When I was a young and inexperienced baker trying to make up recipes, I didn’t have much success. I mean, I was 15. The process of creaming butter with sugar was a completely terrifying prospect. And whipping egg whites until stiff peaks form? I still remember doing it by hand one day. It worked, but I was traumatized.
Now, many years and one Kitchen Aid mixer later, I am much wiser. But I still remember with fondness the recipes that were not epic fails when I was just starting out. And one in particular that I kept making time and time again were these cookie cupcakes. Because they worked. And because they were actually delicious.
These are peanut buttery without being too sweet or over-the-top intense. They remind me of classic peanut butter cookies: same flavor, same happy nostalgic feel, same need for the glass of milk. But there’s more in each serving, more to bite into. The middle is nice and soft while the edges are chewy. And best of all, they have that Reese’s cup in the middle!
There’s something about Reese’s cups that have been baked. Their texture becomes even more irresistible, as though the best of the flavors come out in the heat of the oven. The shape of the peanut butter cup holds beautifully nestled among the cookie dough. Be sure to center your cups for an especially nice presentation.
By the way, I’ve done this recipe with tweaks. One time, just to be nutty, I put a full-sized Reese’s cup on the bottom of the muffin liner and then piled the cookie dough on top. Worked out great! There was a bite of Reese’s in every mouthful. You can also add chocolate or peanut butter chips, try it with mini Snickers bites, or even work in some Rolos for a nice caramel kick.
Whatever you do, eat them. It’s worth it to have that midday moment when all is still and the only thing you taste or feel is peanut butter and chocolate. I like that have that moment at least once a day. So take some time for yourself and try these!
- 1/3 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 and 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used Jif natural-style)
- 12 miniature Reese’s cups, unwrapped
Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups and very lightly coat with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter cups in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until ingredients have formed a thick cookie dough. You may have to scrape down the bowl once or twice to get all the ingredients mixed.
Press the dough into each muffin liner until the cups are filled two-thirds of the way up. Once the dough is ready, press a miniature Reese’s cup into the center of each cookie cupcake.
Bake the cookie cupcakes for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before eating. Store in an airtight container.