Alongside puff sleeves and cast iron bakeware, peanut butter cookies are one of those simple pleasures in life that bring me the utmost joy. To most, a peanut butter cookies is…well, it’s a cookie. To me, I can’t eat a peanut butter cookie without thinking of my dad. Whereas most sensible people opt for a chocolate chip or snickerdoodle cookie when presented with the choice, my dad always grabbed for a peanut butter cookie if there was one within reach.
For a long time, I didn’t quite understand what made them so special. Not to mention, most store-bought versions tend to take on the texture of a hockey puck. However, once my dad got sick, I started to take him out for his favorite treats more often. Reese’s peanut butter cups, Red Vines, milkshakes…we always made time for a treat after lunch on the weekends. One of his favorite shops happened to be a time-honored bakery five minutes from our house that makes some of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. It was during these impromptu pit stops that I began to develop an ardent love for peanut butter cookies. For me, it has less to do with what’s in the cookie and more to do with the sentimental value it bears. However, by the same token, the symbolic meaning attached to them has made me a peanut butter cookie devotee of them over time.
My dad has since passed, but the joy of sharing cookies with him remains ever-present in my memory. These cookies are a combination of two of his favorite things, and now they are one of my favorite desserts. Simple, unrefined, no-nonsense chocolate peanut butter cup cookies. Soft like the cookies I grew up eating at our local bakeshop, and unapologetically peanut buttery as they should be. If you have 30 minutes to spare, treat yourself to a batch of these delightful cookies.
What’s in These Cookies:
- Creamy Peanut Butter: I like to use a no-stir, creamy peanut butter to ensure an even consistency. Also, if you have a $10 jar of organic peanut butter, maybe save it for something else. When it comes to baking with any type of nut butter, I just look for an option that is cheap and made with simple ingredients.
- Egg: Although I use an egg in this recipe, I recently made a batch with a flax egg and they are almost identical! You can definitely make these vegan and these cookies are just as delicious.
- Peanut Butter Cups: There truly is no better peanut butter cup for this recipe than the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s in my opinion. Not only can you get a large quantity for a bargain, but the dark chocolate and peanut butter combo is simply heavenly. And, you can snack on any leftovers you have, so it’s a win-win!
- Flaky Sea Salt: This optional finishing touch brings out the rich chocolate flavor in the peanut butter cups and amplifies the sweet and salty combination that makes peanut butter cookies so delicious. Maldon salt is not always easy to find, but regardless of this addition these cookies will still have a well-balanced flavor.
- Coconut Flour: I have tried making peanut butter cookies with different gluten-free flours, but what it really comes down to is what texture you like. I personally love a fluffy, almost cake-y texture to my cookies, which makes coconut flour the perfect choice for this recipe. Just be sure not to really pack the flour when you measure it because a little goes a long way!
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup loosely packed coconut flour
- one egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 peanut butter cups
- optional: flaky sea salt to sprinkle on top
- preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchement paper.
- Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil in the microwave and set aside to cool.
- Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl and whisk together.
- Combine the peanut butter, cooled coconut oil, egg, vanilla, and coconut sugar together. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and use a spatula to fold the two together until a dough forms.
- Taking 2 tbsp of dough at a time, roll the cookie dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, and stick a peanut butter cup in the middle of each one.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes and enjoy!