Soft and Chewy Toffee and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
One of my favorite cookies are my blog are these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
And one of my favorite, but underused, add-ins are toffee bits. Why not combine the two? So I did.
I recently saw these Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits in the Target baking aisle and promptly tossed them in my cart for a rainy day.
Toffee bits remind me of riding my bike to Dairy Queen for Heath Bar Blizzards during the summer when I was a kid. It was an extra quarter to get like quadruple the amount of Heath bar chunks. Money well spent.
The rainy day came much sooner than anticipated in the form of these soft, slightly chewy, extra peanut buttery cookies loaded with toffee bits.
I used my recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies and instead of adding chocolate chunks, I added the toffee and milk chocolate bits. No earth-shattering changes made, but the recipe is so good as written, and I didn’t want to mess with it much.
That recipe boasts, “There’s no flour, no butter, and no white sugar used”, and it’s one of my most popular recipes on Pinterest.
These cookies are the same. There’s no flour, butter, or white sugar added. Please don’t write to tell me that brown sugar is really just white sugar with molasses. I’ve been told that one or four hundred times. I am not making a health claim about the sugar. I am making a taste claim.
I love the way brown sugar-based cookies taste. And brown sugar always creates softer cookies than those made with white sugar and these are wonderfully soft.
Because there’s no butter and no flour to dilute the flavor, you’re left with intensely peanut buttery cookies. The best kind.
95% + of people who make the other recipe love them and have great success. I also have a 2011 recipe that’s nearly identical, and I made a similar recipe for my cookbook, which I tested and retested until we were swimming in cookies, so I can never fully understand why a few people have issues.
You must really cream the first four ingredients together, very well, for at least 5 minutes, and more if you’re not using a stand mixer. Don’t shortchange this step.
The dough is oily. There’s no flour and no where for the oil to be absorbed, so the dough is oily, and some brands of peanut butter are more oily than others. I bake with either Jif Creamy or storebrand peanut butter from Ralph’s grocery store. It’s half the price of Jif and I get similar results. Interestingly, this jar of peanut butter was more oily than many, and my cookies baked thinner. Since it’s a natural product, variances happen.
Don’t use natural or Homemade Peanut Butter. It will exacerbate the oily issues, cause the cookies to spread, and bake thin and flat. Sometimes people write to say they baked with natural peanut butter and had success, but it’s a gamble.
You must chill the dough for at least 2 hours. No exceptions. Warm, limp, oily, flourless dough becomes a hot mess in the oven and your cookies will turn into crispy pancakes.
There’s no harm in making the dough, forming it into balls, and keeping them in the fridge for up to 5 days before baking, or freezing unbaked dough for up to 4 months. Bake as directed whenever you’re ready to bake. I have at least 10 different kinds of unbaked cookie dough at any given time just hanging out in my fridge and freezer. Rainy days.
The recipe makes 12 to 14 cookies. Perfect when you don’t want or need the temptation that comes from having oodles of peanut butter cookies just laying around.
The crunchy toffee adds an amazing texture contrast to an otherwise buttery soft dough. They also add slight saltiness, playing up the salty-and-sweet element.
There’s just enough chocolate to add flavor, without detracting from the full-on peanut butter punch these cookies pack.
My husband said these are the best cookies I’ve ever made.
Grab the napkins.
Soft and Chewy Toffee and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten-free)
These soft and chewy cookies have no butter, no flour, and no white sugar. Because there’s no butter or flour to dilute the flavor, they’re intensely peanut buttery. The toffee bits add so much crunchy texture to the otherwise buttery soft and tender dough. The toffee is slightly salty, playing up the salty-and-sweet aspect. There’s just a hint of chocolate for flavor, but it doesn’t detract from the full-on peanut butter punch these cookies pack. For successful cookies, make sure to really cream the first four ingredients together very well; don’t use natural or homemade peanut butter; and it’s mandatory the dough is chilled before baking so your cookies don’t spread too thin.
1 cup creamy peanut butter (Do not use natural or homemade peanut butter, it’s too runny and can separate – see note below)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
one 8-ounce bag Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits (or substitute about 3/4 cup toffee bits with about 1/2 cup chopped milk chocolate)
- To the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric mixer, 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, about 5 minutes, or as long as necessary (7 to 8 minutes). If beating with a hand mixer rather than a stand mixer, 7 minutes+ may be necessary. Don’t shortcut this step. Stop to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Batter may seem oily; this is okay. Note regarding peanut butter – 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 while baking.
- Add the baking soda and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute on medium-low speed.
- Add the Heath bits and beat to just incorporate; don’t overmix.
- 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 9 minutes, or until edges are set and tops are barely set, even if slightly underbaked in the center. 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, and have chewy edges with soft centers.
- 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 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
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Favorite Peanut Butter Related Recipes:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF) – My favorite ‘basic’ peanut butter cookies on my blog. My other favorites are in my book. There’s NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy & oozing with dark chocolate
Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies – No butter used in these soft, tender cookies with dough so good you won’t even want to bake them
Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting – I wish I put these cookies in my cookbook. They are amazing and not to be missed. Slightly chewier and less cakey than the storebought version and full of peanut butter flavor
Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Fluffernutter Cookies with Peanut Butter Buttercream – Peanut butter in the dough, along with Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips, and marshmallows before being frosted
Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – Richly and intensely chocolate-flavored cookies with NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used. They’re thick, dense, soft, chewy and almost brownie-like
Nutella Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Nutella, Peanut Butter, and cocoa make for a rich, soft, intensely fudgy cookie
Triple Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars – PB is used 3 ways
Two-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars (Gluten-Free) – So simple but so good
Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars – One of my fave bars. A soft and chewy, dense, buttery cookie dough base, topped with peanut butter cups, and creamy sweetened condensed milk
Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Dense, chewy, rich, intensely flavored and I have a similar recipe in my cookbook
Peanut Butter Comfort – My cookbook featuring over 100 Peanut Butter Recipes
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