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Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter cookies are a classic, not just because they’re delicious, but because their salty-sweet tastiness is unmatched by other types of cookies. One of the things that I enjoy about peanut butter cookies is that they can come in so many different forms, including both very crisp and very chewy styles. These Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies are an easy to make option for anyone who is a fan of chewy peanut butter cookies.

Unlike most peanut butter cookie recipes, these use melted butter and a bit more sugar than average. When butter is creamed with sugar to make a cookie dough, it creates little pockets of air. When melted butter is used, the cookie dough is a bit more dense – and the finished cookies are a bit chewier. A little bit of extra brown sugar almost caramelizes in the dough, giving the cookies a little bit of extra chew and helping them to stay moist even a couple of days after baking. I finished the cookies with a small pinch of salt, just to contrast with the brown sugar and ensure that the cookies keep their salty-sweet goodness.

It is important not to overbake these cookies if you want them to stay chewy. If they’re left in the oven for too long, they’ll become quite crispy (which is delicious in its own right). You want to bake them until they are just set on the edges, but take them out of the oven before they have had a chance to brown. The cookies will continue to bake and set up as they cool on the hot baking sheet, yielding a cookie that is chewy but tender once they’re ready to eat.

These cookies are delicious on their own, but they also make great sandwich cookies. They’re wonderful when sandwiched with peanut butter and jelly – because who can resist a PB&J, right? – and excellent when sandwiched with chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Feel free to experiment a bit with different flavors. That being said, if you plan to change the size of these cookies, you’ll need to adjust the baking time. If you make them smaller, aim for the same color and plan to take them out a few minutes early. If you want to make them larger, you may have to lower the baking temperature to ensure they cook completely without becoming too crisp.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (national brand)
pinch of salt, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugars until well-combined. Stir in egg, vanilla extract and peanut butter, followed by the flour mixture. Mix until dough is uniform and no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on baking sheet, leaving at least 1 1/2-inches between cookies to allow for spread. Dip a fork into water and use the tines to press a crosshatch pattern on each cookie, flattening the ball to about 3/4-inch thick (i.e. don’t flatten it too much!). Sprinkle cookies with a tiny pinch of salt.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are just set on the outside edge. Cookies will still be fairly pale.
Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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  • Natalie
    December 6, 2017

    I love peanut butter cookies and usually makes a gluten free version, but these look so delicious I simply have to try them.

  • Moxxi
    January 2, 2018

    I have been making cookies for decades so I am not sure what happened here, the taste appears to be fine however I have never in my life had a cookie come out so thin.

  • Nicole
    January 3, 2018

    Hi Moxxi, I can’t say for certain what happened with your batch, but these cookies shouldn’t be too thin. Often, when cookies spread too much in the oven, it might be that the batter was too warm going in (from the ingredients or even the kitchen being too warm). In the case of peanut butter cookies, it may have to do with the peanut butter, as some brands separate and extra oil may have gotten into the batter, causing them to spread too much. In any case, I’m sorry to hear that your cookies spread more than they should have, but glad that you liked the flavor. If you do give them another try, consider chilling the dough for an hour before baking to see if that helps.

    Thanks for reading, Nicole

  • Moxxi
    January 4, 2018

    Thank you for the tips. My batter was chilled and my kitchen stays at a constant 56 degrees, 65 max if I leave the window closed. I have little ventilation in my kitchen so I have to keep it cool due to the humidity molding my dry goods. I used jif peanut butter, same one I have been using for years, my husband loved the cookies but neither of us can figure out what went wrong.

  • Nicole
    January 4, 2018

    Moxxi – I’m sorry to say that it’s a bit of a mystery to me, as well! It sounds like your kitchen is the perfect cookie environment. I’ve made these quite a few times, but I’ll try to play with a batch over the weekend and see if I can figure out what might have happened.

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