I’ve taken the very best qualities from my three favorite peanut butter cookie recipes and combined them for this delicious rendition. I couldn’t have gotten there without Chris Kimball, Kim Severson, Stella Parks, and Sarah Kieffer. And truly, the research was never a chore.
These are sandy, crispy, chewy in the center and stuffed with pieces of honey sweetened peanuts and mini chocolate chips. They are my perfect cookie. After baking, stack and freeze in a ziptop bag for 3 months. (Oh Sure. That’s hilarious. They are delicious straight from the freezer. Ahem.)
Two notes: I used King Arthur flours, Kerrygold butter, Fix and Fogg or Jif creamy peanut butter, and Diamond Crystal Salt. Be sure to make the honeyed peanuts first — it takes about 7 minutes start to finish — so they are cool enough to chop when you need them.
Makes 24 3-inch cookies
2 1/4 cups (270 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (28 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, preferably European, at room temperature
1 cup (215 grams) creamy peanut butter (see note)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (225 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (100 grams) Honey Candied Peanuts (recipe follows), chopped to the same size as the mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup (165 grams) mini chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, whisk together the two flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (or with a handheld mixer), beat the butter and peanut butter until no streaks of butter remain. Add the two sugars and beat until lightened and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until no streaks of egg remain, then add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the flour mixture all at once and run the mixer on low until the dough is almost cohesive. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, by hand using a stiff spatula, stir in the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips.
Stick the bowl of the mixer in the refrigerator to cool and rest the dough (15 to 20 minutes will make all the difference) while preheating the oven to 350F and lining three baking sheets with parchment. Use a 2 tablespoon scoop and place 8 cookies on each baking sheet. Use a fork dipped in flour to make the signature crosshatch on the top of the cookies.
I prefer to bake these cookies in the center of the oven, one pan at a time, for 12 to 14 minutes. The cookies will look soft when removed from the oven. Let them cool on a rack in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes, then slide the parchment with the cookies on to the cooling rack and let them cool another few minutes before trying one.
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
In a nonstick skillet over high heat, heat the honey and water until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the peanuts. Shake the pan to coat the nuts in the honey mixture. Continue to cook, shaking the pan, and turning and moving the nuts constantly so they do not burn. When the liquid has evaporated and the peanuts are lightly caramelized, pour them out on the parchment. Let them cool completely before attempting to chop them. Leftovers are wonderful in salads, over ice cream or yogurt, or all by themselves as a crunchy, sweet, salty snack.