These scrumptious peanut butter chocolate half moon cookies showcase the greatest flavor combination in the dessert world: peanut butter and chocolate. Use this simple homemade peanut butter cookie recipe and dip halfway into a rich and fudge-like chocolate coating. The cookies are sweet, a little salty, chewy and soft-baked with slightly crisp edges.
The recipe is slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking Company The Essential Cookie Companion cookbook, a must-have book in any cookie lover’s kitchen!
This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I work on a handful of new Christmas cookie recipes and publish the 10 best ones for readers to enjoy! You can browse dozens of recipes on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page.
If you’re a baker, surely you’re familiar with King Arthur Baking Company. I’ve used their signature flour exclusively in my kitchen for ages– and I’m not being compensated for this post or to say this– I’m truly a huge fan and follow their blog closely. Their recipes are trusted, their products are high quality, and their baking inspiration is aplenty.
King Arthur Baking Company The Essential Cookie Companion
They recently published a newly revised and updated cookbook called The Essential Cookie Companion. I’ve had the original version of this giant book for years and this newly revised version provides a fresh spin with over 400 cookie recipes that are approachable for beginners and experts alike. Yes… 400! I was even lucky enough to author a blurb for this beauty:
“When it comes to recipes, you can trust King Arthur Baking Company to deliver the very best―and The Essential Cookie Companion is no exception. Bakers of any skill level will appreciate the in-depth instructions. The successful, freshly baked cookies are, of course, a delicious bonus!” – ME!
It’s just a really great cookbook to have in your collection because it covers a vast range of cookie recipes including entire chapters on sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, biscotti, shortbread, peanut butter cookies, and brownies plus chapters for bar cookies, drop cookies, roll-out cookies, shaped cookies, no-bake cookies, and more. Not all of the cookie recipes have photos to go with them, but there are many illustrations depicting specific steps plus a lengthy Getting Started section explaining techniques, tools, how to create thoughtful cookie packages, an ingredient weight chart, and more. All of the recipes include weight + volume ingredient measurements. I especially love the Create-a-Cookies on page 365 and used Peanut Chocolate Half Moons on page 68 for today’s recipe.
Today’s new cookie recipe is adapted from the cookbook. The process and ingredients are exactly the same only I chill the cookie dough for 1 hour to prevent over-spreading and added more chocolate to the topping.
Tell Me About These Peanut Butter Chocolate Half Moon Cookies
- Flavor: Enjoy peanut butter, peanuts, and chocolate in these sweet and slightly salty brown sugared cookies. The recipe says you can use add-ins such as peanut butter chips, butterscotch morsels, chocolate chips, or a combination. I actually opted for dry-roasted peanuts to really amp up the peanut flavor like I do in my peanut butter snickerdoodles. They also provided a little crunch to the finished cookie.
- Texture: If you avoid over-baking, the peanut butter chocolate half moons are soft and chewy with slightly crisp edges. The chocolate coating, made from chocolate, butter, and a little corn syrup, is rich and fudge-like. I love that the chocolate isn’t just melted chocolate– it’s a soft fudge icing and eventually sets.
- Ease: This is an easy 1 bowl cookie dough without any fussy steps. Shaping the cookie dough is as simple as dropping it on a lined baking sheet by the tablespoonful. Do not roll the dough in your hands because I tried that and the cookies over-spread. Coating half of the cookies in chocolate requires you to dip them. When it comes to cookie decorating, that’s certainly easy!
- Time: The recipe in the book does not require you to chill the cookie dough, but I found a 1 hour chill in the refrigerator helpful for the cookies to hold shape. The rest of the cookie recipe moves very quickly. Bake the cookies at 375°F (191°C), a slightly higher temperature than some cookie recipes to help set the shape quickly.
Quick Overview: How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Half Moons
The cookie dough comes together in just 1 mixing bowl. The butter and brown sugar are creamed with salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract. I found it interesting to cream the butter and brown sugar with these other ingredients, but understand that this is to evenly distribute those flavors and leavening in this 1 bowl dough. After that, add the egg and peanut butter one at a time and finally, beat in the flour and your add-in. Expect a super soft and creamy dough. Cover and chill for 1 hour before baking the cookies.
You need pure baking chocolate or high-quality chocolate chips, softened butter, and a little corn syrup. The butter and corn syrup give the icing flexibility so it sets into a soft and thick fudgy consistency vs a hard chocolate coating. It’s wonderfully rich and 1 batch of these peanut chocolate half moons didn’t even last a day with a crew of taste testers.
- They’re almost like a peanut butter version of black and white cookies and a frosted version of peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies. These peanut butter chocolate cookies also deserve a shout out for all the peanut butter + chocolate lovers out there. So many cookies, so little time!
I had some extra peanuts nearby so I chopped and sprinkled them on top of the chocolate while it was still wet. That’s completely optional but makes a pretty finishing touch. You could also add flaky sea salt (so good here!).
I hope you enjoy these beautiful peanut butter chocolate half moons and if you have a moment, check out The Essential Cookie Companion!Print
These peanut butter chocolate half moons combine soft and chewy peanut butter cookies with a fudge-like chocolate icing. The recipe is slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking Company The Essential Cookie Companion cookbook.
- 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 1 stick; 113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (213g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (135g) peanut butter, creamy or chunky*
- 1 cup (120g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (170g) peanuts, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or chocolate chips, or a combination*
- two 4-ounce semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bars (226g total), chopped (about 1 and 1/2 cups)*
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (40g) light corn syrup
- optional garnish: flaky sea salt or finely chopped peanuts
- Make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking soda on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, beating until well blended. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. Beat in the flour and peanuts/chips on low speed until the dough is cohesive. Dough will be soft and creamy.
- Cover cookie dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour and up to 3 days before baking. If chilling for longer than 2 hours, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before baking.
- Towards the end of chill time, preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Drop the dough by the Tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Cookies will appear very soft, but will become chewy and slightly crispy as they cool. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing: In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together stirring constantly over low heat. OR microwave in a medium heat-proof bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. Stirring is essential as the butter/chocolate may separate otherwise. Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in the corn syrup. Dip half of each cooled cookie into the chocolate (to make a half-moon effect) and, if desired, lightly sprinkle crushed peanuts or flaky sea salt on the chocolate. Return the cookies to the cooling rack to set, about 1-2 hours. Feel free to place cookies in the refrigerator to speed up the setting time.
- Dipped cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies with or without chocolate icing freeze well up to three months. Though I don’t recommend rolling this dough into balls and baking (just drop by the Tablespoonful as instructed), you can roll the dough into 1 Tablespoon balls and freeze them for up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
- Peanut Butter: You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter in this cookie recipe. I tested with natural and non-natural varieties and both worked.
- Peanuts or Other Add-Ins: I used salted dry-roasted peanuts as the add-in in this cookie dough. You can use unsalted and/or raw peanuts if desired. Instead you can use any of the listed add-ins including peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or chocolate chips. Or use a combination totalling 1 cup.
- Chocolate: You can certainly use 1 and 1/2 cups (or anywhere between 220-270g) high quality chocolate chips, but I love using chopped baking chocolate. Baking chocolate is sold in the baking aisle as 4 ounce bars, so you need 2. Feel free to use semi-sweet or bittersweet.
- Adapted from King Arthur Baking Company The Essential Cookie Companion. The recipe is wonderful and found on page 68 in the cookbook. I added a chill time which helps make slightly thicker cookies as pictured. I also reduced the corn syrup in the icing and added 1/2 cup extra chocolate to the icing so it makes a little more. (I dip the cookies heavily!) This printable recipe includes those 2 small changes. A little garnish of crushed peanuts or sea salt is optional.
Keywords: peanut butter chocolate half moon cookies