Chunky peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
I love all kinds of peanut butter, but there is something extra special about a good chunky peanut butter. I have lots of peanut butter recipes, but I've been working for some time on my ideal chocolate chip peanut butter cookie recipe, and I knew I wanted to use a crunchy, extra peanut filled peanut butter both for texture and flavor. Finally we arrived at what is my perfect idea of a thick and gooey peanut butter chocolate chip cookie - with of course, lots of peanut butter and chocolate in every bite.
When baking peanut butter cookies, there is always a concern the cookie might get cakey. It is a tough balance between using too much peanut butter which can cause an airy texture, or not enough peanut butter and then the flavor isn't strong enough. I used inspiration from my peanut butter and fluff cookie recipe which to me has the perfect texture, and made a few slight changes to get this cookie just right. One key change was swapping in crunchy peanut butter!
Another big decision was of course the chocolate. I chose to go with a combination of chopped semisweet and dark chocolate. The combination helps to bring out the peanut butter flavor while still giving you that deep chocolate bite. There is a reason peanut butter and chocolate is such a classic combination, the perfect salty and sweet treat, and this cookie is the perfect example.
I played around a lot with the bake temperature for these cookies. I landed on a higher temperature (375 if baking from chilled, 350 if baking from frozen) to get us a thick cookie with the perfect golden color on top. If you want a slightly less thick cookie, or want to test out a different temperature, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and bake for a few extra minutes and see what you like best! Personally, I think there is nothing better than a thick and gooey peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but I promise these tasted great even when I tested at a lower temperature to get a thinner cookie.
For testing this recipe, I used a hand mixer mostly for convenience, but a stand mixer would work great too. It's really important especially when using a combination of butter and peanut butter that your butter is completely soft to the touch and the mixer will help to bring these ingredients together completely. This can be done by hand, but the extra muscle of a mixer will be really helpful.
When it comes to measuring out your dough, I love these scoops from Cook'n Feel (I use the medium scoop usually for cookies) or this large scoop from Oxo. You can also use a large spoon, but this cookie dough is a bit wet so a scoop is really helpful for getting more even scoops.
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup, 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 113g
1/2 cup light brown sugar 96g
1/3 cup granulated sugar 64g
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter*
1 large egg**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 150g
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (4 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (4 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
*This recipe calls for a "non-natural", chunky/crunchy peanut butter with added oil and sugar like original Skippy or Jiff brand - if your peanut butter doesn't have added oil, the end cookie texture may differ
**I recommend taking your egg out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to starting
Total time: About 3 hours
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 9-11 minutes
Chill time: 1-2 hours
Servings: 12 cookies
Spatula or spoon
Hand or stand mixer
Scooper (2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons) or large spoon
Into a large bowl if using a hand mixer (or stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment), add your butter and both sugars. Mix at a medium to high speed until fully combined, about 2 minutes.
Next, add in your peanut butter. Mix at a medium speed for about a minute until your peanut butter is incorporated, pausing halfway through to scrape down your mixer and bowl.
Add in your egg and vanilla extract. Continue to mix until lightened in color, about 2 minutes, then scrape down the sides of your bowl and mixer.
Then, add in your dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt. I like to switch to a spatula at this point and mix by hand, folding in your dry ingredients until your dough is about halfway formed.
Now, add in most of your chopped chocolate (I like to reserve 2 ounces to top my dough scoops with). Fold your chocolate in until your dough is fully formed and your chocolate is evenly dispersed.
Onto a lined cookie sheet, I used parchment paper, use a cookie scoop or large spoon to portion out your dough - it should make about 12 cookies, 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons per cookie. Place your cookie scoops into the fridge to chill for an hour or two. Note: if you won't be able to bake until later on, you can freeze your scooped dough instead (instructions for baking from frozen at the end of the recipe) or you can chill your un-scooped dough covered tightly for up to 12 hours before scooping and baking.
When you're ready to bake your chilled dough scoops, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake your cookies for 9 - 11 minutes and enjoy!
Additional baking and storage guidance
Your baked cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the fridge, but they will taste best fresh baked and enjoyed the same day you made them. Unlike a classic chocolate chip cookie though, the peanut butter does help these cookies stay soft and taste delicious even a few days after they were baked.
You can also freeze some or all of your dough to bake later. To do this, place your scooped cookie dough onto a baking sheet and into the freezer for 12-24 hours. Then, transfer your frozen dough to a plastic bag or airtight container and store in the freezer. To bake from frozen, set your oven to 350 and bake for about 11-13 minutes (if you bake within a day or so after freezing, check your cookies at 10 minutes.) Another option, if you leave your frozen dough scoops out to defrost for about 20 minutes, you can bake per the standard instructions.
Carb and serving info:
Servings: 12 cookies
Carbs per serving (1 of 12): 35
Carbs for full recipe: 426
Carbs from peanut butter: 16
Carbs from chocolate: 128
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.