Man-Happy Cookies

You can't resist taking a bite of these chewy cookies.

Whenever I pull out my mixer and measuring cups, my husband will eagerly chirp, “Oooh, what are you baking?”

If I answer “lemon-grapefruit-kumquat coconut bars” or “cardamom-nutmeg-pine nut chewies” or anything else a little exotic, he’ll sigh dejectedly.

“Oh,” he’ll fret. Then add, “How about chocolate-chip or peanut butter instead?”

You see, besides his nickname of Meat Boy, he’s also known in our house as Basic Boy.

Sure, he likes his fancy four-star dinners at swank restaurants. But after awhile, he’s craving the simpler tastes in life. A good burger or — dare I say it — Taco Bell.

Like many men that I know, he’s also a milk chocolate lover. He much prefers that to the dark, earthy, slightly bitter, dark variety I can’t get enough of.

So when I spied this recipe for “Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate” in the “Baked” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) cookbook by Brooklyn bakery owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, I thought I’d give it a try.

Milk chocolate swirled with peanut butter in a cookie.

Unlike other peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I’ve made, this one calls for milk chocolate, coarsely chopped from a bar, rather than milk chocolate chips. So instead of a peanut butter cookie studded with milk chocolate chips you get a cookie that’s a little like a melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. As the cookies bake, some of the milk chocolate melts into the peanut butter batter, creating chewy cookies that are swirled throughout with nutty and chocolatey goodness.

The recipe calls for sprinkling the cookies with granulated sugar before baking to give them an even sweeter note. When I make this recipe again — and I will — I think I’ll skip the last bit of sugar since I rather enjoy a more salty-sweet interplay.

And the next time my hubby asks if I can make chocolate-chip or peanut-butter cookies, I have the perfect response:

“Why not both?”

Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

(Makes 24 cookies)

1 3/4  cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup creamy peanut butter

6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in chocolate. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With palm of your hand, very gently press each cookie down so it forms a very tall disk shape. Do not press too hard and do not press it flat.

Sprinkle tops of cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time, until tops of cookies just begin to brown.

Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer individual cookies to the rack to cook completely (although they are also delicious warm).

The cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

From “Baked”

More from “Baked”: Root Beer Bundt Cake

More Still from “Baked”: Nutella Scones

More Peanut Butter Goodness:
PB&J Cupcakes From Martha Stewart

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  • YUM!!! Looks delicious! I bet he was in heaven 🙂

  • Those look fantastic! I’m grabbing that book to mark the page now.

  • Wonderful cookies! Yes, my husband too has been asking me to make simple chocolate chip cookies for a while instead of all the other fancy things I’ve been making 🙂

  • They look perfect.

    I wonder if you could sprinkle a little sea salt on them to mingle with the sugar.

  • YUMMY! I have to stop from lunging at my computer monitor as if taking a bite of the cookie! Another recipe to pass on to my baking mother-in-law!

  • Isn’t it funny how most people just want the everyday treats, whereas most of us avid cookers/foodies want to venture and try funky combos? 🙂 We encounter that everytime! A mixture of sea salt/raw sugar on top could be the best touch next time!

  • You sure know the direct route to your husband’s heart! 😉 I loved Reeses peanutbutter cup as a kid too, so I’m going to give this a try.

  • These look simply amazing!

  • This man is happy just looking at these cookies!

  • My hubby is a basic boy too, especially when it comes to cookies. I’ve been making a lot of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies lately – but this might be a good shakeup!

  • Hehehe…this is why I’m married to Nate…I was just thinking the very same thought about adding some sea salt to the top of the cookie and then read that he had left same comment. Other than that, I was just going to say, the cookie looks so inviting and I love peanut butter and chocolate so this is totally perfect (btw, I just baked choc chip cookies last night!).

  • Sounds a little like my husband…cute!

  • Chocolate and peanut butter is just about my favorite flavor combo on earth. Every single time I go to Baskin Robbins, without exception, I order the chocolate peanut butter ice cream. There’s a blog I absolutely love reading that is devoted entirely to this sacred flavor mix and in case you haven’t yet been introduced, I’d like you to meet CPB Gallery, The Chocolate Peanut Butter Gallery!!

    I am a total groupie!

  • “you get a cookie that’s a little like a melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup”

    I’m so sold.

  • I’m basic too, but I prefer dark chocolate (around 70%). And I would simplify this by getting rid of as much non-chocolate content as possible (especially the peanut butter) and increasing the chocolate accordingly.

    Not that those don’t look good, mind you.

  • Marnie: Thanks for the tip on the CPB Gallery blog. It’s wonderful! I get hungry just looking at all those peanut butter-chocolate concoctions.

    Nate & Annie: Ahh, sea salt sprinkled on top. But of course! Much better than the sugar that the recipe calls for.

    Mike W: Uh, if you got rid of the peanut butter, it wouldn’t be a peanut butter-milk chocolate cookie then. I’m guessing you’re even more of a purist Basic Boy than my husband when it comes to cookies. 😉

  • My boyfriend would love these. He is also a basic kind of guy!

  • Haha, this is the way to get a man’s heart…through his stomach with these wonderful cookies!

  • I don’t really like peanut butter in desserts, but anything salty-sweet intrigues me. These sound good!

  • These cookies are definitely Woman-Happy cookies, too! Reese’s PB cups were my absolute favorite chocolate bars until I developed a peanut intolerance (probably due to excess consumption of said cups). Tragic day. I wouldn’t go as far as Mike W. but I will have to sub the peanut for another nut butter. I can’t NOT make these!

  • Tangled Noodle: I, too, cannot resist Reese’s. So I can’t even imagine what life must be like without them for you now. That is sad, indeed. It reminds me of a New York mixologist/molecular gastronomy guy I once met. He told me that he loved cherries all his life. They were his very favorite fruit. But for some reason when he reached his 20s, he became deathly allergic to them. And I mean deathly. He can’t tolerate them at all now without dire consequences. Getting older sometimes is no fun at all, is it? Our bodies change in ways we just don’t want them to. Sigh.

  • Yum! I want to reach through cyberspace and sink my teeth into these. Like you, I never buy milk chocolate, but see how it would make these irresistible. And I love the name. So true.

  • Oh man, these look good. I’ve been eyeing the book for a while now. Totally. Sold.

  • Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!

  • A melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup works for me!

  • Geez! I will really like to bake these! I love Reese!

  • I’m in the process of making these RIGHT NOW. I’m in the 3 hour refrigeration stage of it. The dough tastes wonderful, and I’m so excited to see what they taste like when they come out of the oven…

    They did make quite a mess in my kitchen, though…

  • also, don’t go doubling it or anything… it makes WAAAY more than 24. I’ve got 36 already on cookie sheets, and half a bowl left to bake still. reasonable sized cookies will yeild at LEAST twice as much as the recipe claims.

    happy baking!

  • I just made these. Agreed on the size- we made 48, not 24. A lot of them ended up being too brown because we left them in the oven too long, but we got one perfect batch.

    You have to take them out of the oven before they look done, really. They’ll only be brown on the edges. But, maybe that’s just my old dysfunctional oven.

    They taste pretty damn delicious 🙂

  • PS: I’m slightly allergic to peanuts, and I still ate a cookie. My mouth is still a little bit swollen, but it is worth it!!! (I’m hoping my allergy doesn’t “explode” into being fatal someday… I can still enjoy a lil bit of PB these days…)

  • Jimmie: You’re allergic to peanuts and you STILL ate the cookies? You are brave. Plus, it just shows what a peanut butter-hocolate chunk cookie lover you are. Glad you liked the cookies so much. They’re one of my new faves, too.

    Did the over-browning of the cookies come about from baking the cookies according to the time in the recipe? Or did it still brown too much even earlier than that? A couple things might contribute to the faster browning: Do you use dark colored, non-stick cookie sheets? Darker cookie sheets will make cookies brown faster around the edges. Did you make the cookies much smaller than the recipe stated? If so, then they probably will bake quicker, too. Lastly, do you butter your cookie sheets? Or just use parchment paper or a Silpat liner? If you butter the cookie sheets, that also will make the cookies brown more. Also, if you at all think your oven temperature might not be accurate, pick up an oven thermometer (they’re inexpensive) to check it. That way, you can tell if you oven runs hotter than it actually indicates.

    Hope that helps. And here’s to more delicious cookie-baking in the future. 😉

  • You’re right! I made the cookies the same size as the recipe stated, butI used one dark cookie sheet for one batch and a lighter metal one for the second batch, and the one with the lighter sheet came out better and more even. Also, yes, I buttered the sheets instead of using parchment. You’re good!

  • Jimmie: I aim to please. heehee. I’m not always right, but I try my best. Glad we solved the cookie conundrum. 😉

  • They look delicious, your pictures are very good – they look too good to eat!

  • I recently made these, too, and they are de-lish! Yours look awesome.

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  • I can’t wait to try this recipe.. My husband loves chocolate chip cookies and we are always down to try new recipes! These look fantastic– so moist. I am gonna be the main event at poker night, woo hoo!
    Propane Burners

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  • If you are allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, try almonds/almond butter. Emily Luchetti’s new Fearless Baker has a fabulous recipe for Almond-Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re easy to make and taste oh so good! Definitely a keeper 🙂

  • These look scrumptious. I have the first Baked cookbook. I had to have it after visiting their Charleston shop and wanting to buy everything. I think I’ll try these this weekend.

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  • OMG..I did not think I could ever bake a nice thin, chewy cookie until this recipe came along! I have already made them 3x since discovering them earlier this month. Absolutely a HIT with everyone I give them to!! The only difference is that I tend to bake my cookies for 9 min as opposed to the suggested 10-12 min time.


  • I LOVE your comment about making “exotic” cookies and guys’ reactions! hahahaha… so true. I’m making these tonight and I’m really excited! My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes has greated milk chocolate in the dough and they’re amazing. 🙂 Nothing to beat grad school stress like fresh, homemade cookies…

  • Wow, sorry about the typos… yikes

  • Lise: I hope you love these cookies as much as my husband and I do. Sometimes, nothing but a milk chocolate cookie will do. 😉

  • Great cookies. I bet they would be a blast with that hot chocolate from Pinterest :-). I love your blog! Glad I found it

  • I baked these with a few alteration and my coworkers loved them!!!

  • Sam: So glad to hear that. They are definitely crowd pleasers. 😉

  • Wonderful recipe. So tender. They crinkle beautifully. Kudos to you on such an outstanding recipe. All-time.

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