I don’t know how else to say this, but these are the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They’re light, chewy, and packed with chocolate chips and salty pretzels. If you love the combo of sweet and salty, these peanut butter cookies are for you.
No doubt, my family will disagree with this. My dad in particular. Peanut butter cookies are his favorite, and every year around the holidays, we make the classic version – you know it: brown sugar, an incredible amount of peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Oh and maybe a little flour to hold the whole thing together. Then, roll into balls, and give each the trademark hashmark with a fork.
This recipe is here to crush that recipe. Sorry, dad. But, this recipe, built on the bones of the indefatigable Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that the New York Times published in 2008, has won my heart, and I’m not going back.
How to Make the Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie
Making the ultimate peanut butter chocolate chip cookie all started with curiosity. I kept seeing a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel cookies. Or, cookies, as my friend put it that were “everything you wanted to put in your mouth at once.” Well, alrighty then. But, he’s right – that’s why I wanted to make them. So I did! And they were good!
But, could I get them to be even peanut-buttery-er? Could I wind more flavor into the dough so in each bite you could taste a bit of salt, a bit of chocolate, a touch of butter, and peanut butter? Could I create a cookie that you couldn’t stop eating after just one? A cookie you had to take to unsuspecting coworkers at work or to a friend’s house because you couldn’t be trusted to not eat all of them if they remained in the house?
I went back to the original recipe and began around with some of the ratios. I swapped out half the flour for bread flour, added baking powder as an extra leavening agent, and added crunchy peanut butter. I never use crunchy peanut butter when I bake. I was also apparently living under a rock because that stuff is goooooooood.
Cookie #2 was also good. But, as another tester friend irritably exclaimed, “what are you looking for, something transcendent? It’s a cookie!” Yes. Actually.
So, back to testing. I was bummed to let the brown butter go, but go it had to. Its nuttiness was overwhelming the peanut butter. And that can’t happen. I turned to Jaques Torres for help. Could the Jaques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe be altered to create the best peanut butter cookie ever? Could it be done without destroying what makes the original recipe so incredible?
Spoiler alert: yes.
The Jacques Torres recipe is fancy. It doesn’t use all purpose flour. It uses a mix of cake flour and bread flour, both of which have a different amount of gluten protein than all-purpose (AP) flour. (Cake flour has 8-10%, All purpose flour has 10-12%, and bread flour has 14-16%). By combining the two, the result is a light, chewy cookie.
The Jacques Torres recipe also uses a cup and a half of butter, a teaspoon and a half of salt, and eschews fine sea salt for coarse kosher salt. (This is my favorite kind of salt as it always makes its presence known within a recipe and adds layers of flavor. Unlike the shy wallflower that is table salt.)
To this genius recipe, I added crunchy peanut butter, half a cup of 53% chocolate chips, and a stupid amount of pretzels. I went a little pretzel crazy… I just kept adding them to the mixer. I think I ended up putting two and a half cups in. Maybe three. And then, I put it in the fridge for 24 hours.
I topped it with a little salt before baking and when I tried it… boom. Yes. This.
The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste Test
At this point, I had eaten too many peanut butter cookies to have an unbiased opinion. So when I met up with a friend to watch the sequel to Trainspotting, I brought three freshly-baked cookies, one from each batch. In my bag. To the theatre.
During the film, I snuck him one at a time, not telling him which was which. After he had tried all three, I leaned over and whispered, “So?” He held up what was left of the Jacques Torres peanut butter cookie. Huzzah.
The next morning, I baked what remained of the tinked-with original and the Jacques Torres Peanut Butter Cookies and brought them to my coworkers. By early afternoon, no Jacques Torres cookies were left.
So, this holiday season it appears a bake off is in order. In the meantime, my next challenge is to try and transform these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies into Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars!
5 Quick Tips for Baking Better Cookies:
* Cream the butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes.
* Use more baking powder for chewier cookies. For crispier cookies, use less.
* Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 24.
* Don’t overbake. Cookies will continue to bake on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven.
What are your cookie baking tips? Tell me in the comments!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are delicious!
- 1.5 cups cake flour plus 2 Tbsp.
- 1.3 cups bread flour plus 1 Tbsp.
- 1.25 tsp. baking soda
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1.5 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1.25 cups butter salted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- .5 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 2 cups pretzels or more
- .5 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl until combined.
Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar in stand mixer for 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
Turn speed to medium. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds before adding the second.
Add vanilla and peanut butter.
Turn speed to low. Slowly add flour mixture.
Add pretzels and chocolate chips.
Turn off mixer. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F and remove cookies from fridge.
Use #16 disher to portion out cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
Top each with a small pinch of flaky sea salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (disher size #16) or 8-10 if smaller. Bake just until edges are just golden. Baking times may vary depending on how long the dough has been out of the fridge, but be careful to not overbake.
Let cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet then move to cooling rack.