Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies — These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are hands down the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever made. Know that I don’t say that lightly! They’re melt-in-your mouth soft and chewy, and extremely moist!
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
January 24th 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.
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 Recipes, Peanut 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 peanut butter chocolate chip 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.
I tweaked my older 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 easy peanut butter cookie recipe makes 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.
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.
Yes, these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are 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.
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.
What’s in Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies?
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. Here’s what I used in these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe:
- Creamy peanut butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda
- Chocolate chips or chunks
How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.
To the peanut butter and brown sugar, add an egg, vanilla extract, and baking soda. 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.
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 6 ounces of a roughly diced 72% Pound Plus Bar.
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 2 hours, up to 5 days, before being baked for thicker, puffier cookies.
Using a medium-sized two-inch cookie scoop, form the dough mounds. This translates to almost 2 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 them.
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 8 minutes exactly, with the trays rotated once at the 4-minute mark. The flourless peanut butter cookies will look underdone at 8 minutes, but firm up as they cool. Let them cool on the baking trays for 5 to 10 minutes before moving them.
Can I Make These With Natural Peanut Butter?
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 with it — but I get much better results with commercial. Good old-fashioned Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan are my recommendations.
Can I Use Crunchy Peanut Butter Instead of Creamy?
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.
Should I Use Chocolate Chunks or Chips?
Use whichever you have on hand to make these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! I like the darkness and slight bitterness of chopped 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 chipsm which have stabilizers added to them that slow down the rate the chips melt when heated, chocolate bars and baking chocolate don’t have them. When heated, the chocolate pools and forms puddles, rivers, and streams that run through the cookies.
Can I Add Other Mix-Ins?
You probably can, but I’ve never tried it myself so I can’t say for sure. But I imagine substituting chopped nuts for part of the chocolate chunks would be fine.
How to Store Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These flourless peanut butter cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Can I Freeze Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Yes, pre-baked flourless peanut butter cookies will keep 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.
Tips for Making Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.
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, bake them for 9-ish minutes, maybe 10. 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 chocolate peanut butter cookies.
If you run into issues while making these peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, I suggest reading through the comments on similar recipes online. 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Add the baking soda and beat to incorporate.
Add the chocolate and beat to just incorporate; don’t overmix or the nice chocolate chunks will break down.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
- *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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 166mg Carbohydrates: 18g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
More Peanut Butter Desserts:
Did you know that I wrote a Peanut Butter Cookbook? It contains 100+ recipes that feature peanut butter as the key ingredient!
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