When your friends and family prefer these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies over regular chocolate chip cookies, you'll thank me for how obsessive I am about my cookie-making. In fact, I'm almost ritualistic in my preparation of them.
These nutty cookies have a cake-like interior, but they are bordered with a crisp, buttery edge that keeps you going back for more. I have to restrain myself when eating them because they're that tasty.
I believe the perfect cookie must have those crisp, lightly browned edges, but they better not be flat and sad. Instead, I want a plump, thick interior that has some chew to it. These cookies exceed those requirements and are both freezer and make-ahead friendly. In short, they're the unicorn of cookies.
How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The technique for blending the fats and using two flours is what makes these cookies standout among the rest. Don’t worry! It’s still just as easy to make as any other peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe.
For the Method: Instead of beating the fats and sugars together until light and fluffy, the peanut butter, butter, and two types of sugar are gently creamed together at a lower speed. This technique discourages the incorporation of too much air in the mixture, which keeps the cookies from spreading as they bake. There's a lot of scraping down the bowl and paddle while mixing, too. This guarantees a well-mixed dough.
For the Flours: Instead of using one type of flour here, I’m using both all-purpose and bread flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which means more gluten gives the cookie a chewy texture. The all-purpose flour balances the chewiness because we don't want to end up with peanut butter bread cookies.
More Cookie Tips:
- Use hearty chocolate chips and add earlier than most to break them up a bit through mixing.
- Let the cookie dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. This hydrates the flour and plumps the dough. Plump dough makes plump cookies.
- Pull the cookies out of the oven just shy of being done. The cookies will finish "baking" with carryover cooking. It's simply a matter of pulling the cookies out of the oven, just shy of being done, and letting them cool while still on the baking sheet.
What's the Best Peanut Butter to Use?
We want these cookies to be chunky from all of the chocolate chunks, not from the peanut butter—this recipe calls for smooth, creamy nut butter. Sometimes, depending on how horrible my week was, I get extra fancy and use honey-flavored peanut butter.
Swaps and Substitutions
I understand everyone has different tastes and preferences. You might have allergies in your house or just be out of an ingredient. I’ve tried to anticipate your needs so you can have the best possible experience when making these. Here’s a few ideas for switching things up.
- Okay, okay. You can use crunchy peanut butter in this recipe if you like crunchy peanut butter.
- I don’t recommend homemade or "natural" labeled peanut butter because they don’t have invert sugar in them and could result in drier cookies.
- If you have a peanut allergy, replace the peanut butter in this recipe with almond or cashew butter.
- If you don’t have bread flour you can replace the amount of bread flour in this recipe with all-purpose flour. The cookies won’t be as chewy, but they will still be good.
Let’s Talk About Chocolate!
The darker the chocolate, the more contrast of flavors in your cookies. I prefer to pair a 60 percent cacao to the sweet creaminess of the peanut butter base.
Ghirardelli or Guittard baking chips are my preferred chocolate chips to bake absolutely anything! I like them because they fall somewhere between those little, rinky-dink chips and shards of chocolate.
If I'm keeping it real with you, I usually crave these cookies something fierce by the time I've gotten around to making them. As a result, chopping chocolate from baking bars is the last thing I want to do.
If you're less manic and would prefer freshly chopped chunks of chocolate in your cookies, go for it! Just chop the same amount (in weight) from a bar of milk, semi-sweet, or your preferred percentage of dark chocolate.
Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Cookies:
- Make it easier to get the peanut butter out of your measuring cup by wiping the inside of it with your butter wrapper. The grease allows the sticky peanut butter to slide out of the measuring cup.
- Don't be a hero. Use your stand mixer to make this cookie dough. The dough gets pretty stiff once you add the dry ingredients and a hand mixer just spins it around in small sections. Mixing it by hand is futile.
- Chilling the dough hydrates it, which adds bulk and provides more texture to the baked cookie. You don't have to chill it, but it makes the cookies more delicious.
- Use a portion scoop to form your cookies. Scoops produce uniform cookies, which keeps your family from complaining because one child got a smaller cookie than their twin sibling (don't ask).
- Baking the cookies at a higher temperature causes the cookies to set up quickly, which helps them retain their puffy shape. If you want flatter cookies, decrease the baking temperature to 350°F (177°C), and add 5 minutes to the baking time.
- If you find the cookies are too puffy for your liking, smack the pan against the countertop once or twice to deflate them slightly.
- Rotate the pan of cookies mid-way through baking to ensure they bake evenly.
- If you prefer crispier cookies, add 5 additional minutes to the listed bake time.
How to Freeze Cookies and Cookie Dough
You can freeze cookies in two ways. Either portion out the raw dough and freeze it before baking or bake the cookies, let them cool, and freeze them.
To freeze the raw dough:
- Portion the cookie dough and place the dough balls in a single layer onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Freeze until solid before transferring the dough to a storage bag or container. It will keep for 2 months.
- You can bake the cookies from frozen and add 2 minutes to the bake time.
To freeze baked cookies:
- Bake the cookies.
- Allow them to cool.
- Transfer to a freezer safe storage container layered between parchment paper and freeze for 2 months. If you're a fan of ice cream cookie sandwiches, this needs to be your new hack. Just saying.
More Cookie Recipes Loaded with Chocolate Chips
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) bread flour
- 1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (7 grams) baking soda
- 1 cup (240 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup (170 grams or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (326 grams) chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate)
Combine dry ingredients:
In a small mixing bowl, use a spoon or whisk to combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, and the baking soda. Set the bowl aside.
Blend the butters and sugar in a mixer:
To the bowl of your stand mixer, add the peanut butter, unsalted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and kosher salt. Using the paddle attachment, begin blending the butters and sugars together at low speed (#1 on a KitchenAid mixer).
After 30 seconds of blending on low speed, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Start blending the mixture together again, this time on medium-low speed (#3 on a KitchenAid mixer) for 1 minute and 30 seconds. The mixture should look like a thick paste at this point.
Add in eggs, one at a time:
Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add one egg into the bowl. Beat the egg into the butter-sugar mixture for 30 seconds. Once the egg is fully incorporated, add the other egg to the mixer and blend it in for another 30 seconds.
Scrape the bowl and add vanilla extract:
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle once again. Add the vanilla extract to the mixture and turn the mixer back onto low (#2 on the KitchenAid mixer). Blend the ingredients for an additional minute.
Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips:
Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and paddle, then add all of the dry mixture to the bowl. Begin blending the dough at low speed (#1 on a KitchenAid mixer). After 30 seconds of mixing, start sprinkling in the chocolate chips.
After all of the chocolate chips have been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle. Return the dough to the second speed on the Kitchen Aid for another minute.
Refrigerate cookie dough:
Once mixed, cover the bowl with a lid, plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (or up to 3 days). Even if you plan to freeze the dough later, chilling the dough for 30 minutes makes scooping it easier.
Preheat the oven and prepare baking sheets:
Ten minutes before the chilling time is finished, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Portion cookie dough:
After the dough has chilled, use a 2 or 3-ounce portion scoop or a lightly greased 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the dough into balls. Place scooped cookie dough at least 1/2 inch apart to allow for slight spreading while they bake. Nine cookie portions should be able to fit on each baking sheet.
Bake the cookies:
You will bake each batch of cookies in the oven separately. Bake the first sheet pan of cookies for 12 minutes, turning the pan halfway through baking (after 6 minutes) to ensure even browning.
After baking, remove the pan of cookies from the oven and allow them to sit on the pan for an additional 3 minutes to carryover bake. The cookies will have browned edges but will still look glossy in the center. They will continue to bake and set up as they cool.
Bake the next sheet pan of cookies as you did the first, turning mid-way through baking.
Cool cookies on cooling rack:
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely or enjoy them while still warm.
Store leftover cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.