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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Crispy Sablé Style)

5

Easy recipe for the ultimate melt-in-the-mouth crunchy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Like a French butter sablé, they’re healthy as reduced in sugar. Texture-wise they are crisp yet soft rather than chewy with a subtle saltiness that makes them irresistible.

golden brown cookies cooling on a wire tray with a pile of chocolate chips

Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s already the second week of the mid-term school winter holidays. The children have had a ball with sleep-overs, ‘hanging out’ chez les amis (‘playing’ is now banned from our silly adult vocabulary.) On return from their friends’ homes, they described what they had for dinner and, top of the list, what was for goûter at 4pm official French snack time. They raved about their friends’ homemade cookies.
‘You know, Mum, they made the most incredible cookies. They put chocolate chips in them, and peanut butter.’
Why don’t we ever make cookies like them?”

WHAT?! Ah bon. I could feel myself standing to my full height. After constantly testing French pâtisserie recipes for my 2nd book, Teatime in Paris they’ve had éclairs, financiers, crêpes, tarts and mille-feuilles, macarons and ice creams. After making all these, I hadn’t made the simplest cookies made with peanut butter.

When I mentioned the reaction to the friends’ cookies, my Mum burst into hysterics. Apparently, I’m Granny’s double: my Mum used to come home from a friend’s house, also raving about what she’d eaten there and my Granny would throw a wobbly with the kids. Nobody could be better than my proud, Scottish Granny. ‘What? She served you tinned mandarines and you think that’s better than what you get here?’

I didn’t even realise that I demonstrated the same. Exactly the same. Thanks for putting me in my place, Mum. I deserved that.

rows of golden cookies cooling on a rack

How do you Simple Peanut Butter Cookies Better?

That being said, I still set about making the best ever peanut butter cookies. How can you make simple cookies better? By using the best quality ingredients you can. Use good unsalted butter, best quality dark chocolate chips (I use Barry), and the best crunchy peanut butter. A few years ago, peanut butter wasn’t something the French normally keep in their store cupboards but it’s getting better in supermarkets and health food stores with much more choice today.


Use your favourite brand (e.g. Jif in the USA). In France, I prefer to buy the natural kinds with no added salt or sugar. Just ensure you stir it well first, as the natural peanuts and their oil separate in the jar.

The result are soft, melt-in-the-mouth yet crispy-on-the-outside peanut butter cookies. They are particularly buttery. So much so, they are a bit like French sablé cookies (see my recipe for salted butter biscuits, Palets Bretons). Using good quality dark chocolate chips makes them even better!

rows of golden chocolate chip-studded cookies cooling

Consistent, Precise Baking – Even for Easy Cookies

To make it up to them from a cookie-less Mum back then, I took inspiration from my American blogging friends making cookies that used peanut butter.

I found many super peanut butter recipes. The problem, however, is that so many US recipes deal in cups. In France (and now the UK) we prefer grams. It’s not to be difficult. The reason being, by dosing the ingredients using a digital scale, it’s precise and means that the results are more consistent.  For more on the subject, read my article about Why We Use Digital Scales: Weight vs Volume. As a result, we wildly adapted a mix of several recipes using cups and came up with this version in grams/ounces.

Soft Textured Cookies with a Crisp Outer Bite

Since then, I’ve tweaked the dosage yet again to make it more like shortbread or a French sablé. This is due to the extra butter. The result is a soft yet crispy texture on the outside. What’s more, they just so happen to be a little addictive with the slight addition of salt.

Want to make them even crispier? It’s easy. Just press the cookies down slightly on the tray before baking, either with a fork or with the fingers to flatten.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies recipe

Even crispier as we’ve been slightly flattened before baking

The girls did a great job. The texture wasn’t too soft or too crispy either – just somewhere in between. I prefer how it’s subtle and gives enough crunch and saltiness. No need to use an electric mixer: the children wanted a hands-on approach, which is much more fun – and an arm workout as holiday sport!

They’re melt-in-the-mouth, not too sweet, have an appealing saltiness to them, and they’re rather compulsive eating – a bit on the same lines as these sesame tuiles.

Where did my step-by-step images go? Check back later, I’m off to make more.
Don’t you love excuses like this? The things I do for you 🙂

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies cooling

5 from 1 vote

Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sablé Cookies

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course : teatime, Party Food
Cuisine : American, British
Keyword : peanut butter cookies, peanut butter chocolate
Servings : 30 cookies
Calories : 278kcal

Description

Easy recipe for melt-in-the-mouth cookies made with crunchy peanut butter, dark chocolate chips and reduced in sugar. In the style of buttery shortbread or French sablés. Great for baking with kids.

Ingredients

  • 125 g (4.5oz) butter, unsalted softened
  • 50 g (2oz) sugar
  • 25 g (1oz) light brown sugar (cane sugar)*
  • 1 egg organic
  • 100 g (3.5oz) crunchy peanut butter (or smooth)
  • good pinch salt (fleur de sel)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 110 g (4oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 100 g (3.5oz) dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4 and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment or a silicone mat.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars* with a good spatula until the sugar has disappeared and the mix is pale and creamy. Gradually add in the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. (The dough can be frozen at this point if you don't use all of it.)
  • Spoon out small portions of the mixture on the baking sheets, leaving a good gap in between each as they spread out.
    If you like cookies slightly crispy on the outside, then flatten them slightly with a fork and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Otherwise leave them as little mounds.
  • When cooled, transfer the cookies to a wire rack.

Notes

* I love to use a mixture of the sugars: using a little light brown cane sugar adds that crunch to the texture. However, 75g/3oz of one kind is good too. 
The dough is ideal for freezing.
278 calories for a serving of 3 cookies each.

This recipe was first published 27 February 2012 but is now being updated with new images and made easier to read.

Love peanut butter? Then you’ll love the taste of black sesame ice cream. Try it and discover the similar taste sensation!

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Comments (63)

Extremely delicious and memorable styling! 🙂

Thanks so much, Eva. Means so much coming from a real stylist!

Oh my those look perfect! If you’re going to do chocolate chips (and I don’t mind) do them right! Love the segue from “playing” to “hanging out.” Growing up – but you don’t leave chocolate chips behind.

Or chips, for that matter, Claudia 😉
Yep, if I mention, come around to play the look is thrown. Oops…

The leaning tower of deliciousness!

Love it, Natalie.