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. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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!

  3. Yeast? Who knew but I am totally going to try these! Yum!

  4. 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!

    • 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    • 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!

      • 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

      • 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 :) !!!

  8. the inside of a peanut butter cup is the best part! yum!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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

  12. Oh amazing! I love the filling of reeses! These look so moist and buttery, delicious!

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

  14. WOW-they totally DO look like they taste like the inside of a PB cup!!!! LOVE EM

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

  16. I NEVER would have guessed nutritional yeast! Dying to try this now!

  17. 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!

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

  19. I’m pretty sure you just invented the perfect peanut butter cookie!

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. What a unique recipe idea! Sounds so yummy, pinned!

  24. I must have these.. Like NOW!! They look so fluffy and seriously amazing! :)

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