Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies

24 Oct

I am hopeless when it comes to directions. Forget about offering me tips like, “Go north on Main Street.” I’ll counter back with, “How am I supposed to know which way is north?” Come on, people! It’s hard for some of us.

It’s not hard for all of you, though, is it? Some people just have an aura of good-directionness around them.

Take my husband, for example.

The first time we went to NYC on our own, we were just two college kids taking an adventurous trip for the weekend. Naturally, I was terrified. And just as naturally, my pre-husband (pre-marriage, FYI) was in complete control.

We left Grand Central Station, my pre-husband assertively navigating up the right streets and down others and me lugging my roller-bag suitcase behind me, half-walking, half-running, and panting all the while. I was sure we were lost. I wanted a taxi with my whole heart, but for some reason, a taxi was not an option. We walked 10 or 50 blocks, depending on who you ask.

And then, out of nowhere, we were at our destination. This was a small miracle to me, the hopeless direction girl. But pre-husband never batted an eye. (Aura of good-directionness, I tell you.)

Today’s destination is not nearly as navigationally challenging as that trip to NYC; it’s just to some cookies. So come on, no reason not to make these.

I first made these cookies approximately one month ago. Then I made them again two weeks later. And then I made them two days ago (and put the last batch in 30 minutes ago). Yes, folks, they are that good.

These cookies are special because they’re not your run-of-the-mill thumbprint peanut butter cookies with a unwrapped, waxy chocolate kiss lazily thrown on top. (But don’t get me wrong, those lazy kiss ones are great, too!) The chocolate cookie dough topping is what takes these over the edge. They are rich and chocolatey and peanut-buttery. The ultimate trifecta in my book.

Cream your butters and sugars together. You know the drill.

Add the rest of your ingredients to complete the dough.

Shape the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, roll into sugar, and make a thumbprint impression with your thumb.

Bake at for 10-12 minutes until golden on the edges.

Before the cookies cool (and before you take them off the sheet), deepen the thumbprint with the back of a spoon.

While the cookies are cooling, start on your chocolate cookie dough topping. (Eggless, of course!)

It should look like this at the end. Smooth, chocolatey, and oh-so-perfect as a topping for the peanut butter cookies!

You know what comes next: you put it all together and admire your handiwork. Then you eat your handiwork.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies


For cookies:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For chocolate cookie dough:

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:

dark or semisweet chocolate, melted (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter, butter, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat another 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and salt on top and mix by hand just until incorporated.

Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and roll in the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make a thumbprint impression in the middle of each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Before the cookies cool (and before you take them off the sheet), deepen the thumbprint with the back of a spoon. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate cookie dough topping, beat together the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and mix until incorporated. Add the milk (or cream) and vanilla, and beat for 1 minute until well-mixed. Evenly mix in the chocolate chips.

Form the cookie dough topping into teaspoon-sized balls, and place a dollop on each of the peanut butter cookies. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

Adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

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