Big Fat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tomorrow, May 15th, is National Chocolate Chip Day!!! A holiday just as important as any other on our calendars, so we MUST bake cookies.
A few years ago we celebrated with chewy chocolate chunk cookies. Last year we celebrated with soft & chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This year we celebrate with PEANUT BUTTER. As if there’s any other way to celebrate chocolate?
A cookie to end all other cookies, these big fat peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a mouthful. They’re unapologetically fat and thick with loads of peanut butter, chewy oats, and of course—the star of this week’s holiday—chocolate chips. Inspiring today’s cookie recipe is the cover of Sally’s Cookie Addiction. My monster cookie recipe, found in chapter 2 of my latest cookbook, combines chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, and M&Ms. I skipped the rainbow candies so the focus remains on the peanut butter and chocolate chip pairing.
These massive peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies surprise me every time I bake them, which, in the past year, is more than I care to admit! As the cookie dough bakes, I confidently exclaim that these cookies “surely won’t be as thick as last time.” As I stare at them finishing in the oven—because we all do that—I’m overcome with satisfaction that not only will I eat the thickest peanut butter oatmeal cookies ever, I’ll eat my words too.
This cookie dough is adapted from my basic oatmeal cookie recipe, a cookie you see all over my blog. The addition of peanut butter weighs the dough down, so I add baking powder for lift. When testing the recipe as I wrote my manuscript, I found the cookies weren’t spreading enough. I decided to swap the quantities of granulated sugar and brown sugar. Granulated sugar, dry and thin, helps induce spread while brown sugar, moist and thick, keeps cookies compact. More granulated sugar than brown sugar makes all the difference in this dough and you won’t miss that extra brown sugar flavor because peanut butter is the front-runner. Lastly, I reduced the amount of oats to make room for more chocolate chips.
The base of the recipe is creamed room temperature butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. You can’t cream butter and sugars together if the butter is too warm or too cold-- and the outcome of the cookies spells trouble too. “Room temperature” butter is about 65°F (18°C). It’s cool and slightly firm to touch, not warm or slippery. Here’s a picture of room temperature butter from when we discussed it last month. In order to hit that sweet “room temperature” spot, simply place the butter out on the counter for 1 hour prior to beginning the recipe. You need 1 cup (2 sticks; 16 Tbsp) for this cookie dough.
We’re using 1 cup of creamy peanut butter. Like in most of my baking, I recommend using non-natural peanut butter. Natural varieties, while wonderful for eating and cooking, aren’t ideal for baking. Cookies end up crumbly and fragile with a sandy texture. I usually use Jif or Skippy. You can use creamy or crunchy, but I prefer creamy peanut butter as crunchy can make the cookies taste a little dry.
The cookie dough only needs about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. This time allows the oats to soak up some moisture so the cookies don't overspread in the oven. But did you read that? Only 20 minutes!! The sooner you make this cookie dough, the sooner you eat these big fat peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!!
Two Tablespoons of cookie dough are in each cookie. I use a medium cookie scoop, which is 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons, and overflow it with cookie dough. This amount of cookie dough promises a peanut butter oatmeal cookie that's perfectly balanced in diameter and thickness. Since they're on the larger side, I recommend baking only 8 cookies per baking sheet to give them enough breathing room.
The recipe yields about 32 cookies and you definitely won't have a problem getting rid of all 32. They have a ridiculously addicting quality-- par for the course when chocolate and peanut butter unite. The edges are chewy, the centers are soft, and the chocolate chips are aplenty.
Let me know when you bake a batch and happy National Chocolate Chip Day tomorrow!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 235g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (260g) creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (180g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 2 and 1/2 cups (450g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping if desired
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, add the oats. Once combined, beat in the chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky. Cover and chill the dough for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than 1 hour, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Scoop balls of dough, 2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more chocolate chips into the tops-- this is only for looks!
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
- Use a non-natural peanut butter like Jif creamy or Skippy creamy. I do not suggest using natural style or oily peanut butter as both produce crumbly, fragile, and sandy tasting cookies. (Try this flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookie if you want to use natural!) Crunchy peanut butter is OK, but I find the cookies taste a little dry with it.
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