A sweet friend recently gave me two cookbooks from the guys who own Baked NYC. And because cookbooks, particularly baking books, are my kryptonite, I wasted no time in reading both cover-to-cover. Every single recipe in both books looks completely scrumptious, no exaggeration. But I was in a cookie-making mood, so the one that really caught my eye was their peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies (coincidentally, this happened on National Peanut Butter Day, which I was unaware existed, but had perhaps crept into my subconscious?).
Now, my other weakness is fiddling with recipes, so I couldn’t resist a couple of customizations. Baked’s recipe calls for creamy peanut butter and milk chocolate, but I had crunchy peanut butter and dark chocolate in my pantry and did not feel like braving the grocery store on a busy afternoon during ski season, so I went with those instead. And of course, I made a few tweaks for high altitude. These baked up perfectly at my house (9,600 feet elevation).
These are not old-school puffy, crumbly peanut butter cookies with the fork-tine criss-cross marks (remember those? Aww. So good). Thanks to a higher butter-and-sugar to flour ratio, what we end up with here is a thin but substantially chewy cookie with buttery-crisp edges, intense peanut flavor, and big, inky craters of dark chocolate. I mean. Come on. They are downright elegant (as elegant as a cookie can be, anyway).
A couple notes on ingredients: do not be tempted to use natural peanut butter. You actually want the sweeter flavor and emulsified texture of mass-produced commercial peanut butter (like Skippy, or Jif). I like chunky-style for those little crunchy pieces of peanuts, but you definitely can use creamy if you prefer. As for chocolate, go for the best bar you can find here. It’s a star player, and you want the deepest, richest flavor possible. Chop the bar(s) roughly, not too fine. You want some pieces about the size of chocolate chips, some slightly bigger.
It’s important to refrigerate the dough, or the cookies will spread in the oven. How long is up to you. I made one batch after chilling the dough for three hours, and the rest the next morning, and honestly, I couldn’t tell much difference, though the ones that chilled overnight had maybe a bit more chew to them. Point is, even though it’s hard to wait when you’re having a cookie craving, let’s look on the bright side and think about all the chores/errands/workouts/TV shows one could distract oneself with while waiting. Motivation!
I added a sprinkle of turbinado sugar (also known as raw sugar or demerara sugar) for a little caramelly-crunchy texture on top. It’s subtle, as it mostly melts into the cookie, but those tiny little crispies left after baking are just delightful.
Good luck keeping these around the house for more than a day or two. My son (who, incidentally, is possibly the only child on the planet who dislikes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), adores these and was busted sneaking a handful after we went to bed last night. I couldn’t get mad, though, since I almost did the same thing.
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
A grown-up version of a classic peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie, this rich, chewy-crisp cookie features plenty of buttery peanut flavor and big, powerful hits of melty dark chocolate.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
- Category: sweets
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (8 oz / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (5 oz) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
1 cup (9 oz) chunky peanut butter (such as Skippy – not natural style)
8 oz good dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully. Add peanut butter and vanilla until integrated into the dough.
Add about half the flour mixture, beating in slowly until just incorporated, then add the remaining flour. Don’t overmix – stop mixer as soon as dry flour is no longer visible. Fold in chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Refrigerate dough at least 3 hours, or overnight. When ready to bake, scoop into rounded balls with a medium cookie scoop (1.5 TBS), placing cookies about 2 inches apart. Flatten tops ever-so-slightly (don’t press down too hard – keep them high and slightly domed) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to brown. Let cool on pans for a few minutes to set fully, then transfer to cooling racks.
Store in an airtight container.