magic in the middle cookies

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Every year I am determined to make cookies for Christmas. Last year, my reindeers were two legged with no necks; the year before, burnt beyond recognition. But this year – bring it on. Yes readers, you will see a couple of cookie recipes before we wash up in this year’s silly season.

To soak up the alcohol, try this very addictive cookie.

Otherwise known as the chocolate-cookie-stuffed-with-peanut-butter cookie.

Usually I will snaffle a one cookie out of a batch (for tasting’s sake of course), but this time I had to stop myself from eating the whole lot. If you like Reese’s peanut butter cups, you will adore these. There is something about the dark, almost bitter outer cookie that is tantalising plain with the salty sweet filling.

It is a bit of work, doling out balls of cookie dough and then the peanut butter stuffing, so make sure you can switch on the TV (I like a bit of Jeopardy) and let your hands go on autopilot. Other than that, it’s an easy cookie that reaps unnaturally high rewards for effort.





Magic in the Middle Cookies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

If you like a sweeter, crisper cookie, increase the caster sugar to 100 grams. Also taste the peanut butter for saltiness, as you may need to add a pinch of salt into the filling. To stop the cookie cracking (I read this tip too late), add 2 tablespoons of milk into the dough.


185 gm all purpose flour
40 gm dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
big pinch of salt
75 gm caster sugar
100 gm brown sugar
100 gm butter, at room temperature
65 gm smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 large egg

185 gm smooth peanut butter
75 gm sifted icing sugar
salt, to season (optional)

Extra caster sugar, to decorate



Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Tip the caster sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and egg and beat until well combined.

Using your favourite wooden spoon, add and stir the sifted flour mixture until a soft dough comes together.
Scoop out large tablespoon sized dollops and roll into balls. You’ll get about 20 – 24 balls of cookie dough. If it’s a hot day, put the dough into the fridge to firm up.
Time to make the magic! In a small bowl, beat the peanut butter and icing sugar together.
Taste the filling – the peanut butter should be slightly salty. If not, add salt to taste.

Count the balls of cookie dough and roll the same number of peanut butter balls.
Take a ball of cookie dough and press your thumb into the centre, making a deep indent. Place the ball of peanut butter dough into the indent. Swiftly close the cookie dough over the peanut butter and pinch to seal.
Smooth into a ball. Watch some TV while repeating the rest of the dough balls.

Dip each cookie ball into caster sugar – get those babies totally covered in sugar – then place onto a lined baking tray, spaced 10 cm apart.
Using a flat bottomed cup (ramekins work well), gently press down on the cookies.
Slide into the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Enjoy with a glass of cold milk! These are so good!


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  1. Chris

    These look delicious! Must get Jessica to make some!!! hehe :)

  2. mei

    Chris – Hello!! Tell Jess I will swap some cookies for cupcakes.. ;)

    Trish – Let me know if you make them. I found them quite sticky to handle on a hot summer’s day and this year’s Christmas looks like a scorcher in Perth (as usual). :/

    Martin – Thanks Martin! You might see more cookies in the office soon enough! :)

  3. Trish

    Yum, these look fabulous! Definitely adding them to the to do list this year. Thanks for the recipe, I’ve never made choc bikkies at Xmas time, cos I usually have so much chocolate just for eating! But I think these look too good to pass by :)

  4. Martin

    I can confirm – these were delicious!

  5. food sponge

    oh my these look so delicous!
    i must never read your blog on an empty stomach.
    am now leaving the computer to raid pantry & see if there’s any biscuits to eat (unlikely to be successful).
    do you have a good shortbread biscuit recipe?

  6. mei

    food sponge – Happy New Year to you food sponge! Nope, no shortbread here. I’m a bit scared of shortbread – scared it will fall apart when it comes out of the oven and scared that I will eat it all. ‘Nuf said. :P

    Mdm Chesson – I found another candle I love in Bangkok but couldn’t find a packaged new one… the flavour was TEA. So lovely.

  7. Madame Chesson

    Love the 34 Blvd St Germain candle hidden in the corner – reminds me of laundry freshly laundered with savon de marseille.

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