Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A soft, chewy, peanut butter chocolate chip cookie! The best peanut butter cookies. Better than the ones you had as a kid, or those perfect bakery cookies. These are chewy, thick and packed full of protein-rich peanut butter flavor. Topped with chocolate chips you’ll be left wondering how they’re so good!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Many peanut butter cookies can be dry and chalky, but these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are anything but! They’re super soft and tender on the inside with a lightly crisp and chewy outside. Studded with mini chocolate chips, there’s the perfect amount of chocolate to peanut butter cookie in every bite.

* If you want tips, how-to’s and videos, be sure to read the whole post below.

These are the BEST peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! They’re baked to perfection with lightly crisp and chewy edges with a tender and soft center. By using mini chocolate chips, there’s just the right amount of chocolate and peanut butter cookie in every bite!

What makes these the BEST peanut butter chocolate chip cookies?

I have so many feelings about these peanut butter cookies, starting with the fact that they are just so dang GOOD! I find that so many peanut butter cookies tend to be dry and crumbly, but not these.

The edges are lightly crisp and chewy, the center is soft and tender, and there are melty chocolate chips scattered throughout.

These cookies also have a rich peanut butter flavor, using a hefty 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter. Using this in equal parts butter makes these cookies extra rich and bakery-worthy.

Last but not least, they’re BIG and not just for appearance. For lack of better words, bigger cookies bake better. The larger the cookie, the longer it takes for the oven heat to reach the center. This is was creates a super tender and slightly underdone center that is so soft and delicious.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough scooped on to a tray

How to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

I hope you don’t turn down this peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe when you see that the dough has to chill overnight. It’s the secret to achieving that super soft peanut butter cookie texture! Here’s how it works:

  1. Fat – These chocolate chip peanut butter cookies have a high amount of butter to flour. This excess of fat is what creates a super tender and soft texture.
  2. Hydration – BUT, because of these contents, the cookies cannot bake right away. If they did, they’d melt and spread way too much. By chilling the dough overnight, this gives the dry ingredients a chance to fully hydrate. Meaning, it will absorb the water and fat in the cookie to give it a stronger structure when baking.
  3. Flavor – You can think of the dough as lemonade concentrate. The less water the mix has, the stronger the lemonade flavor. The same goes for the dough. As the flour hydrates, the flavor becomes stronger and stronger due to the fact that the cookie dough is essentially drying out. This creates a concentration of flavor that allows the peanut butter to really stand out.

As I mentioned before, another key component is the size of the cookies. Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop helps further that soft and tender texture of these peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips.

The larger the cookie, the longer it takes for the oven heat to reach the center. This creates a slightly underdone center which leaves the cookie with a super tender center.

You might be wondering…won’t the cookie be raw in the middle? Nope! By pulling the cookies when they’re slightly underdone, the residual heat OUTSIDE of the oven will help settle and bake through the cookies as they cool. Once they’re at room temperature, the center sets and becomes super soft.

Prepping the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough

The way the cookies are scooped can completely change how they turn out. If rolled into smooth balls, they’ll bake with a completely different texture on top. If flattened, the center will bake faster to create a thinner and crispier cookie. It’s very important to follow the prep instructions on a recipe in order to get the best outcome.

For these cookies, and for most of my cookie recipes, I don’t fuss with the dough too much. Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop, scoop the cookies out onto a small cookie sheet in order to prep for chilling. The cookie dough should be left in the same shape as the scoop – like a large dome.

When scooping, don’t roll the dough or manipulate it in any way. Just scoop and move on. Using a scooper gives that rippled texture which creates those yummy wrinkles on top of these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

To make these cookies extra special and bakery-worthy, dot the tops with extra chocolate chips before chilling the dough. They’ll be picture perfect once baked.

a stack of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies split in half

The best type of peanut butter for baking

For most peanut butter cookie recipes, choose a creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. It gives that classic peanut texture and almost always yields the same outcome.

Natural peanut butters often separate where the oil floats to the top of the jar. Nut butters like this are difficult to bake cookies with because they can cause cookies to spread too thin.

When in doubt, always go with the standard creamy peanut butter when baking peanut butter cookies.

Can the cookie dough be frozen?

Once the dough has been scooped and chilled overnight, the cookie dough balls can be placed in a freezer storage bag. They’ll keep for about 6-9 months.

To bake, allow the cookie dough to thaw for about an hour. Then bake as instructed, possibly adding on another minute or two if needed.

CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

These decadent peanut butter cookies have the most delicious chewy and soft centers and crispy edges. They are loaded with semi-sweet chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. They are easy, and you need just very little prep time to make these indulgent treats. Be sure to make enough of them because they disappear as quickly as my peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

Half dozen cookies arranged above and next to each other

Peanut butter choc chip cookies are my cookies of choice when I bake something for family gatherings or potlucks. I will show you detailed directions on how to replicate this recipe successfully. If you want to learn more about making perfect cookies every time, check out my chocolate chip cookies post, where I answer frequently asked questions and share my best tricks and tips

INGREDIENTS NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Unsalted butter and egg – to make vegan peanut butter cookies, follow my vegan cookies recipe to substitute butter and egg. Stick to the rest of the ingredients and directions as directed in this post.
  • Peanut butter – the best peanut butter for these cookies is either from Skippy or Reese’s. If you don’t have one of these peanut butter brands available, go for a similar creamy peanut butter brand. Crunchy peanut butter, all-natural, or even homemade peanut butter doesn’t work well since the cookies would turn out crumbly and dry and don’t spread enough.
  • Sugars – to achieve the perfect texture, stick to using half brown and half white sugar. I prefer light brown sugar but dark brown sugar works as well. Keep in mind that dark brown sugar alters the taste and the texture (spread less).
  • Cornstarch – keeps the cookies soft for days and is highly recommended. However, if you don’t have cornstarch available, leave it out.
  • Baking soda – the key ingredient to chewy peanut butter cookies. If you like cakey cookies, swap for baking powder 1:1. If you prefer cookies without chemical leavening agents, you can also skip the baking soda and use sourdough discard.
  • Mix-ins – I love to add half chocolate chunks and half peanut butter chips, but you can add any mix-ins you love or skip them altogether.

STEP-BY-STEP PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes.

Creamed butter and sugars in a mixing bowl

Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined and creamy.

Butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla mixed together in a bowl

Mix in the peanut butter until combined.

Peanut butter mixed into the butter mixture

Then add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

Mixed cookie dough in mixing bowl

Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, if used, and mix just until well distributed. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Scoop 18 equal-sized balls of cookie dough, roll into even balls, and place them on lined baking sheets.

Rolled cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Bake one sheet at a time until the edges are set and lightly browned, and the centers look undone, pale, puffy, and dry, and the surface has small cracks as shown below.

Baking cookies in the oven

Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

EXPERT TIPS

  • Use creamy peanut butter for the best possible texture. Crunchy, homemade, or all-natural peanut butter causes them to become dry and brittle.
  • Once the flour is added, mix just until combined, or the gluten develops too much and the cookies turn out dense and tough.
  • Remove them from the oven when they look undone, pale, and have little cracks on the surface. The edges should be set and lightly browned. When overbaked, the cookies will be hard.
A cookie broken in half surrounded by other cookies

FAQ’S

WHERE DO YOU BAKE COOKIES IN THE OVEN?

I have found the best way to bake these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies is to place them in the center of the oven. I also bake just one baking sheet at a time that the cookies bake evenly. 

DO I NEED AN OVEN THERMOMETER TO BAKE COOKIES?

You don’t need it as long as you know your oven very well and be sure that you can rely on it. In any other case, an oven thermometer is a smart investment, and I highly recommend using it. If your oven is either too hot or too cold, the cookies won’t spread properly.

WHY DON’T THEY HAVE FORK MARKS?

Regular peanut butter cookies are a lot denser and don’t spread much in the oven. So, you need to flatten them before baking that they bake evenly. The texture of these chewy peanut butter cookies is more like your favorite chocolate chip cookie, just with a great peanut butter taste. They spread in the oven without flattening. Hence there are no fork marks.

Did you know?

I wrote a thorough guide on how to make cookies where questions like why cookies turn out flat, don’t spread, turn out hard, or how chilling affects the taste and texture are answered. I also share mistakes to avoid and tips for success.

Holding a half eaten cookie in the hand

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

  • If you liked, you could prepare the dough in advance and chill covered for up to 2 days. Let it stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before baking until it’s a smooth and spoonable dough.
  • It’s also possible to prepare the dough, chill it for 1 hour, roll it into balls and freeze them in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking. I don’t recommend baking frozen cookie dough balls since they don’t spread enough and turn out thicker and drier as desired.
  • Also, baked cookies freeze very well. Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap separately and store them in freezer bags for up to 3 months. Before serving, let them thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Peanut butter and chocolate once again join forces in this soft, buttery cookie.

YIELDMakes 24 (about 3-inch) cookies

PREP TIME20 minutes

COOK TIME13 minutes to 15 minutesShow Nutrition

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter, preferably Skippy or Jif
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 1 large egg on the counter. Let both sit at room temperature until the butter is softened. Meanwhile, place 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Add the egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 2/3 cup peanut butter and beat on medium speed until combined and fluffy again, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. With the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined with no streaks of flour remaining, about 1 minute total. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and use a flexible spatula to fold them in by hand until just combined.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 9×13-inch baking dish with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Scoop out the dough with a 1-ounce ice cream scoop into 24 portions (2 tablespoons each). Place on the baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.
  6. Refrigerate for 40 minutes (do not refrigerate longer or the dough will be hard to make a pattern into). Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 1 to 2 rimmed baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper (line 2 if you used a baking dish to chill the dough balls).
  7. Arrange all the cookie dough balls on the two baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Use the back of a fork to press a crosshatch pattern into and flatten each dough ball to about 1/2-inch thick and about 2 1/2 inches wide; it’s okay if the cookies crack at the edges or where the chocolate chips are.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until light golden brown around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

RECIPE NOTES

Make ahead: The flattened cookie dough balls can be refrigerated for up to 1 day and baked for the same amount of time. They can also be frozen: Freeze until solid on the baking sheet, then store in a zip top bag for up to 2 months. The cookies can be baked from frozen and will take 1 to 2 minutes minutes more baking time after the baking sheets are rotated.

Storage: Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen cookies at room temperature.

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