Peanut Butter Kitchen Sink Cookies {Caramel, Pretzels, M&Ms, and More}

Oh yes, these peanut butter kitchen sink cookies (as in, there’s EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink in them) are amazing! Soft, crunchy, caramelly, delicious!

Baked peanut butter kitchen sink cookies with one broken in half.

Weeks ago I asked for your help on Instagram (here’s the plea) to name this over-the-top loaded cookie. And wow, did you ever come through! To the tune of 400+ responses! Even more of you chimed in on this Friday Thoughts post with last minute name suggestions. I have loved each and every one of them (I’ll highlight a few of my favorites below) – and laughed out loud at more than one. You guys are funny. 

But in the end, it seemed appropriate to go with the name that sums it all up in one broad, sweeping title (and by far, the most popular name suggested): almighty peanut butter kitchen sink cookies. 

Soft, chewy, crunchy, sweet, salty, caramelly – this cookie has it all. 

Baked peanut butter kitchen sink cookie on white parchment paper.

When visiting Montana this summer, my sister-in-law, Erin, made these cookies for us two days in a row (because our greedy hands couldn’t get enough), and I knew immediately my blog wouldn’t be the same until I had a recipe like this on my site. Since then, I’ve made these cookies myself four or five times (including making and serving 150 of them at my cousin’s wedding dinner a few weeks ago), and they have skyrocketed to favorite cookie status. I mean, just look at them! The wow factor is huge.

Quick Story that is relevant, kind of, I promise

When I was probably about 10 years old, we lived in Houston, Texas, and my mom had a church responsibility to follow up with the young 19-something missionaries serving in our area. One day she went over there to visit with them (and mostly check to see if their often-neglected apartment was getting cleaned), and they proudly told her they had made cookies and sent them to their families!

Because they had a very sparsely furnished kitchen, she was quite surprised. She politely asked them what kind of cookies they had made. Chocolate Chip. Then she kindly and somewhat gently asked what they had used to make them (they literally only had a couple cereal bowls, plates, and a few utensils). Unabashed, they announced that without the use of a large mixing bowl, they had the brilliant idea to use their kitchen sink to mix the dough! (And then borrow baking sheets from a neighbor.) A few more probing questions from my slightly aghast mom revealed that no, no indeed, the rather grimy kitchen sink hadn’t been scrubbed cleaned before the cookie making endeavor. 

I remember my mom coming home and telling us about this kitchen sink cookie experience and with a furrowed brow wondering out loud if she should somehow alert the families that might be on the receiving end of these cookies?? I have no idea if those cookies ever made it to their destination and what the result was, but I’ve always had a bit of a gag reflex thinking of those kitchen sink cookies from the 1980’s

Peanut butter kitchen sink cookie unbaked on baking tray.

Thankfully these peanut butter kitchen sink cookies I’m sharing with you today are not literal in anyway (no kitchen sinks were used or harmed in the making of these cookies). They are 100% delicious and totally food safe, I promise. 🙂

If you want to see a whole list of name suggestions, here you go. My 12-year old lovingly compiled this list after reading through the hundreds of Instagram responses. So many great cookie name ideas! I just love you guys. 

Here are a few notable/clever favorites: 

G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) cookies
-Whatcha-Mel-Callsit cookies (hahaha)
-What You Find Under the Carseat Cookie (slightly gross but super funny)
-Spanx Busters
-Pantry Cleanout or Pantry Raid Cookie
-Pretzel Monster Cookies
-Mary Poppins Cookie (because Mary Poppins is Practically Perfect in Every Way) 🙂

Peanut butter kitchen sink cookie dough with tons of add-ins before it is mixed.

Other than adding in a bazillion extra ingredients, these peanut butter kitchen sink cookies aren’t any more difficult to whip up than your average, every day drop cookie. 

The soft peanut butter cookie dough base is mixed together (in a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer) with the flour just barely getting incorporated before adding in all those glorious extras.

Can I add something else? 

Why not?? Here’s what’s going on in these cookies so far:

-toasted pecans (I’m normally a don’t-put-nuts-in-my-cookie kind of gal, but they are super tasty in these cookies! Use them!)
-peanut butter chips
-chocolate chips
-caramel balls (I’m talking about the Kraft brand of unwrapped caramel bits similar in size to large chocolate chips; when I’ve been out, I unwrapped soft Kraft or Trader Joe’s caramels and cut them into pieces with my bench knife {aff. link}…a labor of love that is totally and completely worth it)
-M&Ms (I’ve used regular M&Ms, dark chocolate M&Ms, and caramel M&Ms)

I think you could play with the add-ins to your hearts content. What about:

-other chopped up candy bars (the sky is the limit)
-pretzels IN the dough vs just pressed on the outside
-other types of chopped nuts
-coconut

Mixed peanut butter kitchen sink cookie dough in Bosch mixer.

Once the cookie dough is mixed, roll the dough into balls. Because of all the add-ins, the dough balls won’t be perfectly round. That’s ok. All those lumps and bumps just mean extra yumminess. 

Press the top of the cookie dough into the coarsely chopped pretzels and then turn over and lightly press the pretzels into the soft cookie dough so they stick. Again, we aren’t going for perfection here! These cookies have a rustic porcupine-spiked vibe going on, and I love them all the more for it. 

Of course you can eliminate the pretzels from the cookie lineup, but they really do add that salty crunch that is awesome (and they don’t get soft/soggy after baking). 

Pressing crushed pretzels into unbaked peanut butter kitchen sink cookie dough ball.

These cookies will spread just like other drop cookies…but probably not quite as much thanks to all the bulky add-ins. They are meant to be super soft and slightly puffy.

I’ve given some notes in the last step of the recipe directions about how to end up with a flatter cookie if you want (or, conversely, what to do if your cookies are flattening too much). 

Unbaked and baked peanut butter kitchen sink cookies.

Since these cookies have also affectionately been dubbed “clean out the pantry cookies” – I can’t wait to see what other variations you come up with! You clever and adventurous bakers never cease to amaze me. 

Quick note about freezing

Just in case you end up with more cookies than you deem safe for your self-control OR you need to make a bunch in advance, these baked and cooled cookies freeze great (yep, even with the pretzels). I stack the cookies in between sheets of wax paper in a large tupperware and then take them out of the freezer several hours before I want to serve them. Tasty as the day they were made!

After all this talk about PB kitchen sink cookies, looks like I better go grab a couple out of the freezer just to remind myself how delicious they really are. 

Stack of two baked peanut butter kitchen sink cookies

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Peanut Butter Kitchen Sink Cookies

Yield: 4-5 dozen
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Peanut Butter Kitchen Sink Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened (I use salted)
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy or Jiffy)
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I use semisweet)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) caramel balls (see note) or chopped soft caramels
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) M&Ms (regular, caramel, etc)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped, toasted pecans
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pretzels

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, mix together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well-combined and super creamy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and mix briefly until the flour is partly combined. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramel, M&Ms, and pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula (or mix very slowly with the electric mixer) until evenly combined.
  5. Scoop out several tablespoons of cookie dough (I use a #40 cookie scoop) and roll into balls. They won't be perfectly round as all those add-ins will create some bumps. Don't stress. Press the top of each cookie ball into the chopped pretzels (and then lightly press the pretzels into the cookie dough to stick) and place the cookie dough balls several inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes. These cookies stay fairly puffy (thanks to all the add-ins); for slightly flatter cookies, press them lightly into more of a disc-shape before baking or bake at 325 degrees F. If, for some reason, your cookies are flattening too much, try increasing the baking temperature to 375 degrees F.

Notes

The caramel balls I'm talking about in this recipe are the unwrapped soft caramel bits about the size of large chocolate chips sold by Kraft (usually in the baking aisle). When I haven't been able to find those, I unwrap soft caramels (either Kraft or Trader Joe's) and cut into pieces with a bench knife. It's a labor of love, but so worth it for these cookies!

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired from a recipe my sister-in-law, Erin, made for us in Montana this summer)

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