Chocolate Chip Cookies meet Peanut Butter Cookies in these delightful, soft and chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crisp around the edges, but ooey gooey center with tons of chocolate chips. Each bite has that little salty, nutty flavor from the peanut butter, but it's not overpowering and does not feel dry at all!
Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite cookies for two reasons; they are soft and chewy but with crispy edges and they have melted chocolate. I love the flavor from the peanut butter and brown sugar too. Everything together makes delicious, yet super simple peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
If you're in Fall mode, I highly recommend trying these Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies too - also soft and chewy!
I've often not had great luck with cookies. They flatten out making one hot mess on the baking sheet, not rising the way they should and just not that pretty looking. That is why I can say that this recipe is EASY. I've never messed it up, they turn out perfectly every time so I'm confident yours will too.
And if you want the same kind of texture, but a different flavor profile, I can recommend these brown butter white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (terribly long name, I know, but they are SO good).
Here's my little How to Make Cookies 101. A little science never hurt anybody. Click the jump to recipe button above if you're already a cookie baking master!
My Cookies are Flat
Flat cookies can happen if you have too little flour (which means too much flour makes thick cookies). Too little flour means it can't hold all the fat in the recipe. Read more about how to measure flour under 'The Ingredients' below.
Another issue is also that the cookie dough may need to chill more. Chilling the dough is particularly important if the dough is wet and sticky. The colder the dough is, the longer it will take for them to spread out in the oven, and hopefully will be done before they do so. That also means that you should not use warm baking sheets, room temperature or even cold would do the trick.
Bonus: by letting the dough chill for 24-72 hours, the flavors will blend together making an incredibly tasty cookie! You can get away with 1 hour, but you should chill it at least overnight for flavor. 1 hour is sufficient to make the dough cold, but the longer you wait the tastier they will become.
Because the cookie dough will be really cold, you may need to wait a couple of minutes before you start rolling the dough into balls. And while you pre-heat your oven - pop the cookie balls into the freezer for a couple of minutes!
Remember: cold dough = less spreading.
The Ingredients Are Important Too
One thing I've learned is that butter in the US contains too much water. That means that the cookies may spread out too much. Look for AA Grade Butter or European Style Butter, these have more fat content (82-84% vs. the standard of 80%). You could also use vegetable shortening, which has 100 % fat content, read more about that under 'My cookies aren't chewy enough'.
I also prefer to use salted butter, because it is pretty darn delicious in baking cookies. As a rule of thumb, remember that 1 stick of salted butter contains ¼ teaspoon salt.
The butter should also be room temperature - that does not mean warm. Room temperature butter is cool to the touch and if you press it, it will make a little indent. More specifically, around 65-67 F (18-19 C). If you don't find high fat content butter, you could try to melt the butter. That way some of the water evaporates. But the butter should cool down a bit before mixing with the sugar.
You may use the wrong kind of flour. I always go for all-purpose flour in cookies. Cake flour contains less gluten and gluten makes the cookies chewier. On the other hand, bread flour contains too much gluten. The all purpose flour is the happy middle-ground here.
Another thing about flour, is that you may not correctly measure it. I always prefer to use a kitchen scale, because it's accurate and will yield the same results each time. Use the kitchen scale for flour, sugar and butter. Using too much flour will dry out your cookies and making them too thick.
If you don't have a kitchen scale, spoon flour into your measuring cup and then level it off with a butter knife. Then go get a kitchen scale for the next batch of cookies.
The Creaming Method
The first step in most cookie recipes, is to cream together the butter and the sugar(s). That is a very important step, as the sugar crystals cuts through the butter, giving more air to the cookies. 1-2 minutes with a mixer is sufficient, as you don't want to over-cream either. If you do you'll get too much air into the mix and the cookies will collapse in the oven.
In this recipe, we need granulated sugar in order to get the right creaming process. Granulated sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter, which gives thick and puffed cookies.
How to Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies are usually baked at somewhere between 325-375F (160-190C). Higher temperature will give crispier cookies. However, if you bake them for a shorter period of time, you can counteract that. I use 350F (180C) in this recipe, because it works. There's no shame in trying out lower temperatures, but you may need to bake them for longer.
I've also baked them on 375F which is also okay. Notice how some of these photos have more golden edges? Those were baked at 375. However, I think 350 is best.
I think this peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe is fairly forgiving concerning this issue. Especially if you chill the dough well!
I also always use the middle rack and only one sheet of cookies at a time. Using parchment paper isn't just to spare your baking sheet, but it will help your cookies bake more evenly.
Soft and chewy cookies are the best, right? Moisture is the answer. One thing that may prevent chewy cookies is the sugar ratio. Brown sugar has more moisture and will therefore create a more chewy texture. Granulated sugar will make crispier cookies, but also gives more air when creaming with the butter (read above).
That being said, I prefer to use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar. More brown sugar, than white. That way I get chewy cookies but with the delicious crisp edges and not too thin. You are welcome.
Vegetable shortening is also a pretty common ingredient in cookies, although not in chocolate chip cookies and not these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies either. And there's one reason for that: flavor.
Butter is so much more flavorful than vegetable shortening. But sometimes we need it. It contains 100 % fat, which makes it easier to work with concerning both spreading and chewy texture. Because of the higher fat content, it melts at a higher temperature too.
Eggs: Egg yolks have higher fat content than egg whites and thus if you omit one egg white and replacing it with an extra yolk, that could produce chewier cookies. That is what I've done in these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, but it's not necessary in this peanut butter chocolate chip cookies recipe.
Ingredients to Make the Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
So kind of to summarize what I'm saying above, here's why the ingredients in this recipe works.
- butter: I always go for butter because the flavor is impeccable in cookies! Butter gives medium spread and best flavor.
- eggs: binding the water and fat in the recipe together and gives a creamier dough and puffing the cookies up. Too much egg whites can dry them out.
- baking soda: lifts your cookies. Baking soda is used when there's acid in the recipe, such as brown sugar here! Some also combines it with baking powder for more lift if there's not enough acid in the recipe.
- flour: as I mentioned above, opt for all purpose flour as it gives the right amount of chewy texture.
- salt: salt = flavor.
- brown sugar: brown sugar gives both a caramelized flavor and chewy texture.
- granulated sugar: granulated sugar gives more air into the creaming process, but also crispy edges.
- add-ins: chocolate because chocolate is awesome. I've also substituted a little of the butter with peanut butter for that salty, nutty action.
How to Store Cookies / Can You Freeze Cookies?
I'm putting these two questions in one title because I feel these are variations of the same question. Yes, you can absolutely freeze cookies. The very best way to feeze cookies is to make little balls of the dough, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and then freeze the entire sheet.
Let them freeze for at least one hour, or until the cookie dough balls are frozen. Once they are, place them in a ziplock bag. Remember to write what kind of cookies, how long to bake them and date on the bag.
Once you're ready to re-heat them. Simply place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let them rest in room temperature while you pre-heat your oven. Add some extra chocolate chips on top if you wish, and bake for an extra minute or two (depending on how long they sat at room temperature).
Baked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (or any kind of cookie) can also be freezed. Place them on a baking sheet, not touching each other, and let them freeze until solid. Then place them in a ziplock bag. Now you can just take them out whenever you want.
And if you want that comforting warm cookie feeling, you just pop them in the oven at 120C for about 4-5 minutes, just to heat through them.
NOTE: I've place the cookie balls so closely together to use less space in the freezer (only one sheet). However, they need MORE SPACE when you bake them (see photo down in the recipe).
That is because freezing unbaked cookie dough balls is the best way of storing them! Bake just the amount you need that day, because once you place them in an air tight cake box or plastic bag, they tend to un-crisp around the edges. They are of course still good, but it's SO easy to just freeze them.
And who doesn't want right-out-of-the-oven peanut butter chocolate chip cookies?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
That may feel a little overwhelming, but I just want to make sure you understand the science behind cookie baking. I promise, this recipe is super easy.
Cream together the room temperature butter (65-67F/18-19C) with brown sugar and white sugar, for 2 minutes with a handheld or stand mixer on medium. Then add in peanut butter and cream 30 seconds more (1).
Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine (2).
Mix together flour, salt and baking soda and add to the butter mixture. Fold together using a spatula. Do not mix more than necessary. Add in chocolate chips or chocolate chunks and fold some more (3-4).
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. This will prevent the cookies from spreading. For maximum flavor, let the dough chill in the fridge for 24-72 hours.
Take your dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Start rolling your dough into balls. I prefer smaller sized cookies of about 1 tablespoon of dough each. Place 8-9 cookie balls on each baking sheet. Less if you want bigger cookies.
Add some extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie, slightly pressing them down, to make that classic chocolatey look of your cookies.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F (180C), and while you do that, place the cookie balls on a plate in the freezer. Optional step, but that way the dough will be really chilled once baking, also to prevent spreading the cookies too much.
Bake one sheet of cookies at a time, on the middle rack for about 10 minutes or until the edges are a little golden but the middle feels a little under baked. Let them rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to firm up before cooling on a cooling rack.
Cookies are the ultimate comfort food, and I love to mix it up. These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are great for all year round. And for Fall I'd opt for Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies, and for Christmas I love these Eggnog Cookies with Maple Frosting, or Norwegian goodies like Christmas Men and Gingerbread cookies.
Enjoyed These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? Check these out as well!
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Chocolate Rice Puffs
- Salted Caramel Macarons with Homemade Caramel
- Vixen's Eggnog Cookies with Maple Frosting
- Norwegian Christmas Men Cookies
- Norwegian Gingerbread Cookies
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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