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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 oilprobioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleanser,  and mini chocolate chips.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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 (if you don’t have it, use 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour instead)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Directions:

  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. 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.
  6. 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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97 comments on “Inside-Of-A-Peanut-Butter-Cup Cookies”

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. These look so thick and moist…I never thought to use nutritional yeast in a sweet recipe…great idea.

  4. These cookies are just perfection! Those ridges. That fluffiness. YES!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!:)

    • 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!

  7. I remember when you put nutritional yeast in PB cups! This is great! :)

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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?

    • 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 :)

  10. Wow! Nutritional yeast in a cookie?! How in the world did you figure this out?!

  11. Craving the pb cookies now! Look great :)

  12. Thanks for the recipe, I just printed it out and I’m going to try it soon!

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

    • 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

    • 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

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

  23. 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 :)

    • 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!!

  24. You are a woman after my heart. These look amazing.

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