When we were in Vermont, I paid very close attention to all the great food we ate.  Only one or two meals were less than stellar.   Every evening I made notes on my iPad about the wonderful the food we had tried that day.  When we came home, my dad was reading through the list and asked, “What are the ‘AMAZING peanut butter chocolate cookies’?”  Well, where do I start with these cookies?

See, Ben is a great sport and a loving husband, and he tagged along with me to all my foodie destinations on this trip.  Since he enjoys outdoorsy things, I planned a day for us to go hiking on a nearby mountain as a sort of thank you.  What I did not plan on was that the hike would be the hardest, most ridiculously un-fun hike ever.  We’re in shape, we work out, and we’ve done a fair amount of hiking in other mountainous locations but people, this trail was not cool, both for its sheer incline and the poor state of the trail the day we hiked (super muddy, wet, blah).  After about one mile we were both annoyed and considered turning back but I’m pretty stubborn and I figured if I had already put in the effort to get that far, I might as well finish it.  Big mistake.  We continued up the three mile stair master from hell, alternating between laughing hysterically at the situation and wanting to cry.  When we finally reached the summit, my fear of heights prevented me from scaling the fire tower so I could see the view.  But hey, at least we made it.  (And let’s not even talk about the trip down.  No thank you.)

When we got back to our room later, we were ravenous having missed lunch by about three hours.  We stopped at The Moon Dog Cafe next door for lunch.  The food was good and we cleaned our plates.  As we were paying, we saw some drool-worthy peanut butter chocolate cookies up at the register.  Ben didn’t even have to ask me, he just bought two and we chowed down.  Now, I’m sure our rough start to the day played a role in this, but those cookies were incredible.  We immediately agreed that I had to recreate these at home.  As luck would have it, I was browsing Shanon’s blog the very next week and saw that she had just posted a cookie that looked incredibly similar to our dream cookies.  And the recipe came from King Arthur Flour.  It seemed like fate, or maybe karmic balancing.

I made the King Arthur version first and while it was very good and we certainly had no trouble eating way too many of them, they weren’t quite on target.  I tinkered with the recipe a bit more, dialing down the cocoa powder, dialing up the peanut butter, making the size larger, and adding more peanut butter cups.  The end result is indeed everything we were hoping for.  These cookies are a giant, in-your-face, no nonsense dessert.  And they almost make up for that ridiculous hike.  At least we had a lot of laughs and some great cookies, right?

Stay tuned next week for another installment from our Vermont travels, and another giveaway :)


1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse salt
¾ stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided*


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Blend until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add in 1½ cups of the chopped peanut butter cups and fold in gently with a spatula.

  • 02

    Use a large dough scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop rounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart. Gently press a few pieces of the reserved peanut butter cups into the top of each of the dough balls. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. (The cookies may seem too soft immediately after coming out of the oven but they will set as they cool. You don’t want to overbake them.) Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

  • 03

    *Note: I prefer to freeze the peanut butter cups for at least 30 minutes before chopping.  It makes them easier to unwrap, easier to cut, and helps them stay intact while you mix them into the dough. 


  • Manju

    Those definitely look awesome, seriously wishing I could have one right now !!


  • Mmm these make me happy.

  • Mother of pearl. You’re a genius! I’ve got to stop reading these posts at 7:30 am – I’m pretty sure peanut butter cups aren’t considered proper breakfast food…

  • Danielle

    Sometimes you just need a cookie to make things right.

  • Sarah

    These look incredible! Do you recommend full size or mini peanut butter cups to chop up?

  • These look delicious! I have a bunch of left over Reese’s cups from Halloween that I can now use up! The freezer tip is brilliant, they always make a mess when I try to cut them up.

  • As a chocolate/pb fiend… I need to make these stat!

  • Amanda V

    These need to be in my life now and every day.

  • Melanie

    My husband would flip over these! We have half a bag of white chocolate peanut butter cups that are quickly disappearing that might be great in this if I can make them soon enough!

  • Two of my favorite things!! These look fabulous :)

  • Your hike sounds like a few of the adventures we’ve had. I get something in my head, we start to do it, it’s terrible but my stubbornness pushes us through until we’re miserable but laughing! This is a cookie I can get into. There’s never enough chocolate and peanut butter combinations!

  • Oh yum! I love that your husband is smart enough to buy them without asking :)

  • Jenn

    I am totally making these asap! And your hiking story sounds like something that would happen to me and my husband :)

  • These look awesome. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure I’ve got a stash of pb cups hidden away from Halloween!

  • “Three mile stair master from hell” – love the description, hate the sound of it :) the cookies sound wonderful and you’ve got great timing – Jason asked for a “chocolate cookie” and these sound like they’ll deliver!

  • These look AMAZING! Thank goodness I have off today, I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon! Yum!

  • What lovely pics! I love fall!

    I can’t wait to make these cookies! They look like chocolatey goodness!

  • Lyndsay

    And to add to the fate-factor of these cookies, today is Veteran’s Day and my vet’s favorite sweet ever is reeses pb cups, so I think these need to be made today! Thanks!

  • those look perfect! and lucky me, i’ve got some pb cups in the pantry :)

  • These look like heaven!!

  • Anna P

    I SO understand the hike, I’ve been on one that was going to be a few hours before a picnic lunch…. Turned into the 6 hour track across a mountain dodging lighting over bolder fields, but when we finally made it back to the food it was the most delicious food ever. Plus my mom’s cinimon rolls were waiting in the car too!

  • Rachael G

    Last night I made a failed batch of PB cup rice krispie treats (note to self – make sure the krispies aren’t stale before proceeding… gross). When I woke up this morning, I was still bummed that my treats didn’t work out and was pretty mopey, but then I saw this recipe link on Facebook. You read my mind! Can’t wait to redeem my kitchen efforts with this delicious looking treat! Thanks! :)

  • Angie R.

    These look so amazing! And perfect timing for me. My daughter just turned 18 and is having her “friends” birthday party tonight. Peanut butter cups are one of her favorites, so I will be going home and whipping up a batch of these to add to her party menu tonight! Hopefully they will turn out perfect – fingers crossed.

  • Erachet

    I have been a reader for a little while now, but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. Those cookies, however, have inspired me to comment. They look AMAZING. I absolutely love peanut butter cups and so does my husband. We will definitely have to make these cookies!

    Also, the Vermont pictures you have been posting are gorgeous! I am a huge fan of New England–I think it’s beautiful, especially during autumn.

    Love your blog!

  • Jennifer

    These cookies look so good. One of my favorite desserts is a chocolate peanut butter cup torte, but it is a little involved and is definitely best just after it is cooked so these seem like a great alternative.

  • Patti T,

    I am really jealous of your trip. Beautiful scenery, a good friend, and all those wonderful places you were able to go to. Hubby and I love to hike, but I don’t think I could handle that trail. I would be broke if I were on this trip, cheeeeeeese AND Kind Arthur Flour!!!!!!
    I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate I bet these were fantastic.

  • Christine

    After reading these lovely posts, I would love to visit VT, especially for King Arthur Flour. =)

  • I love your blog and look forward to every entry. Can’t wait to try these cookies.

  • These look amazing, Annie. Have enjoyed hearing about your trip! :)

  • So jealous of your Vermont trip! Sounds like it was an absolute blast! It’s definitely on my list of places to go…Were you able to have a getaway with your hubby without the little ones? Also, these cookies look insanely delicious…the might need to go on the ever-growing list of Christmas cookies to bake this year!

  • Kelly Hardison

    These look yummy. Question about the butter – is it 3/4 cup or 6 Tablespoons – maybe you were going for 3/4 stick? Thanks for sharing

  • Madonna

    These look fantastic!!! Quick question though, 3/4 cup butter should be 12 tbsp. so I’m confused as to what would be the proper amount. I’m def making these this weekend :) Thanks a ton!

  • These look wonderful. I was actually just perusing some King Arthur Flour cookie recipes this week and saw this recipe. I’m glad you can laugh about your hike from hell! Looks like you had a great time in Vermont. :)

  • Best flavor combination, ever!! I’m afraid of heights too..my knees gave out once when we were atop the CN Tower in Toronto and I had to crawl back to the middle of the room cause everything below my waist turned to jello..it was embarrassing :)

  • Wow! I love peanut butter cups. I just need an “excuse” to buy a bag. Thank you! :-) …Susan

  • These look fantastic!! Definitely being added to my to-bake list!

  • PB & Chocolate, one of the greatest flavor combo’s known to man–and in a cookie! That definitely would make any hike worth it to me! btw, great tip on freezing the candies!

  • I have been looking for a recipe like this as well!! I can’t wait to try them, they look wonderful!

  • Glad the cookie made the day right for you! Judging by the photos of the hike, it was still beautiful at least…mud and all. :) I have some peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s ready to be used, so I’m all over this!

  • Annie

    At least you made it up there! My high school orchestra went to Tortonto once and I was too scared to go up the tower. My friends were giving me such a hard time that I almost cried, and my orchestra director ended up staying on the ground with me. Lame…

  • Melissa

    Just finished making these :) So yummy! I didn’t have dutch process cocoa so I just used regular cocoa powder and they came out fine! Thanks Annie!!

  • Annie

    Sorry, that’s 3/4 stick. I fixed it. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Annie

    I’ve corrected that now :)

  • these look sssooooo good. I’ve been looking for a good chocolate cookie and this looks like it might just be the one.

  • These cookies are pure utter genius! I can’t believe I have never thought of them before. Triple Chocolate Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies are my favorite! To combine the two I think I would be in pure bliss!

    PS: Even though the hike was not fun at least you got some beautiful pictures!

  • This is INTENSE!!!

  • These look RIDICULOUS!! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Wow. Talk about my perfect cookie!
    These look so good, and I know everyone in my family would devour these. We’re definitely chocolate-peanut butter people. Can’t wait to try these!

  • Elizabeth

    I had to comment after reading about your hike; my boyfriend and I recently went out with the intent to backpack in to a particular campsite a friend had recommended. I don’t know if she’s way more fit than we are or what, but after hiking in 3.5 miles STRAIGHT UPHILL, we gave up on the endeavor and headed back to the car with our packs full, our old black lab one tired pup, and our knees hating us. We were definitely alternating between fits of laughter and wanting to weep! On the way home we picked up some freshly caught salmon and had a home-cooked feast with our feet up. I can only imagine how many of those cookies we could have eaten…

  • I love that you see the chunks of peanut butter cups in this cookie. Definitely makes me want to grab one or a few to eat!

  • Dawn

    These look absolutely amazing and like something my friend whomis pregnant would love! What are your thoughts on freezing them? I am thinking that maybe you could freeze the unbaked cookies?

  • Lyndsay

    Just finished making these. My husband LOVED them. Taking the rest to my in-laws tomorrow as dessert with some ice cream (if they make it until then!).

  • Cristy

    oh.my.goodness. other than that, I have no words. Which is rare. Can I come to your house and eat myself silly?

  • Ann Marie

    After reading your post, I definitely want to visit King Arthur Flour! I love their recipes and products and I think I’d be just as “out of control” as you were! :-)

  • These are going to haunt me in my sleep.

  • We are must be foodie soul mates! I just posted a recipe so similar to this today! Your cookies look delicious!

  • Sara

    These look wonderful! Can you make the dough and freeze it for a week? What would you store it in?

  • Lindsay

    These look heavenly! Thanks for the awesome recipe. I can’t wait to try them!

  • What a fun vacation, glad you survived the hike :) I also get overwhelmed in the KAF store :) And what amazing cookies – sounds like heaven for PB and chocolate lovers!

  • Sarah

    What I love even more than this AMAZING recipe is that you and your husband will have one of those “Remember when…” moments to laugh about for many years to come:)

  • Are these soft and chewy? They look like it from the pic! I’m not a huge fan of crispy cookies.

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page regarding freezing, and check out my freezer posts. Thanks.

  • Kristy R.

    Yum yum! Can’t wait to try these!

  • Heidi

    Nothing like a well-intentioned hike from hell to make you thankful that you married your best friend and someone who can laugh with you mid disaster. These cookies look awesome.

  • Shelly

    Annie – I made these yesterday for a get together and every single woman there asked for the recipe. you are not kidding, these are an in your face, no nonsense dessert. Best cookie I have eaten, will be making these again and again this holiday season!

  • Kathleen

    I made these this past weekend. Oh my goodness are they GOOD! Needless to say these will be in my Christmas cookie packages this year. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Annie

    I’m so happy to hear they were a hit!

  • These look amazing–so chunky and rich!

  • ChristyLane

    Made these this weekend and had a impromptu guests come over (maybe they smelled the cookies?) Anyways they were amazing and everyone LOVED them!

  • I made these cookies on Saturday. They were delicious and they were GONE before Sunday afternoon! I really liked the salty-peanut taste in the batter. I’m a little confused by the Dutch-process cocoa powder in this recipe as I’ve read that it must be used with baking powder and not baking soda. I used my regular unsweetened cocoa powder. The cookies I made were slightly ‘cake-y.’ Did yours turn out differently? i.e. more chewy?

  • Annie

    I don’t think that rule about Dutch-process is true, at least in my experience. I’ve never followed it but just use it when recipes call for it. I of course have no way of knowing the texture of my cookies compared to yours…it’s a pretty subjective thing to try to compare.

  • Susan Sears

    I made these de-lish cookies over the weekend and frankly, I wanted to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! My new favorite cookie.

  • Just made these, and also just devoured two of them! I was going to give them all away, but decided to just give half the batch because they are too good to depart with!

  • Annie

    I was hoping you were trying these when I saw that on your Facebook feed. You made the right decision, gotta keep some for yourself!

  • Thanks for the tip Annie! I tried both the Dutch process cocoa and natural cocoa today with the same results. I believe one of the main leavening agents in baking powder is baking soda, so the rule didn’t make sense to me. Thanks again.

  • I’m visiting upstate New York (where I grew up) and hosting a small playdate tonight with my two “besties” from high school and their kids. I made these cookies and they are definitely perfect for serving with some cold milk. I also made a pitcher of the raspberry limeade you posted a few months ago. Weirdly enough, the grocery store up here had a beautiful selection of berries at a very reasonable price, considering the season. As usual when I host any kind of get-together, it’s gonna be an Annie’s Eats event!

  • marcie

    These are amazing. I had to take them to work so I’d stop eating them. Taking them to Thanksgiving, along with your Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Thanks!!!

  • cookielover

    Wow! These are the best cookies I have ever made. Love this recipe and love your page Annie, I have tried quite a few of your recipe with nothing less than stellar results everytime!!!

  • Pam

    My mom came over today when had a batch of these in the oven. She said they were the best cookies she ever had. Needless to say, they are awesome cookies. I made the batch for my husband to take to work and I’m sure they will love them. This is going on my list of top cookies. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Kelly

    These were PHENOMENAL! Without a doubt my new favorite cookie. I think I’m going to whip up another batch tonight. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Marilyn

    First thing I have made off your blog…a huge hit!

  • Colleen

    These are the most amazing cookies I have ever made. They have increased my popularity tenfold. Many thanks.

  • Colleen

    Oh, and I didn’t have enough pb cups on hand and threw in some wunderbar chunks. Amazing. Unreal.

  • Oh my gosh, Annie. Thank you so much for this recipe, these are INCREDIBLE! I made them last night and my boyfriend stopped over and I think inhaled at least half of these cookies right away. Thats how I know when a recipe I try is a success :)

  • Meghan C.

    Made these last night, DELICIOUS! Perfect amont of chocolate and peanut buter. Had to use the christmas bells as plain PB cups were no where to be found, but still turned out great! Thanks Annie for another great recipe!

  • I made a double batch of these last weekend to send to my brother who was going into finals week, he has texted me several times since then to say how good these were. He’s already begging me to make them again over Christmas :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I made a double batch of these last weekend to send to my brother who was going into finals week, he has texted me several times since then to say how good these were. He’s already begging me to make them again over Christmas :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I made a double batch of these last night and they are wonderful! I found they only needed to bake 8 minutes, though!

  • Irresistible in the best of ways, these were just what I needed this week. I could’ve eaten that whole bag of Reese’s I got for Christmas, but I enjoyed sharing them with my family in cookie form much better. Thank you :)

  • Aimee

    I made these today. Words cannot express how wonderful they are. My husband and I ate them warm from the oven before we even finished making dinner. We both agree they are one of the best cookies we have ever eaten and they are in the category of “too good to have in the house because we would eat all of them”. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • Sara Addicott

    Mine don’t look like the picture — they didn’t flatten out at all. What could I have done wrong, Annie? I think they are going to taste good, and they don’t have a shiny texture like yours, kindof “matte” if you know what I mean.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure what to tell you. I made mine as indicated in the recipe directions here. If you want them flatter, you could press them down a bit before baking next time.

  • I just sent a half dozen of these to my parents along with two other types of cookies and these were the ones that my mom had to call and say “wow” about. They were quite tasty & a delicious excuse to buy lots of extra Reese’s Cups when they go on sale!!

  • Drmissy743

    My daughter made a batch of these for me for my post-surgical recovery. They were so yummy that I actually hid some away in the freezer! I am now going to create a batch for a football party treat this weekend. Thank you!

  • Tam Murillo

    I love it when I come acrosss a recipe and I happen to have all the called for ingredients on hand. I made a double batch of these babies but then began to worry when the batter came together as super thick. I tredged on… and THEN really worried when I took them out of the oven- they didn’t spread at all they were the same scoop I placed in the oven. I flattened the next batch and same result- NO spreading… I am happy to say that they taste great. I was multi tasking and I’m guessing I might have missed something. These are yummy (big glass o milk a MUST) and I will be giving these a second try. Thank you for sharing ;)

  • Leslie

    I made these cookies for Valentine’s Day, and they were soooooo good! My friends and family said that they were spectacular. :)

    After dropping the dough on the sheet, I flattened them a little bit, and I think that definitely helped with their overall appearance after baking.

    Can’t wait to make these again!

  • Rachel

    I’m planning on making these delicious looking cookies for a girl’s night this Friday (I can’t imagine a cookie being more well received by a group of girls!) I was wondering though, what brand of dutch- process cocoa did you use for the recipe? I bought the Droste brand which was twice the price of the Ghirardelli or Hershey’s Dark. I’m anticipating that I’ll want to make these again and again and just wondered if the more affordable cocoas would work just as well.

  • annieseats

    Hershey’s and Ghirardelli don’t make Dutch cocoa (as far as I know). That is just natural cocoa powder. Dutch is generally significantly more expensive, but is a little better if you buy in larger quantities. Please see the FAQ page for more info.

  • Moomeyfamily

    I made these but they didn’t end up looking like yours, could you tell me what brand of peanut butter and cocoa powder you used? They were good, but not quite right, I followed the directions and am a pretty experienced baker. They ended up soft but a little dry inside. I didn’t overbake. Help!

  • annieseats

    I always use Jif in baking. I’m not sure about the cocoa powder – just depends on what I had in the pantry at the time. If they were dry, I’d probably just bake a little less next time.

  • I just made these cupcakes yesterday and they are heavenly! I had to take a moment and just shut my eyes and enjoy! Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe!

  • Ivy Clemmuns


  • Caitie

    I’m planning a nice meal for my family this weekend and I think I’m going to try these. My 2yr old took one look at the picture and went “mama yummy!” and the reviews sound promising. Thanks for the recipe

  • bakingmamma

    I’ve adapted this to be gluten/sugar free and they are still wonderful. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  • Just made these for my friends at work. They were a big hit! First batch did not come out that great looking. As with regular peanut butter cookies, these need to be pressed down before baking as they don’t really flatten out on their own. The second batch I kind of made into “patties”, then placed the additional pb cups on top. They were perfect.

  • Cristina Rojas

    annie, annie, annie! youve done it AGAIN. i am so in love with this recipe, its crazy. i am trying to make our first newlywed christmas special because we are so far from family, and our “christmas activity” of today is bake together….. i hardly ever get my hubby (my high school sweetheart) to bake with me, and we did….we made these wonderful cookies. he LOVES them. and he asked me where i got the recipe, i replied cooly like if we were best buds… “annie”. you made us proud. thanks chica!

  • annieseats

    Love it! So glad you two enjoyed them! Very cute. We are HS sweethearts too :)

  • Steph

    I just made these for my Christmas cookie trays, man, these are AMAZING. They are amazingly soft, chewy, with a perfect amount of sweet and salty from the peanut butter. I love the idea of pressing a few peanut butter cups into the tops of the cookies before baking, the way they melted just made them look amazing. This is something I wish I didn’t have leftover of because I keep going back to sneak some! I used old baking pans and an old oven and slightly burned just the bottoms on one batch, which was my own fault. I used a zester to grate the bottoms off (since the rest of the cookie was perfect) and they came out beautifully. Just a tip in case anyone else has the same issues with old equipment like I do :)

  • Lauren

    Mine came out the same way…not sure what I did.

  • These are my husband’s absolute favorites! They are perfect!

  • mamy81

    I love when I find a recipe with an ingredient that I don’t personally enjoy (i.e. peanut butter) and then really really enjoy it. I made these for Christmas 2012 for a cookie exchange contest. I won. I made these for Christmas 2013 cookie exchange again (different people/no contest) and they were the best cookie there. In 2012 I made them with the big dough scoop and they were a big cookie. In 2013 I made them with a small 1 inch dough scoop and they were a 2-3 bite cookie. Perfectly sized. Especially when you need a lot of cookies. I made them again this year for cookie boxes to send out of state with the one inch scoop. I am making them AGAIN (third time in one week) today for my son’s school play tonight. I’m in LOVE. Thank you, thank you doc!!

  • Tara

    Another hit from Annie! Thank you very much. I love the salty and sweet, plus your instructions were fantastic. I cooked them for 12 mins (dough straight from the freezer) and they turned out great. I ended up using regular cocoa powder because that is all I had in the house and I couldn’t wait another minute to try these cookies.