i never really grew up eating pb&j sandwiches for lunch.
my mom packed most of my lunches growing up. sometimes she’d pack dinner leftovers in bento boxes. sometimes i’d have a steamed bun from an asian bakery, sometimes stuffed with red bean paste and sometimes with meat and veggies. sometimes she’d pack my favorite: balls of rice sprinkled with furikake and stuffed with dried shredded pork. as i got older, i started asking for lunchables or pb&j sandwiches or the school lunches that served mashed potatoes and gravy, and mom-packed lunches were no more.
i’m smiling as i write this and think about my lunchboxes growing up. it not only meant that i had food to eat, but it also meant that i had caring parents to pack my lunches before sending me off to school.
i share this because peanut butter reminds me of just that: the coveted pb&j sandwich that i always wanted for lunch but received rice and seaweed instead. and now, as i look back, i wouldn’t want it any other way. i’d trade anything for more of my mom’s dinner leftovers or homemade sushi rolls.
apart from the occasional pb&j, peanut butter was used mainly for ritz crackers or carrot sticks (story for another day). these days, peanut butter in my kitchen is now used for peanut butter cookies and variations of that sort. these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are one of the best i’ve had- thick and chewy, packed with peanut butter flavor and studded with gooey chocolate chunks. they’re very much not crumbly at all like some other peanut butter cookies i’ve had, and the chocolate (obviously) just complements the peanut butter so well. they’re best fresh and warm, with a cup of milk or coffee.
baker’s notes: the best type of peanut butter to use here is commercial-type pb, such as skippy and jif. avoid the natural peanut butters that separate. also note that peanut butter will prevent the dough from spreading normally during baking, so make sure to press down on the dough balls just a bit to help with the spreading process.
also, note that the dough will need some chilling time in the fridge. this helps develop the flavor and build the dough structure. this will also help the cookies stay chewy! is it absolutely necessary? no, but the wait will make them that much better, and i highly recommend doing so. they dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days- just make sure to wrap tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t absorb smells.
peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
makes about 24 large cookies
from handle the heat
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (read baker’s note)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and/or chunks (i used a combo)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
in a large bowl, microwave the butter until melted. whisk in the peanut butter into the hot butter until well-combined and smooth. stir in both sugars. add the eggs and the yolk, and beat well. stir in the vanilla. fold in the flour mixture until a few streaks of flour remain, then stir in the chocolate chips.
cover the dough with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours. read baker’s notes above for more info on this!
when ready to bake, using a large cookie scoop (i used a 3 tablespoon sized scoop), drop the dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1.5 inches apart. flatten the dough slightly with your fingers to help with the spreading. add a couple more chocolate chips on top of the flattened dough.
bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. enjoy warm or at room temp, delicious either way!