Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Thanks to tropical storm Lee, it has been quite soggy here in Pittsburgh since Saturday. Grey skies, a constant rain with some downpours splattered in, much cooler temperatures, and overall pretty dreary has been the norm for the last few days. For the most part, I revel in weather like that – sometimes there is nothing better than a chilly, grey day to wash away any guilt you might feel for throwing on your comfiest clothes, curling up on the couch under a cozy blanket and watching some favorite movies, catching up on the DVR or reading a favorite book. Another fabulous rainy day activity – baking, of course! I got myself back into the kitchen after the long holiday weekend with one thing on my mind: cookies. Quite specifically, an amped-up peanut butter cookie with chunks of peanuts in every bite. These are now officially a perfect rainy day snack.

I have had a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe since I was a kid and baking holiday cookies with my mom. They are totally fabulous peanut butter cookies, which will always be a staple for holiday cookie trays. However, a few weeks ago I went to pick up my mom’s CSA bounty at a local farm, and they were selling a bunch of different homemade cookies. They had ginormous peanut butter cookies that I totally couldn’t resist. I bought one and started munching on it on my way home – it was a little crisper than I like my peanut butter cookies, but I loved that there were tons of peanuts mixed in.

Those beauties were my inspiration for these cookies – a great recipe from Dorie Greenspan that I kept pretty much the same, but I made them much larger. You know my motto when it comes to cookies – go big or go home! These go perfectly along with the Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies – all nice, big cookies that are soft and chewy, with tons of flavor!

One year ago: Banana-Nut Oat Bran Muffins
Two years ago: Coffeecake Muffins
Four years ago: Chocolate Rum Cheesecake

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: About 30 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 11 minutes per baking sheet

Total Time: 30 to 45 minutes


2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (not natural)
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups chopped salted peanuts

To Finish:
½ cup granulated sugar, for rolling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for two minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute or so until combined and creamy. Add the light brown and granulated sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about a minute after each addition, again scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing only until just combined. Mix in the chopped peanuts for about seconds.

4. Put the additional ½ cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Using a large cookie scoop (or about 3 tablespoons full of dough), scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. Drop the balls of dough into the sugar and roll around to coat, them place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. Dip the tines of a fork in the sugar and press the tines against each ball in one direction, and then in a perpendicular directions - the balls of dough should now be flattened rounds with crisscross indentations.

5. Bake the cookies for about 10 to 11 minutes, until they are lightly browned and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. (If you are re-using baking sheets, be sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.) Cool to room temperature. The cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Note #1: You can use creamy peanut butter, but I love all of the chunks from crunchy!

Note #2: You can use a no-stir natural peanut butter (such as Jif or Skippy), but not the stir kind that needs to be refrigerated.


48 Responses to “Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies”

  1. Molly! on September 7, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I gotta ask … why the preference on the peanut butter? What difference does it make whether or not you use separating natural peanut butter, or any other kind?


    • Michelle on September 7th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Molly, Because the separating natural peanut butter will be much too oily for this recipe, causing the cookies to spread and thin out way too much.


  2. Kathryn on September 7, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Those cookies look awesome and I love the idea of putting chunks of peanut in them!


  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on September 7, 2011 at 5:50 am

    We’ve been getting a ton of rain here, too. Those peanut butter cookies would get me through any weather:-)


  4. Katrina on September 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

    These sound heavenly. Love it!


  5. Cassie @ Bake Your Day on September 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I think peanut butter cookies are some of the most comforting out there. I love this recipe, chunky peanut butter is the way to go!


  6. Kristin on September 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Those cookies look delicious – and your pictures are gorgeous! I had the exact same inclination yesterday. If it’s rainy, cold and depressing out, what else is there to do but bake cookies? Mine were chocolate chip, though 🙂


  7. Sues on September 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite things in the world! I love adding a little honey to mine, too 🙂


  8. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on September 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    The weather has been pretty gross here too. These look so yummy and comforting!


  9. thelittleloaf on September 7, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Love your cookie motto – bigger is always better! These look super peanutty and delicious – peanut butter and chopped nuts. I love the whole salty-sweet thing that’s so popular at the moment, yum!


  10. Bev Weidner on September 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

    My eyeballs are so happy right now.


  11. Curt on September 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Aaaah, now you’re talking. You gotta use crunchy peanut butter. Extra crunchy is even better!


  12. Santiago Cardona on September 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I was looking for a PB cookie recipe last night actually. This means I have to make them now. Call it fate.

    I’ve been wondering lately how making the cookies bigger than what the recipe calls for affects certain things. Like: do the cookies spread differently? When placing it on the cookie sheet do you make them flatter and not as high? Do you bake them longer? Any help you can provide would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.


    • Michelle on September 7th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Santiago, I didn’t flatten them any differently than I typically would for a peanut butter cookie. They don’t really spread any differently, they’re just bigger. As for baking time – I just watch very closely. In this case, I was pretty close to the original baking time.


  13. Paula on September 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    A few of these while curled up under a blanket on a rainy day, reading or catching up on the DVR would keep me happy ’til the sun came out.


  14. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on September 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

    There is really nothing like a good peanut butter cookie. I think they would be the perfect comfort food dessert on a rainy day (we’ve been hit hard in NYC/NJ too!)


  15. Jen on September 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I have been craving cookies like these and have been dying to bake in this weather (I’m in the eastern panhandle of WV, so I have the same weather as you!). I settled for some peanut butter banana honey oatmeal cookies the other day to use up my ripe bananas, but I’ve made up my mind to make these tonight!


  16. Jessica @ Bake a Little on September 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Peanut Butter Cookies are such a great way to mix it up from the standard Chocolate Chips. I made a great version very similar to this and added Chocolate Chips to get that extra chocolate taste that I was craving but I love the simplicity of these cookies! Really lets the peanut butter hold its own 🙂


  17. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on September 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Peanut butter cookies are indeed my favorite. This looks similar to my mother’s recipe. Love it 🙂


  18. Maria on September 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I posted a pb recipe today too! I am always up for pb!


  19. Christina @ This Woman Cooks! on September 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I’m a sucker for peanut butter cookies. I’ll try any version!


  20. Steph@stephsbitebybite on September 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I don’t think you can EVER go wrong with peanut butter cookes!! YUM


  21. Happy When Not Hungry on September 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I love a great peanut butter cookie recipe. Yum!


  22. Christine on September 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Love this. I’d like a few cookies. 🙂


  23. Mercedes (Satisfy My Sweet Tooth) on September 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    OOOOHH!! I am a sucker for anything peanut butter and these look like no exception! And I just bought this cookbook recently!


  24. penandra on September 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    My very favorite peanut butter cookies are the three ingredient ones (1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg) . . . . they are really the only ones that I even like anymore and I almost always have some in the freezer ready to bake.


  25. Hester aka The Chef Doc on September 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Ooh la la! You know what a sucker I am for a chewy, soft cookie! These are wonderful! I love that there’s added texture with the peanuts in them. I hope your weather has cleared up; it’s absolutely miserably hot here in So Cal 🙁


  26. Alix on September 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    OOOOO! I love PB cookies, Do these come out chewy and crunchy? It sounds like it because you say “soft”, but does that mean that they are just soft when they come out of the oven, and then harden? I have been a fan for a few months now, thank you for all your delicious recipes! I will be making these this weekend.


    • Michelle on September 8th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Alix, They don’t really harden. One batch I let go a minute too long so they were a tad crunchy on the outside, but otherwise they stay soft.


  27. Pam on September 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    These sound delicious. I would like to add some chocolate chips to them, too!


  28. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on September 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I’m in the Florida panhandle, so we had some rain from Lee as well! I made soup, but I wish I had cookies like this to get us through the rainy day!! I’m with you, crunchy pb all the way!


  29. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having on September 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I haven’t had a peanut butter cookie in so long! These and a nice glass of cold milk sound like perfection!


  30. Ann on September 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Delicious! I like the classics…. Like you, I’m chomping at the bit for Sunday! Ravens are going DOWN!


  31. Mariko on September 8, 2011 at 2:06 am

    CRAP! That looks so good.
    This is not a good time to be thinking of pb cookies, right before going running. 😉


  32. Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry on September 8, 2011 at 2:33 am

    I was just trying to find a chunky peanut butter cookie recipe the other day! This one sounds great! Thanks!


  33. Ally on September 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I’m craving a glass of milk already!


  34. Fran {The Flavorful Fork} on September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Peanut butter cookies are by far my favorite and they absolutely must be chewy. Thanks for a great recipe!


  35. Becki's Whole Life on September 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Yum…my mom used to make a peanut butter cookie like this that actually had peanuts in it and they were sooo good – I will have to try these – yum!


  36. rchristopher on September 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Peanut butter cookies were on the holiday treat list every Christmas when I was growing up. They bring back so many great memories. Add in a hot cup of coffee (now that I’m older) and I’m one happy camper.


  37. Jayce on October 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    hi! so I’ve recently been craving peanut butter cookies. but I don’t have any peanuts or crunchy peanut butter, just smooth peanut butter. could i just use that and not have any peanuts?


    • Michelle on October 20th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Jayce, Sure, it will still taste great with creamy peanut butter and no peanuts!


  38. Saydee on October 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    well i’m currently eating these cookies right now, and they are amazing. i was a bit shocked at the 2 sticks of butter, but hey- it’s tasty 🙂 be careful not to overcook the cookies- they’re better chewy. but thanks for the recipe! !!


  39. Emma on December 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I just made these- absolutely delicious! The sugar coating was a great touch. Chewy, soft, and they taste great even though I used smooth peanut butter as opposed to chunky.


  40. Michele on March 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Just made these. Super awesome.


  41. Victoria on June 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Hi! Oh my goodness! I cannot believe I waited so long to make these!!! These are now my favorite pb cookies!! (along with your monster cookies) SO GOOD! I did change a few things though… I left out the peanuts and added 2 1/4 cups Reese’s chips, and sprinkled the tops with sea salt. Thank you so much for another amazing recipe!!


  42. Jeffrey Davila on February 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The best peanut butter was the kind that separated and needs to be refrigerated after opening. I mixed it very well and it worked perfectly. 1/2 cup of sugar was to little to easily roll the dough balls so I increased it to 1 cup and rolled the balls with my hands before dropping them on the wax paper. I rough chopped the salted peanuts (used Feridies Virginia Peanuts).
    I wish I could show a photo here because the ones I made were visually incredible. Quite different from a normal looking peanut butter cookie. From work to neighbors to family, the crowd went wild!!

    Thank you for this magnificent receipt.


  43. tealbird on February 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t know why you all feel the need to comment on how a picture looks, but it’s irritating. It hides all the comments of people giving advice about how the cookies taste and bake.

    I made these with all natural Kirkland peanut butter. They are thick (not thin like Michelle claims they will be. I did pour out the oil floating on the top rather than mixing it in so maybe that made a difference, but either way you can use all natural peanut butter.

    Do not make a double batch of these cookies, your blender will not like you.


  44. CAROLYN WALDEN on May 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Hi there! Are dry roasted salted peanuts the ones to use or not dry roasted? Thank you!


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