Cookies/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Peanut Butter Shadow Cookies

 If you like nuts, these are for you.  If you like peanut butter, these are for you and if you like chocolate and especially Nutella, you cannot walk away from these.

I found this huge can of Planter’s mixed nuts in my pantry this morning. They were left over from our anniversary party a couple of weeks ago and I started thinking “peanuts”  “mixed nuts”, what can I make today for the guys working so hard on getting our master bathroom remodeled? They need a treat to keep them motivated.

When I was a kid (I usually say when “we” were kids. Must be twin talk). We (my sister and I) would go to Memphis with our grandparents to shop. Back then (50’s/60’s) we shopped downtown. I remember how fun it was to “window shop” especially at Christmas when all the store fronts had Christmas scenes and we would stand there with our noses pressed to the window and watch Mr. Bingle do his Christmas magic. I don’t remember ever going to a mall, I don’t think there were any back then. Anyway, my grandfather always had to go to the Peanut Shoppe on Main Street. It’s still there and my husband and I went a few years ago and there, sitting on a shelf, was a peanut cup like I use to have as a kid. I want one!

I remember when walking towards the Peanut Shoppe we could smell the nuts roasting from blocks away. To this day when I see the little Planter’s guy I think of this peanut shop. My grandfather always got a bag of cashew nuts for himself and some peanuts or popcorn to feed to the squirrels in the park where he sat, forever, waiting for the “girls” to shop. I remember this little shop also selling coconut brittle which I’m going to try soon.


I have had this recipe for Peanut Butter Shadow Cookies for about 20 years. So today I decided to try my Peanut Butter Shadow cookies, substituting Nutella for the melted chocolate chips that is usually folded into the cookie dough.  I also thought to roll them in the mixed nuts I need to get rid of. (Hard to believe but I have never tasted raw cookie dough – I would much rather wait for the finished product.)


The mixture of so many different nuts makes a wonderful coating for the cookie dough to be rolled in.


When you add the Nutella to the dough, gently fold it in so you have chocolate shadows throughout the dough.


Take large pieces of dough and roll in a ball and then roll in the chopped nuts and press nuts into all surfaces. Put on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten a little. I don’t normally roll these in extra nuts but sure added some good saltiness to the taste.


Finished cookies on plate with glass of milk waiting for someone to sample!


Hooray, Guess what? I just won my bid on ebay for my very own Planter’s Peanut Cup. Can’t wait to fill it with milk (or wine :))

Peanut Butter Shadow Cookies


  • 1/2 c. brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4-1/3 c. Nutella I normally use 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1-2 c. chopped mixed nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


  1. Cream the sugars and butter using stand mixer. Beat in the egg and peanut butter. Add in the salt and the soda. Slowly pour in the flour and add the vanilla. Carefully fold in the Nutella and blend enough to just swirl the Nutella through the dough to make “shadows”. Roll cookie dough in golf ball size pieces and roll and press the nuts into all surfaces. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. I made my fairly large and they took about 16-18 minutes to bake. Depending on the size you make them you may get 3-4 dozens. (I doubled the recipe and got about 40-50 very large cookies.)

Recipe Notes

NOTE: My original recipe uses 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and then swirled into the batter. I like the chips the best. And original recipe was just a plain cookie on top, no nuts added. I tried to fancy these up but feel like my tried and true original recipe is the best. You can try either way.

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  • Reply
    August 30, 2009 at 8:46 am

    WOW, these look INCREDIBLE! If I made them, they wouldn’t last more than 3 hours between my husband and I! i definitely need to try this soon! Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tyler Young
    May 14, 2010 at 4:00 am

    i love both peanut butter and cheeze as the filling of my morning sandwhich.`~’

    • Reply
      June 10, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      I have made these since the 70’s and were always a favorite with my kids.

  • Reply
    Riley Cooper
    July 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    i am allergic to peanuts so i can only taste a bit of peanut butter even if i love it so much.`”-

  • Reply
    July 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Can’t wait to make these for our bake sale. I am sure they will go fast!
    (Julie’s mom)

    • Reply
      July 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Phyllis — I hope anyone who buys these from your bake sale enjoys them as much as I have over the years.

      Kaye — hope the boys liked them. It was great seeing all the family there for Terry last week. Can’t wait to try your popcorn cornmeal. I will post the recipe when I try it.

  • Reply
    Kaye McKaskle
    July 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Just finished these cookies!! They are delicious and my grand boys are on their way!!!!

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