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Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

5 stars based on 18 votes

Best-Peanut-Butter-Cookies

Last summer, I hired two high school students as recipe development interns (hi Jordan and Daryn!). As their first assignment, I asked them to gather up the best-looking peanut butter cookie recipes from the Internet and my cookbook collection. We narrowed it down to three promising recipes and made them all. The winner, hands down, was Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe from My Father’s Daughter. Admittedly, I was surprised — I’m always a little skeptical of celebrity cookbooks. But these are wonderfully thick, soft cookies with a rich peanut butter flavor and almost sandy texture. After making the cookies a few times, the girls and I made a few minor tweaks and ended up with what we think is the best peanut butter cookie around.

ingredients

Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients.

dry-ingredients

Next, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.

butter-peanut-butter-and-brown-sugar

Beat until smooth and creamy, about a minute.

batter-1

Add the egg.

batter-2

And mix to combine.

batter-3

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

batter-4

Finally, mix in the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts (if using).

batter-5

Form the dough into golf ball-sized balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.

scopping-dough

Then use a fork to make a crisscross pattern and push the cookies down.

crisscrossing

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

baked-cookies

Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best-Peanut-Butter-Cookies-1

Note: This recipe is modestly adapted from Grandad Danner’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies in My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow. Our only changes were to replace the dark brown sugar with light brown sugar (just to simplify), omit the additional sugar for rolling (we found them a bit too sweet), and add chopped peanuts for texture. We also made a few tweaks to the method. To see the original recipe and read the rave reviews, click here.

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Servings: 32 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature (I like Skippy No Need To Stir)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds more. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts.
  4. Chill the dough for 1 hour (see note below). Set racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Using a 1-1/2-inch scooper with a wire scraper (if you don’t have one, use a spoon and your hands), form the dough into golf ball-sized balls on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, mark a crisscross pattern on the cookies, pressing them down slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until puffed and golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. (Note: the cookies are very fragile when hot, so take care not to break them. They’ll firm up nicely as they cool.)
  5. Note: It is not absolutely necessary to chill the dough, however it is quite sticky and difficult to handle if you don't have a "cookie scooper." Chilling the dough makes it much easier to handle, but feel free to skip this step if you like.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 173
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Sodium: 13mg
  • Cholesterol: 78mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    I’m not a fan of peanut butter cookies in general but for whatever reason I wanted to make this recipe for a long time. Amazingly delicious! My oven sucks and the first batch had brown bottoms but even slightly burnt they were so very tasty. I modified the temp to 300 because my oven runs hot, & took them out after 12 minutes.

    - Susie on December 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are the best cookies! I’m sure they are really great the way the recipe calls, but I didn’t have peanut butter chips or peanuts, so I added chocolate chips and no peanuts. They were excellent! My family loved them!

    - Haley Groves on December 2, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these one Sunday, I had to hide cookies in order to pack them into empty PB jars to send them to my daughter’s boyfriend at Prescott College in Arizona. they were a huge hit- at home and in AZ! Great mouth feel and taste! It’s a keeper!!

    - anita yarrish on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made these a few times and they came out great each time. Since I’m a vegetarian I substituted a flax egg for the real egg. I also used chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips because that was what I had on hand. This has become a new favorite staple in my household. They are substantial yet crisp, and deliciously flavored. Oh yeah, I added extra vanilla just because I like the taste of that.

    - Mary on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    I’ve just made them today and they cooled down totally but they are still very crumbly…:((
    I’m wondering why, since I respected the recipe exactly, even chilled the dough.
    I’ve made many of your recipes and never had a problem. I’m disappointed…
    What can I do?!

    - Ildi on August 26, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Ildi, So sorry you had trouble with this one. They shouldn’t be crumbly. What type of peanut butter did you use?

      - Jenn on August 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolute perfection!! I doubled the recipe and everything turned out great. My colleagues have requested more. :)
    Thank you for an awesome recipe!

    - Kimberly on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi, Can i check if you will be able to specify the speed for each step? im always messing things up when it comes down to the mixer. im using a kitchenaid mixer!

    Appreciate the help!!

    - Jay on July 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Jay, the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and then the egg should be mixed on medium, and then the dry ingredients and peanut butter chips (and peanuts if you’re using them) should be mixed on low. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

      - Jenn on July 5, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    What is the oven temperature?

    - Sue Fee on June 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Sue, the cookies should be baked at 325°F. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these and they are very, very, good…they are not the best peanut butter cookie I have ever made, but pretty close. Mine did not get browned, but I did only bake for the suggested 12 minutes. they are delicate, but not so that they disintegrate when you touch them. The nuts and the chips give them nice texture. I also rolled mine in granulated sugar prior to baking. I can’t eat just one. They were easy to mix and bake.

    - Karen T on April 7, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    These are great cookies, but I wouldn’t skip chilling the dough. Also, they are more crumbly/fragile after they are baked and cooled than other peanut butter recipes, so I took off a star for that reason. The chips and peanuts are a great bonus!

    - Pam S. on March 17, 2016 Reply
  • Agreed with the previous review that said the dough is extremely crumbly, but the cookies do come out very tasty; also, agreed that it makes much more sense to make and chill the dough first, then preheat the oven shortly before baking.

    Clarification question: should the dough be chilled in the refrigerator or the freezer?

    - Kelly on March 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Kelly, The dough should be chilled in the fridge but please see the note I added to the recipe. It is actually not necessary to chill the dough if you have a cookie scooper, or if you can handle it right away. I found that it was too sticky to roll unless chilled.

      - Jenn on March 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are so delicious! I didn’t have peanuts or peanut butter chips, so I used chocolate chips instead! They turned out great! The texture of these cookies are really what make them great!

    - Haley on March 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had. Wouldn’t change anything about the ingredients. Only tweak to the recipe itself would be to preheat the oven after the “Chill for 1 hour” step.

    - Rebecca on March 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were delicious! I used natural peanut butter and they were perfectly sweet and salty. I did not chill the dough for an hour and I found the batter quite crumbly (not sure if there’s a connection), but I did my best to form them into balls with my hands and then I hoped for the best, and they turned out well in the end. As promised, they came together perfectly as they cooled. I would definitely make these again!

    - Jenn V. on March 3, 2016 Reply
  • I was just reading this recipe and thinking I would make them but I am always nervous about US cups versus Australian when to my absolute delight I saw the little button at the top to change to Metric!! Did I miss that before or is it new? Anyway, it is wonderful, because I do like your recipes and they will be even easier now.

    - Anita on March 3, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Anita, I’m slowly but surely converting recipes so that they have both cup and metric measures. (All of the new ones have both.) If there are any specific recipes that you’d like converted, please let me know!

      - Jenn on March 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these today and they were super-peanut-buttery delicious! Great sandy, moist texture. Our favorite peanut butter cookie, ever! Baked off a small sheet, and will freeze the rest of the unbaked cookie dough balls. (No will power.)Thanks for another great recipe, Jenn!!

    - Liz on March 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These look delicious but I haven’t made them yet. . . . I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the metric button! I have only had great success from your recipes but metric will make things much easier for me.
    I am looking forward to your next selection of deliciousness already!
    So glad I came across you. Thanks Jenn.

    - Gilly on February 28, 2016 Reply
  • Jenn,
    My daughter and I are making your peanut butter cookies just now. We live in London.
    We don’t think we have the right quantities of ingredients because our dough doesn’t look creamy like yours and its very very sweet.
    I have used conversion of your 1 cup to our 250g.
    Is that correct?
    If not can you tell me the quantities of everything in grams and we will try again next weekend.

    Regards
    Lesley

    - Lesley Evans on February 28, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Lesley, 1 cup of peanut butter is 270 grams. You can convert the entire recipe to metric on the site — in the top right corner of the recipe, you’ll find a button where you can toggle between metric and cup measures. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on February 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These cookies are delicious! I had to put most of them in the freezer or I would eat them all. Thank you Jenn!

    - tanya on February 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My children and I made these last night. Great recipe! I always trust your recipes.

    - Tina on February 26, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jen

    Love your site and your recipes. I have recently become vegetarian and have been making a lot of meat and dairy free dinners. I would love to see more of these on your site (I think many people are trying to reduce meat consumption too).
    Thanks!

    - debby Katz on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • If you prefer not to use peanut butter chips does 1 cup of creamy peanut butter replace the 1 cup of chips?

    - Leanne on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Leanne, Just omit the chips without making any other adjustments — you can also use chunky peanut butter in place of creamy.

      - Jenn on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    If you want extra crunch or texture on top of the peanuts, you could also add some rice krispie cereal.. YUM! :)

    - Melissa on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • In my opinion peanut butter chips taste awful. Adding them instead of real peanut butter makes cookies taste like cheaply made commercial cookies.

    - Helen Knur on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • I would normally agree, Helen, but we tried them both ways and we all loved the version with the chips best. :)

      - Jenn on February 25, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        This recipe sounds awesome! You are so graceful in the face of criticism. I’ll make these exactly to the recipe and come back to comment. ?

        - Ginnie on February 25, 2016 Reply
      • Could you do 1 cup of chocolate chips instead? Or would you need less to avoid being too sweet?

        - Dianna on February 26, 2016 Reply
        • Hi Diana, I’ve tried these with chocolate chips (1 cup) and they are delicious; they just have a less intense peanut butter flavor.

          - Jenn on February 26, 2016 Reply
  • I’m allergic to peanuts, but not to almonds. Could this work with almond Butter/chopped almonds as substitutes?

    - Laura on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • I think it would, Laura. Please let me know how they turn out!

      - Jenn on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • I like peanuts in cookies. Do they really need to be chopped (finely or otherwise)?

    - Brian on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Brian, You can leave them whole if you’d like — enjoy!

      - Jenn on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • Cool. I was afraid it would affect the consistency of the cookies. I’m thinking splitting Planters Cocktail Peanuts in half (taking out that bitter lil bit) is gonna be pretty damn good

      - Brian on February 25, 2016 Reply

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