  3. Lovely recipe, creative noshing! I tried the version with chocolate cookies with peanut butter but now I’m gonna try your version of this magic in the middle cookies. I love peanut butter. ;-)

  4. Just the other day I bought some peanut butter cookies at a bake sale on the campus where I work. I like to support the students and I love peanut butter cookies. I got one each from two different platters and anticipated the deliciousness of PB. I was sadly disappointed with both cookies. One was oily with barely any peanut flavor and the other had a fake butter flavor. Bleh.
    I decided I’d be baking PB cookies soon and now I see this recipe. Yay!
    May I suggest you add the word “creamy” in your directions in front of peanut butter where the center mixture is combined. And in the second to last paragraph of the directions you say to roll in peanut mixture but the topping says cinnamon and sugar. Are there supposed to be some chopped peanuts or should the directions say roll in cinnamon mixture?
    Thank you!

    1. Glad to hear you will try this recipe. Thanks for the suggestions and questions, I really appreciate it. I will make adjustments to this post. You are right, it should say cinnamon and sugar mixture; I must’ve had peanuts on the mind when I was typing this one up. Bake sales are definitely a toss up, sometimes you win, sometimes not. But if you are looking for a hit of peanut butter, these are great and believe me you won’t walk away from these thinking, “I just didn’t get that peanut butter taste…”

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