These amazing chewy peanut butter cookies truly are the best I’ve ever had. They’re thick, soft and chewy and full of creamy peanut butter and Reese’s peanut butter chips. You won’t be able to eat just one!
The word “best” can get thrown around a lot, but these thick and chewy peanut butter cookies truly are the best I’ve ever had. I went through many recipe tests to nail the perfect chewy peanut butter cookie and finally nailed it. They are similar in flavor to my classic peanut butter cookies but the texture is a bit different.
What makes them so special? They are THICK–but when you break them open, they’re soft and chewy and have the perfect balance of salty and sweet. They’re also loaded with Reese’s peanut butter chips which really adds to the flavor. These remind me of cookies you’d find in a bakery: they’re larger than standard cookies and absolutely gorgeous!
What kind of peanut butter should I use for chewy peanut butter cookies?
There are a ton of different peanut butters in the supermarket: from creamy to chunky, from all-natural to salt-free. I tried a variety of different peanut butter types with this recipe and found that Skippy peanut butter produced the best result–but feel free to use another similar brand. Skippy has added sugar and stabilizers, which means the peanut butter is already slightly sweetened and the fat won’t separate from the peanuts, like you’d see in natural peanut butter. It also has a smooth, thick texture which produces exceptional cookies.
How to make chewy peanut butter cookies
- Once you’ve measured out your ingredients, cream the room temperature butter and sugar together for about three minutes on medium speed. I prefer doing this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you can also use a handheld mixer if that’s what you have. Just be careful not to overmix the dough if using a handheld mixer because it’s more likely to incorporate extra air and produce more gluten, which can produce tougher cookies.
- Next, add the peanut butter to the mixture and continue to cream it with the butter mixture for about a minute. You’ll want to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- The next step is to add your egg, vanilla, and milk. You can whisk these together and pour them into the bowl, mixing your batter on medium speed. Because of the high fat content of the mixture at this point, the egg has a harder time emulsifying. Be sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula and mix on medium to high to get everything to come together.
- Lastly, combine all the dry ingredients together and mix them in to your dough in 2 additions. Be careful to mix just until the ingredients are combined. Again, you don’t want to overmix your dough.
- The last step is to add in the Reese’s peanut butter chips. Once they’re combined, press the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. These cookies bake great without refrigerating, but you can refrigerate (or even freeze) them if you want to. My favorite way to save the dough for later is to preroll the cookies into cookie balls and put them in a Tupperwear. Then, store in the refrigerator or freezer until you want to bake them, and bake them directly from the fridge or freezer. They will be slightly thicker if you bake them cold, but even baking them right after making the dough makes thick, chewy cookies. Another option to speed up chilling time is to roll the dough into balls, arrange them on the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- This recipe makes 18 large cookies, approximately 60g each. You can either use a scale to measure them out or just eyeball the size. Roll each piece of cookie dough into a ball before placing it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spread them out evenly and slightly press down on each dough ball before putting them in the oven.
- Bake the cookies just until the edges are slightly browned, about 12 minutes. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get. When you pull them out of the oven, the cookies will continue baking from the residual heat. Let cool completely before devouring.
Can I add chocolate chips?
You definitely can! If you want to add chocolate chips, substitute half of the peanut butter chips with whichever chocolate chips you like. I prefer milk chocolate chips with this recipe, but you can use whatever kind you like.
Tips for making chewy peanut butter cookies
- Use a thick, creamy peanut butter for these cookies, like Skippy. It will produce the best result and help develop that thick, chewy texture we’re going for.
- While you want to beat the butter and sugar together thoroughly to ensure they are both emulsified well and the mixture develops a significant amount of air, overmixing your cookie dough, especially one the flour is added, will make the cookies tougher and less soft. Therefore, after you’ve creamed your butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes, simply mix each ingredient in until it is just combined and then turn off the mixer to prevent overmixing.
- I recommend chilling the cookie dough before baking if you have the time. This prevents the cookies from spreading too much and also gives the gluten in the dough a chance to “relax,” producing softer, thicker cookies. However, they bake up great at room temperature, too!
- Before adding the dry ingredients to your batter, mix them together to evenly distribute the salt and baking soda.
More delicious peanut butter recipes
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Milk Chocolate Cookies: Take your cookies up a notch by adding pretzels! These cookies have an exceptionally soft and chewy cookie with the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake: These gorgeous yet easy to make lava cakes ooze with chocolate peanut butter goodness. Best paired with vanilla ice cream 🙂
- Peanut Butter Balls: This six-ingredient dessert is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. These creamy peanut butter truffles are dipped in dark chocolate for a truly decadent bite.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins: Love PB+J? Make it a dessert with these peanut butter and jelly muffins. They are perfectly moist and delicious.
- 1 3/4 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (190g) creamy peanut butter, like Skippy
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (300g) peanut butter chips, preferably Reese’s
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat until combined. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add flour in two additions and beat on low speed just until combined. Then add peanut butter chips. Do not overmix.
- Optional: Cover dough tightly and chill for a minimum of 2 hours (or up to 3 days). Chilling will make the cookies less prone to spreading while baking. If the chilled cookie dough is hard to handle, leave it on the counter for a few minutes to soften.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
Drop rounded balls of dough (57g/each or about 2-3 tablespoons), onto prepared baking sheet, leaving 2-inches/5cm between them. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are puffy and begin to brown at the edges. Cookies will appear undone but will continue to bake on the warm baking sheet. Leave cookies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.