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.


  • 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


  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.

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)

47 Responses to Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Stacie A says:

    These were amazing. I made them as stated, except used half mini unwrapped Reese and half peanut butter filled milk chocolate chips. They were soft, they were full of flavor, they weren’t too sweet, and they were perfect. Thank you! (and it gave me an excuse to finally buy a kitchen scale!)

  2. Candace says:

    OK, prepare to roll your eyes with all my modifications, but I thought I would share in case it helps someone else. I basically never eat sweets, except on some holidays. Today is my birthday and I wanted freshly baked cookies, but regular baked goods are too sweet for me now. So I left out the white sugar completely, used 2 yolks and one whole egg, about 4 ounces of chocolate chips total, and no pbcups (I know, I know, why even try?! It’s a completely different cookie now!!). Anyway, it was super delicious and the texture was perfect! (Actually it was still pretty sweet for me, but so far not headache inducing. My husband said they taste “sophisticated”).

  3. Candice says:

    These cookies are so delicious. I’ve made them at least 4-5 times since this was posted. I make them a little smaller size (I’ve found 1.75 oz is my fussy number)! They really aren’t that hard to make and my husband loves me to keep a tupperware of them in the freezer so at night he can dunk them in milk! Such a guilty pleasure!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Robin says:

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

  7. 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!

    • 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!!

  15. 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!!! 🙂

  16. Gillie says:

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

  17. 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.

  18. sara says:

    These look AMAZING. Time to make cookies! 🙂

  19. Annie D. says:

    Did you use chunky or creamy peanut butter?

    • 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to try these!!!

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

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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?

    • 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.

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

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

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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 🙂

  33. 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)

  34. Michelle M. says:

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

  35. annick says:

    I think this are my favourite cookies, …for always 🙂

  36. 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!

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

  38. 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.

    • 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.

  39. Peanut butter and chocolate is always worth the work. Can’t wait to try them. 🙂

  40. 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!

  41. 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?

    • 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! 🙂

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