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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter have an interesting relationship. The flavors pair well together in just about every application you can think of, from candies and cookies to the simple, decadent late-night-snack of peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches. The interesting thing is how delicate the balance between chocolate and peanut butter really is. It’s easy to use a too-sweet milk chocolate and make sugar the overly dominant flavor in the pairing. It’s equally easy to use a dark chocolate that is too aggressive, or in too large a quantity, and will overwhelm the peanut butter flavor.

As long as you keep the goal of getting a good peanut butter flavor and an equally good, not dominant, chocolate flavor, it’s not too hard to put together things like homemade peanut butter cups. Other recipes may be a bit harder to adapt and when I set out to make a chocolate peanut butter cookie, I knew that I wanted to start with a cookie base that had a very prominent peanut butter flavor.

My favorite flourless peanut butter cookies fit the bill. The recipe is primarily peanut butter, sugar and egg and almost nothing competes with the straight peanut butter flavor. I added a smallish amount of cocoa powder to the batter to make it a chocolate one. The cocoa powder has a very good chocolate flavor; it is my favorite way to boost the chocolate profile of a recipe. Plus, it does little else to the chemistry of the recipe, while something like melted chocolate adds more solids and more fat to the batter.

The resulting cookies were outstanding. They were chewy, with a hint of crunch on the outside, and were as addictive as any peanut butter and chocolate candy I’ve had. I used crunchy, organic peanut butter to get small pieces of peanut into the cookies (a non-organic national brand, like Jif or Skippy, will work just fine in this recipe, too) and stirred in some peanut butter and chocolate swirled chips (a product from Nestle), too. You can use plain chocolate chips if you want things to lean more towards the chocolate side, or peanut butter chips if you want more peanut.

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (natural or national brand)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp water
1/2- 3/4 cup chocolate and/or peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and water until smooth.
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients, including cocoa powder and water mixture. Add chocolate chips at the end of mixing.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with a moistened finger.
Bake for about 10-13 minutes at 350 F, until golden brown at the edges.
Cool on pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen.

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30 Comments
  • Sally McEntire
    April 2, 2008

    I was just getting ready to make peanut butter cookies. I’m going to make these ones instead! You’re right, it’s a delicate balance. Can’t wait to try these.

  • Tarah
    April 2, 2008

    All great things inside a cookie!

  • Chocolate Candy
    April 3, 2008

    Hey, I love cookies very much and these chocolate peanut butter cookie is looking delicious. Thanks for providing the recipe.

  • Patricia Scarpin
    April 3, 2008

    I love peanut butter but haven’t baked much with it. These look delicious, Nic!

  • Lauren
    April 3, 2008

    Oh yay a gluten free recipe!!! My dad has celiac’s disease and I love finding good gluten free desserts to bake for him. These sound delicious too!

    Also, Congratulations on reaching 100 cookie recipes 🙂 I love your blog and have baked many things from here, and they all turn out delicious!

  • Tracy
    April 3, 2008

    These looks scrumptious! Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is a winner in my book.

  • Eve
    April 3, 2008

    OMG Yum! I’ve just received a pack of Nestle swirls through the post via mail order (they’re not available here in the UK). I made chocolate PB muffins and threw a handful in, they were totally fantastic too! This looks like the perfect cookie equivalent, thanks Nic!

  • Spitzmaus
    April 3, 2008

    Oh, my! The recipe sounds stunningly simple and simply mouth-watering!! Just one question: Dutch process of ‘regular’ cocoa powder?

  • Ashley
    April 4, 2008

    I haven’t tried a peanut butter cookie recipe without flour. This looks delicious!

  • Nicole
    April 4, 2008

    Spitzmaus – Regular cocoa powder is what I used for this batch. Both should would out just fine, though.

  • pumpkinpie
    April 7, 2008

    I love this recipe, and have been meaning to make it but wanted a more chocolatey cookie. Your inspiration coudn’t have come at a better time. Thanks! My husband thanks you too.

  • Joanna
    April 10, 2008

    I made these for a friend who is moving back to California. He loved them and so did I. It always amazes me how cookies and cakes can be made without flour. I used smooth pb and the chocolate peanut butter swirled chips. Great recipe! Yum.

  • Jane
    June 24, 2008

    I just made these and they are really good! Thanks for the recipe!

  • emma
    January 8, 2009

    I’m making these right now. They are in the oven, and the smell is delicious. Only thing is, I forgot to add the baking soda. *lol* Well, I guess we’ll have hard cookies today.

  • Tiffany Williams
    January 18, 2009

    I just made these DELICIOUS cookies–they may have even won the heart of a recent boyfriend who now thinks I am a wonderful cook haha!

  • Megan
    June 6, 2009

    I had a craving for chocolate peanut butter cookies and I stumbled upon these little beauties. This is my new favorite cookie. They taste just like warm peanut butter cups when they come out. And they were so easy to make! Thanks for a great recipe. I love your site!

  • grace
    July 28, 2009

    Just made these cookies, i am standing in my kitchen waiting for the rest to be done baking! The batter is delish! coming from a girl who eats more of the batter than the cookie, thats def. a compliment, perfect balance of chocolate and PB!

    YUM!!!

  • Morena
    January 11, 2011

    were a hit for the family …what makes this recipe great is that it’s gluten free. Thank you for the delicious recipe…

  • joe brown
    September 2, 2011

    Just finished making these, “FANTASTIC” ! Chewey and delicious.

  • Julia
    September 17, 2011

    Just made these and they are awesome! I used regular Jif, dutch process cocoa and instead of chips, some chopped up peanut m&ms (which added a colorful and crunchy twist). I loved that they were super peanut-butter chocolately and not too sweet. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Rebecca
    March 5, 2012

    I just got an intense craving for something peanut-buttery and chocolaty. I had plenty of peanut butter, but no chocolate chips. I googled and come upon this recipe. I substituted a flax egg for the real egg, omitted the extra chocolate chips/peanut butter chips, and halved the recipe. These were perfect. Thanks!

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