Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

We ate and drank like kings and queens on our vacation last week. Breakfast buffets every morning, chips and salsa at lunch, brick-oven pizza mid-afternoon, four-course dinners most nights, and drinks delivered to us all day as we lounged on the beach or by the pool. Oh and an endless supply of Oreos in the minibar in our room – do I even need to tell you how dangerous that was?

So yeah, it was a total exercise in overindulgence. Understatement of the year 🙂

Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Shane and I both vowed to get back on track when we got home, but yesterday didn’t go very well. We had almost no food in the house and were too lazy to go grocery shopping so a box of mac and cheese became lunch and we ordered take-out for dinner. Ooops!

There were cookies in the freezer for dessert too. These salted chocolate chip peanut butter cup cookies specifically, and we might have had a few of those as well. I know, right? But seriously, these cookies are so good we couldn’t help ourselves!

Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

The recipe is based on the famous New York Times chocolate chip cookie. If you’ve made it, you know how good it is – and if you haven’t, you need to put it on your to-do list. We’re adding peanut butter here as well as mini peanut butter cups so peanut butter and chocolate lovers, these are most definitely for you. Just like the original recipe, these cookies have the best texture: slightly crisp around the edges, soft and chewy toward the center. I dare you to try to eat only one of them, it’s pretty much impossible.

One of the reasons the New York Times cookie is so fantastic is because the dough is refrigerated for at least 24 hours before baking the cookies. Because I’m impatient and also curious, I tried baking a few of these cookies immediately; you can see the results below.

Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

The cookie on the left was the one that was baked immediately and the one on the right was made with dough that had been refrigerated for over 24 hours. As you can see, the one made with refrigerated dough browned more. It also achieved a greater depth of flavor. That said, the one baked immediately was still pretty darn good, so in a pinch know that refrigerating the dough isn’t strictly necessary. For best results, I still think it’s worth it though!

Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (originally adapted from Jacques Torres by Gastronomer’s Guide)

{Note: as mentioned above, you can bake the cookies immediately instead of refrigerating the dough. Reduce baking time by about 2 minutes if you do.}

8 1/2 oz bread flour
8 1/2 oz cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
10 oz light brown sugar
8 oz granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini peanut butter cups, halved
fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Whisk both flours, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary). Add both sugars and continue beating on medium speed until very light, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups by hand until evenly distributed. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 2.5 oz balls and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between the cookies. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt then bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are set and golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before removing the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to allow the baking sheet to cool between batches).

Makes about 24-28 cookies

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