Million Dollar Prize Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookie

This cookie just took the $1 Million Dollar Prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off competition.  Is it worth its prize money? 

You decide. 

I will have to say, I really enjoyed this cookie.  There is a crisp, sweet outside, then you bite in and get a creamy center.  I love that.

Can you imagine winning a million bucks for a cookie recipe? Plus another $5,000 for using at least a 1/4 cup of a certain product?  Sounds rewarding doesn’t it?

Carolyn Gurtz of Maryland created this recipe in her home kitchen and won the big bucks.  The challenge was to use at least 2 of the sponsor’s products in a recipe.  She used five!  I guess Carolyn’s an over-achiever.  I knew I liked her.

These Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies could not be easier to make.  You don’t even need a mixer.

The Pillsbury Million Dollar Bake Off is held every other year and puts a spotlight on American convenience cuisine as opposed to using gourmet techniques in cooking. 

Let’s face it, I love gourmet cooking and the techniques accompanying it.   But truth be told, I’m a busy mom and sometimes it’s nice to just whip something up that’s easy and tastes great. 

So let’s get started, maybe it will inspire you to concoct your own million dollar recipe.  Wouldn’t that be something?

Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:  Dry roasted peanuts, granulated sugar, cinnamon, creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar and refrigerated peanut butter cookies.

First thing to do is finely chop 1/4 cup of dry roasted peanuts.

Add the chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

In another bowl, add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  Stir until the two are completely blended together.

Shape the peanut butter-sugar mixture into 24 1-inch balls.

Cut the roll of cookie dough into 12 slices.  Make sure it is well chilled otherwise you’ll have mush.

Now take those 12 slices and cut each slice in half again, crosswise.  You will now have 24 pieces.  Flatten each slice slightly.

Place a peanut butter ball on top of each slice of cookie dough.

Shape one cookie dough piece around one peanut butter ball, covering completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough and the balls. 

If you didn’t know what this was, wouldn’t you think this was a strange photo?

Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture.  Gently pat the mixture completely onto the balls.

And this is where the power went out due to a slight windstorm yesterday.  Look no lights!  Isn’t it amazing how much the right lighting makes a difference in photography?

Place each cookie ball onto a ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Spray the bottom of drinking glass with cooking spray and flatten each cookie ball.

Sprinkle remaining peanut mixture evenly over the flattened cookies and gently press into the dough.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 to 12 minutes (mine took eleven) or until edges are golden brown.


Yahoo, the power’s back on, obviously, since I was able to bake these.  I love that they are perfectly round, in a rustic sort of way.

With a glass of milk, these cookies are…well there are no words.

Yep, these cookies just ooooozzzzzzzzeee a million bucks.  See…see the money!

Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from Carolyn Gurtz’s Million Dollar Cookies

1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 package (16.5 ounces) Pillsbury Create’ n Bake refrigerated peanut butter cookies, well chilled

Preheat oven to 375 degree.

In a small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

In another bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended.  Shape the mixture into 24 1-inch balls.

Cut a roll of cookie dough into 12 slices.  Cut each slice in half, crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly.

Shape one cookie dough piece around one peanut butter ball, covering completely.  Repeat with remaining dough and balls.

Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat the mixture completely onto the balls.  On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.

Spray the bottom of a drinking glass with cooking spray.  Flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness with the bottom of a glass.  Sprinkle any remaining peanut mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into the dough.

Bake 7 to 12 minutes (mine took eleven) or until edges are golden brown.  Cool one minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.  Store tightly covered.

I’m not kidding, I ate four of them.  And then I had lunch.  I seriously have a problem.

Post a Comment


  1. Dang! One million for barely baking. I like it. I think maybe I’ll spend the next year preparing for the next contest. Or not. But it sure is tempting.

  2. Is it possible to be attracted to a cookie?

    You just gave me my baking project for next week! If I can wait that long.

  3. Jeff 3

    I just checked the scale yep gained 10 lbs just reading this recipe.

    Can always tell when it is springtime when the power decides to start going on and off. Happened last night when brewing a pot of coffee…oh the inhumanity!

  4. Steph 4

    Wow, those look great! I don’t even like peanut butter very much, and I want to try these!

  5. You post these while I’m trying to eat better! I am definitely going to make these some time. I love love love peanut butter cookies and the little bits of peanut on the outside just makes them better.

  6. Note to self: Never, ever read this blog when 1) hungry b) on a diet.

    You suck.

  7. Why do Americans love peanut butter? It’s a mystery to me. However I would try these cookies!!!

  8. Jill 8

    How do we sign up to judge that contest?!!! :)

  9. I am allergic to peanuts and still these look great to me.

  10. Marcy 10

    Wow! those look amazing:))I love anything peanut butter!
    I will definitely have to try those!
    thanks for sharing

  11. Flea 11

    Oh my WORD those look good. Sounds like a project for my daughter. :)

  12. For the past couple of years, I’ve dreamed of entering the National Pie Championship down in Celebration, Florida. It’s certainly not a million dollar contest, but I’d love to enter and win it nonetheless. What a challenge!

    Creating a prize winning cookie recipe sounds so much easier (although I’m sure it’s not,) and for a million dollars…I think I could spend a few months licking cookie dough from a spoon while experimenting with different variations.

    But you never said—you made these cookies—for a million dollars, were they the best you ever had?

  13. sharon 13

    Wow, your step by step pictures are great! I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s version of these cookies. I’ve never wanted to make them until I saw this post! :)

  14. I guess she did a great job of fulfilling the requirements, but I remain unimpressed given that it’s a million dollar recipe and it uses store bought cookie dough. And I love peanut butter!
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d eat them if you put them in front of me… I just have higher expectations…. dang it!

    BTW, loved the “money shot”!

  15. I predict you will be my husband’s new favorite girl tonight. Luckily, I know how to take back the title. ;)

  16. Tipper 16

    Another great post that leaves me hungry!

    I loved the French Laundry post-that really sounded like a once in a lifetime memory!

  17. Elle 17

    Damn, but those look good!

  18. Kate 18

    Problem? What problem? I don’t see a problem. They look awesome.

  19. Indigo 19

    A million?! I wish I’d known about it earlier, I’m sure I could’ve come up with SOMETHING…

    I love the way you merrily continued when the lights went off. I don’t know why that’s so great, but it really is XD.

  20. Oh, wow. Those look delicious.

  21. annbb 21

    Peanut butter cookie are the only cookies I like – I think I’ll bribe my daughter to give these a try. If you ate 4 they HAVE to be good! I’ll let you know if they’re
    a million bucks good.

    BTW – I linked to your wonderful story about your son and t-ball today. That is still one of the funniest posts – of everyone’s – I’ve ever read.

  22. We just have to make this.

  23. Was there a second place or third? Why do I always hear about these contests when they are over? I could use a million bucks, or a half million of a quarter or heck $20.
    Baking cookies is to eat cookies and dough, you are just normal. 4 cookies is not a problem. 10 bites of dough, and 4 cookies yes, just cookies, no.
    Besides your fat pants would be my dream skinny pants. ENJOY IT!

  24. I’ve seen this around on the internet but your version looks best! I do want to try this sometime :)

  25. grace 25

    confession: it’s hard for me to not resent carolyn for this. what can i say, the green-eyed monster lives behind my left ear. :)

  26. HoneyB 26

    I’ll be over later tonight with the milk

  27. Bobby 27

    crazy… one million dollars for that recipe? They do look good though I guess. I like the pictures, very cool.

  28. april 28

    I love to cook too, but man sometimes I cave to convenience. Like last week I bought Bisquick and DANG! That stuff makes really good biscuits and it was fast. I’m sold. No more biscuits from scratch for me.

    Okay, that being said, I’m a little grossed out by this recipe. I think the cookies look fabulous, but the whole stuffing the doughy thing inside another doughy thing sort of reminds me of Turducken.

  29. marye 29

    Yummy! Cathy those look awesome. I think they would be gone in an instant here…DO you think you could use homemade dough?

  30. Um, I probably would’ve eaten 5! Anything with peanut butter is something I want… bigtime. These look amazing!

  31. Stacy 31

    Ah yes…I’ve heard a lot about these cookies. They look awesome. And I love these sort of short-cut recipes. I mean, sometimes a girl wants some cookies and she just doesn’t feel like sifting flour, you know?

  32. Kevin 32

    Literally the million dollar cookies. :) They look really good. It is a great idea to have peanut butter stuffed into peanut butter cokies! I really like the topping.

  33. Jaay 33

    Oh my sweetness that looks like one good cookie! And I find it a little bit of a coincidence that I just posted a pb cookie recipe today with double the peanut butter goodness and you posted about this recipe that also has double the peanut butter goodness. I tend to bypass these recipes that use things like refrigerated cookie dough or frozen brownie batter, I really couldn’t tell you why though. I guess I feel somehow like a fraud using premade doughs, eventhough mix brownies are far better than many other brownies I’ve ever had.

    But..I digress – I really must try these cookies.

  34. giz 34

    Do they look like a unique take on peanut butter cookies – absolsutely. Do they look tasty – you betcha. Do they look like they’re worth $1M – huh? I seriously think you deserve at least $20K for replecating the recipe.

  35. Meg 35

    Wow…I am definitely making those…El Jefe may never be the same!

  36. Lex the mom 36

    You know, everytime I visit, I am enamored by your food pics. If I were a cartoon I’d have hearts in my eyes! I am making those cookies this weekend! We are fans of the cookies of the peanut butter kind.

    I am going to make those pancakes, too – I forgot the ricotta, though!

    Beautiful pictures! I look forward to the recipe! Whoo-hoo!

  37. Only 4? that’s not a problem, that’s a hobby… I would have had 4, then lunch, then 4 then some milk, then 2 then dinner, then 6… Of course – this is trusting that they are good as you say/they look! I’ve learned I trust you on these types of things!

  38. Lori 38

    That creamy peanut butter center looks so good!

  39. Wow, thanks for the info on this! I can’t imagine being paid that much money for a great cookie recipe!
    I’ll certainly try it for sure!! If it won a million bucks, it’s gotta be awesome!

  40. I know this is a popular and yummy cookie so I don’t mind having some leftover crumbs….:P

  41. you sure as hell did a bang up job. i was just in baltimore and my sister in law couldn’t stop telling me about the reecipe. it was more the prize that stunnedd her.

    really excellent post…

  42. No, darling, no problem with you. I would have eaten 8, not 4. ;)

  43. Erinn 43

    A million dollar cookie????
    It better be fabulous!
    If those photos are any proof, then it must be good.
    Love your photos so much – shows off your skill and great sense of humor.

  44. Those look so yummy!! Makes me really regret this dang peanut allergy.

  45. Jules 45

    These are fat free..right?

  46. I think I am in love . . .

    Do you know that this will be the FIFTH recipe I have made from your site? I’m betting this will be a favorite!

  47. Chou 47

    Hey, I have those Ikea glasses, too! :) I’m really excited about this trend of yummy filled with goodness cookies that keeps popping up. Your illustrated step by step guide makes them even more tempting.

  48. Mrs. L 48

    Oh man, everyone keeps posting about these and they look soooo good!

  49. ALF 49

    Peanut butter makes everything more delicious.

  50. Deborah 50

    I have seen a few people make these, and I have been wanting to try. Yours look so great!

  51. Oh. My. God. A peanut butter center.
    There would not be a speck of dough left to make a cookie. Just me wallowing on the floor of the kitchen with a big fat smile on my face!

  52. Lawdthey look delicious I need to hire me a Paula Deen type person to help out with all these fantastic recipes

  53. Boy! Do those cookies look good! You are such a food tease!

  54. Hmmm, only one way to find out! Can’t chat, I’m off to make these… yum!

  55. dlyn 55

    I had to come see this recipe. Several people mentioned it to me after seeing a cookie recipe I put up this week. They did not lie – this looks really really good!

  56. vanessa 56

    i love the photos. cookies on money. weee!!

  57. Chris M 57

    Way to Go Carolyn! Your recipe looks like it’s incredible. I will definately post it on my blog.

    From a fellow Maryland Gal, Chris

  58. Tazza 58

    My Kids loved your cookies so much that I had to make a second Load!!
    Thank you so much!

  59. Erika 59

    I think these look delicious and I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients but they didn’t have the Pre-Made cookie dough in peanut butter (did have sugar cookie, oatmeal & chocolate chip however). So I left Albertsons & tried Ralphs…nope. So I left Ralphs and tried Gelsons’…nope.
    WHERE DID YOU BUY THE PILLSBURY COOKIE DOUGH??? Please please email me and let me know.
    Thank you,

  60. Oh man these look delicious! THANK YOU !!!

  61. It’s sort of sad that the recipe includes premade cookie dough, because it’s not something I would ever have around, and I wanted to try making this recipe.

  62. WOW!! These look absolutely amazing, especially since I am such a peanut butter fanatic. I want them, it’s just I will probably wind up burning them in the oven =/

  63. I was with the girls for a girls night gathering last night and the host, Kristy made these cookies and OMG they were wonderful!!
    I must say they do pair very nicely with WINE!!

  64. bonnieb 64

    I just got done making these, and they are SUPERB! Besides being delicious, they are also fun to make. I will definitely make these again!

  65. Those look so good – my mouth is watering. Need frozen cookie dough so I can make them – am off to the supermarket:)

  66. Karim 66

    Cathy, why must you make things that are so evil delicious? Why?!?!

    Man, those look good. There goes another week at the gym for me…

  67. ginger 67

    it just doesn’t look like a million dollar cookie, you know what I’m saying?

  68. JMom 68

    OMG, that cookie is like peanut lover’s heaven on earth! I am definitely trying out this million dollar recipe.

  69. vicarious 69

    You should get some of the million for placing the peanut butter in the center WICKED … I am off to backing now 11pm MORE WICKED I love people who show cooking with pics online, I hope the winner gave SOME $ to some charity for hungry kids!! Lovely website!

  70. It’s look delicious.

  71. lovely, looks yummy and an ure gonna try making it

  72. Lauralee 72

    Looks like the best cookie ever.

  73. Diane 73

    You stopped at 4 and tben had lunch of the rest of them?

    They do look very yummy – my mouth has been watering whilst I’ve been reading through and looking at the piccies.

    All that attention on a cookie, it’d better be worth a million!

    What about a chocolate and peanut topping? Or would that be overload.

  74. jomo 74

    You ate 4! Thats it? :)

  75. Hmm, seems like I”m the only commenter who made these cookies. They took a lot of time and unfortunately were dry on the outside and on edges (despite slab of peanut butter inside).My son and hubby threw theirs out. I thought they were just ok, but not worth effort. Disappointed :-(

  76. Great Food recipes
    I’ll do and post this recipes into my food blog
    Thanks for sharing

  77. Ginny 77

    I think this might be the first time I didn’t take the easy way out. I actually made the cookie dough. But, that just made them even more delicious!

  78. Russaad 78

    I used JIF homemade dough (cause I was too lazy to go to the store) and I substituted pecans for the peanuts and dipped mine in french-pressed coffee. These are the best thing I have ever made. Except my kids…well lets call it a tie. I ate seven (had to finish the cup of delicious coffee)

  79. Addie 79

    Ooh, those looked so good and then I saw the peanut butter center! Yumm…. I am definitely going to bake these. And maybe dip them halfway in chocolate. Peanut butter and chocolate. I need to go for a run. : )

  80. Wow, that looks absolutely delicious! Great post, you did such a nice job presenting the pictures too…I am definitely going to have to try that recipe this weekend! Thanks :)

  81. wow looks so delicious food, definitely its worth Million dollars

  82. Emily30 82


  83. Greg B 83

    They look and sound delicious! But I dont want to eat that bottom cookie, touching all the money :)

    Happy New Year!

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