Chewy Magic Peanut Butter Middle Cookies


Finally, Magic “Peanut Butter Middle” Cookies for the rest of us to enjoy. Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, grain-free, refined sugar free and easily peanut-free!

This morning I quietly reflected on the joys and challenges that have been mine in 2010. I am thankful that through each joy and challenge God has continued His refining work. Everything can shape us for the better if we allow it to. It has been a magical year in so many ways!

If I could give each and every one of you a hug, I would! I can’t thank you enough for being a part of Lexie’s Kitchen, for reading my ramblings, and for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm. You are a source of great joy!

One of the beautiful things about blogging is the virtual friendships that are made and the kinship that can be found. Take Ariana for example. A couple weeks back she posted on Facebook asking if anyone could help her modify a few cookie recipes. I jumped at the chance, and the challenge, and we began to chat. A week later, I call her a friend and we’ve got a new recipe to share! I love my new friends—YOU included! It thrills me to know that over 30,000 people have visited this blog in the last 8 months! Isn’t that cool! What I think is so encouraging is that these are people interested in good health and good food.

I am full of confidence that 2011 will be even more magical. I look forward to serving up more eats and treats and to making more friends in the kitchen. I’d love to know what kinds of recipes you’d like to see in 2011—leave a comment or leave me a challenge!

For today, Ariana and I are serving up Magic “Peanut Butter Middle” Cookies. They are soft and chewy with a surprise peanut butter middle. They are sweet but not overly. I can’t eat just one! Can you?

Chewy Magic “Peanut Butter Middle” Cookies

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Easily Peanut-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 20 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients for peanut butter middle:

Option 1 (coconut sugar-sweetened):

1/2 cup creamy PEANUT BUTTER or SunButter® sunflower seed butter

1/2 cup POWDERED SUGAR (make your own coconut, date or cane powdered sugar)

15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme LIQUID STEVIA

2-3 tablespoons WATER (as needed if mixture is too dry)

Option 2 (date-sweetened):

1/2 cup PEANUT BUTTER or SunButter® sunflower seed butter

1/2 cup lightly packed GOLDEN DATES (soaked in hot water, drained, pits and stem debris removed)

15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme LIQUID STEVIA

Ingredients for Chocolate Cookie Dough:

1 cup loosely packed DATES

1/2 cup unsweetened APPLESAUCE

1/4 cup extra virgin COCONUT OIL

1/4 cup runny HONEY or agave

1 tablespoon CHIA SEED, ground (see Notes)

2 teaspoons gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT

2/3 cup packed ALMOND FLOUR

1/4 cup POTATO FLOUR (not starch)


2 tablespoons ARROWROOT STARCH

1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER

1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA

1/8 teaspoon SEA SALT


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Soak dates in warm water until soft. Remove pits and stems.
  3. In food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine peanut butter middle ingredients. Process until thick, smooth paste forms.
  4. Scoop mounds of peanut butter paste by the scant tablespoonful onto a plate (a one-tablespoon cookie dough scoop is handy). Squeeze firmly and roll into uniform balls with moisten hands. Set aside.
  5. In food processor, combine until super smooth; 1 cup soaked dates, applesauce, oil, honey, ground chia seed and vanilla extract.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and process until just combined.
  7. Scoop mounds of chocolate dough by the two tablespoonsful onto a plate (a two-tablespoon cookie dough scoop comes in handy here). Dough will be sticky. With moistened hands, gingerly hollow out a hole in a mound of chocolate dough. Place a peanut butter ball in center, wrap chocolate dough completely around peanut butter ball. Moisten hands again and roll in the palm of your hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and pat to 1/2-3/4″ thick disk. Repeat. Moisten hands before forming each cookie.
  8. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

This cookie is filled with the coconut sugar-sweetened peanut butter filling.


1. For those allergic to peanuts, SunButter® sunflower seed butter is the brand I use to replace peanut butter.

2. Chia seed can be found at natural food stores and on Amazon. It has excellent binding qualities and is an outstanding egg replacer in baked goods (when mixed with water or applesauce). For baking I prefer white chia. Chia seed is easily ground in a coffee grinder/mill or in a high-powered blender.

Cookies On My List to Try:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies over at She Let Them Eat Cake
Maple Flax Cookies over at Diets Dessert and Dogs
Penny’s Lemon Rosemary Cashew Cookies over at Yum Universe

More Good Stuff


Ari-- The Frugally Rich Life December 29, 2010 - 8:06 pm

YES!!!! I'm so excited! I can't wait!!!! to make these! Thanks sooooooo much for your help! You are amazing!!!! 🙂 Which did you like better? The date filling or the coconut sugar filling?

Ariana Anderson
The Frugally Rich

Shelly December 29, 2010 - 8:19 pm

Yay!!! These look and sound so good!!! Have to get some chia seed and we are all set!!! Can't wait to make them, neither can my daughter! 😉

Lexie December 29, 2010 - 9:04 pm

Shelly, Let me know what you think!

Ari, the coconut sugar filling was amazingly close to the taste and texture of the Reese's Peanut Butter cup filling. The sugar crystals helped give it body, I think. The date mixture is good, too … it just doesn't have as much structure. Does that make sense?


Laurel December 29, 2010 - 10:16 pm

Oh my Gosh! I am in so much trouble. I have every single ingredient and only one tummy for them to go into. So now I know your evil plan. Everyone makes these cookies between now and New Year's and then has to go on an immediate diet as their New Year's resolution. Am I right? Seriously, they look absolutely stunning and I love your china and linens as well, so dainty and ladylike.

Jeanette December 29, 2010 - 11:37 pm

So nice to find a recipe with no gluten and natural fruit sweeteners. Very creative Lexie! Just found out one of my kids is gluten intolerant so I am especially happy to have connected with you.

Lexie December 29, 2010 - 11:43 pm

Hi Laurel, ha ha ha [evil laugh] … I know, I have got to stop experimenting with the sweets! My weight keeps inching up and I'm havin' to unbutton my jeans! Agghhh … I have gotten into food props that are timeless … my husband always cracks the joke "ummm, your grandmother called and wants her doily back!"


Jeanette – So glad you found my site. Welcome, welcome … you'll have to share the signs that led you to suspect gluten intolerance? The readers here eat those stories up : ) We are all here to support each other!


Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free December 29, 2010 - 11:53 pm

Lexie, you echo my sentiments exactly! I feel the exact same way about this last year! And I am so very very grateful to have found a friend like you! You have an amazing spirit and creativity that I admire so very much! I cannot wait to see you in March in CO!

And these cookies look unbelievable! It looks like you met this challenge and then some!


Ditto, ditto! I count you so dear! Yes, Colorado in March. Interested in a few of us getting a suite? Can't wait for more details from Elana.

Laurel December 30, 2010 - 1:08 am

Your husband may not appreciate those beautiful linen but I bet he'd kill for your grandfather's flintlock. I'm glad you appreciate my strange sense of humor. Really though, I think this is what we all do the first year our diet's change so drastically; experiment like crazy people to see what is still possible or possibly still edible. And of course SOMEONE has to eat all those experiments. Hard work deserves rich rewards. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year.


Exactly! You have a great New Year, too!!!


Kat @ Cupcakekat December 30, 2010 - 3:08 am

These look delicious and so creative. Thanks so the stevia conversion I might be able to make them.


Thanks for droppin' in Kat!

xo Lexie

Deanna December 30, 2010 - 3:29 am

I don't know whether to love you or hate you. I'm fairly sure these are going to be my new obsession until they are made and consumed.


Oh, please just love me : )

xo Lexie

Amber @ Fitritious Dish December 30, 2010 - 1:24 pm

Those are beautiful!


Thanks Amber, now you have to try them and really put them to the taste test : )

Heidi December 30, 2010 - 3:41 pm

*Gasp* I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful cookie Lexie! Simply stunning!

I echo your sentiments exactly, for every challenge that has come my way this year, my blogger buddies and virtual friends have been my greatest source of comfort and inspiration which has allowed me to overcome so many hurdles. I am so thankful for the internet while walking down this path in life. Instead of feeling alone, I have thousands of fellow "specialized diet" comrades to lean on and for that reason alone, I am so very thankful for this life. Eating much healthier and tastier foods is just icing on the cake! 😀

Can't wait to see you in March!!



Love you Miss Heidi, you are ray of sunshine in my kitchen!!


Kelly December 30, 2010 - 3:55 pm

What a beautiful post, Lexie 🙂 I'm so blessed to call you my friend. Lets get together soon! Oh, and the cookies are genius! XOXO, Kelly


Yes, let's get together soooooon!!!


Medifast Coupon December 30, 2010 - 7:30 pm

Cookies have a new look! These little peanut butter suprise cookies are easy to make and are a crowd pleaser. Great healthy reciepe!

Jessica F January 1, 2011 - 1:00 am

I just found your site and love it!!!! And can I say that I am just tickled that you use stevia in your recipes!! I have tried several different ones, and the drops seem to have an aftertaste to me. Do you notice that? (in my teas at least). I found a new stevia called stevita that is amaaaaazing! I just thought you should know! Thanks for sharing your recipes and I can't wait to finish looking through them 🙂


Thanks for your very nice comment on my site! I have been thinking about playing around with the powdered stevia. Just have taken a fondness to the easy drop drop drop of the liquid. Yes, it does have a bit of an aftertaste. I will try stevita for sure!

Have a blessed and full 2011!


Oh, and VERY nice blog!!

Elizabeth, blogger for SunButter January 1, 2011 - 4:12 pm

Hello Lexie,
What a treat to find your beautiful blog while looking for SunButter recipes. As a SunButter blogger, I love your adaptation. Looking forward to following your delicious posts.

Ricki January 2, 2011 - 2:12 pm

Lexie, these look absolutely–beyond words! How I wish I could eat dates right now. I love, love peanut butter and bet these are just fantastic. And what a GORGEOUS photo!! Mouth is watering right now. . . bookmarking this for the very first second I can make them! 🙂

Happy New Year–glad to have met you this year, too!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 2, 2011 - 5:34 pm

These look and sound great!

Alisa Fleming January 3, 2011 - 2:23 am

You really killed me with the chocolate drizzle on top! Sheer perfection. Still on the hunt for the perfect almond flour sub!


Alisa –

I was Facebooked by someone who tried these and she use Sorghum flour and said:

"Made your Magic Middle cookies today….fabulous!!! What a way to bring in the new year! Thanks! … My husband asked me twice if they were really gluten free! yay! They were nice and rich, I like my "sweets" that way. Perfect with a cup of coffee or coconut milk. The flavor of the chocolate cookie was great. I have to admit, I had to sub sorghum for the almond flour…tree nut thing, but wonderful nonetheless. Definitely soft and chewy. I did flashback on a Keebler cookie that had chocolate in the middle. yummy!"

So there you go.


Tina January 3, 2011 - 3:30 am

These cookies should be sold through girl scouts or something. They just look so perfect!


Hee hee, maybe by the girl scouts who have their "Gluten-Free and Nutrition" badge 🙂

Thanks Tina!!


Shara January 3, 2011 - 7:14 pm

These look & sound so delicious, I'm going to bake them this week! Thanks for the recipe.


Okay Shara … you'd better come on back here and tell us how they were : )


Lisa January 4, 2011 - 4:05 pm

I'm so excited to try these! One of my kids can't have chocolate so I may try to make double peanut butter cookies. I have a powdered Peanut Butter. It's all natural, just dried peanuts ground into a powder. So many gluten free dessert recipes call for chocolate. I've had to work around the cocoa powder.

Maggie January 5, 2011 - 12:53 am

You are a GENIUS! I knew that when I saw those darned oreo truffles. You rock woman! You pretty much do the impossible. And thanks for linking up to my recipe! Soooo sweet. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you over the past year, you inspire me. xo

Lexie says: Right back atcha!!!

Ariana Anderson- The Frugally Rich Life January 8, 2011 - 7:32 pm

I finally made them! They are good…..just a few questions for you:
1. Mine came out very very chewy and soft. Did your's? I'm thinking I used too many dates? I don't know. I tried to just carefully place them in-not too packed–I used 10.5 regular dates. Is that too many? Also, I soaked them in hot water and drained them afterwards and the dates got more squishy after that when I got the water out. The batter was very, very sticky. I cooked them for the maximum time you suggested and then some (5-10 more minutes) and they still came out very very chewy and soft…which isn't necessarily bad, just would prefer a slightly more firmer cookie. 😉
2. The filling. I ended up making mine with cashew butter instead of peanut butter since pb has been bothering me. 🙁 I also used the coconut sugar–as powdered as I could get it in my coffee grinder (which wasn't quite as powdery as yours) and mixed it in the food processor but it was very dry. So I ended up having to add 2 T. of water to make it more smooth and dough like. Even then it feel apart some, but still tasted good.
3. When I tried to put the dough around the ball of cashew butter, it repelled a lot and wouldn't stick to some of them. I don't know worked on most but not all.

Anyway, just wondering if you might know why these things happened and what I can do next time? The only substitutions I made I already stated, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly!

And just to let you know, they are still yummy, despite being very chewy and soft and all. 🙂



Ari, Hi there!!! Glad you tried them … and yes, these cookies are VERY moist and chewy. The first version had a crunchier outside and I just didn't think it went well with the soft nut butter inside. What I was looking to create in this recipe was a cookie version of a peanut butter cup. I just took 2 dozen to The Spunky Coconut's book signing. I think to make them less chewy and more cakey, one could cut back on the dates and use a little more flour. I will do this next go round. With the PB filling, it is drier when using sugar vs. dates for the sweetener. I've added the step of adding 2 tablespoons water to help moisten the mixture if it's too dry. Also use wet hands and really squishing the nutbutter mixture together helps. The chocolate dough is soft. I haven't had problems wrapping the dough around the nutbutter. Hmmph. Does that help?


Mary C. January 8, 2011 - 8:14 pm

Um, YUM!!
What could I use in place of Potato Flour? I don't respond well to white potatoes.


Hi Mary,

I chose potato flour since I was aiming for real soft and chewy and potato flour helps create a moist crumb. I think you could sub it out with the flour of your choosing — even just more almond flour.


Shirley @ gfe January 10, 2011 - 11:50 am

This post came back out in the feed again and I was happy to see it as I realized that I had not commented yet. These cookies are such stunners, Lexie! Not sure when I'll actually get to make them, but I want to for sure. I make a gluten-free version of the magic middle cookies and they are quite good, but of course, they are not healthy like your cookies. And, I don't do the beautiful drizzle thing either.. 😉 You are gifted, my dear! We are so lucky to have you willing to play with these recipes and share your creative genius! You area true delight and inspire so many of us. Can't wait for more fun times together in 2011!



Shirley, as always, thank you thank you for your support. I don't know how you find the hours in the day to cook, blog AND support all your blog friends. You are an amazing woman!


Diane-The WHOLE Gang January 11, 2011 - 5:30 pm

OMG, I'm not eating chocolate or sweets on my detox but I'm going to make these when I'm done. They look so amazing. Man you rock. Better yet box up a few of those and send them my way!


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