Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This peanut butter cup cookies recipe is a total classic! My mom has had this recipe in her little index binder since I was barely old enough to reach the counter, and I would devour them every single year. This super simple recipe has you bake peanut butter cookies in a mini muffin pan until they’re just barely done, then a Reese’s mini peanut butter cup is pressed into the center; an absolute Christmas staple!

A peanut butter cup cookie cut in half and stacked.

Christmas baking is incredibly nostalgic for me.

Whenever I bake peanut butter blossoms or mini cheesecake cookies, I imagine being about 8 years old, in the kitchen of my old house, watching my mom bake. I can feel the carpet under my toes (yes, back in that house in the mid-80’s, there was carpet in the kitchen, if you can believe it!), I can see the floral painting on the wall, and if I walk around the corner, I can see the silver and blue garland wrapped around the staircase.

MY OTHER RECIPES

There are certain recipes that flat-out have to be made during the holidays, or it’s just not Christmas. Then, there are cookies and candies that make occasional appearances, showing up some years but not others. These peanut butter cup cookies always fell into the latter category, so I was especially excited when I saw them in my mom’s kitchen.

Preparing the cookie batter for peanut butter cup cookies.

How to Make Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This is one of the easiest cookie recipes you’ll find, and it’s one that people go crazy about year after year. Here’s what to do!

  1. Make Peanut Butter Cookie Dough – A simple combination of butter, peanut butter, granulated and brown sugars, along with egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt is all that’s needed for these basic cookies.
  2. Roll the Dough Into Balls – The peanut butter cookie dough gets rolled into balls about 1-inch in diameter. You can use a small cookie scoop (it’s literally PERFECT for this!) or measure out about 2 teaspoons of dough.
  3. Place the Dough Balls Into Mini Muffin Pan – Drop those balls of dough into the wells of a mini muffin pan. Don’t press them down or into the pan, just place them in the center.
  4. Bake the Cookies – You only need to bake these for 8 to 10 minutes, you want them puffy and pale, that’s the sweet spot!
  5. Press in the Peanut Butter Cup – The best part of the recipe! As soon as you take the pan out of the oven, press a mini peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie.

Gooey peanut butter cookie meets melty peanut butter cup. It’s cookie and candy perfection, and your Christmas season and cookie trays NEED them!

Balls of peanut butter dough in a mini muffin pan.

Pressing a peanut butter cup into the peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies Recipe Notes

  • Use a traditional peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy; natural-style peanut butters will be too oily for this recipe.
  • A small cookie scoop will portion out the perfect amount of dough.
  • If you don’t have a mini muffin pan, you can make these on a traditional cookie sheet, however they will spread out when you press the peanut butter cup in the middle, so you will have less of a tassie-style cookie and more of a regular-size cookie.
  • Don’t overbake the cookies! You want them to look puffy and pale when you pull them from the oven; if they get golden brown, the peanut butter cup won’t easily sink down into the cookie.
  • Store the peanut butter cup cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

A mini muffin pan full of peanut butter cup cookies.

I dare you to try to wait an appropriate amount of time before popping at least two of these in your mouth. It’s absolutely impossible. Still warm or not, I have to grab one almost immediately. Pay no attention to the melted chocolate on my hands and crumbs around my mouth.

This is the perfect holiday cookie recipe – quick, easy, and yields a ton! Perfect for making numerous cookie trays to take with you on your holiday visits. Enjoy!

If You Like These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Try These Recipes:

A pile of peanut butter cup cookies with half of one on the very top.

One year ago: Oreo Balls
Two years ago: Mini Cheesecake Cookies
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Bark
Six years ago: Homemade Torrone

Watch How To Make Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Author Michelle
Servings 48 cookies
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies Recipe - Peanut butter cookies baked in a mini muffin pan with a mini Reese's cup in the middle; a holiday staple!

Ingredients:

  • cups
    all-purpose flour
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • ½
    teaspoon
    salt
  • ½
    cup
    unsalted butter
    (at room temperature)
  • ½
    cup
    creamy peanut butter
  • ½
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • ½
    cup
    light brown sugar
  • 1
    egg
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • 48
    (unwrapped)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for another minute or so to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Give the dough a final mix with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the flour is incorporated.
  4. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 teaspoons worth of dough) and place in the cups of a miniature muffin pan (keep the dough in balls - do not press into the pan).
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden brown and slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and immediately press a miniature peanut butter cup in the middle of each cookie, pressing down so that the top of the peanut butter cup is even with the top of the cookie. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pans, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use a traditional peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy; natural-style peanut butters will be too oily for this recipe.
  • A small cookie scoop will portion out the perfect amount of dough.
  • If you don't have a mini muffin pan, you can make these on a traditional cookie sheet, however they will spread out when you press the peanut butter cup in the middle, so you will have less of a tassie-style cookie and more of a regular-size cookie.
  • Don't overbake the cookies! You want them to look puffy and pale when you pull them from the oven; if they get golden brown, the peanut butter cup won't easily sink down into the cookie.
  • Store the peanut butter cup cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition:

Calories: 98kcal
Fat: 5g
Saturated fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Sodium: 80mg
Potassium: 49mg
Carbohydrates: 11g
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 1.4%
Calcium: 1%
Iron: 1.8%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in December 2012. It was updated in December 2018 with new photos, a video, and extensive recipe tips.

[photos by Whitney Wright]