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Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Martha strikes again! Contrary to the recipe name, it will come as NO SURPRISE that these cookies are insanely good… I mean, come on (!) they are peanut butter cookies with a melted peanut butter cup in the middle. They are chewy yet crispy, savory yet sweet and gone in an instant. My kid loved every part of making them – unwrapping the cups, eating some along the way, rolling the cookies in sugar, baking the cookies, pushing the cups into the middle and eating them.

Prep Time: 20 mins  Cooking Time: 10 to 12 mins

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough
36 mini peanut butter cups, chilled and unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches. Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet.  Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 5 or 6 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.

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