Salted Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

When the Oscars rolled around this year, I went through all of my dessert cookbooks looking for the most elegant dessert. And then I remembered: people like to drink wine during the Oscars. And when they’re done with their pizza, and eating dessert, what dessert still goes well with wine? Something salty. Which is why I had the idea to make these Salted Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies.

The Less Natural the PB, the Better

Normally, when you cook (or bake) you want to use all natural ingredients. Not so when you make peanut butter cookies! The more commercial the peanut butter, the better. You’re going to ask me why and all I can say is: it just is. Maybe the stabilizers keep the peanut butter moist? Maybe the chemicals shine the most when they’re combined with butter and sugar? All I know is I’ve baked with all natural peanut butter before and the results were blech.

But if you’re bemoaning the lack of naturally occurring peanuts in this recipe, have no fear…

From Nuts to Scoop

…because you grind up some fresh ones to fold into the batter.

The rest is like any other cookie recipe: sift together your dry ingredients, beat together your sugar and butter (including the peanut butter) and add your eggs and vanilla. Then you fold in your dry ingredients — including the ground-up peanuts — and it’s time to scoop and shape.

Fork Your Peanut Butter Cookies

The funnest part of this recipe for peanut butter cookies is what you do after you scoop them (I used a 1/4 cup scoop). You fork them! As in: you dip your fork in cold water, then create a cross hatch pattern in each cookie. It’s fun for the whole forking family.

My addition to the recipe was to add Maldon sea salt at the end because that just seems right.

Get Baked

These cookies spread a bit when you bake them, so beware!

My other tip is to really listen to the recipe when it says “they’ll look underdone” when you take them out. My first sheet looked so underdone, I kept them going, and that batch was dryer than the one I took out sooner.

Still, the dry ones went better with wine… which was the whole point! And the chewy ones were wildly good: soft, buttery, and just salty enough to make you sit up in your seat. Which is a good thing to do when you’re watching the Oscars.


Salted Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

My spin on an America's Test Kitchen recipe featuring more salt, both in and on the cookie.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, peanut butter, salt
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Servings 24 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 sticks salted butter (1/2 pound), room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter (I like Jif or Skippy)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Maldon sea salt (optional)


  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse the peanuts in a food processor until they're the texture of breadcrumbs.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugars until well-integrated, about three minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until that's nicely worked in, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and finally beat in the vanilla.
  • With a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients: starting with the flour mixture and finishing with the ground-up peanuts. Don't overwork the dough.
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1/4-cup scoop, scoop the cookies on to the cookie sheets, spacing them two inches apart (they'll spread). Wet a fork with cold water and create a cross-hatch pattern in each cookie. If you like 'em salty, sprinkle each cookie with a little Maldon sea salt.
  • Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about fifteen minutes — just until the cookies are slightly brown on the outside. They won't look completely done in the middle, but that's okay. Remove the cookie sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Related Posts:

Miso Peanut Butter Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie of Your Dreams

BA’s Best Peanut Butter Cookies (Bon Appetit)

Peanut Butter Paprika Cookies (David Lebovitz)

1 thought on “Salted Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies”

  1. I’ve made this recipe before from ATK- best peanut butter cookies EVER! Love the idea of adding the touch of salt!

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