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My favorite soft-baked and extra thick peanut butter cookie recipe with heart shaped chocolates. 

peanut butter cookies with chocolate heart candies in the center

It goes without saying that I love peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies are definitely one of my favorites (when I’m not reaching for chocolate chip cookies!), but I’m not a fan of how hard, crunchy, and crumbly they can taste. It’s taken me some time to perfect, but I have the softest, puffiest peanut butter cookie recipe for you today!

They are absolutely loaded with peanut butter flavor and are the softest peanut butter cookie you’ll ever eat.

Peanut butter blossoms are my favorite cookies during Christmas time. But I took the whole idea and added a little Valentine’s Day touch with some Dove chocolate hearts. I know you and your sweetheart will love them! (PS: I’ve done these with peanut butter cups too! See my peanut butter cup cookies.)

peanut butter cookie dough balls
overhead image of peanut butter cookies with chocolate heart candies on top
peanut butter cookies with chocolate heart candies on top
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overhead image of peanut butter cookies with chocolate heart candies on top

Peanut Butter Sweethearts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft peanut butter cookies with Valentine’s Day heart candies!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 dove chocolate hearts
  • optional: additional 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on high speed until creamy. On medium-high speed, beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until completely creamed and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, then beat on high until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator (and up to 3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard and the cookies may not spread much.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Scoop and roll cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Roll each ball in the additional granulated sugar (optional) and arrange on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the tops begin to slightly crack. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Press a chocolate heart into each cookie and allow to cool completely.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. 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.  Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: peanut butter sweetheart cookies, sweetheart cookies

peanut butter cookies with chocolate heart candies on top

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally! I love your site. Great recipes! I made these yesterday and the sugar cookie hearts, both for my husband. Each batch of cookies came out perfect. Thanks for the clear and easy to follow directions, made things easier for this novice baker!

  2. These are delish! They turn out great with either light or dark brown sugar. They’re also great with chunky peanut butter as well. Thank you for all that you do! 

  3. I know a couple of people who are diabetic and I was wondering if I could swap the sugar out for another sweetener? Maybe splenda or something? Would that still be good?

    1. Hi Victoria! I recommend sticking with the recipe as written or finding another source for diabetic-friendly cookie recipes. Sorry I don’t have any!

      1. It’s okay! I actually ended up trying it anyway. The conversion chart for sugar and splenda are the same. They turned out really great and are already all eaten up. My coworkers and family ate them in a day. Haha. 🙂

  4. Hi these looks amazing! I would like to make these for my boyfriend who is a peanut butter lover! Is there another recipe that has the measurements in grams?

    1. Hi Anna, This recipe is from 2012 so I don’t have the measurement conversions written for it. Just about all of my newer recipes have measurements written both ways!

  5. I made these this afternoon. I didn’t change a thing with the recipe and they turned out AMAZING!! I love all your recipes and these didn’t disappoint!

  6. Is this peanut butter cookie recipes the same as your peanut butter blossoms recipe? and what brand of peanut butter do you use? Peanut butter brand I think really can change the flavor of a cookie thank you

    1. Yes, this is the same base as my Peanut Butter Blossoms cookies. My favorite soft peanut butter cookie dough to use many different ways. I usually use Jif or Skippy in my baking.

  7. Hi Sally! In your other recipes similar to this one, it says to stick the baking sheet in the freezer after placing the chocolate in the cookie so the chocolate doesn’t melt. Should I do that for these too?

    1. Hi Ali, you definitely can if you find the chocolate heart is melting too quickly. I find they don’t melt quite as quickly as peanut butter cups and Hershey’s Kisses.

  8. If you have Alexa or a phone with Siri or the google assistant just ask them. For example say “Alexa how many grams in a cup of flour”. I use this all the time.

  9. Hi Sally, I’m so excited to try these cookies for Valentine’s Day! I also was wondering if it would be okay to mail them to someone, since they’re so soft? (I’ve used your cookie sandwich wrapping method before with great results- would that work here?) Thanks!

  10. Do you think you could dip them in sprinkles before you bake? Kinda like your Sparkle Cookies.

  11. Hi Sally! Longtime fan here. I’m curious if you have tried rolling these in pink or red sanding sugar for a more festive look? I don’t know if that would jive well with the brown base or not. It might also change the texture a bit. Thanks for your thoughts! Amy

  12. This is the BEST PB cookie recipe ever!!! Thanks Sally!

  13. Hi Sally!

    Made these today for my husband and I followed the directions and for some reason they crumble and fall apart once you bite into them. What did I do WRONG? The taste is amazing and my husband loved them regardless but I just get so frustrated when i screw up. lol.

    1. I’m glad he still enjoyed them, Jackie! What type of peanut butter did you use? Commercial brands like creamy Jif or Skippy are best for the texture, not natural style peanut butters which contain too much oil.

      1. We all loved them! Skipped dinner due to eating cookies all day ! Lol.

        I used the Costco Kirkland brand. I will definitely make them again and I’ll try jif. Thank you !

  14. These are so delicious. Brought them to work and they were a huge hit. Great chocolate to cookie ratio.

    1. Yes, baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the unbaked cookie dough – see recipe notes for details!

  15. Best version of “peanut butter chocolate kisses” cookies ever! I don’t quite agree with leaving the cookie to cool 10 min before applying the candy; I did it sooner because the cookies cooled very quickly on this cold winter day. That’s the only change I made.

  16. How do you think your peanut butter sweetheart cookies would travel? I would like to mail them to my kids for Valentines Day.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Marci, These cookies will stay fresh at room temperature for up to a week if they are covered, so you could mail them! For ideas on how to pack them for shipping you can see our post on How to Ship Cookies.