The best kind of cookies are the kind that my kids can easily help me make. Now my kids help in the kitchen all the time. They pour ingredients into the bowl, they turn the mixer on, and they occasionally crack the eggs. Oh sure, they get some shells into the batter sometimes, but I can normally scoop them out. (and if not, oh well!) Their favorite part about helping is, of course, licking the bowl. (We don’t really worry about eating raw eggs in this house 😉 ) Now this is a great recipe for letting kids help, because there are times where you can mash things with a spoon ~or your hands if you don’t mind a bit of mess. My kids always prefer a more hands-on, messy experience anyway.
Now this recipe comes together quite easily because it starts with refrigerated cookie dough. In fact, I originally made this recipe to enter into the Pillsbury Bake-Off a couple years ago. ~and no, sadly I am NOT 1 million dollars richer. 🙁 But I still enjoy these cookies. And you will too if you like chocolate and peanut butter! These remind me of a reverse peanut butter blossom cookie with the cookie being made with a yummy chocolate dough. The peanut butter filling is made like the old fashioned school cafeteria type peanut butter candy. (Does anyone else but me remember eating that stuff everyday in high school at lunch time?) It tastes delicious pressed into the center of these chocolate cookies! The peanut butter filling has no egg in it so while the kids are mashing it together, they can sneak as many tastes as they like without worries. Just try and make sure they leave enough filling for the cookies!
- 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
- 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate squares coarsely chopped (OR 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa)
- 1 (divided) t. vanilla
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
- 2 1/4 rectangle sheets graham crackers (OR 1/3 c. graham cracker crumbs)
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 TBLS butter
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 t. vegetable shortening
- Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, break up cookie dough and set aside. If using baking squares, microwave in a small bowl for 1 minute and stir until melted. Put chocolate (either the melted chocolate OR the cocoa powder) into a large bowl with cookie dough. Add 1/2 t. vanilla and stir with a large wooden spoon until well blended. Place bowl in refrigerator for ten minutes to make dough easier to handle.
- Meanwhile, make the peanut butter mixture. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl. If using graham cracker sheets, place in a large freezer bag and seal. Use a rolling pin to smash crackers into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into bowl with peanut butter and stir together with a wooden spoon until well blended. (or get messy and use hands though you may want to flour them first.) Microwave butter in a small bowl until melted and pour it into the peanut butter mixture. Add powdered sugar and the other 1/2 t. vanilla. Stir mixture until well blended or use hands to squeeze mixture together until powdered sugar is fully incorporated into the peanut butter mixture. Set aside.
- pour granulated sugar into a small bowl. Take cookie dough out of fridge and form dough into 30 one inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar and place 2 inches apart on large un greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges are set and tops are slightly cracked. Let stand on cookie sheet for 1 minute. While still on cookie sheet, use the end of a wooden spoon to make a wide, circular, shallow indentation on top of each cookie to within approximately 1/2 inch of the edge of the cookie, being careful not to poke through the bottom of the cookie; remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Once cookies are cool, lay a large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface and place cookies on the paper. Mound 1 heaping teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture into the indentation of each cookie. use finger to slightly flatten the mixture over the tip of each cookie. (should appear as a small flattened circle of peanut butter over the top of the cookie to within approximately 1/2 inch of the edge of the cookie).
- Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl microwave for 1 minute. Stir until blended and melted. Let stand for a minute. Place in a large plastic sealable bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Drizzle over the top of each cookie while on the waxed paper.Let cookies stand for at least 15 minutes or until chocolate is set before serving.