When we were in Vermont, I paid very close attention to all the great food we ate.  Only one or two meals were less than stellar.   Every evening I made notes on my iPad about the wonderful the food we had tried that day.  When we came home, my dad was reading through the list and asked, “What are the ‘AMAZING peanut butter chocolate cookies’?”  Well, where do I start with these cookies?

See, Ben is a great sport and a loving husband, and he tagged along with me to all my foodie destinations on this trip.  Since he enjoys outdoorsy things, I planned a day for us to go hiking on a nearby mountain as a sort of thank you.  What I did not plan on was that the hike would be the hardest, most ridiculously un-fun hike ever.  We’re in shape, we work out, and we’ve done a fair amount of hiking in other mountainous locations but people, this trail was not cool, both for its sheer incline and the poor state of the trail the day we hiked (super muddy, wet, blah).  After about one mile we were both annoyed and considered turning back but I’m pretty stubborn and I figured if I had already put in the effort to get that far, I might as well finish it.  Big mistake.  We continued up the three mile stair master from hell, alternating between laughing hysterically at the situation and wanting to cry.  When we finally reached the summit, my fear of heights prevented me from scaling the fire tower so I could see the view.  But hey, at least we made it.  (And let’s not even talk about the trip down.  No thank you.)

When we got back to our room later, we were ravenous having missed lunch by about three hours.  We stopped at The Moon Dog Cafe next door for lunch.  The food was good and we cleaned our plates.  As we were paying, we saw some drool-worthy peanut butter chocolate cookies up at the register.  Ben didn’t even have to ask me, he just bought two and we chowed down.  Now, I’m sure our rough start to the day played a role in this, but those cookies were incredible.  We immediately agreed that I had to recreate these at home.  As luck would have it, I was browsing Shanon’s blog the very next week and saw that she had just posted a cookie that looked incredibly similar to our dream cookies.  And the recipe came from King Arthur Flour.  It seemed like fate, or maybe karmic balancing.

I made the King Arthur version first and while it was very good and we certainly had no trouble eating way too many of them, they weren’t quite on target.  I tinkered with the recipe a bit more, dialing down the cocoa powder, dialing up the peanut butter, making the size larger, and adding more peanut butter cups.  The end result is indeed everything we were hoping for.  These cookies are a giant, in-your-face, no nonsense dessert.  And they almost make up for that ridiculous hike.  At least we had a lot of laughs and some great cookies, right?

Stay tuned next week for another installment from our Vermont travels, and another giveaway :)

  • Yield 16 large cookies


1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse salt
¾ stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided*


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Blend until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add in 1½ cups of the chopped peanut butter cups and fold in gently with a spatula.

  • 02

    Use a large dough scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop rounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart. Gently press a few pieces of the reserved peanut butter cups into the top of each of the dough balls. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. (The cookies may seem too soft immediately after coming out of the oven but they will set as they cool. You don’t want to overbake them.) Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

  • 03

    *Note: I prefer to freeze the peanut butter cups for at least 30 minutes before chopping.  It makes them easier to unwrap, easier to cut, and helps them stay intact while you mix them into the dough.