Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day.

And it just so happens that I’ve made the best peanut butter cookies of my entire life in honor of it.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

I am a huge, ridiculous peanut butter fan, lover, and connoisseur. I have quite the collection of recipes using it: 35 Favorite Peanut Butter Recipes, 20 Peanut Butter RecipesPeanut Butter and Jelly Recipes, and a master compilation of all the Peanut Butter Recipes I’ve blogged about. Yes, I love peanut butter.

I’m not one to throw around labels like ‘The Best’ or ‘Best Of’ if I really don’t think something is. When people talk and every other thing is amazing, life-changing, or the best, I tend to not take them seriously. Some things are good, some things are great, but to say The Best means there’s very little, if any, room to improve. But I can proudly say, these cookies get my vote as The Best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever made.

MY OTHER RECIPES

And here’s the most amazing thing about these cookies. There’s no flour, no butter, and no white sugar used. And they taste better than any other peanut butter cookie I’ve had, many of which use plenty of those ingredients. Edited to add: For those compelled to comment that brown sugar is white with molasses added, yes, I’m aware.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

I tweaked my nearly three-year old recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies and with a few changes, it went from a recipe that was very good and has served me quite well for years, to something that is dangerous to have in the house. It’s a good thing this is a 16-count batch size. Or, if you make them larger, about one dozen cookies.

They’re the easiest cookies you’ll ever make, with only six ingredients, and one of them is vanilla, which hardly counts. The recipe is naturally gluten-free because there’s no flour, and it’s one egg away from being vegan.

There are countless versions and variations on flourless peanut butter cookies. I’ve seen various types of peanut butter used, from creamy to crunchy, natural to not. The type and quantities of sugars vary, from using all granulated to all brown, to a combo of both. The inclusion or absence of baking soda; warm versus chilled dough; dough rolled in balls or dropped from tablespoons; fork-tine crossmarks and not. There are so many little tweaks that can be made to a four to six-ingredient recipe.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

For my version, I used one cup Peanut Pan Creamy Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and I don’t advocate using natural or Homemade Peanut Butter. As lovely as homemade peanut butter is for eating with a spoon, spreading on toast, or making pans of bars with, it lacks the structure that storebought peanut butter has. Because these cookies have no flour which would lend structure, using peanut butter that’s oily, natural, and loose is going to result in cookies that are loose and may not bake up as thick.

You could try using natural peanut butter and I’ve seen some people have success, but I get much better results with commercial. Good old-fashioned Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan are my recommendations. I detest nuts in baked goods and creamy peanut butter is the only way for me, but if you like little pebbles in your cookies, go with crunchy.

Homemad Peanut Butter averiecooks.com

Add the peanut butter and light brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Spraying the measuring cup with cooking spray will help it plop out easier. In my former recipe, I used three-quarters cup granulated sugar and one-quarter cup brown sugar, but in the past three years, I’ve learned some things.

I’ve learned that I strongly prefer to use brown sugar when possible. It helps baked goods stay moist and soft, and it adds greater depth of flavor than granulated sugar. Most recently I made Brown Sugar Maple Cookies using only brown sugar and was so pleased with the soft. moist,  and tender results, that I used exclusively brown sugar in these peanut butter cookies.

Please don’t write to tell me that brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added. I’ve been told that about 500 times. I am making a taste claim about brown sugar, not a health claim. You cannot get the flavor from white sugar that brown sugar lends.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

To the peanut butter and brown sugar, add one egg, one tablespoon of vanilla extract, and one teaspoon baking soda. In my old recipe, I only used one-half teaspoon vanilla, but I am a vanilla fiend and added it amply enough to matter; one tablespoon. No more of this half-teaspoon business, but if you’re one of those people who prefer less, go with less. I go with more.

I didn’t use baking soda in the past, and in looking back at those old photos, the cookies are thinner because there was no chemical leavening. Part of the thinness also stems from baking with warm dough, but I’ve since corrected the errors of my ways on both accounts.

Mix all the ingredients until well-combined. The brown sugar is gritty and granular for the first few minutes of beating, so make sure to cream the ingredients until the sugar has smoothed out and the dough is nice and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The dough comes together, even without flour, and remarkably it’s not a sticky mess, thanks to the natural oils in the peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

These cookies would have been perfectly fabulous without adding chocolate, but chocolate and peanut butter is quite possibly the best food pairing on the planet. I decided to go for broke and add as much chopped chocolate as I possibly could. I used six ounces of a roughly diced 72% Pound Plus Bar. I like the darkness and slight bitterness of the chocolate, contrasted with the honey in the peanut butter, and with molasses that’s naturally found in brown sugar. Most semi-sweet chocolate chips are in the 50 to 55% range, and I relish the extra bump in dark chocolate intensity.

Unlike chocolate chips which have stabilizers added to them, which slow down the rate the chips melt when heated, chocolate bars and baking chocolate don’t have them and when heated, the chocolate pools and forms puddles, rivers, and streams that run through the cookies.

Add the chocolate and beat momentarily to incorporate, and as tempting as it is to bake the cookies right away because the dough is just so good, it must be chilled for at least two hours, up to five days, before being baked for thicker, puffier cookies. Baking with warm dough is a recipe for flatter pancake cookies, as my old photos show.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

Using a medium-sized two-inch cookie scoop, form the dough mounds. This translates to almost two tablespoons of dough, or about 1.60-ounces by weight. For this batch of cookies, I made 16 balls, ate two, baked 14. You could divide the dough into 16 pieces for medium-to-smaller cookies like I made, or divide it into one dozen pieces for slightly larger cookies. These aren’t jumbo bakery-style cookies, which means you can have seconds. Or fourths.

Place the dough onto baking sheets about two inches apart, about 8 per tray. Prior to baking, flatten the mounds slightly. If your dough is very well-chilled, you can flatten them a bit more so they don’t stay mounded up in little puffballs while baking, just don’t over-flatten like I recently cautioned against.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

Bake at 350F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, but I really recommend the lower end of that range. The cookies in the photos were baked for eight minutes exactly, with the trays rotated once at the four-minute mark. The cookies will look underdone at eight minutes, but firm up as they cool. Let them cool on the baking trays for 5 to 10 minutes before moving them.

If you like crispy and crunchy peanut butter cookies, this probably isn’t the recipe for you since these are all about soft, chewy, and melty. But if you prefer slightly more well-done cookies, go for nine-ish minutes, maybe ten, but I would not bake them longer than 10 minutes or they’ll set up too firm and crunchy as they cool, and you’ll miss out on the ooey, gooey, melt-in-your mouth qualities, which are make these my favorite peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

Yes, they’re a new favorite. The dough itself is as robustly peanut butter flavored as you can get. There’s no butter and no flour to take away any of the intensity of flavor. Just pure peanut butter intensity. The honey roasted peanut butter makes for a slightly sweeter cookie than using regular peanut butter, and it’s a great contrast to the bittersweet dark chocolate.

The exclusive use of brown sugar keeps these cookies moist beyond words and they stay soft for a week. Or keep the unbaked dough in your fridge and bake off two or four mounds at a time. The recipe makes a small batch anyway, and I doubt you’ll have to worry about lingering leftovers or these gooey nuggets stale on you. You’ll have to worry more about when you’re going to fit in some additional cardio.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies - The BEST PB Cookies! NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy and oozing with dark chocolate!!

The edges have a bit of chewiness to them, the interior is so soft and tender, the peanut flavor is distinctly present, and chunks and rivers of dark chocolate ooze everywhere.

It’s hard to believe there’s no butter, no flour, and no white sugar in them.

They’re my definition of the perfect cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever made or eaten. And the most amazing thing about them is there’s no flour, no butter, and no white sugar used. And they taste better than any other peanut butter cookie I’ve had, many of which use plenty of those ingredients. They’re melt-in-your mouth soft and chewy, and extremely moist. They’re intensely peanut-butter flavored and because there’s no butter or flour added, the purity of the peanut butter shines though. There’s no white sugar, just brown sugar, so the cookies have richer flavor and stay soft for days. They’re bursting at the seams with dark chocolate, a perfect pairing for peanut butter. They’re naturally gluten-free, easy, and fast to make. They’re my new favorite peanut butter cookie.

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I prefer creamy honey roasted; plain or crunchy may be used; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter – see below)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semi-sweet, dark, or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips may be substituted)

Directions:

  1. To the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and the sugar is fully incorporated and is mixture is no longer gritty or granular. Stop to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Although natural peanut butter or homemade peanut butter may work, I recommend using storebought peanut butter like Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan or similar so that cookies bake up thicker and spread less. Using natural or homemade peanut butter tends to result in thinner and flatter cookies that are prone to spreading.
  2. Add the baking soda and beat to incorporate.
  3. Add the chocolate and beat to just incorporate; don’t overmix or the nice chocolate chunks will break down.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form two-tablespoon mounds. If chocolate is falling out of dough since there is an abundance, roll ball between palms to encourage it to stay in the dough. Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are set and tops are barely set, even if slightly underbaked in the center. Watch them very closely after 7 minutes and I recommend not baking longer than 10 minutes. Cookies firm up as they cool, and baking too long results in cookies that become too crisp and hard. The cookies in the photos were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark, and have chewy edges with pillowy soft centers.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Only Eats

Edited To Add – Troubleshooting Tips

There are similar recipes on Allrecipes (2000 comments), The Food Network (275 comments), Epicurious (325 comments) – all with very high to nearly perfect user ratings and feedback. For anyone who has had trouble with my recipe, I recommend reading the comments on those other sites and perhaps they will help you troubleshoot your issues.

Also, googling “flourless peanut butter cookies” will pull up hundreds of bloggers who have similar recipes on their sites.

For example, Heidi of Foodie Crush made cookies using my recipe on her site here, minus the chocolate chunks. Rather than 1 cup brown sugar, she used 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Related Recipes

I love peanut butter!

35 Favorite Peanut Butter Recipes (as of September 2012)

20 Peanut Butter Recipes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes

master compilation of all Peanut Butter Recipes

Here are 10 favorites below:

1. Homemade Peanut Butter (vegan if plain peanuts are used, GF) – Ready in 5 minutes and you have not lived until you’ve made your own

2. Homemade Cookie Butter Peanut Butter (vegan, GF) – So similar to Biscoff or Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter and it comes together in minutes in the food processor. Dangerously good

3. Special K Bars (no-bake) – The recipe is from my Grandma and one of my favorite bars of all time and ironically was the first picture Foodgawker ever accepted of mine. 250+ later, it’s fun to think back

4. Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars – One of my favorite bar-desserts that I’ve ever posted (tied with the bars below it). If Seven Layer Bars (aka Magic Bars or Hello Dolly Bars) met a golden yellow butter cake rather than a graham cracker crust, that’s what these are like

5. White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars – One of my favorite desserts that I’ve ever posted (tied with the bars above) – There are four main layers to these bars. Gooey butter cake, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate chips, more white chocolate. The pictures don’t do them justice

6. Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies – So dense and rich they’re peanut butter fudge-like with jelly swirled throughout

7. Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011. Creamy, sweet, rich. A soft and sweet marshmallow-peanut butter top layer adorns a base of oats, sweetened condensed milk, and white chocolate. An all-time favorite

8. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – One of my favorite cookie recipes on my site. Chewy, filled with texture, and combines three of my favorite cookies in one – chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter – and very easy to make, no mixer required

9. Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of my all-time favorites, I love these cookies and they’re similar to the cookies above, but with white chocolate chips. I love them

10. Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars – Thanks to Pinterest, one of the most popular recipes on my site. No need for campfires, make s’mores at home. These smores have three layers, including a cocoa-crispy cereal top layer that’s made with peanut butter

And there’s no peanut butter in them, but these are my favorite Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

I wrote a Peanut Butter Cookbook

Do you like peanut butter? Love peanut butter?

Do you have a favorite recipe for peanut butter cookies? Or any favorite recipes using peanut butter? What are you eating or making in honor of National Peanut Butter Day?

Please tell me about them and leave links. I am always game for trying new peanut butter-based recipes.

526 comments on “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies”

  1. Pingback: Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies

  2. Possibly the BEST combination of peanut butter and chocolate in a cookie that we’ve had! This cookie was so simple and yet…so good!! We were happy that no flour was included. I think it made the cookie more moist and delicious. Sometimes cookies just have too much flour. I cleaned out my pantry and ended up using 3 different kinds of peanut butter to finish off the jars (creamy and crunchy) and then mixed a combination of dark chocolate squares (chopped) with semi sweet chocolate chips. The dough was a little hard to squish together but they held together nicely when baked! Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to share them with friends! :)

    • Thanks for the awesome comment, Chastity! Loved that you cleaned out 3 jars of PB (love it when recipes help w/ pantry cleanout!) and that you used a combo of various chocolates. Perfect! Flour can be so drying; you’re right. Thanks for telling me that they were such a hit for you!

  3. FYI most brown sugar is highly refined white sugar with molasses so you may want to clarify if you are using raw sugar which is typically brown but since you used light brown sugar it is most likely processed white sugar with molasses added. The difference between light and dark brown sugar we are accustomed to just differs in the amount of Molasses used.

  4. OK, I just had to click over here from your home page. I have seen these all over gwaker and I just have to make them. I just need to get rid of all of these sea salt and caramel brownies first. I have such a craving for peanut butter and chocolate right now that I just took a spoonful of peanut butter and topped it with some Nutella. It worked, but I’m positive that these cookies would be 10x better!
    xoxo, Jackie

    • Your brownies always look amazing. I want to try that Roberts/recipe of yours and also another brownie recipe Ive had my eye on. I do love my own go-to recipe though. Not sure if I should cheat on it..haha! As for these cookies, they are easy, fabulous, and the best PB cookies I’ve ever had. They’re not even in my book…I didn’t create them until just a couple mos ago (although there’s a version of them in my book, based on my older 2011 recipe this recipe is derived from) But you will LOVE them. It’s a VERY small batch recipe, making 1 dozen. Honestly, your kids will eat them in a day! I never, ever make big batches of stuff!

  5. Well if you’re aware what brown sugar is, it’s a big disingenuous to claim they have no white sugar, like brown sugar is a healthier alternative…

    • Picky – great name by the way!

      I like brown sugar. It’s not white; it’s brown. I’m not suggesting it’s healthier. Although I do prefer the flavor.

      If you have a blog, I’d love to take a peek at your recipes and come by and drop in a few comments!

  6. Pingback: Chocolate Recipes

  7. Hi Averie! Just wanted ask a quick question….does the dough get kind of oily?? I was just scooping these out and noticed a lot of oil in the container I had the dough chilling in. And I sort of was able to wring a bit of oil out when I formed them…lol! Followed the recipe as is, used regular Jiff. Popping them in the oven with fingers crossed I didn’t mess up somewhere! The dough was quite tasty, so I am sure they will taste delish! ;)

    • Yes it can separate a bit and be on the oily side and I’ve noticed some jars of PB are more prone to that (even if using Jif) – as well as temperature in the house effecting things, but you’ll be fine! LMK how they turn out!

      • That could be it! Having a heat wave in the desert SW! They did spread a bit, so they aren’t as pretty as yours, but they taste amazing! Hubs is standing here giving me a thumbs up and shaking his head yes with a mouth full of cookie :). Thanks for the quick reply and great recipe!

      • Oh whenever I bake in temps that are over about 80F outside, no matter how ‘climate controlled’ my indoors is, you cannot fool mother nature, or fool cookie science :) They do spread more, the dough is more oily, and in general, baking in hot weather adds another dimension to consider. If you are ever in a jam and don’t care about adding it, adding 1 to 2 tbsp of flour for this particular recipe will cure your problem immediately :) That, or REALLY, chilling the dough. Like 48 hrs. Scoop into balls right after you make it, put on a plate or in a tupperware, and refigerate for 2 days. Take the balls out and bake and they wont spread nearly as much. Glad they got 2 thumbs up from hubs! :)

  8. Hoping mine will turn out. The nature oils in the peanut butter separated on me. I used a combination of Jif and Simply Jif.

    Has anyone else encountered this problem?

    • Simply Jif is a natural-style peanut butter that separates and that’s why I caution against using it. I think you’ll be fine, but make sure the dough is VERY well-chilled before you bake them or they will turn flat.

  9. I made these cookies today, and they are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Pingback: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies » Dunk & Crumble

  11. I made these cookies this weekend and they are FANTASTIC! I only have a hand mixer so I beat the dough for about 5 minutes. It didn’t quite come together but after chilling for 3 hours I was able to form dough balls with my hands and they took on the darker color mentioned by some other commenters so I was excited. After trying them I’m even more excited! They are the best cookies I’ve made or had in a long time. This was my first time baking gluten free and you made it so easy! I also made your peach mango pineapple white sangria and boy is that good too!!! I already want to make another batch :) keep the good stuff coming!

    • Thanks for coming back to tell me you enjoyed the cookies (and tried your hand at GF-baking) Glad you were able to get the dough to come together using your hands (and yes with a hand mixer, you need to really beat the dough well, at least 5 mins+) and glad it all worked out. And that sangria, mmm, good stuff too :)

  12. Those look great, but I must say that brown sugar is white sugar with molasses. Sucanat would be a natural sugar, but brown sugar is highly processed. I’m sure they still taste great, though:)

  13. These cookies look awesome!!! I’m trying to find a great cookie recipe for a baby shower. They are going to be the favors put In cd sleeves. I was wondering if these would do good as jumbo cookies and would they hold up in the cd sleeves or are they to soft??

    Thanks

  14. Averie — I love the flavor of these cookies but mine came out awfully crumbly. I followed your directions exactly (I think) and only baked them for eight minutes. The dough seemed crumbly from the get-go (and I refrigerated it as directed and everything). Do you have any idea why they would have come out this way?

    • Yes it sounds like there wasn’t enough moisture in your dough…adding up to another 1/4 cup of PB (1 to 4 tbsp), give or take, would clear this right up!

      From brand to brand of PB, different sugar types, climate/humidity, etc. can all effect the consistency of dough. Just add a touch more PB next time and you’ll be good to go! (other options would include another egg yolk, or a splash of milk but a drop more of PB is probably the easiest)

  15. These are simple and delicious! I did have to use 2 eggs instead of 1 to achieve the right consistency however. I love chewy cookies and chewy cookies with peanut butter and chocolate? The BEST!

    • So glad you tried them and glad you made a gametime call to add in another egg to achieve the right consistency and that you’re so happy with them! Thanks for the field report (and on the coconut oil white choc cookies that you made too!)

  16. Brown sugar is simply white sugar and molasses so it’s a bit erroneous to make the claim of no white sugar. Have u tried this recipe with agave?

  17. Pingback: “Babe, we should make homemade bagels…” | Cricket's Cooks

  18. Yum! These are sinful. I’ve already made them twice. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Pingback: Tropical Green Smoothie

  20. I feel silly for asking this, but how much brown sugar? I couldn’t seem to find your amount. I saw the 3/4 cup white & 1/4 brown for the past recipe…so did you use 1 cup brown this time? Thanks!! They look SO good, I can’t wait to make them!

  21. Oops, never-mind! I only saw your text/commentary and didn’t see the actual recipe until now!

  22. Pingback: 5 Things | The Inner Harbor

  23. Pingback: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (gluten free) and my first CrossFit WOD | A Hungry Runner

  24. I just had to comment. I stumbled upon this recipe because the guy I am dating has an affinity for all things chocolate-peanut butter, and I wanted to bake him something extra tasty. The first thing to catch my eye was the mouthwatering photos. I was nearly sold. Then to see that they were flourless…Extra sold. I couldn’t wait to try this recipe.
    I had my doubts about how these cookies would come out, considering I’d not tried to bake cookies without flour before. But I just want EVERYONE to know, this recipe is just as Averie explains! Moist, irresistible, absolutely delicious. I will most definitely be making these as a go-to, easy baked good. I urge/hope all of you do the same!

    Can’t say it enough – SO GOOD.

    • I am so glad you love them so much and are signing the praises! Thanks for coming back to LMK you made them and it helps others know that yes, they work out, and very well at that :) Glad you and your guy are enjoying them!

  25. I made these a couple days ago and wish I had read through the comments first! I used regular creamy Jif and after adding the chocolate the dough went from nice and fluffy to dark and greasy. (I used Ghirardelli large-size 60% chips instead of chopped chocolate). I chilled for 5 hours and when I shaped them oil was oozing out of the dough and the dough did not want to adhere together. I baked 10 minutes. They did not spread and did not look done. Ended up topping a warmish cookie with vanilla ice cream and served in a bowl with a spoon. Loved the taste but wish it held together better and looked like yours do. Seems like several commenters who had oily dough used Jif – wonder if that is the problem?

    • I use Jif and I don’t have issue and this recipe has been around for ages…I am not unique in this one. If you google ‘flourless peanut butter cookies’ there will literally be tens of thousands of hits for it. I happen to use all brown sugar in these rather than my older 2011 version which uses a mix of granulated and brown sugars. There are tons of people who make it with success and write saying so but every now and then someone’s dough is very greasy. Could be climate? It’s very dry here in San Diego. If you add 1/4 cup of flour next time, that would certainly take care of any issues. Thanks for trying the recipe.

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