loaded peanut butter cookies

Otherwise known as peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip peanut cookies, or, as my siblings refer to them, peanut butter crack cookies.

There is a café nearby that flaunts the most wonderful bakery counter. Behind the glass are jars of cookies, freshly baked quick breads, biscuits, scones, and muffins of the day. While I love snacking on the seasonal quick breads, the gingersnap cookies, and the fluffy chive biscuits, recently I have been drawn to the chunky peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip peanut cookie. After trying the delicious peanut buttery treat after lunch one day, I came home with the craving for more, so I decided to see if I could recreate the goodness. It may be because these are warm, melty, and fresh out of my own oven, but I think they are even better than the original inspiration. Loaded peanut butter cookies have quickly become one of my favorite cookies of all time.

The cookie base is thick with a subtle peanut butter flavor from the delicious nut butter. In juxtaposition to the smooth dough, loaded peanut butter cookies are filled with lots of texture from the mix-ins. The oats make the cookie more substantial, and also differentiate them in a great way from many plain peanut butter cookies. I use both semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped dark chocolate chunks to get those delicious puddles of melted chocolate but still keep some little pockets of chocolate scattered throughout. The peanuts bring out the flavor of the dough and the slightly salty addition balances out the sweet chocolates.

It is hard to go wrong with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but these turned out even better than I imagined. They are amazing, filled with flavor and texture, and so addicting. I tested them out on my family last week and none of us could stop eating them. With warm cookies in their mouths and melted chocolate on their fingers, my siblings dubbed them peanut butter crack cookies and sang their praises even days later.

Whip up a batch of delicious loaded peanut butter cookies before the long weekend – you may not have any left by the time Friday comes, but you won’t regret it. ;)

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies aka Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Cookies
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter*
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup roasted lightly salted peanuts**
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped dark chocolate

*I tried this recipe with natural peanut butter and it worked just as well as the more sugary peanut butters.

**I used lightly salted peanuts (50% less salted peanuts from Trader Joe’s). If you use peanuts with more salt, or unsalted peanuts, you may need to adjust the level of salt you add to the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the peanut butter, vanilla and egg and mix again until the ingredients are fully combined. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour in the oats, peanuts, and chocolates and stir until the mix-ins are dispersed throughout the batter.

Roll the dough into 1 ½-tablespoon balls (about the size of golf balls). Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. The tops may not look completely done – they will continue to cook as they cool. Let the cookies rest on the pans for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes, or serving them a bit warm :) We learned the hard way that serving them before they are cool enough makes for a messy, chocolatey situation.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

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