Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (with Reese’s Pieces)
We’re slated for a huge rain/windstorm beginning later tonight, and I’m working on distracting myself from the anxiety that’s stirring up by baking cookies.
Also known as positively redirecting stress!
Our house is surrounded by a half dozen hundred foot-or-so tall pines, so big storms always conjure up images of said trees crashing down around/on top of me. And, all terrifying outcomes aside, it never hurts to have chocolatey peanut buttery treats on hand, should the power go out.
Soft and chewy, with a brownie-like quality, and the unmistakable goodness of peanut butter mixed in, these dark chocolate peanut butter cookies are everything I look for in a cookie. I’m in love.
(Dark) chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven any time of year, but these orange-flecked babes, studded with Reese’s Pieces peanut butter candies, seem especially suited for a Halloween dessert table spread.
Reese’s peanut butter cups were always one of my very favorite treats in the yearly trick-or-treat haul, and they’re even better in cookie form.
The only downside to these chocolate beauties? They have a mandatory chilling period of a few hours. I know. It helps the cookies hold their shape, and lets the flavors intensify and meld together.
But it’s worth it, promise. One bite of these peanut buttery chocolate cookies, and you’ll completely forgive the wait. They’re wonderfully chewy and soft (without being cakey), and full of flavor. A chocolate lover’s dream.
Also, ordinarily, I’d just stir the Reese’s into the batter, where they mostly disappear, adding a burst of sweet peanut butter with each chocolate-y cookie bite. But, just for aesthetics, I added a few on top of each, in the last couple minutes of baking. Reserve a small handful, if you’d like to do the same, just for decoration.
Now, excuse me while I collect our candles and solar lanterns and hunker down with my emergency cookie supply…
This post is not sponsored by Reese’s – they’re just the perfect candy for these cookies!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour¹
- 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Reese’s Pieces peanut butter candies
Prepare the dough:
- Add the butter to a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for a full minute until light and fluffy.
- Meanwhile, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, until combined. Set aside.
- Add both sugars to the mixer, and mix on medium speed until completely combined. Add the egg, followed by the peanut butter, and vanilla, mixing well after each addition.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed, and add the flour mixture in two or three batches, mixing until just combined. Stir in the Reese’s Pieces².
- Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.³
Bake the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let come up to temperature for a few minutes. Use a cookie scoop to evenly scoop out 2 Tbsp portions of dough. Gently roll/shape the dough into balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets, about two inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffy and cooked through. Our oven bakes unevenly, so I bake each sheet one at a time, and rotate the pan halfway through. The cookies may appear slightly uncooked in the middle, but will settle as they cool.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a baking sheet to cool completely. Will keep for up to a week in an air-tight container.
¹ I’ve baked these chocolate peanut butter cookies using Cup for Cup gluten free flour blend with great success. My taste testers couldn’t tell the difference!
² I reserved a small handful of Reese’s to place on top of the cookies, which I added about 3 minutes before the cookies were ready to come out of the oven. Totally optional, but a bit more decorative.
³ It’s important to let the dough fully chill and firm up before baking, at least 2 hours. This allows the cookies to hold their shape (and let the flavors build together). Any less, and the cookies will spread way to much.