Speaking from experience, these are best eaten while warm!

Karla Walsh
July 29, 2020
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Has anyone else been stress baking a bit more than usual the past 6 months? In between pie-baking and bread-kneading adventures, I embarked on what I deemed "cookie-palooza." During that month, I had a bake-a-thon of sorts, trying a couple new cookie recipes each week. I'd sample one or two—you know, for the sake of quality control—then package up the rest and pack with a handwritten "thinking of you" note to drop off on the doorsteps of friends and family who might need a boost. (The timing coincided nicely with reporting on this piece about how to safely bring food to others during a pandemic...just in case you're curious about the best practices, too!)

Trader Joe's

Stuffing cookies with everything from cream cheese to caramels was one week's adventure, and another involved topping cookies with chocolates of some sort. (And sea salt. Always Maldon Sea Salt; $6.05, amazon.com. It accentuates the sweetness and adds the just-right amount of crunch!)

My mom used to make peanut butter kiss cookies, flourless peanut butter cookies topped with a Hershey's Kiss (kind of like this version), for holidays and bake sales when I was a kid. That inspired me to riff on the classic and pop a peanut butter cup on top in place of the plain chocolate kiss. Just as easy and even more decadent!

Writing about and shopping at their supermarket so often, the Trader Joe's staff and I must practically share a brain by now, because they just revealed a remarkably similar recipe on the side of one of their cute reusable bags (spotted by @thesnacksoflife at her local store).

Depending on your local regulations, you may or may not be allowed to use reusable bags at the store during the pandemic. But you can certainly put the "Preposterously Peanut Butter Cup Cookies" recipe to great use now and later, so it might be worth the investment!

In the meantime, here's the dish:

Trader Joe's "Preposterously Peanut Butter Cup" Cookies

Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tub dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (Trader Joe's salted PB brand is recommended, naturally)
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Additional sugar for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Unwrap 16 peanut butter cups and set aside on a plate.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Divide prepared dough into 16 balls.
  5. Taking 1 ball of dough, gently place peanut butter cup in the center and pat dough closed.
  6. Place 8 filled dough balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet with space between them and sprinkle sugar on top of each one.
  7. Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling racks.
  8. Repeat steps with the remaining 8 cookie dough balls.
  9. Best when eaten warm and gooey!