I was on a mission to make the perfect chewy peanut butter cookies, so I tried out 4 different methods of chilling and baking these cookies to see which would yield the best cookie based on taste, texture, and appearance.
While cookie B was my favorite, I wanted to see what y'all preferred! So I posted a poll on my Instagram and the results were much more mixed than I expected! So I decided to briefly outline each method below.
The recipe for all methods is exactly the same and all cookies were scooped with a size 20 cookie scoop* (3 heaping tablespoons).
Method A: These cookies were scooped immediately after mixing the dough (room temperature) and then baked. They spread just a little and were still soft and chewy in the middle. These were my second favorite in terms of taste/texture.
Method B: I call this the "drop method". The dough was chilled overnight to allow the flour to hydrate, then scooped into balls and baked for 8 minutes. The cookie sheet was then removed from the oven and lightly dropped onto the kitchen counter. Since the edges weren't completely set, the cookies spread out and got crinkly on the top. The cookies were then placed back in the oven for the remaining 2-4 minutes. This method is slightly more complex but yielded the overall best cookies based on taste/texture/appearance. They're super crispy on the edges but the centers are the perfect amount of chewy.
Method C: The cookies were scooped immediately after mixing the dough (room temperature), then lightly smashed with a fork before baking. These spread the most during baking and yielded the crunchiest cookie.
Method D: The dough was chilled overnight, then scooped and baked. That's it. The edges set pretty quickly, leaving us with a super thick, super soft cookie. These were Kyle's personal favorite based on texture.
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Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the softened butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 1-2 minutes until the texture is light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until thoroughly combined. The dough should be wet and sticky.
- Gently mix in the chopped peanuts.
- Cover the dough and chill in the fridge overnight (minimum of 2 hours if you just can’t wait).
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a light colored baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spoon a generous 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. If desired, roll the tops in sparkling sugar.
- Place dough balls at least 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet (they will spread, I usually only do 6 cookies on a half sheet pan).
- Bake cookies for on the center rack of the oven for 8 minutes. Place a kitchen towel on the counter. Remove from the oven and lightly drop the baking sheet onto the covered counter (only about 2 inches, it's a light drop). This gives the cookies the perfect crackled top.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 2-4 minutes are until the edges are fully set and the cookies are light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
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