Made with fudgy chocolate shells and topped off with mounds of creamy peanut butter fudge then drizzled with dark chocolate, these chocolate peanut butter thumbprint cookies are the perfect marriage of peanut butter and chocolate.
What’s your policy on naps? Do you have one? Is it weird that I do?
Mine is that I should under no circumstances be permitted to take one unless I’m 100% certain that I won’t encounter another living being for at least 12 hours. Zach knows this. I haven’t napped in years, partly because they render me useless and intolerable for the rest of the day — it’s bad for my marriage.
Naps sound nice on paper — get comfy, close your eyes (maybe dream about peanut butter thumbprint cookies — we’re getting there), and wake up feeling like Snow White, whistling and singing to forest fauna while you accomplish miserable chores with all the energy and enthusiasm that only a Disney princess could muster. That is not my reality.
I emerge from naps as Gollum, my tongue ready to unleash vitriol at the most innocent transgressions… my attitude toward everything is we hates it!
So, while I’m really, really craving a nap to get me through this Monday after an extremely busy baking/video-shooting/dish-washing weekend (as you might’ve seen on Facebook), I’m refraining.
I am, however, guzzling caffeine and easing the burden of the workweek with chocolate peanut butter thumprint cookies.
I originally published this recipe nearly two years ago and I’ve used the chocolate cookie base over and over again. No matter how sleep deprived you are, you can make this recipe easily.
It’s an extremely versatile dough that I’ve used to make the crisp sugar cookie part of my galaxy cookies, and I’ve adapted it to make non-chocolate thumbprint cookies and copycat tagalong cookies, to name a few.
Unlike with the galaxy cookies, they’re very soft cookies (so make sure you let them cool completely on the cookie sheets — they could break if you try to move them early). The trick is to bake them for less time than you would bake the thinly rolled cutouts of the galaxy cookies (simple, I know, but the reduced baking time transforms them into a completely differently textured cookie).
I made a few small changes to the original fudge filling to make it faster and simpler without sacrificing any taste. It’s creamy and melts away, sweet peanut butter on your tongue.
The peanut butter dollops are a little messy as you pile them into their chocolate craters, I gently swirled them with my fingertips to make them a little more neat and uniform, and tried to hide their still semi-sloppy swirls beneath dark chocolate tiger stripes.
No such thing as too much chocolate, right?
On a cold and blustery sleep-deprived Monday, these chocolate peanut butter cookies are
my precious pick-me-ups to help get you through the week.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprints
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (226g)
- ⅔ cup sugar (135g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
- 2 cups flour (240g)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (25g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Fudge Filling
- 1 cup premium white chocolate chips (170g)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (not natural) (140g)
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dark chocolate melting wafers melted according to package instructions, optional (43g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C)
- Place butter in a large bowl and using an electric beater or stand mixer beat until creamy and smooth.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add lightly beaten egg yolk. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to evenly incorporate all ingredients and stir in vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mix. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula frequently--this is a dry mix and you want to make sure you don't leave residual dry mix at the bottom of the bowl.
- Roll dough into 1 ½" balls. Place balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and press down with your thumb in each, creating a (flatter) thumbprint cookie. Place on wax-paper lined plate.
- Place cookies in freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking to help them keep their shape.
- Once cookie dough has chilled, bake on 350F (177C) for 10-11 minutes
- Immediately upon removing cookies from the oven, re-indent the thumbprints using the rounded back of a teaspoon (do not use your thumb as the cookies will be too hot).
- Allow cookies to cool completely on pan before filling with peanut butter filling.
Peanut Butter Fudge Filling
- Combine peanut butter, white chocolate chips, and butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave on 15-second increments, stirring in-between, until chocolate chips are melted and ingredients are well-combined and smooth.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Immediately spoon fudge mix into the craters of the cooled cookies.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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Recipe originally published 4/24/15 — updated 2/13/17
Hi Sam, my dough tastes tastes kind of bitter, not as chocolatey or sweet as I expected. Is that normal?
Hi Natalie! It really shouldn’t be bitter. I’m not sure why that would happen. Did you make any substitutions?
Oops, I just realized that I accidentally grabbed the shortening for another recipe and used it here! Sorry! They still taste amazing with the filling.
O no! I’m so glad you still enjoyed them. 🙂
These sound great! I found this recipe linked under your jam-filled thumb print cookie recipe, so I took some pointers from that, and added cornstarch to the cookie base since for the other recipe you mentioned it helps make the cookies softer. I also dissolved a tablespoon of instant coffee in a tiny amount of water and added that to the dough, in order to compliment the chocolate flavor. I read a comment where the person mentioned using butterscotch chips in place of the white chips, and I did half-half since that’s what I had on hand and added a pinch of salt to compliment the PB too; the filling turned out sooo good! Pro-tip: if you have extra filling, eat it as a snack with some pretzels!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Mollie! 🙂
Hi! Do you use salted butter or unsalted in this chocolate peanut butter thumbprint cookie? Thank you!
Hi Gina! I’m so sorry for the confusion. I used unsalted butter here. I will make sure to update the recipe. Thank you for catching that. 🙂
Thanks so much for the recipe! I would like to ask why heavy cream is not used for the peanut butter filling? Usually it’s used in many recipes for making a filling.
Hi Ivy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much! It’s not really necessary so I don’t add it in. 🙂
I made these cookies for my family for Christmas. Now everytime there is a family get together I get nominated to bring the cookies. I have also used the peanutbutter filling as a filling for layerd cakes and cupcakes and it works great.
Delicious! I didn’t freeze the dough (not enough time!), and I had to sub in milk chocolate chips for white, but they turned out perfectly. If you’re short on time, don’t let the freezing part deter you – as long as it’s not a really hot day, you should be okay.
I did not see a recipe for the chocolate bourbon filling, plz send
Hi Althea! I believe you are looking for my chocolate thumbprint cookies. 🙂
Really delicious 😋 cookies my dough was a little dry and wouldn’t come together so I added a whole egg and came out moist. I also only had butterscotch chips so used those instead of white chocolate chips and woah that is a yummy combo! Thanks for recipe.
I am so glad you were able to enjoy the cookies Shana! 🙂
Yum! I was looking for a different kind of cookie to make for Christmas this year, and this recipe hits all the marks – chocolate, peanut butter and white chocolate, oh my! Can’t wait to make them!
I hope you love them, Sandy!! They are such a hit around here! 🙂