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.

5 / 5 ()
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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.

555 comments on “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies”

  1. This is my third time making these cookies since my husband was begging me to make these cookies. I eat gluten free due to celiac disease, and my husband eats gluten and he was shocked the first time around that these had no flour in them and they are gluten free. He gave some to his parents who were also shocked. I haven’t really learned to bake again since going gluten free, but these are the only ones and I love them. Thank you so much! Best cookies I have ever made.

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  3. Oh yummy. These are just delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  4. These cookies were Delish!!!! At the time I only had dark brown sugar so the cookies came out very dark… Next time, I will use light brown sugar .. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Oh my! These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them. I was wondering if you think it would work to add chopped peanut butter cups (Reeses), as opposed to the chocolate? Thanks for any suggestions!

  6. Pingback: Gluten Free Christmas Party Treats | geekgirlmae

  7. Well, I tried! I made these cookies twice. The first time I used a hand mixer (now I know why every one has a KitchenAid). The second time I used my brand new KitchenAid – ;) – with the paddle mixer. The batter was so greasy and granular. Not fluffy or creamed at all. I’m not a baker but I can read directions. Can some one please tell me what I’m doing wrong?? Thanks!

  8. Can you freeze the dough and save some to cook later?

  9. very very dangerous cookies!! THEY’RE ADDICTING! It’s hard to believe that these are flourless considering how moist and put together they come out!! Absolutely incredible. Will definitely be making these again in the future! Thanks! 

  10. Hello! This page has been edited so now I can’t see the recipe! Can you list out the ingredients again or point to where they are? Thank you! These are my fiance’s favorite cookies!!!

  11. Hi! Averie!
    I am impressed with how the muffin’s turned out! Amazing fluffy and browned ! I made regular sized and them for 10 min.! I thought they would be raw but I checked one before removing them from the oven and they were softly cooked!!
    Sugar isn’t needed! Thank God my grandkids will have a healthy snack! Now onto more of your recipes! Your a chef for us out there who can gladly make a recipe with results!!

  12. These are amazing! We’ve been trying out different cookie recipes and my daughter said these are the best cookies she’s ever tasted. Thank you!

  13. Do you have a reciepe for peanut butter blossom cookies ? Looking for a lower calorie cookie with just a little Hershey kiss on top.

  14. My husband and I are on a low carb diet. I revised the recipe a little bit to make it low carb. I used the same amounts of everything but I used Splenda Brown Sugar blend, Skippy natural no-stir peanut butter, and sugar free dark chocolate chips. These are AMAZING. By far the best low carb cookie I have ever had/made. We can’t get over how good they are. Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. Made those and they were the most amazing treat ever. My husband couldn’t believe they were gluten free and said they tasted like the real deal.
    I shared the recipe with my sisters and my friends.
    Thank you!

  16. Oh averie. I made these yesterday. And well, twice actually, and I’m not sure what went wrong. When I went to mix the sugar and peanut butter , egg a d vanilla together, it NEVER came together. I even left it to mix for minutes. I used it anyway and formed into balls, it was so greasy. It didn’t cook like a cookie. I let them cool completely on the sheet and they did stay together. They tasted good, but more like a peanut butter ball then a cookie. Second batch? Same thing!! Ahhhhh!!! Any suggestions why?

    • Sorry that you did not have success. It’s hard to troubleshoot when I wasn’t there. I really honestly don’t know since I have never had that happen and no one else has ever mentioned it to me. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  17. Should I try these with a hand mixer?

  18. These sound like they’re amazing! I was wondering around how many calories would it be for one cookie?

  19. Do you think that cold natural nut butter might work in the PB blender mini muffins or these cookies? I see that you say in many recipes that store bought is better so that’s why I ask. I don’t think that I would use my homemade peanut cashew nut butter because it is, even refrigerated, thinner than store bought. I do have a store bought chunky natural almond butter in the fridge that has a much more traditional kind of set to it, if that makes sense. Anyway, if you have a moment (or if anyone else has a suggestion), I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  20. These look so good! Could they be made into brownies as well?

  21. Hi Averie! We were looking for a decadent cookie to bring to a holiday cookie exchange. We like chocolate and peanut butter combos that are simple to make & tasty… and, this worked for us. True, these cookies can be a bit soft and gooey to handle, but they hold together just fine for a nice chew.

    The key, as you mentioned, is proper chilling and cookie size. We chilled overnight and chose a smaller (one tablespoon) portion of dough, so the finished cookie was easier to handle. We found store-bought, honey roasted peanut butter, as you recommended and loads of intense chocolate goodness from combining semi-sweet and bitter-sweet bars. As a note, we thought the gooey chocolate upstaged the peanut butter flavor some… it’s all good!

    We experimented with size and cooking time and will definitely try even smaller dough portions next time. We used a hand mixer with equal success, too. And, we agree, keep the cooking times precise and very short, to avoid the dough from spreading the cookie too much. We even tried speeding up the final recipe by freezing the dough (for about 15mins. after mixing) and baking right away… what a mess that was, lol. The overnight refrigeration was the ticket–keeping the dough always chilled until use. Oh, and the somewhat soft, oily batter, like others might have experienced, was nothing to worry about with us. Thanks!

    We posted a few pics on Pinterest, if anyone is interested:

  22. This recipe minus the chocolate chunks makes a great peanut blossom cookie! I was skeptical but I think this is better than my previous peanut butter cookie recipe. To make peanut blossoms, do everything the same minus the chocolate chips. Cook your peanut dough balls and when you remove them, press a dark chocolate hershey’s kiss into the center and let cool.Thank you for creating this!

    Rating: 5
  23. Very good cookie. Easy to make. My husband loved them.

    Rating: 5
  24. I just made these cookies for the 3rd time and I have to say they are The Best! It’s 1am right now and the 2nd batch just came out of the oven. I have already eaten one from the first batch “just to check how it turned out”. Hubby was sleeping with our son, woke up, ate one himself, moaned with pleasure and went back to bed. I didn’t have brown sugar so used white, and also only had 4 oz of choc chips, but they still turned out divine. I only wish there were fewer calories in these things, so I could make them more often…

  25. I just wanted to let you know that your recipe is fantastic! I live in Berlin Germany and I was a little concerned about the peanut butter because it’s not exactly the same as in the states. I made these cookies for a neighbor’s birthday party who is celiac. Anyway I made the cookie dough and was a bit concerned because it seem quite oily not to mention that I’m so stupid and didn’t read ahead that one should chill the dough for two hours at least. Well I had a half an hour in the freezer and let me tell you the cookies came out fantastically! Crispy chewy crunchy goodness and everybody was amazed that there was no flour used! Now all my German neighbors have to have the recipe so I am converting it to metric for them. I hope you don’t mind. :-)Thank you again so much!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad the recipe came out great for you! Yes this is a super oily dough (since it’s all fat and nothing to soak it up, no gluten/flour). Glad that your peanut butter worked just fine, too! And that’s so nice of you to convert to metric for your friends/neighbors!

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