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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!

peanut butter chocolate half moons on white plate

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.

picture of The Essential Cookie Companion cookbook by King Arthur Baking Company
stack of peanut butter chocolate half moon cookies

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. 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.

peanut butter cookie dough with peanuts in bowl and dropped on lined baking sheet
plain peanut butter cookies pictured with a bowl of the melted chocolate topping

Chocolate Icing

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.

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!).

peanut butter cookies dipped halfway into chocolate
peanut butter chocolate half moon cookies on white plate

I hope you enjoy these beautiful peanut butter chocolate half moons and if you have a moment, check out The Essential Cookie Companion!

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peanut butter chocolate half moons on white plate

Peanut Butter Chocolate Half Moons

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes (includes icing setting time)
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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*

Chocolate Icing

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Dipped cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. The chocolate icing does set so it wouldn’t necessarily get ruined, but I would definitely refrigerate after 2 days.

  1. Hi, Sally, did you dip the entire cookie (top and bottom), or just the tops into the chocolate? What a great idea to dip in chocolate, a wonderful combination!

    1. Hi Janet, yes the top and bottom. Feel free to let any excess on the bottom drip off.

    1. Hi Ann, we haven’t tried these cookies with a non-dairy butter so we’re unsure of the results, but let us know if you give anything a try!

    2. Hi Ann! I’ve successfully subbed non-dairy butter one for one in MANY of Sally’s cookie recipes with great results, so I’m sure it would also work for this recipe. I always use Earth Balance original non-dairy butter because it seems to work better than most other brands for baking.

    1. Yes, absolutely. I had no problem freezing and thawing a test batch. See freezing instructions.

  2. Hi Sally these look amazing but I really struggle to get corn syrup where I live. Anything I can sub it with?

  3. These cookies turned out great! Chewy and fancied up with chocolate makes a great addition to the Christmas tray. I chilled for 2 hours and I did ensure the top wasn’t pointed before baking to have a flat cookie.

  4. Made them today with chopped honey roasted peanuts and dipped in just melted ghiradelli semi sweet chips. My co-workers love your recipes. They are my taste testers.

    1. Although delicious, they fell apart when I dipped them in chocolate. I halved the amount of brown sugar, would that be the reason? What does the corn syrup do and is it necessary? Not sure if the chocolate tempered as it didn’t keep its form after a few hours out of the fridge.

      1. Hi Laura! Sugar is used for moisture and texture in baked goods as well as taste. When you reduce the sugar, the resulting texture will be different than intended. We aren’t tempering the chocolate in this recipe – just making a simple chocolate icing to go with the cookies. The corn syrup gives the icing a beautiful shine and helps it set.

  5. These cookies were delicious…I love peanut butter cookies, and paired with the chocolate mixture (which set up really well and quickly and had a lovely sheen to it), this is an amazing recipe – thank you Sally!

  6. Ooh, these look so delicious! A local bakery makes a version of these, but with two PB cookies sandwiching PB frosting and then dipped in chocolate. 😀

    I’m so curious about the one-bowl method for these, as a recent M&M cookie recipe for the NY Times also has you beat in the salt, leavener, etc. with the wet ingredients and then adding the flour last. I know cookie baking conventions typically instruct to whisk all the dry ingredients separately before adding to the wet ingredients. Do you think this one-bowl method would work for most cookies?

    1. Joanna, I find it so interesting too! I’m not sure how this method would work for all cookies. It would truly take some testing since all doughs have different ratios, etc. If you try it with other recipes, let me know. I might just try it as well.

      1. Honestly, I make all my cookies (using your recipes Sally) in one bowl, and I have not had an issue so far or a complaint 😉

  7. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I added peanut butter chips, milk chocolate chips, and chopped peanuts to mine. Oh my! Love that you added the extra chocolate for dipping. One can never have too much chocolate. This recipe is a keeper. My all-time favorite cookie recipe of yours is the peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip…..I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made it.

    1. Hi Haley! Honey should work just fine as a substitute for corn syrup.

  8. Can I use regular all purpose flour rather than the unbleached that you’re asking for? Any variation in the amount of AP flour to be used?

  9. My cookies flattened too much and almost burned. Any idea what could have gone wrong? I put them in the fridge for a little over an hour.

  10. I just made these. I added peanuts and mini chocolate chips and dipped them in melted Ghirardelli dark chocolate wafers. They are yummy!

  11. AMAZING! I made these last night, came out exactly to 30 cookies. I baked 12, and then froze the remaining 18 dough based on your freezing tips to prepare ahead. I love these cookies, the peanut butter, the crispyness around the edges, and I dipped mine in melted baker’s dark chocolate from ghirardelli and they were absolutely perfect. I used reese’s peanut butter chips in mine, and when I bake them for xmas i will garnish with crushed peanuts.

  12. The cookies have a great taste. I made a mistake and added the salt & soda to the flour. The dough was soft as you described. I usually get the correct number from your recipes. I only got 24 cookies this time.I used 2 spoons to drop the dough. The cookies spread quite a bit, even though I chilled the dough for 1 hour. Most of the cookies broke while dipping.

  13. In the notes, it says you don’t recommend rolling the dough into balls and to just drop by the tablespoon – can I ask why that is? What happens if we roll into dough balls?

    1. Hi Stephanie! The warmth from your hands will cause the dough to warm too much and spread in the oven. Best to handle this dough as little as possible!

  14. I forgot to get peanut butter chips so just made plain cookies. As a result there were only 24 cookies. Should I cut the chocolate mixture by half? Or can I refrigerate the chocolate mixture and make more cookies tomorrow and warm up the chocolate mixture for dipping then?

    1. Hi Linda, either option would be fine. You could also just dip the cookies a little heavier into the chocolate topping so there isn’t as much leftover.

      1. I ended up following your suggestion and they were delicious! My only advice would be to transfer the ganache to a short drinking glass to dunk the cookies in….it’s much easier to get the ganache halfway up the cookie that way…

  15. Hello! My chocolate frosting didn’t turn out right and I had to make it twice. Neither of them turned out correctly, but I was able to make one work. The first one had corn syrup in it and it looked disgusting. The second one did not have corn syrup and I was able to make it work. The first one turned out thick and chunky and when I tried to dip the cookie in, it slid right off. (it also slipped off of the spatula.) Did anyone else have this problem and is there any way to make that not happen? Did I overheat the chocolate chips? What was the use/purpose for the corn syrup? Are there any tips on melting chocolate on this website? And if not, could there be a section on that? What size of a cookie scoop/size of ball did you make/use to get 3 dozen cookies out of 1 batch? I made 2 batches and only got 43 cookies. Any ideas? (sorry for all the questions!) 🙂

    1. Hi Avery! I’m glad to help. What kind of chocolate chips are you using> I tried the chocolate with Nestle Toll House and it did not smooth out properly, so I recommend pure baking chocolate or even Ghirardelli chocolate chips. You may have also overheated the chocolate. To my understanding, the corn syrup gives the chocolate some flexibility and keeps it soft as it sets. Here’s a page all about baking with chocolate, which includes information on melting. Make sure the balls are Tablespoon size– you can use a Tablespoon measuring spoon.

      1. Thank you! I used Bakers Corner and Nestle Toll House chocolate chips. That’s kind of what I was thinking, but the chocolate chips hadn’t seemed melted, which I thought was weird, so it never fully got melted and smooth.

    1. We preferred the balance that semi sweet chocolate adds, but for a sweeter cookie, milk chocolate would be delicious! Let us know if you try it.

  16. These cookies are delicious but I could only give 4 stars. Once frosted and placed back on the cooling rack, the icing hardened so much that the cookies stuck to the rack and were difficult to remove without breaking. I would suggest putting them on parchment paper till the frosting has set, then they can be removed much more easily.

  17. Sally, these are so yummy and beautiful. Like a pb cookie on steroids! I always use non dairy butter substitute because I don’t bake dairy (except for cheesecake once a year) and I never have a problem with it. I used a smaller scoop as I always do because I like to have smaller bite size cookies for platters, so I got 75 cookies from this recipe using the #100 scoop. Of course I adjust the baking time. I used 1/2 cup of pb chips and 1/2 cup of chopped peanut brittle crunch that I had in my freezer. A few will be noshed this weekend and the rest will be frozen for next weekend when my family comes to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday on Dec. 25.

  18. Help! I am having a hard time with the icing. I am using Ghiradelli melting wafers (dark). Every time I add the corn syrup, it almost curdles. I’ve made two batches now. Should I just leave the corn syrup out? The icing is smooth until I add it. Side bar – the cookies are delicious on their own – I had to cut my family off so we have some left to dip!

    1. Hi Megan, this can happen with the icing– I did have trouble too until I used pure chocolate. Try putting the separated chocolate back in the microwave or in a double boiler and heat and stir until smooth. If you try it again, reduce the corn syrup to 1 Tablespoon.

  19. We were excited to make these but had problems with the chocolate glaze being thick and grainy. We actually first tried it in the microwave and then using a double boiler. Same result and a lot of wasted high quality chocolate. Resorted to a Betty Crocker recipe that used a higher ratio of butter and corn syrup where it worked perfectly.

  20. I too had issues with the icing. I ended up using almond bark because I didn’t want to keep wasting chocolate. I am gluten free, but my family said they’re delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

  21. THese cookies are awesome. They are pretty easy, but I felt I could have done better on the chocolate when I put it on the cookies. The chocolate was very yummy. I will make them again.

    1. I also didn’t think my dipped chocolate was as easy to dip as it should have been but that just gave me thicker, super fudgy deliciousness “quarter moons” rather than half. I used chocolate chips as my add in and oh baby they were delightful! I will make again!

  22. I have a gluten free friend so I used Bobs Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour and they came out great. Maybe the most successful gluten free cookie I have made. You couldn’t tell. Often gluten free cookies are too crumbly or dry but with the peanut butter these held together so nicely and everyone loved them. Thank you sally!

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