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’s 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.
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 cheeey-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.
I get nutritional yeast from iHerb.com. Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like coconut oil, probiotics, bulk cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, liquid vanilla stevia drops, bulk white stevia powder, medicinal fancy-grade honey, chia seeds, face cleanser, and mini chocolate chips.
You can make the cookies without it and they’ll still ‘turn out’ a key flavor element will be absent.
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.
I’ve always loved peanut butter cups, especially the filling, and I set out to make cookies that taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup. Nutritional yeast is the secret ingredient that gives the cookies inside-of-a-peanut-butter-cup authenticity. It adds a salty-and-sweet element and an imperceptibly cheesy flavor. The cookies will still ‘turn out’ without it but a key flavor element will be absent. The cookies are super soft, moist, slightly chewy, not overly sweet, and loaded with big, rich, bold peanut butter cup flavor.
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 (if you don’t have it, use 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour instead)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. 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. 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.
- 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
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