Peanut butter cookies are a lunchbox classic in my book – and I admit that feeling is probably influenced by the fact that I had peanut butter sandwiches in my lunch boxes on a regular basis growing up. Peanut butter is salty, sweet and very satisfying to eat. When I turn peanut butter into peanut butter cookies, I tend to keep things simple and really limit the mix-ins that I use so that the peanut butter can stand out. These Salted Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies offer a simple twist on a classic peanut butter cookie recipe that makes them even more addictive.
The basic ingredients are those that you’ll find in most peanut butter cookies, but I wanted these cookies to have a really salty-sweet flavor and that can be difficult to achieve, since you don’t want to take that peanut butter too far into savory territory! The dough itself has a generous pinch of salt and is studded with pieces of sweet toffee candy. You can buy toffee bits already chopped up, or you can finely chop your own toffee. The bits should be similar in size to mini chocolate chips, not full size ones. Before baking, the cookies are sprinkled with a bit of coarse salt, which contrasts well with the sweetness of the toffee when you take a bite.
You will have to watch the oven a bit (or bake a test batch if your oven is tempermental) because the cookies should not take on much color as they bake. They should be set with a hint of brown around the edges. The bottoms of the cookies will be browned, but the cookies will be too tender when they are hot to turn them over. As long as you don’t overbake them, you will be absolutely fine. The cookies will continue to bake as they cool, so they will get a little extra heat after you pull them out of the oven.
The cookies are very tender and almost melt in your mouth as you eat them. They are packed with peanut butter. The toffee almost melts into the dough, leaving extra pockets of caramel sweetness that contrast perfectly with the sprinkle of salt on top of the cookies. Grab a glass of milk because you will find yourself eating them faster than you expect! The cookies – if you don’t find them gobbled up on the first day – keep well in an airtight container for at least a day or two after baking, too.
Salted Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toffee bits
coarse salt, for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter. Add in sugars and beat until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, followed by the toffee bits.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and use a fork dipped in water (to prevent sticking) to create a crosshatch pattern on the top of each cookie, flattening them down slightly. Sprinkle cookies with a bit of coarse salt.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, until cookies are set and the edges have a hint of brown. The bottoms of the cookies should be lightly browned, but the tops should not have very much color. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 30 cookies.