This cookie recipe is my ideal combination: the dough is a basic chocolate chip cookie dough flavored with dark brown sugar and vanilla, but the fun part comes in the swirl. Melt those pesky chocolate chips until glossy and warm, mix in an equal amount of peanut butter (I used regular commercial peanut butter since that's what I've always eaten since childhood, but let me know in the comments if you use natural peanut butter), and carefully swirl into the dough before baking. I know that swirling is probably the most fun part of this recipe, but the key is not to overswirl so that you get nice gooey pockets of chocolate-y peanut butter. My method of creating a well in the dough might seem strange, but trust me, it's worked well to make those hypnotic patterns in these addictive, chewy cookies. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
Makes: About 28 (3-inch) cookies
Total Time: 1 hour
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
What to Buy: Regular, not natural, peanut butter was used in this
Nice to Know: To freeze these cookies, scoop the dough onto a baking
sheet and freeze solid. Transfer to a resealable plastic
bag, then bake frozen. Cookies may need 1 to 2
more minutes baking time.
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a medium bowl. (Alternatively, melt it over low heat on the stovetop.) Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth and combined. Place in the refrigerator while you make the dough.
- Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until aerated and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time, letting each one completely incorporate before adding the next. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined (be careful not to overmix, a few streaks of flour are okay). Stop the mixer, remove the bowl from the stand, and finish mixing the flour in with the rubber spatula if needed.
- Using the rubber spatula, push the dough to the sides of the bowl to form a well about 3-inches wide (make sure you can see the bottom of the bowl). Drizzle about 2/3 of the chocolate-peanut butter mixture into the well. Using the rubber spatula, push the dough on the sides of the bowl over the well.
- Drizzle the remaining chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the top. Fold the chocolate-peanut butter mixture into the dough, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl, just until big streaks are formed, about 3 to 5 strokes (err on the side of less swirling, it will continue to swirl as you scoop the dough out).
- Form the dough into 2 tablespoon balls (or use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop) and place on the baking sheets 2-1/2-inches apart (12 to a sheet). Bake 8 minutes. Rotate the sheets between racks and front-to-back and bake until the cookies are just firm and golden brown around the edges, about 7 minutes more.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Let the baking sheets cool (no need for new parchment) and repeat with the remaining dough.