I find chocolate chip cookie recipes and brownie recipes to be somewhat similar – no matter how many I’ve tried or what my current favorite version is, if a new one comes along, I very rarely pass up the opportunity to give it a try. You never know… it could be the one. Do you do this, too? I can’t tell you how many different chocolate chip cookie and brownie recipes I’ve made over the years. It’s borderline insane, but I always think the next one might be just a little bit better than the last, and I’ll never know unless I try!
For a long time, my favorites were the thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies from Cook’s Illustrated, and they are fabulous cookies. Then, a few years back, I took all of the popular chocolate chip cookie recipes that I had heard about, made them, and invited my family to taste test them all and fill out ballots about which ones were their favorite. It wasn’t even a contest – the New York Times chocolate chip cookies by Jacques Torres won by a landslide. Since then, they have become my go-to chocolate chip cookie. I even made a batch for the sole purpose of packing some in my hospital bag and having a stash in the freezer for when I got home. That was definitely one of my better decisions in the past few months!
Then, I took the recipe for those chocolate chip cookies and gave it a little tweak to turn them into peanut butter cookies and loaded them up with milk chocolate chips. Another good decision!
I’ve found that there are two decidedly different types of cookie lovers out there – those in the “soft and chewy” camp, and those in the crispy camp. I am forever and always a member of the soft and chewy faction. I have never, ever liked crunchy cookies unless we’re talking about a cookie that by its very nature is supposed to be hard, such as pizzelle or biscotti. Otherwise, when it comes to things like chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, etc. I want my cookies big, thick, soft and chewy.
These cookies are every bit big, thick, soft and chewy, and they pack a big peanut butter flavor. I used milk chocolate chips in these cookies, but you could just as easily use semisweet or even dark chocolate, if you’d like. I made these a tiny bit smaller than the NY Times cookies (they’re still huge!) and dialed back on the chocolate chips a little so as not to overpower the peanut butter flavor.
I love having two favorite versions of the same cookie… my freezer is going to be forever stocked, which is so not a bad thing.
One year ago: Rye Irish Soda Bread
Two years ago: Mango-Pineapple Salsa
Four years ago: Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Seven years ago: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake
Eight years ago: Texas Sheet Cake
Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 30 to 32 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Total Time: 24 hours
Huge, soft-batch, bakery-style peanut butter cookies loaded with chocolate chips.
8½ ounces (2 cups) bread flour
8½ ounces (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) cake flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
10 ounces (1⅓ cups) light brown sugar
8 ounces (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (8-ounce bag) chocolate chips (milk, semisweet or dark)
1. Whisk both flours, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add both sugars and continue beating on medium speed until very light, about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
4. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
6. Divide the dough into 2½-ounce balls and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between the cookies. Bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are set and golden brown.
7. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before removing the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to allow the baking sheet to cool between batches or use additional baking sheets). The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Note: Please note that while I do provide the cup equivalents in the recipe above per reader feedback, I HIGHLY recommend weighing the ingredients for this particular recipe.
(Recipe adapted from The New York Times)