Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When you’re pregnant and you get a craving, it usually hits pretty hard.  It gets to the point where you actually need it, or you feel you may not survive much longer.  Apparently, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need a certain vitamin or some sort of nutrient.  I’ve had a craving for peanut butter cookies lately, but I’m pretty sure there aren’t any needed nutrients in such a treat as peanut butter cookies!  It’s not like I need any more sugar in my diet; anyone could see that just by looking at the recipes on my blog!

I’m 31.5 weeks into my fourth pregnancy.  Things are going as you would expect; I’m tired, it’s very difficult to bend over, it’s very difficult to get back up when I finally get in a good position on the sofa, I’m hungry, I make frequent trips to the bathroom, I get heaps of Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Well, if you’ve been pregnant before, you know all about it.  An earlier ultrasound revealed that I’m having a 3rd son; it also revealed the baby had mild renal pyelectasis, which means that one of the baby’s kidneys are slightly larger than the other.  This most likely will not result in any long-term problems, and will probably have resolved itself by my next scan.  It’s a very common finding in males during ultrasounds.  I’ve been waiting for about 10 weeks for my next scan, and still have 5 weeks to go, to see if it really has resolved itself.  It’s a long wait.  I’ve decided not to think too much about it, as there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.  –If anyone’s had any experience with this, I’d love to hear about it – just send me an email via the contact link above!

In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy with taking the kids to school, picking them up, and baking stuff.  It’s taken me a while to get used to the oven in our new house, but I’m getting it figured out!  Also, my 6-year-old daughter is having a tonsillectomy this week.  My son had a tonsillectomy in April of last year, when he was 3.  I think large tonsils run in my family, although thankfully I haven’t needed to have mine removed!  Both my children have had trouble sleeping due to large tonsils, where they aren’t able to breathe properly – sort of like sleep apnea.  My son’s tonsillectomy completely cured him, so we are hoping it will do the same with my daughter.  She’s not very scared; she knows she’ll have two weeks off school, be able to eat all the ice cream she wants and we even have some presents for her to help take her mind off things (if her throat hurts too much).

So, there are quite a few things to keep me busy in these last few weeks of my pregnancy.  I have some great recipes lined up as well that I can’t wait to get started on!

Anyway, back to the peanut butter cookie cravings.  I was just about to start baking my favorite PB cookie recipe (which is this flourless one) when I came across this mega-PB cookie from Buttercream Blondie on FoodGawker.  Each of these cookies is made with 4 ounces of cookie dough and stuffed with pretty pink peanut M&M’s.  They looked gorgeous and just right for my cravings.  They have more ingredients than my favorite flourless recipe, but it has been a while since I made a full-on PB cookie, so I went with it.  I used milk chocolate chips instead of peanut M&M’s.

This PB cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for a few hours, or overnight, before baking.  I’ve never refrigerated PB cookie dough that I can remember, so I baked one up just to see what it would be like if I baked the dough straight after baking it.  Compared to the rest of the cookies, which I baked on the following day, the cookie I baked straight away spread more and was flatter.  Otherwise, there wasn’t a huge difference in taste; just in appearance.

It is important that you do not over-bake these cookies.  Over-baking will ruin them (unless you like crispy, crunchy cookies?).  As you’ll read on Buttercream Blondie, you should take these out of the oven while they are still slightly under-baked as they will continue to bake on the tray once you take them out of the oven.  This is true for most cookies.  As Alton Brown once said, if your cookies look done while they’re in the oven, then they are over-baked and probably ruined.  I took my cookies out of the oven while the edges were slightly golden and the middles were still wobbly.  And the result?

The perfect balance of crispiness and chewiness.  The middle of this cookie was to-die-for chewy.  A simply beautiful texture.  I found that they tasted best straight out of the oven, by the way.

I will note that I did not use 4 ounces of dough for my cookies – I used just 2 ounces!  This still resulted in quite a large cookie at just over 3-inches (8.5cm) in diameter.  I baked them at the recommended temperature for about 15-17 minutes.  If you’re going to make smaller cookies like I did, just keep an eye on them because they may not require the full baking time as noted on the recipe.  And again, under-baking these is really important if you’re after that chewy texture.

I really have no complaints about these cookies!  Well, if I had to be picky, I may have liked them to be a bit more peanut-buttery.  Maybe I should add more peanut butter next time?

I also noted that the bottoms of these cookies tended to burn really easily.  The first batch of these cookies had quite brown bottoms!  Keep this in mind if you make these, and if your oven’s heating element is on the bottom, try putting your oven rack up higher.

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  1. Angela says

    I found your post via pinterest and didn’t have to read much further than the first line to decide I also was going to try these cookies. I was pregnant over Christmas and looked high and low for a good PB Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. I’m so excited to try these and satisfy my craving at last!

  2. Julie says

    These cookies are delicious!! They were crispy on the outside and ‘just right’ chewy on the inside. My boys loved them! This recipe is now in my recipe box, and I will be adding these cookies to my Xmas cookie trays! (I baked them the next day and they perfect!!)

  3. Erin L. says

    These are officially my “go-to” recipe for cookies now. I’m perfecting the cooking method, it’s true that you really have to pay attention to the baking time. I’ve accidentally over-cooked these a couple times but when I manage to under-cook them, they are pretty much everyone’s favorite cookie ever. So glad I found this recipe!!

    • Erin L. says

      I also use the “honey-roasted” peanut butter for these. Never tried it with regular peanut butter so I don’t know if it makes a difference, but it’s definitely my favorite type of peanut butter and works swimmingly every time!

  4. Erin says

    why do recipes call for unsalted butter then as for salt to be added down the line? Just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • says

      This is so that you can control the amount of salt added. Some salted butters may just be too salty, which you could taste in the finished product. But with using unsalted butter and adding salt with the dry ingredients, you can control how much salt actually goes in. If you’re after a saltier chocolate chip cookie, or salted caramel for instance, you could definitely use regular salted butter though. :)

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