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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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)


  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.

530 comments on “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies”

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  2. These are amazing!! I made the dough last weekend and left them in the fridge. I was initially worried because the dough seemed crumbly and I was nervous about the cookies falling apart. Leaving the dough in the fridge for almost a week made it solid and I had to almost dig the dough out and it was very wet sand like. I took out portions and mushed them in my hands to create a nice round portion then flattened. They baked up perfect, not crumbly at all, and they are pretty much the most delicious cookies ever!! Almost ate half the batch last night. They’re not making it through the weekend. Thank you for posting this!!!

    • Thanks for trying the cookies and so glad you enjoy them! Working with flourless dough can be tricky – for some it’s sandy, for others it’s oily. I find chilling solves just about everything and glad you were able to scoop it out, shape it, and are enjoying the most delicious cookies ever! Thanks for telling me!

  3. Averie, I made these cookies last weekend and they were a hit with my friends! I’ll be posting about it on my website tomorrow. :)
    Thank you for a great recipe!
    I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

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  5. Pingback: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies | A. Baker Bakes

  6. I make my own version of these all the time! Now I’m going to incorporate your helpful tips! Thanks!

  7. Made these tonight and they were AMAZING!!! I used Peanut Butter Companies Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bc Im a chocolate fiend and I could have eaten all of them- my 4 year old just told me that he had 4 of them- not good but I understand :) Thanks so much for the recipe!

  8. Thanks for the great recipe! The peanut better recipe is brilliant. Thanks.

    In my most recent attempt at these, I accidentally used almond butter in here – tasted “just like” regular chocolate chip cookies. Who knew?

  9. I have a slight intolerance to egg. Is there anything i could substitute with it for this recipe?

    • Because there are so few ingredients, really just peanut butter, sugar, and an egg, I don’t know how it would turn out without. You could try a flax egg but I haven’t tested it to know if it works. If you try, LMK!

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  11. Just made a double batch of these one for the neighbors and one to share. YUM! Hubby esp is in LOVE!

  12. Dear God. These are so good they are ridiculous! I just made them and they are almost gone. The peanut butter and brown sugar (or more accurately white sugar in disguise for all the people who pointed that out because they have nothing better to do in life) is a fantastic combo. I added salt because I like my pb cookies a little salty. Gosh these are good. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks, Kiki! I love your comment and so glad these cookies were a big hit and almost gone! Re the white/brown sugar situation, thanks for seeing the humor in that and for what you wrote! It got to the point that between here, various pins on Pinterest, my Fbook page, my Twitter, my email, I literally had someone pointing this out to me, daily. Or more than daily. I wish I had that kind of time on my hands…gosh, must be so liberating to have all that free time :)

      But seriously so glad you tried the cookies and thanks for the awesome field report. I love it!

  13. I just tried to make these…the oil from the pb separated…I put it all in the fridge hoping it will come back together. What did I do wrong??

    • Since I wasn’t in your kitchen with you, I have no idea what you did wrong. If you used conventional PB like Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan, that’s very unusual.
      If you used any form of ‘natural’, light, diet, or homemade PB – then, that’s known to happen and that’s why I tell people not to use those types.

      If you provide more information, I may be able to troubleshoot more.

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  15. OMG!OMG!OMG! I have just baked these cookies using crunchy peanut butter and added white choc to the dark choc chunks and I have to say THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!! These are the BEST choc chip cookies recipe I have ever made (and trust me ive used quite a few different recipes…im not exactly an expert i tell ya!)
    I baked them for the first time today for tea while my fiance and I met our flower decorator for the wedding and the guy loved them so much he actually took some home with him!haha!
    The recipe was soooo easy to follow and i kept them refrigerated for a day and they were perfect,gooey and chewy!! 8 mins was the exact time i used as well except mine is a fan assisted oven so i lowered the temp to 160C instead of the 177C (converted from Fahrenheit)
    This is definitely going to be a new weekend tradition n would be great even for parties id say.
    Again Id like to thank you sooo much for the recipe! I will definitely try your other recipes soon!! Take care and enjoy ur summer! :-)

    • Hi Lisa and thanks for the glowing review!! So glad you liked them and that the flower decorator was so (randomly) in love with them, that you sent him home with a goodie bag of cookies! He should give you a discount for that :)

      Thanks for LMK you made these and so happy to hear great field reports like yours! Keep me posted if you try other recipes!

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  17. All of you leaving comments about the brown sugar…..get over yourself! If you don’t like what she has written by all means leave the page and create your own blog. I think they’re great….brown sugar and all!

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  19. Okay I need help! My dough is very crumbly, is this normal? I used normal Jiffy pb and new brown sugar (no chance of it crumbling or dried out), and because it was a little oily and warm outside, I added one and a half Tbs of flour (I think you suggested this in a previous comment for when it is warm outside and the dough is oily). All I have is a new hand mixer so I mixed for maybe 3ish mins. From the beginning it’s been crumbly, and after baking they fell apart! any suggestions?

    • I guess I could also add, the dough looks oily and is dark like your pictures, so maybe “crumbly” isn’t the right adjective, regardless they’re falling apart. They smell so good though! They may have to be used as an ice cream mix-in!

    • It’s hard for me to help you long distance because I have no idea where you went wrong because I wasn’t there. But a hand mixer for 3 mins does not sound long enough since they’re not as powerful as stand mixers. You want that PB, sugar, and egg to be totally smooth and combined. And I think you undermixed and that was the issue.

      Also, I probably wouldn’t have added the flour given that you said they were already crumbly.

      When you formed them into mounds, did you use a cookie scoop and really tightly compact the dough mounds? Using just a regular spoon and dropping the dough on trays probably didnt do you any favors, either.

      It really is a timeless recipe that’s been around forever in many variations. Here are nearly 700 positive comments

      And here are nearly 2000

      Most people have success with the recipe and I would say read over some comments and see if you glean any info and take my advice and cream better, use a scoop, don’t add flour, and use well-chilled dough that’s solid before baking. LMK what you try!

    • Jen, you posted earlier that you have a “slight intolerance to eggs”, did you maybe sub in something else? That would definitely change things.

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  22. Thanks for the recipe! I absolutely love these and I plan on making them again soon! :)

  23. Made these the other day with my best friend– a great recipe! :) They were a hit. I’ll definitely be making these again soon.

  24. I am cooking these as I write! I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  25. I made these last night because I had a huge craving for cookies- I was really impressed how easily these came together, and they were SO GOOD! I did use a “natural” chunky peanut butter because that’s what I had on hand, and though they were a little on the oily side, they turned out great! I’m sure they would set up a little better if I had actually followed your directions. :) Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Thanks for LMK that you tried them and they were a huge success for you, even with a natural PB. Sometimes people have luck; not always. But glad for you they were a hit. Woot! :)

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