Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies

The best cookie combo ever, these chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies are insanely good! Chocolate cookie + creamy PB frosting + chocolate ganache. Basically, heaven!

Stack of chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies

It’s only the second day of official holiday cookie season and I’m totally going to be that blogger. You know, the one who doesn’t even waste a minute to mourn the end of Thanksgiving before I post a cookie recipe and declare it the best. The only cookie recipe you need. The cookie recipe to end all cookie recipes. 

Yep, that’s me. Today. And I’m not sorry about it. 

These chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies are insane. I tested them out on family and friends in the month of November, making a few tweaks along the way, and everyone went crazy for them.

If chocolate + peanut butter makes your world go round, you are going to be very, very happy about this recipe. 

Stack of chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies with bite taken out

What the heck is a buckeye

If you’ve never had a piece of buckeye candy, it’s basically a ball of soft peanut butter dough dipped in chocolate (unbaked). My mom used to make tons of them when I was growing up; they appear all over the place in home kitchens everywhere over the holidays.

I took those chocolate/PB flavors and put them on a cookie. 

First of all let me tell you that the chocolate cookie itself is ridiculously good. If you only want that part of the recipe, you’ll still end up on the good side of things.

Stack of plain chocolate cookies unfrosted

I modeled it after this super soft chocolate drop cookie (didn’t roll it in sugar, changed up the flour amount just a bit, and used brown sugar as well as granulated sugar).

The cookie is reminiscent of a soft chocolate brownie. And it is goooooood. I dare you to eat just one (and that’s even before they are frosted).

Dry ingredients in glass bowl for chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies

The cookie dough isn’t half bad either. Cookie dough most certainly will be my downfall. I can’t resist it. 

Bowl of chocolate cookie dough

I use my medium cookie scoop (#40) and portion the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. I like to also roll each scoop of dough into a smooth ball shape. When the cookies bake, they flatten a bit and form perfect brownie crackles and crevices around the edges and on top. 

Baked chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies on parchment lined baking sheet

Because these cookies are fairly soft, I let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before spatula-ing them off onto a cooling rack. 

While they cool, it’s the perfect time to whip up that ethereally fluffy and creamy peanut butter frosting. Holy cow, this stuff is amazingly delicious. It’s almost the same formula as the frosting from these ridiculous fudgy brownie cupcakes

Spoiler alert: leftover peanut butter frosting is insane in the membrane slathered on graham crackers or Oreos. I don’t know if that’s a declaration or a warning. Take it as you will.

Bowl of creamy peanut butter frosting.

Once the cookies are cooled, they get a slathering of peanut butter frosting and then a swirl of chocolate ganache. 

How to make chocolate ganache

I opted for a ganache top layer instead of a chocolate frosting. Why? Because ganache is life. And also, it’s way easier to make than frosting. 

For this recipe, I use equal parts heavy cream and chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Guittard bittersweet chips, always – but you could use semisweet, too). Heat the heavy cream until just below a simmer and pour over the chocolate chips. That mixture will need to sit for just a few minutes so the cream can melt the chocolate chips. Then it gets stirred together until it is shiny and glossy and glorious. 

Don’t worry if the chocolate ganache looks grainy and weird as you begin stirring. That’s normal. But if the cream was warm enough and the chocolate melted enough, it will come together after a few stirs. 

Chocolate cookie with peanut butter frosting and another with frosting and chocolate ganache

Side by side of unfrosted and frosted chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies

If you want a thicker ganache, just use less cream or more chocolate chips. The ganache will thicken as it cools so keep that in mind as you decide when to spread it on the cookies. 

To chill or not to chill

Once these cookies are frosted, I pop them in the refrigerator. You don’t have to, especially if they’ll be eaten right away, but I prefer them just slightly chilled (and also it helps make the chocolate ganache not so wet and messy since it hardens up a bit in the refrigerator). 

I usually take them out 15-20 minutes before serving. Honestly, they aren’t fussy cookies. They are delicious cold or at room temperature.

Top down view of a lot of chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies on baking sheet.

The combination of the rich chocolate cookie and the fluffy peanut butter frosting with the swirly chocolate ganache is enough to make all of my holiday cookie dreams come true. 

This recipe makes 2-3 dozen fairly large cookies. To holiday-ize the cookie recipe, make them smaller! They’d be adorable and just as delicious. Can you even imagine a cookie plate filled with bite-size versions of these chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies? I just summed up my main Christmas wish in that one sentence. 

Spreading chocolate ganache on chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookie.

The best holiday cookie

Even though I came out strong and declared these the best holiday cookie of the year, don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging with a few more amazing cookie and bar cookie recipes over the next few weeks. 

I love this time of year! Holiday baking is so fun, and every year, I can’t help but dream up new ideas to make it even more exciting. (Ahem, yes, I need to get new hobbies.)

Also, there is no doubt these will be a year-round cookie for me and mine. Brian declared them next-level and one of his favorite cookies…and they would be perfect for so many occasions, not just holiday baking. I hope you love them! 

Stack of chocolate peanut butter buckeye cookies with bite taken out

One Year Ago: Easy Parmesan Breadstick Knots
Two Years Ago: Honey-Vanilla Yogurt Fruit Salad
Three Years Ago: Perfect Vanilla {Bean} Caramels {Step-by-Step}
Four Years Ago: Holiday Fruit Soup
Five Years Ago: White Chocolate Pecan Brownies
Six Years Ago: Homemade Peppermint Patties
Seven Years Ago: White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Eight Years Ago: Sweet Berry Bruschetta

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Additional Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature (I use salted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2.25 ounces) natural, unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder (see note)

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (6.75 ounces) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Ganache:

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I use semisweet or bittersweet)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see note

Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
      2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld electric mixer, combine the granulated sugar, butter, baking soda and salt, and mix until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour and cocoa and mix until combined. 
      3. Scoop the soft dough into about 2 tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (I use a #40 cookie scoop). Roll into balls (the dough will be soft but should still easily roll into a cookie dough ball).
      4. Bake for 9-10 minutes (9 minutes is perfect in my oven) until the cookie is set around the edges and has a few crackles on the edges and top. Don’t overbake; the cookies should be soft.
      5. Let the cookies cool completely. 
      6. For the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, whip together the butter and peanut butter until creamy and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until it is mostly incorporated. Add the salt, vanilla and heavy cream and mix until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add additional heavy cream and whip thoroughly if needed for a softer frosting.
      7. For the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the cream until just below a simmer. Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 4-5 minutes. Stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy (it will start out looking grainy, but it will come together as you stir). It will thicken as it cools (and harden in the refrigerator). Let cool until room temperature before using. 
      8. Frost each cooled cookie with peanut butter frosting followed by a dollop of chocolate ganache (spread across the frosting). Refrigerate the cookies or serve at room temperature. The frosting and ganache will harden in the refrigerator; I like to take them out a few minutes before serving so they are chilled but have softened a bit. 

Notes

Cocoa powder: both types of cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process) will work here. The cookies will be slightly darker and richer if using Dutch-process.

Cream: use less cream in the ganache for a thicker ganache; keep in mind, it will thicken up as it cools (and harden if chilled).

Puffy vs Flat Cookies: if your cookies don’t flatten as much as mine pictured in this post, it probably boils down to how we each measure the flour (I fluff the flour, scoop the cup in and level off), but it’s an easy fix for this recipe. For puffy cookies that didn’t flatten, right out of the oven, gently press a flat-bottomed glass on each cookie to flatten more (the frosting will cover it up!).

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Posted on December 2, 2019 by Mel



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