Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies

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Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies — Soft peanut butter cookies that taste like the inside of peanut butter cups thanks to a special ingredient! Yum!!!

soft peanut butter cookies surrounded by halved PB cups

Simple Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe 

I’ve always loved peanut butter cups, especially the filling. So I set out to make cookies that taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup.

There are no actual peanut butter cups used in the cookies (scraping chocolate from dozens of cups just for the filling wouldn’t exactly be practical), and to make them I used my Reese’s Pieces Soft Peanut Butter Cookie dough as the base.

I reduced the sugar slightly, eliminated the Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips, and incorporated one-quarter cup nutritional yeast into the dough. It’s the secret ingredient that really gives the cookies inside-of-a-peanut-butter-cup authenticity.

I’ve used it before in homemade peanut butter cups because it adds a salty-and-sweet element and the imperceptibly cheesy flavor I’ve always thought peanut butter cup insides possess.

The cookies are super soft, moist, slightly chewy, not overly sweet, and loaded with big, rich, bold peanut butter cup flavor. Just the way I like them.

overhead view of six soft peanut butter cookies surrounded by PB cups

What’s in Soft Peanut Butter Cookies? 

To make this ultra soft soft peanut butter cookie recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

What is Nutritional Yeast? 

Nutritional yeast (not the same as brewer’s yeast) is what many vegans use as ‘cheese’. It’s sold as dry flakes, and has a cheesy-ish, nutty flavor.

I love to sprinkle it on popcorn, I blend it with red pepper and soaked cashews for the coating on the best kale chips, make Peanut Butter Cups, and cheesy dips with it. So many ways to use it. It’s packed with B vitamins and protein, so of course the cookies are automatically healthy.

a simple peanut butter cookie that's been torn in half and stacked on itself

How to Make Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Simply cream together the egg, peanut butter, butter, sugars, and vanilla. Then, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Scoop the dough into balls, then chill for at least 2 hours. Once the dough has had time to chill, bake until the edges have set and the tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. 

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before eating. 

two peanut butter cookies from scratch surrounded by PB cups

Can I Omit the Nutritional Yeast? 

Yes, you can make the peanut butter cookies from scratch without it and they’ll still ‘turn out,’ but a key flavor element will be absent.

Can I Use Natural Peanut Butter?

No, I recommend using a traditional peanut butter brand like Jif or Skippy. Natural or homemade peanut butter is too runny and tends to separate. 

Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies — Soft peanut butter cookies that taste like the inside of peanut butter cups thanks to a special ingredient! Yum!!!

Tips for the Best Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 

Do not bake with unchilled dough because the cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.

Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies — Soft peanut butter cookies that taste like the inside of peanut butter cups thanks to a special ingredient! Yum!!!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies

Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies

Soft peanut butter cookies that taste like the inside of peanut butter cups thanks to a special ingredient! Yum!!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 19 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (such as Jif or Skippy; not natural or homemade because it’s too runny and separates)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

Instructions

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the egg, peanut butter, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, nutritional yeast, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 12 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly by making cross-marks using the tines of a fork.
  4. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray.
  6. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 9 minutes (for super soft cookies, or longer for more well-done cookies), or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.

Notes

To store: Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from Reese’s Pieces Soft Peanut Butter Cookies.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g

More Peanut Butter Cookie Recipes:

My cookbook is all about peanut butter! Peanut Butter Comfort contains 100+ peanut butter recipes

Peanut Butter Comfort by Averie Sunshine

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – Super soft, perfectly chewy, BROWNED BUTTER cookies that are LOADED with two kinds of chips!!

Reese’s Pieces Soft Peanut Butter Cookies — Peanut butter lovers’ will go nuts for these super soft cookies loaded with Reese’s Pieces & chocolate!

Soft and Chewy Triple Peanut Butter Cookies — PB is used 3 different ways in these melt-in-your mouth cookies! Batch size of just 8 cookies when you don’t ‘need’ dozens laying around!

Lofthouse-Style Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies  — Same soft texture as real Lofthouse cookies, but with peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies – My favorite peanut butter cookies on my blog. My other favorites are in my book. There’s NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy & oozing with dark chocolate

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies – NO Butter and NO White Sugar used in these soft, puffy cookies that are bursting with peanut butter flavor. If you’ve wanted to start baking with coconut oil, these are so easy!

Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie – This fast and easy cookie pie has peanut butter worked in 3 different ways

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Comments

  1. These were super easy, and turned out just like the picture! They melt in your mouth! Thank you for the amazing recipe! It’ll be my go to pb cookie!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad it’s your go to PB cookie now!

  2. These cookies really do taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup. Thanks for another great recipe Averie!

  3. Ahhh! Just made these! I’ve been eyeing them up on Pintrest for the longest time and I finally had time today to try them out! Absolutely delicious. My boyfriend and I are trying not to eat them all right now! We were running a little low on normal peanut butter, so we added what we had on hand, which was white chocolate peanut butter – yum! 

  4. I’ve been drooling over these cookies ever since you posted the recipe almost two months ago. Tonight, I finally got to make them and they definitely did not disappoint. I loooove anything peanut butter and these were the perfect treat with a big ol’ glass of milk. Seriously though, they’re like a warm, gooey cookie version of a peanut butter cup center! Nutritional yeast, who would’ve guessed? Thanks for another great recipe, Averie!

    1. Thanks for making these and glad they came out like a warm, gooey cookie version of a peanut butter cup center for you! And yes, nooch, who would’ve guessed but it just adds so much!

  5. I saw this on Pinterest and had to know what the ingredient was that made these like the inside of a pb cup! These look amazing and I bet they taste even better!

    Sydney

  6. I just bought my first jar of nutritional yeast the other day. I’m excited to play around with it, and I’m probably going to have to make these cookies for my peanut butter lovin’ husband!

  7. I would never think of using nutritional yeast in cookies but now I can totally imagine it giving these the perfect salty-sweet kick!

  8. Never in a million years would I have thought to use nutritional yeast in a peanut butter cookie! You are one smart cookie Averie!

  9. The peanut butter insides of Reese’s are my absolute favorite part. Like, sometimes I will eat all of the chocolate off just to indulge in the peanut butter by itself, haha. The nutritional yeast element is interesting! I wouldn’t have thought that might help to give a cookie more of the consistency of the peanut butter. Perhaps I will give these a try sometime!

  10. Gosh, I was actually drooling while reading this post. Not a big peanut butter fan, but this looks so scrumptious ♥ ♥

  11. I NEVER thought about adding nutritional yeast to cookies! I love it and I love cookies – it must be fantastic to combine the two!

  12. Mmmm nutritional yeast is my favorite! Have you tried it on popcorn? Oh and these cookies? So fabulous. I want one right now.

    1. I have it on popcorn like almost daily! With a little coconut oil spray from TJs and some spices…soooo good. My fave snack!

  13. I am so intrigued by this recipe. I’ve heard about the nutritional yeast before but would never guess you used it in cookies! So cool! I need to try this. Pinned!

  14. No.freaking.way.
    Are you serious?
    You are a genius. Like, end of story.
    I am making these asap! I have nutritional yeast always but have never ever though to put it in something sweet. Averie, this is fantastic, in concept and follow through. Pinning!

    1. Thanks for pinning and if you have it around and on hand, yes, go bake with it! LMK how they turn out for you!

  15. You know what I love about your posts? Every recipe I try is top notch and 11/10! Seriously. I know as soon as I spot something that I can recreate it due to your amazing recipes and precise instructions/tips. So helpful! I made these tonight and I can’t stop eating them. They are perfection. They actually taste EXACTLY like the inside of a Reese’s PB cup. Insane!!! And nutritional yeast..omg who would have thought?! Thank goodness I had some kicking around. Superb recipe as always..thanks for sharing! You da, you da best!

    1. What an unbelievably awesome comment and such high praise…thank you!! Thank you for trying so many of my other recipes and for making these the same day I posted them! And glad that you love them and think they’re exactly like the inside of Reese’s cup! And glad you had some nooch laying around…it’s such a great pairing with PB :) If you try other recipes, LMK how things go!

      1. Of course! I try to reply/comment to everything that I make…I appreciate your recipes/tips so much! I have never had a bad recipe from you. I don’t think that’s possible. I’m still in awe over the nutritional yeast. haha :D

      2. You are so sweet to say that and to try so many recipes! Have an awesome weekend and hope you bake up some good stuff :) !!!

  16. Whoa, I’ve gotta get my hands on some of these stat! I’ve never used nutritional yeast before but these cookies are a darn good reason to give it a try!

  17. Those cookies look absolutely perfect. So soft and peanut buttery. It would never have occurred to me to put nutritional yeast in cookies, what a great and creative idea!

  18. The inside is seriously the best part! My youngest daughter eats all the chocolate off and then eats the peanut butter last. I have bought the Reese’s peanut butter in the jar in hopes that it would be the same, but no such luck! I will have to make these for my peanut butter loving family!

    1. Another reader just asked about that PB and I was thinking it would probably be like regular PB rather than the inside of the cup taste…and now, I know. Thank you for the info and sorry it didn’t taste like what you thought but now you know how to get that taste!

  19. I’ve never heard of nutritional yeast before. Oh my goodness, if it works wonders like this I must try it. These cookies look phenomenal!

    1. Yes girl it’s amazing stuff. It’s flaky powder with this subtle cheesy-ish taste but vegan. If nothing else, I have a feeling Mel would like it. He seems like he’s Mr. Healthy :)

  20. Love this!

    I keep wanting to make cookies with nooch and coconut flour, becuase they’ll give them that slightly crumbly texture that is found pb cups.

    1. Nooch yes, coconut FLOUR, oh boy, such a tricky thing. Coconut oil, easy. The flour…it’s such a sponge! You have to be so careful with that stuff, i.e. don’t use it :) I ruined so much food in 2009-10 b/c of that stuff that it’s been on my do-not-buy list ever since.

  21. So crazy about the nutritional yeast I have to try this out! Have you seen they sell Reese’s peanut butter? Have never bought it but I hope it tastes like the insides of peanut butter cups too :)

    1. I’ve seen it and never thought it would taste like a PB cup center. I always just assumed it would taste like normal PB that their put their brand name on. But…now you have me curious!!

  22. These cookies look puffy and delicious! Just made similar ones, but did not use yeast,and drizzled some chocolate on top. Pinning!

  23. I just made peanut butter cookies earlier this week, but seriously mine could never look as soft and puffy as your cookies always do! Dreamy!

    1. And sometimes I want to make FLAT cookies, well flatter, and just more ‘normal’ but mine always turn out exceedingly puffy! I guess my dough is always super well chilled or something LOL

  24. Putting the nutritional yeast in these is so unique!!! I have to admit, I’m a bit leery about it, but I will trust you!

    1. The readers who’ve made my homemade PB Cups (re-read the comments above you) that also call for nooch are all pleased with the results…just trust me on this one!

  25. These sounds AMAZING! I’ve never used nutritional yeast before, but it sounds like a good thing to start incorporating into my meals. Of course the best part of the peanut butter cup is the peanut butter!! My boyfriend loves peanut butter cookies, so I’ll have to try these to mix it up a bit.

    Also, I noticed you linked to Avalon Organics face wash. I’ll have to try that. I use their shampoo and conditioner which are awesome!

    1. it sounds like a good thing to start incorporating into my meals = it is! I’m vegan/vegetarian depending on the year but always one or the other, my whole life. And nooch is full of protein and B vitamins and really in just 1-2 tbsp you can get so much flavor and nutrients, a win-win! I love sprinkling it on salads and popcorn!

  26. The inside of peanut butter cups is the best part- love that these cookies totally incorporate that flavor and texture! I would have never thought of using nutritional yeast in cookies, but I can see how it works!

  27. AWESOME. I am just waiting for my package of nutritional yeast to arrive in the mail, it’ll be my first time using it and I’ll be making these cookies ASAP. Cannot wait!

    1. Knowing you, you’re going to love it, and find so many other uses for it…in dips, on salads, etc. Lmk how things go!!

  28. Oh my gosh, yes! The insides of the peanut butter cup is my favorite, too. I love the texture and the slight saltiness and everything. Oh yummy days!

    1. I love the texture and the slight saltiness and everything. <--- and that's what the nutritional yeast does for this recipe! Exactly!

  29. I love peanut butter, but usually do not like peanut butter cookies, I thing most are too dry, but I LOVE the peanut butter flavor in a peanut butter cup, so I’m really excited to try these cookies

    1. Thanks, Heather, and these aren’t your typical PB cookies…not dry at all and with a really unique flavor…so I hope you enjoy them if you try them!

  30. I’ve never tried nutritional yeast before, so I’m amazed that went into these cookies! They look so wonderful, Averie! And I love the name, too!

  31. I have been avoiding nutritional yeast but I think you’ve convinced me to try it. These inside out cookies look great!

    1. Ahhh, don’t avoid it! It’s one of my fave things EVER! Like I could eat the flakes with a spoon…LOL :)

    1. Thanks, Amanda, and I read your post in stealth about seeing your handwriting on that wall-hanging…AMAZING!! That had to have been such a cool feeling!!

    1. About 6-7 years ago when I was much more raw/vegan and making my own PB cups I realized that a little bit of nooch mixed in with the PB did wonders…and I’ve never looked back!

  32. This is the best! As a kid I always pushed a hole in my pb cups to savor the pb goodness after all the chocolate was gone. I’m intrigued by the nutritional yeast, is it available in grocery stores?

    1. At Whole Foods or natural groc stores, yes. At your average mainstream grocery store, unlikely. Just order it from the link I gave, Amazon, etc. It’s about 40% cheaper to order than to buy at WFs and shows up on your door in 1-2 days. My kinda shopping :)

  33. Okay, I love how you put nutritional yeast in these delicious looking cookies (inside of a peanut butter cup = yummmay!). I love cooking with nutritional yeast but have never tried baking with it! It looks like now I might just have to :)

  34. When I saw the title and read the first 2 lines I was already thinking “did she put nooch in these? Yep, she did–brilliant!! I remember the first time I tried your PB cup filling–it was so cool that a little nooch made such a big difference. I just used it in some butternut soup (with a little PB) and I think it’s Jon’s favorite version so far. He would absolutely LOVE these cookies–and it goes without saying I would too!:)

    1. You’re a mindreader :) Yep, I did! And yes nooch does make such a difference!

      I love it in soup and yours sounds like it’s packed with so many great flavors! I bet you’d love these cookies!

  35. I never would have thought to use nutritional yeast in cookies like this! I love nutritional yeast and can’t wait to test out this recipe!

  36. I love the inside of a peanut butter cup, when I was younger, I used to take off the chocolate and just eat the filling. Need to try these, pinned! :D x

    1. Yeah, and my wife has learned that the way to my heart has always been and always will be peanut butter inspired recipes!

  37. Now I finally have another use for that large container of nutritional yeast sitting in my pantry! I already knew it was delicious on popcorn, but this is just genius… Your creativity just amazes me!