When you make insanely long lists of cookies, candies and treats that you want to make for the holidays, you will inevitably fall short of your grandiose ambitions. In case you were wondering, “you” means me. I always plan on doing way too much baking in December and never find time to finish it all. The result? A pantry full of ingredients that were slated for holiday cookies, but just didn’t make it. Case in point – a bag of miniature peanut butter cups that were supposed to be transformed into these peanut butter cup cookies, but never quite made it. That bag has been staring at me for weeks. Sure, I could have opened it up, dumped the little foil-wrapped beauties into the now nearly-empty candy bowl and went about my business.
I made ginormous cookies with them instead. I’m not sorry.
Because these cookies are so huge, their thickness is rather deceptive. At first glance, they look to be large, yet relatively thin cookies. This could not be further from the truth. Break these babies in half and, as you can see from the photos, they are incredibly thick. They are also packed with chocolate flavor, dense, and loaded with peanut butter cups.
Perhaps I should intentionally make too-large baking lists so that I end up with more things like peanut butter cups taunting me from the depths of the pantry. This is my new baking plan :)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract, then beat on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating only until incorporated. Fold in the chopped peanut butter cups with a rubber spatula.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (using a scale helps to ensure that all of the cookies will be the same size). Roll each into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat the tops of the cookies ever so slightly (don't press down too hard), then refrigerate the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies feel set when touched lightly. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.