Don't let the traditional round shape of these Chocolate Sandwich Cookies fool you into thinking they are ordinary treats. With each bite, you'll realize that these creamy peanut butter fudge-filled sandwich cookies are deliciously decadent desserts.
The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is hard to beat. It's one of the most popular dessert flavor combinations.
These chocolate sandwich cookies have a robust chocolate flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich peanut butter fudge filling.
The filling is firm enough that it holds up when you bite into the cookie (it won't ooze out the sides) but it melts in your mouth. It's smooth and creamy and packed with peanut butter flavor.
Watch this video tutorial to see how to make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies then scroll down to find the recipe...
Let's make some cookies!
To make these sandwich cookies you will start by making round chocolate cut-out cookies. You may have noticed a very distinct difference between the pictures of the cookies above.
One batch is really dark, almost black, while the other is reddish-brown.
I made these cookies using the exact same recipe, but I used different brands of cocoa powder in each batch of dough.
When you compare the chocolate cookies side by side you can really see the difference in color due to the cocoa powder.
The chocolate cookies pictured on the left are distinctively darker in color and they had a richer dark chocolate flavor. Those cookies were made with Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder which contains a blend of natural and Dutch-processed cocoa.
The lighter brown cookies pictured on the right were made using Callebaut Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder.
I prefer the darker cookies in look and flavor but both cookies tasted great.
Make chocolate cookie dough.
- unsalted butter - Use unsalted butter that has been softened to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can set sticks of butter out on your counter for a few hours to allow them to soften.
- Or to speed up the process, you can cut the butter into small pieces and let them sit until softened (which cuts the time in half) or you can grate the butter using a cheese grater (the butter will be ready to use in less than 10 minutes).
- sugar - Use granulated sugar to add sweetness to the cookies. Sugar also enables browning which adds flavor, even if you don't really see the browning because the cookies are so dark.
- vanilla - Pure vanilla extract is always best, but being the chocolate flavor will be the dominant flavor in these cookies, imitation vanilla extract will work fine too.
- egg - A large egg will add moisture and volume to your cookies.
- flour - All-purpose flour will add the bulk of the structure to this cookie recipe.
- It is best to weigh flour to get the most accurate measurement.
- If you do use a dry measuring cup, spoon the flour into the cup then scrape off the excess.
- baking powder - A small amount of baking powder will add just enough lift to the cookies while allowing them to hold their shape once baked.
- salt - A little salt helps to balance the sweetness of the cookies.
- cocoa powder- Use a dark Dutch Process Cocoa (or a blend of natural and Duct process cocoa, like Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa) for dark cookies with a rich chocolate flavor.
- It's always best to sift the cocoa powder to remove any lumps.
- Either weigh the cocoa powder or spoon it into your measuring cup. Measure before you sift.
- Beat 142 grams (10 tablespoons) of softened unsalted butter and 150 grams (¾ cup) of sugar until creamy.
- Add 2.1 grams (½ teaspoon) of vanilla and 1 large egg and beat to combine.
- Combine 224 grams (1 ¾ cups) of all-purpose flour, 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) baking powder, and 3 grams (½ teaspoon) of salt.
- Sift the 35 grams (⅓ cup) cocoa powder (to remove any large lumps) over the flour mixture then whisk all the dry ingredients together.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined.
- Flatten the dough into a disk, place in a large zip-top bag (or wrap well in plastic wrap), and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes just until firm.
Cut out cookies.
- Dust a silicone mat and your rolling pin lightly with cocoa powder before rolling out the dough so that the dough won't stick.
- Dusting your work surface with cocoa powder is better than using flour because your cookies are so dark. If you use flour, the cookies will have a white film of flour on the surface. Plus you can brush off any excess cocoa powder more easily as well.
- Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thickness.
- If your dough is too sticky, you can chill it for more time or gently knead in a bit more flour, until the dough is easy to roll. Just be sure you don't mix in too much flour or knead it too much or your cookies will be dry and tough.
- Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out your chocolate cookies. It's the perfect size for a sandwich cookie.
- As you make your cuts, place the cutter as close to the previous cut, thereby getting as many circles cut out of one sheet of dough.
- Re-roll the dough and cut more circles. You will get about 60 2-inch circles out of the dough.
- The more times you re-roll the dough, the more gluten will form in your cookies. If you roll it too many times your cookies may be tough.
- If you want your cut-out dough to hold its shape perfectly, remove the excess dough from around the cut-outs, then pop your silicone mat (set on a stiff surface like a baking sheet or cutting board) into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
- When you pull the silicone mat out of the freezer, you can simply peel the perfectly round cookies off and place them on a clean silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet in order to bake them.
Bake the cookies.
- Bake one tray at a time in a preheated 350-degree F (177° C) oven for 8-10 minutes for soft cookies and 10-12 for crunchy cookies.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- It's best to remove the cookies from the oven when the edges look dull and set but the tops of the cookies are still shiny, but not damp and wet.
- The heat from the hot cookie sheet will continue to bake the cookies so they won't be doughy in the center.
- These chocolate cookies taste great when they are soft (baked for 8-10 minutes) but are also pretty darn good when they are a bit more crunchy (baked 10-12 minutes). The choice in texture is up to you.
- Just be sure you don't over-bake or burn the cookies.
- I know it is hard to tell when dark chocolate cookies are baked all the way through, so if you are worried, it's better to underbake them and allow the residual heat on the cookie sheet to finish baking them once they are out of the oven than to overbake them.
- Larger cookies will take slightly longer to bake.
- It's always best to check the oven temperature to make sure your oven is heating properly.
Make Peanut Butter Fudge Filling.
This peanut butter fudge filling is made by combining melted white compound chocolate (also known as confectionery coating, candy melts, melting wafers, or almond bark) with peanut butter chips, peanut butter, and salt.
White compound chocolate is white chocolate that contains palm kernel oil instead of cocoa butter.
You can use any brand of white compound chocolate but I recommend using Nestle Premier White Morsels (white chips, pictured on the right, can be found in many grocery stores in the U.S.), or Peter's IceCaps (you can find them at candy/cake decorating stores), or Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers (pictured on the left, these can also be found in most grocery stores).
Fudge filling instructions.
- Melt 8 ounces (1 ¼ cups) of white compound chocolate with 4 ounces (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) of peanut butter chips together in the microwave for 30-second bursts of high power, stirring after each, until melted.
- Then stir in a pinch of salt and 8 ounces (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) of creamy peanut butter.
- Let the fudge filling cool, stirring often, unit it thickens into a frosting consistency.
- To speed up this process, pour it into a large shallow bowl. The larger the surface area that's exposed to eh air, the quicker it will cool down. Do not refrigerate it or it will become too firm.
Notes about this peanut butter fudge filling.
- This recipe will make the most amazing peanut butter fudge that will be very liquid at first.
- You need to allow it to cool, but it will cool too quickly (and unevenly) if refrigerated, so let it cool at room temperature, stirring it often.
I made the cookie dough and placed it in the refrigerator. Just before the dough was ready, I made the peanut butter fudge filling then I rolled, cut, and baked my cookies. By the time the cookies were cooled, my peanut butter fudge filling was ready to pipe onto the cookies.
Pipe or spread on the filling.
- Spread or pipe a thick layer of peanut butter fudge filling over half of your chocolate cookies.
- Then place another cookie over top to create the most amazing chocolate sandwich cookies with peanut butter fudge filling you've ever tasted!
- If you spread the filling onto the cookies, make sure it is about ¼ inch thick.
I love how the fudge filling looks in the picture above. I used an open star tip in my pastry bag to get that effect. Be sure to watch the video to see how I piped the filling onto the cookies.
More Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipes:
If you love the chocolate peanut butter combo, be sure to check out these other recipes.
- Buckeye Fudge
- Reese's Cup Rice Krispie Treats
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Pinwheels (recipe uses the same peanut butter fudge filling)
- Swirled Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (recipe uses the same peanut butter fudge filling)
- Peanut Butter Fudge Filled Chocolate Hearts
How can I fix my dough if it's too soft or sticky?
- Unfortunately, measuring flour using measuring cups is not exact and you may need to add a bit more flour to the cookie recipe if your dough is too soft. Also, if your butter was too warm, your dough will be soft.
- To fix soft or sticky dough, start by chilling the dough for an additional 30-60 minutes. If the cookie dough doesn't firm up enough you can gently knead in more flour, a tablespoon or so at a time.
- If you want to skip the chilling time altogether, you can simply add a few extra tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough.
- Just be sure to not overmix the dough or you will end up with tough cookies.
How can I fix dry dough?
- Your cookie dough may feel too dry if you added too much flour or you used a medium or small egg.
- To fix dry cookie dough, whisk an egg in a small bowl and add a little bit of the egg to the dough at a time until the dough comes together and feels pliable.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
- Yes, but you may want to reduce the amount of salt you add to the recipe by half unless you prefer a saltier cookie.
Can I skip the salt in this cookie recipe?
- Yes, you can eliminate the salt. Your cookies will be slightly sweeter.
Why are my cookies spreading?
- The most common reason for these chocolate cut-out cookies to spread is the butter was too warm. If you have an instant-read thermometer, just allow the butter to warm to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33° C). At that temperature, the butter will dent when you press your finger on it but won't squish.
- Also, if you overbeat the butter and sugar your cookies may spread. Just beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. When you add the vanilla and egg, beat until the dough no longer looks curdled.
Can I refrigerate or freeze the chocolate cookie dough?
- Yes. The dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 6 months if wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in a zip-top bag.
How many grams and ounces of flour in a cup?
- We use 128 grams or 4.5 ounces of flour per dry measuring cup.
- Other recipe sites call for 120 grams or 4 ¼ ounces per cup while others call for 140 grams or 5 ounces per cup.
- Measuring flour using cups isn't exact. If you scoop the flour into the cup you'll get more flour than if you spoon the flour into the cup. If your flour has been compacted in your container or has been exposed to moisture, you'll get more flour by weight in a cup.
- There are too many variables, so it's always best to weigh your ingredients to match our recipes.
- We weighed out and measured all the other ingredients to get exact measurements so you can feel confident when using our weight or cup measurements.
Don't forget to rate the recipe once you make it. 5 stars mean you love it!
Also, be sure to check out the most commonly asked questions below the recipe for more tips on making the best cookies.
I originally posted this chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe on Hungry Happenings in 2018.
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