Christmas Cookie Countdown #4: Magic in the Middles

Even richer than a Peanut Butter Creme Oreo, Magic in the Middles are the perfect peanut butter and chocolate cookie. With a thick, cakey chocolate dough and a smooth, surprising peanut butter center, these cookies are absolutely addicting. You can visit the King Arthur Flour website for this wonderful recipe direct from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook or just follow the instructions below.

I first made these many moons ago and they've been a family favorite ever since. It seems that my sisters and I go on a string of baking up Magic in the Middles - as soon as we finish one batch, someone else bakes up another because they're just that good. I am a huge fan of the classic chocolate and peanut butter combination, but even someone who doesn't always crave the sweetness of chocolate or the creamy nuttiness of peanut butter will fall in love with these cookies - guaranteed!

Though this recipe requires making two doughs - one for the chocolate cookie and one for the peanut butter filling - the actual process is not very labor intensive. Both doughs are quite straightforward and the filling procedure is very simple, plus the cookies themselves are coated in granulated sugar which helps to hide any potential mishaps. As long as you don't eat all the dough before you've assembled your cookies, you'll have a batch of beautiful chocolate-peanut butter goodness, perfect with a tall glass of milk!

Magic in the Middles
from the King Arthur Flour Companion Cookbook


For the chocolate dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
For the peanut butter filling:
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or creamy based on your preference)
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated.
4. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing well.
5. In a separate bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioner's sugar for the filling until smooth.
6. To assemble the cookies, round out 26 one-inch balls of the peanut butter filling mixture.
7. Shape one-tablespoon-sized balls of the chocolate cookie dough and make a divot in the center. Place one of the peanut butter balls in the divot, then fold the chocolate dough over to cover the peanut butter filling.
8. Using your hands, roll the assembled cookies to smooth them out. Then give them a quick toss in granulated sugar to coat.
9. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets with about 2 inches between each. Get a drinking glass and wet the bottom with either water or oil. Press down on each cookie ball with the glass to flatten them.
10. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and set on wire racks to cool. Enjoy!


  1. These sound so good! Peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect cookie combination. :)

  2. They are probably my favorite cookie ever... Especially when you're not expecting the peanut butter inside, it's a great treat!


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