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
Yield: 12

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

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

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

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

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