The very first recipe I shared with you on my blog was for my favorite peanut butter cookies. I first made them over a decade ago, and they’ve been my go-to peanut butter cookie ever since. Although they are wonderful made with just their 3 (THREE!) necessary ingredients, I often like to add a little something extra. Whether that something extra is a cup of chocolate chunks, a handful of chopped peanuts, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, or something else that strikes my fancy depends on the day, what’s in my cupboard, and my mood. Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there, adding a teaspoon of vanilla for flavor, a teaspoon of baking powder to help with leavening, and substituting half the granulated sugar for light brown in order to make the cookies extra chewy.
Through trial and error I’ve learned how to judge exactly when the cookies should come out of the oven, which is when they still seem underdone and soft but the edges are beginning to set. These are MUCH better when they’re still soft and chewy inside than over-baked, dry, and crumbly. They also cook more evenly when slightly flattened with the bottom of a glass or a fork.
The other day I got the urge to make a batch of my peanut butter cookies, but I felt like adding something extra. Not chocolate chips this time. Something better. I couldn’t stop thinking about a chocolate-peanut butter combo though, so I experimented with adding a little cocoa powder to the dough. It turned out fabulous! The cookies were still full of peanut butter flavor but had a rich, intense chocolate flavor as well…the ultimate combo! I guess it just goes to show you that even a tried-and-true recipe can be adapted a little for the better. Improvement is always possible, even when the original is so darn tasty. Have no fear, original peanut butter cookies; I’ll still be making you. They’ll just have to share the limelight with this amazing chocolate edition!
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugars, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Stir in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla until well-combined. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared sheets. Lightly press each dough ball with a fork in a criss-cross pattern or slightly flatten with the bottom of a glass.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are still soft but edges are set. They may look underdone, but it’s okay…just don’t over-bake these! Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!