The most classic, irresistible combination when it comes to dessert is chocolate and peanut butter.
These cookies are unreal. You’ll fall in love with their soft, slightly chewy peanut butter cookie base and the melted milk chocolate star on top.
They are easy to make, and while chilling the dough is recommended, they still do come together quickly. It’s a winning recipe whether it’s the holidays or you just have a hankerin’, so let’s get to baking!
Are these Peanut Butter Blossoms?
Short answer: no, they’re not.
Long(er) answer: they’re similar. But they are not the same, and if you’re a tried and true peanut butter blossom lover and you don’t think you even need a similar recipe, I urge you to reconsider.
Typical peanut butter blossoms are rolled in sugar, then baked. Once they’re baked, the chocolate kiss is pressed into the center of the cookie. They are typically firmer peanut butter cookies, too.
This version is made with (my mom’s) classic PB cookie recipe. It’s a soft and chewy peanut butter cookie that’s peanut-butter-forward. The melted chocolate star in the center, because it bakes together, is a can’t-be-beat combination.
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Star Cookies
These cookies are made with the usual cookie ingredients, with the exception of those wonderful chocolate stars. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted Butter: do bring it to room temperature before baking so that it incorporates well into the other ingredients.
- Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar: both contribute to the sweetness and texture of the cookie, with the perfect balance of chewy centers and slightly crisp edges.
- Creamy Peanut Butter: definitely stick with regular good ol’ peanut butter like Skippy or Jif. I don’t recommend natural peanut butter because the extra oil typically makes the cookies spread out more.
- Egg: room temp is also best here for incorporation, but if you forget just stick it in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes.
- All-Purpose Flour: it’s important to measure out (or weigh) the flour properly so the cookies have the right texture. Too much flour will result in dry, cakey cookies.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder: our leavening agents.
- Salt: good ol’ salt! The usual.
- Chocolate Stars: this is where the magic happens…let’s explore…
What are Chocolate Stars?
They are the ever-loved Brach’s Chocolate Stars.
They’re fun star-shaped “dollops” of chocolate that are a little flatter than kisses, which, in my opinion, makes them perfect for these cookies because the warm melty chocolate covers more surface area AND the center melts more evenly.
Where to Find Chocolate Stars
It’s easiest to find chocolate stars in the bulk candy section of a general grocery store. You’re guaranteed to find them there, and then you can get exactly what you need.
I’ve found it’s harder to find the specific bags of Brach’s chocolate stars, but I have seen them in higher-end grocery stores (if you’re in MN – Lunds & Byerly’s has the actual Brach’s bags). Whole Foods does not have them in their little bulk candy section or in bags.
Before you count your store out, don’t forget to check the bulk candy area!
I’ve also heard that Trader Joe’s might have some. If you find them there, please let us know!
How to Make Chocolate Star Cookies
These cookies are so easy to make, all you need is a mixer. You can use a stand or hand mixer, it doesn’t matter.
Whichever you choose, a mixer is recommended because it’s the easiest method to make sure the butter and sugars are properly creamed together. So let’s get to mixing up the dough!
Mix the Dough
First, cream together room-temperature butter and sugars until light in color and completely combined. Then, add in the egg until combined.
Next, mix in the dry ingredients.
It’s best if you mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl beforehand to ensure they’re properly combined. That’s best practice. But you know… I totally get just adding the dry ingredients and going along your merry way.
Once the dough is combined, I do recommend chilling the dough. It helps the dough set up a little. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the chill.
Top with Chocolate Stars
Form the dough into about 1-inch balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. I use a little less than a #40 cookie scoop to help measure.
Roll the dough between your hands to create a smooth cookie if you desire, but it’s not necessary.
Press a chocolate star on top of each peanut butter cookie dough ball. You’ll want to gently press it about halfway down into the cookie. Be careful to not push too hard or the cookies will spread too much while baking.
Bake the Cookies
Bake the cookies until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. It’s important to not overbake the cookies so they stay nice and soft. The cookie is soft with crisp edges and it’s just a wonderful texture combination!
Transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before storage…and by that, I mean for easy consumption.
Trust me, you’re not going to want to pass on these cookies while they’re warm. They’re best enjoyed right off the cookie rack…immediately!
If you actually have any leftover cookies, store them in an airtight container. To keep the chocolate looking its prettiest, you may want to place parchment or waxed paper between the layers of cookies in your container.
Keep them at room temperature for up to 4-5 days.
I am a sucker for warm cookies, and because the melted chocolate and peanut butter combo is one of my favs, I love to reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds before enjoying them again.
If you are reheating them, take care to do so in small intervals in the microwave – about 5 seconds or so – because the chocolate does have a tendency to burn if microwaved for too long.
Freezing the Cookies
Can you freeze peanut butter cookies? Yes, you can freeze the dough, or baked cookies!
To freeze the dough balls: either prepare the dough through the direction right before baking, with the chocolate pressed into the center of the cookie dough. Or, simply freeze the dough balls alone. Then, when you’re ready to bake them, do so, and place the chocolate stars on top of the cookies immediately after baking.
You can also freeze already-baked cookies. Let them cool completely, then freeze in a single layer in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature for several hours before enjoying. They will last in the freezer for about 3 months.
You can absolutely prepare the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance. Store the dough in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. When you’re ready to bake, you may need to let the dough soften slightly at room temperature to form the dough balls.
More Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes to Love
- Molly Beth Bars
- Triple Fudge Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake
- Milk Chocolate Scotcheroos
- No-Fail Peanut Butter Brittle
- No-Bake Cookies
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Peanut Butter Chocolate Star Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Using an electric stand or hand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and egg, beating until combined. Gently mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt just until combined.
- Recommended, but not required: chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Form 1-inch balls of dough, spacing about 2-inches evenly apart on a cookie baking sheet. Press 1 chocolate star gently into the center of each dough ball (pushing about halfway down).
- Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, until just turning golden brown along edges. Let cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes until able to transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container once completely cooled (but be sure to eat some warm!).
- Chocolate Stars: find them in the bulk section of your regular grocery store, or look for Brach’s Chocolate Stars in the baking aisle (generally these are only at high-end grocers).
- To freeze baked cookies: place in a single layer in a large freezer-safe bag (highly recommend Stasher bags); thaw before serving and heat in microwave if desired.
- To freeze cookie dough: place dough balls on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze all the way through, then transfer to an airtight bag or container.
This post was originally published in November of 2018. The text and photos were updated for clarity in November of 2020. No changes were made to the recipe.