Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

Golly, I’ve been debating about whether I should post this recipe or not. I alluded to these delectable morsels on The Facebook a week or so ago after I made over 50 of them to share with a bake sale going on to support a wonderful family in my area adopting two children from Haiti. From what I hear (I was out of town during the bake sale), the cookies sold out. So that’s a good thing, right? And the few that I snitched prior to the bake sale (I’m only human after all) were out of this world. And Brian declared them “favorite cookies ever.” All this might leave you wondering why I wasn’t jumping at the bit to share this recipe with all of you.

Well, here’s the thing. These cookies are probably some of the best cookies to ever come out of my kitchen – texturally, taste-wise, in looks, everything. But, they are fussy. And there’s no getting around that even though I love to give you {mostly} recipes that are fairly simple and fuss-free.

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this recipe, the ingredients are given in ounces which means they need to be weighed and while you can google equivalents (like how much an average cup of flour weighs), the results can vary significantly (see this post on measuring flour and how much it can differ based on the method used) so you really need a kitchen scale. Additionally, the dough needs to be chilled for a couple hours or up to overnight. Kind of funny-slash-ironic since I just exclaimed to the world in this cookie experiment post that I never chill dough because I hate planning ahead. I didn’t bake any of these right away so I can’t tell you the chilling absolutely, 100% makes a difference, but based on the results, I don’t dare try it any other way. I’ve just made a permanent note to myself: these cookies are worth planning ahead for. And if that weren’t enough, all-purpose flour won’t cut it. You’ll need cake and bread flour instead.

I know. Really.

I’m assuming half of you (that have made the NY Times recipe and love it) are saying “what’s the big deal? this doesn’t seem that bad” while the other half are shaking your heads going “Mel’s crazy; these cookies are way too…too…too much.”

Seriously. Don’t hate me, because all disclaimers aside, these cookies are so utterly delicious they make me want to weep. I’ll be making them each and every time I want The Wow Factor. You know. Those occasions when people swoon. Drool in your presence. Kiss your feet in order to get the recipe. Tell you that you are a goddess. Yep. that kind of wow factor.

Sometimes the best things in life deserve to be a bit fussy.

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Year Ago: Brownie Batter Dip
Two Years Ago: Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Three Years Ago: Red Berry Risotto Oatmeal

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Makes about 24-30 cookies

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are fussy, no doubt. The ingredients should be weighed, dough requires cake flour and bread flour and needs some chilling. But the results? Totally and completely worth it.

Ingredients

  • 8 1/2 ounces bread flour
  • 8 1/2 ounces cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 10 ounces light-brown sugar
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 10 ounces mini peanut butter cups, halved
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. In a large bowl (you can use an electric stand mixer or use a handheld electric mixer), cream the butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add granulated and brown sugar and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter, Mix until the batter is very light in color, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. By hand, mix in the chocolate and peanut butter cups.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat liners.
  7. Form balls of dough with about 2-3 tablespoons of dough (each of my cookie dough balls weighed 2.55 ounces - how's that for fussy?). Place on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in the middle, 13-16 minutes. Keep the dough refrigerated in between batches.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/salted-peanut-butter-cup-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from this recipe at Huffington Post which was based on the famed Jacques Torres recipe (all I really did differently was use salted butter and decrease salt in the recipe and change the instructions slightly)

44 Responses to Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Sheila says:

    Ohhhhhhh . . . .I can’t keep up with your deliciousness! I’m making these today to bake tomorrow. Your non-fussy readers can bake your wonderul Perfect Chocolate Chip cookies. I can’t find fleur de sel in my area (unless I’m looking in the wrong section of the store.) Where can I find this OR is there a substitute I can use since I want to bake them tomorrow for a picnic for twenty I’m providing the food for on Sunday afternoon?

  2. Kim in MD says:

    There are times that call for an over the top, fussy cookie! These definitely look worth all of the fuss. I am going to make these this weekend and will let you know how they turn out!

  3. These cookies sound perfect!!

  4. Peanut butter and chocolate is always worth the work. Can’t wait to try them. :)

  5. Patricia says:

    Hi Mel, Would like to try your recipe. What is mini peanut butter cup? Not sure if we can get it here. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  6. Mel says:

    Hi Patricia – do you have the Reese’s candies that are like a mini muffin cup shape with a peanut butter center covered in chocolate? That’s what they are. Any type of soft peanut butter and chocolate candy might be able to work.

  7. Mel says:

    Sheila – surprisingly, I’ve found fleur de sel in my little grocery stores here in rural Minnesota and everywhere from Walmart to average grocery stores when I lived elsewhere. Every store is different but usually I’ve seen it on the very bottom or very top shelf of the baking aisle near the salt. If your store has a “specialty” food section then you might check there but I’ve always seen it near the salt in baking aisles usually in a pretty small container. If all else fails, march right up and ask the manager! Good luck! :)

  8. Oh my word, these are perfect. Totally worth getting out the kitchen scale!!

  9. Teresa R. says:

    Now I have a perfect reason to finally purchase a kitchen scale. Plus, I’ve wanted to buy those little Reese’s candies but haven’t had a recipe to use them in till now. Thanks for another great recipe!

  10. annick says:

    I think this are my favourite cookies, …for always :-)

  11. Michelle M. says:

    I assume that since you weigh the brown sugar you don’t pack it? These look great!

  12. Mame says:

    Every. Single. Time.
    I always have some fabulous recipe that I think to myself, I need to sed this to Mel, she would love it – and then you post one just like it! Smitten Kitchen has a version like these I have always wanted to send you! (Do you lover her too? You 2 are the only good blogs I read regularly)

  13. Amy P says:

    I make a very very similar cookie recipe (it might be the same but for the pb cups), and I can tell you that the chilling does in fact make a bit of difference with these! I’ve tried baking immediately after and in increments up to 48 hours, and longer is better. It makes a huge batch so I scoop & freeze half the dough after so I can have fresh cookies on demand :)

  14. jeannette says:

    these look so amazing!! and to think that it took me so long to get on the “sweet and salty” bandwagon. these are a must make!

  15. Annie says:

    Mel- I use this same recipe every time I make choc-chip/PB cup cookies. I swear by it. I’ve had to make a few substitutions in the past (ran out of brn sugar, so I added molasses, used AP flour, etc) and they were good, but I’m with you: the original recipe is THE BEST!

    P.S. as a fellow dark chocolate lover, I wouldn’t mind making these with some dark chocolate PB cups and some 60% dark cacao chips. Delish!

  16. After making both the Levain and NYT cc cookie recipes, I have been a total convert to chilling the dough. That and using the equivalent of pastry flour (the bread-cake flour combo) really does make the difference between an ordinary and a sublime chocolate chip cookie. I’m sold! And I’m probably anal, but I just love weighing out ingredients. Love, love, love my digital kitchen scale!

  17. If this are the best cookies called by you, I’m making them.

  18. Divine! These look totally delicious, Mel. Perfect for dunking in a tall glass of milk! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Sheila says:

    Thanks so much, Mel, for your reply. I went to Giant Eagle, Shop n Save, and Wal Mart. After searching for fleur de sel where the salt was, I found managers. In case I was pronouncing it wrong, I had fleur de sel wrote on a sheet of paper. I met with complete failure. Is there a substitue for fleur de sel? I have sea salt?

  20. Mel says:

    Sheila – ugh! I’m sorry it’s so hard to find. What a pain! I hate it when ingredients are impossible and sorry you had to go to three stores. Darn it! Sea salt can be used but should be used very sparingly as it is much stronger in taste/flavor that fleur de sel. You might try grinding the sea salt into finer granules, also.

  21. Stephanie says:

    Sweet! I’ve been waiting for this one! Now I know what I’ll be doing this weekend sometime (instead of knitting)! Thanks, Mel!

  22. You’ve got me intrigued now! I’ll be adding this to the list of cookies I MUST try! :)

  23. Oh I bet these cookies are worth every extra step!

  24. Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to try these!!!

  25. Karen says:

    I also went to a few stores and couldn’t find it. Ended up buying Morton’s Fine Sea Salt. Guess we’ll see how it turns out!

  26. Sheila says:

    Delcious! These cookies are well worth the extra effort. Thanks so much Mel not only for this recipe but for all the extra effort you put into promptly answering questions to help your followers achieve great results.

  27. Annie D. says:

    Did you use chunky or creamy peanut butter?

  28. sara says:

    These look AMAZING. Time to make cookies! :)

  29. Jo-Ann says:

    I made these cookies yesterday. I couldn’t find the fleur de sel at Wal-Mart or the other regular grocery store in town. I just used some coarsely ground sea salt and they tasted fine, although I have no idea what fleur de sel tastes like in comparison. I made my cookies much smaller than yours, using my medium cookie scoop which is 1.5 tablespoons. They were really good, but more work than I prefer to put into cookies, but good for a special occasion.

  30. Mel says:

    Annie – I’ve made them with both and don’t really have a preference. I wouldn’t buy chunky peanut butter just for this recipe…use what you keep on hand.

  31. Gillie says:

    Being a Brit in the US I have my scales and my cups so am all set! They sound delicious, thank you!

  32. Cathy says:

    I made this and OMG they were too good; burnt the roof of my mouth eating them out of the oven!!! Your ruining the diet!!! :)

  33. Chantel says:

    Omg, seriously, I love you. Lol. I have been looking for something like this FOREVERRRRRRR. My husband has pretty much been requesting something like this since he was old enough to request it, and no one has figured it out. I showed him this pic and he was like “YESSSSS!!” Sooooo needless to say I will be making these ASAP! Haha thank you!!

  34. Lisa says:

    These cookies are identical to the NYT cookie recipe with the exception of the peanut butter and the pnb cups, which sound like brilliant additions. I started using the NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe several years ago, and it is the only ccc recipe I use now. It is exceptional. I did my own “test” with this specific recipe with the varying amounts of time refrigerating the dough and it does actually make a big difference in improving flavor and texture. It truly is worth all the fussiness involved!! I am looking forward to trying this version!

  35. Lindsey says:

    I have made these twice now–they are amazing goodly good. The second time I used mini-mini pb cups, they come in 8 oz pkgs and are unwrapped. Didn’t bother to cut them in half. Was that what you used? Or just mini pb cups that are wrapped but mini–not the classic pb cups on commercials that everyone is eating in bizzare ways. How was that for confusing? You have the art of writing recipes down. I preferred the mini mini unwrapped pb cubs because the peanut butter stayed contained in chocolate.

  36. Angie says:

    I made these yesterday and they are delicious! I used coarse salt for the top and it gives it such a nice balance to the sweetness of the cookies! Thanks for sharing this!

  37. Jessica says:

    Love these cookies! Our new favorite. We found that the flavor improves if you let the dough sit in the fridge overnight, rather than just a few hours. Also, since we don’t have cake or bread flour on hand, we googled substitutes (flour with vital wheat gluten for bread flour and flour with cornstarch for cake flour); the results were awesome. This is a keeper! Thanks, Mel :)

  38. Jodi says:

    Hi Mel,
    I finally got around to making these and I am in cookie heaven. First off, the dough is amazing. I am a cookie dough lover (raw eggs just don’t scare me!) and I could hardly contain myself. Then the cookie. . . holy cow! It reminds me so much of the chocolate chip cookie from Paradise Bakery, which is my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie. I have searched the Internet and tried many different times to clone their cookie and this recipe is pretty much spot on. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to share this on my blog. Love, love, love your blog.

  39. kosher salt says:

    This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  40. Donna says:

    After seeing the Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies on your 2013 favs list, I have to try them but I don’t normally have bread flour in my kitchen. Cake flour, yes, but not bread flour. Do you think I can use all-purpose instead of bread flour without a problem? Thanks for the great recipes. I’ve made several with great success!

  41. Mel says:

    Donna – using all-purpose flour will change the texture of the cookies a bit since bread flour has more gluten/protein. If you have wheat gluten, you can add a tablespoon for every cup of all-purpose flour to approximate bread flour. Good luck!

  42. Robin says:

    Thank you, Mel. These are delicious. Probably the best peanut butter cookie I’ve ever tasted. Followed the recipe to the oz.

  43. Andrea says:

    I made these last night and they were great. The only trouble I ran into was the baking time. My cookies measured out to be 2oz each, and they would be slightly undone in the center but too brown on the under edges. Maybe next time I’ll cut them down to 1.5oz each. Yum, yum, yum!

  44. Meghan says:

    I just wanted to say– because I learn by doing things the “wrong way”. I had to try the recipe twice once with converting the measurements to cups and then the correct way. Just like you said converting to cups results in a different product (still edible but far inferior when doing it by weight). They were great cookies!

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