Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

Confession: I made these cookies last weekend and have been waiting to share them with you. March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, so you better believe I’ve been celebrating a little early this year.

Another confession: I took the weekend off from baking! Since I work full-time at an office job during the week, the weekends are the only chance I have to bake and shoot photos in natural light.

Ok, and a final confession: even though I baked these swirly twirly cookies over a week ago, I still can’t get them out of my mind. I mean LOOK at them. It’s the worlds most perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter. And just wait until you taste one.

peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

The cookies have that soft-baked quality that I just adore. I used my favorite soft & thick peanut butter cookie recipe and a new, easy chocolate cookie recipe I developed. These cookies were the brain child of an intense chocolate/peanut butter craving and a wild soft-baked cookie craving. Needless to say, my cravings were satisfied.

Oh and did I mention how soft they were? 😉 Seriously, these cookies stay soft for DAYS. And don’t they look like little yin-yangs? You’re getting two cookies in one here!

Making them is a piece of cake. Almost TOO easy. Which could be dangerous for me since I have daily chocolate/peanut butter cravings.

First, make both doughs. Let’s begin with the peanut butter dough. The peanut butter cookie dough should be familiar to you if you’ve been following my blog for some time. It’s the same peanut butter cookie recipe I used to make my S’more Peanut Butter Cookies. (<– PS: make those.) What makes the peanut butter cookie dough recipe so good? Well to start, my recipe calls for more peanut butter than your typical peanut butter cookie. Most run-of-the-mill recipes I’ve seen call for around 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Speaking ratios, this amount is paired with 1.25 cups of flour and 1 stick of butter. I simply add an extra 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

When I first developed this peanut butter cookie recipe last year, I tested the recipe with different amounts of flour. 1.25 cups was the magic number – any more flour caused the cookies to crumble easily and any less flour couldn’t hold everything together. I added dark chocolate chips to my perfected peanut butter cookie dough and then moved onto make the chocolate cookie dough. You’re going to LOVE the chocolate.

peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

I have a chocolate cookie recipe on my website that uses a combination of melted chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. That chocolate cookie recipe was adapted from Cooks Illustrated. They taste like brownie cookies, but are a little time consuming and messy to make. You’ll dirty a lot of dishes, but trust me the taste is worth it.

I set out to create a new chocolate cookie recipe on my own. One that is quick and easy and would produce the right amount of dough to match up with the peanut butter cookie dough so I could swirl the two together. This chocolate cookie dough recipe is quite standard: cream 1 stick of softened butter with 1/2 each of brown and white sugar. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Then mix in your dry ingredients: 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, salt, and 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. I first made this recipe with only 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, but they weren’t as chocolate-y as I’d hoped so I tested again with 2 more Tablespoons of cocoa powder. Perfection! Lastly, add 2 Tablespoons of milk (don’t forget that!) and dark chocolate chips.

Both the chocolate cookie dough and the peanut butter cookie dough require chilling. The chocolate cookie dough should be chilled for at least 1 hour (2 hours is preferred). It’s quite sticky, so chilling the dough is mandatory. The peanut butter cookie dough only needs about 30 minutes of chilling, but I chilled it for two hours with the chocolate cookie dough.

peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

Now it’s time for some SWIRLS! These cookies are extra large, about 1/4 cup of total dough per cookie! You don’t hear me complaining, I loooove big cookies.

Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled peanut butter dough. Roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take both balls and gently smoosh them together and roll them in your hands into a perfect ball. *It’s important that your chocolate cookie dough is chilled or else you’ll get chocolate all over your hands. Once you have a perfectly swirled ball, bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes: much longer than a normal cookie since these cookies are so large and contain so much dough. You’ll have to watch the cookies closely. The cookies will appear undone when you remove them from the oven. In fact, they will look quite soft and you’ll question yourself: “Are these really done?! I can’t even pick one up!” Yes, they are done. As the cookies cool down, they will “set” and become firm enough to hold and move around without breaking.

Even though the cookie dough needs some chilling, the actual active work of this recipe is quite low. Maybe about 15 minutes of beating, mixing, and rolling the two doughs together. And then it will take you approximately 15 seconds to shove one into your mouth.

Biting into one is like reaching chocolate & peanut butter bliss. The intense chocolate fudge cookie with dark chocolate chips mixed with a soft peanut-butter-overloaded cookie and MORE dark chocolate chips… could you really ask for anything more? It’s like a peanut butter cup on steroids. Go big or go home.

Since I made these last weekend, I’m sad to say that they are LONG gone. However, nothing (and I mean NOTHING!) is stopping me from making another batch to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day on Friday.

stack of peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

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peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Now you don’t have to choose between chocolate cookies or peanut butter cookies!


Chocolate Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (53g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk*
  • 1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips*

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

  • 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 (188g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips*


  1. Make the chocolate dough: Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Make the peanut butter dough: Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour, and salt. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill both doughs for at least 2-3 hours. 3 hours is preferred.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Measure 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Smoosh the two balls together and roll them into 1 large ball. Repeat for each cookie. The chocolate cookie dough will get onto your hands, so wash/wipe them after you roll each cookie. It is important the chocolate cookie dough is chilled or else it will be even more messy.
  5. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, not exceeding 13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. Sometimes I press a few more chocolate chips into the top of the cookies when they are still warm, for looks. As the cookies cool, they will firm up.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 10 days. You can make the cookie doughs and chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature and 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.
  2. Milk: You can also use almond milk, soy milk, or half-and-half.
  3. Chocolate Chips: You can also use milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies

I am obsessed with chocolate and peanut butter. (!!!)

2 images of peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies


Comments are closed.

  1. I made this recipe with my 3 years old boy yesterday and we were flabbergasted!!! how could it possible to create so tasty cookie???? Since yesterday, my lil boy just talk about it!!! Thanks a lot 😉

  2. I made these last night as written, but with the addition of a miniature peanut butter cup stuffed inside. Madness! They’re so big! I’m sending them across the country to my Dad for Father’s Day. Thanks for another great recipe!

  3. The chocolate dough came out beautiful but the peanut butter dough came out so crumbly that I could not roll it into balls and the dough stayed stiff in the oven with the chocolate dough melting around it… I followed the recipe exactly. I am thinking what could have been different is that I used natural peanut butter which tends to be thicker and have less oil. I ended up adding one egg, one tablespoon of oil, and one tablespoon of half and half to make the dough a similar texture to the chocolate dough. This worked perfectly and created a dough that behaved similarly to the chocolate dough in the oven which saved the day. 

    Moral of the story: make sure the texture of each dough is about the same as the other, and make any necessary adjustments before chilling. 


  4. I just made these, fantastic recipe, followed it to a tee and they came out perfect, nice trick with the chips, the cookies look so nice like that! seriously fantastic cookies, and fun to make with the kids! thank you for sharing!

  5. Ok – these are AMAZING! They’re not too sweet and not too strong in flavor. It’s the perfect blend. I made them in a 2tbsp size so I could share at a cookie exchange. They were a great size. I think I’ll try the original large size next. 

  6. These looked good enough to make for my husband’s birthday, boy was he pleased! We seem to only use coconut sugar so that’s what I used in place of the other sugars, and I used a natural pb with no problems. Got 23 big beauties out of the doughs. Thanks Sally for this site of yours, I do find myself always wandering back to see what’s up here.

  7. I have made this recipe twice and it tastes great.
    Both times I made it the chocolate cookie part spread more than the peanut butter half. The second time I pressed the peanut butter half a little bit but not the chocolate half and it still ended up un-even. Is there anything I can do to make the chocolate cookie half from spreading so much. I chilled both doughs overnight.

  8. Christene Landry says:

    My husband likes peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and as I came across your recipe and it looked real interesting. As my husband has to cut back on sugar, I also cut back about 1/4 cup per mix. And added a small portion of whole wheat flour also. I used an All Natural no sodium crunchy peanut butter which is pretty oily. Instead of butter I used Becel and omitted the salt. And I used one Tablespoon of each mix as I found they were plenty big! I left the cookie mixes in the frig for 4 hours and found the chocolate mix was easy to use if you did everything quickly. They cooked up great. My husband loves them. The peanut butter side is a little crunchy and the dark side is a little soft. Great combination.

  9. I have made many cookies over the years. This recipe is one that I come back to often. It has to be one of our favorites at our house. Thank you!

  10. Love LOVE these cookies and I’ve made them several times. I decided to try to use the chocolate recipe to make a chocolate peppermint cookie for the holidays. I doubled it, but used 1.5 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of crushed candy canes. I dipped the top of the chilled balls in more crushed candy canes before baking. Well, the melting candy inside the cookie messed with the texture and they were completely flat and thin. I was disappointed until I tasted them. OMG they are like chewy brownie edges! I think if I made them again I’d use less candy and add in peppermint extract to try to save the look of them. Then again, if they are ugly then I don’t have to share them.

    1. Ha – your last thought made me laugh! 🙂 You can try not breaking the candy cane pieces quite as small so that they don’t melt as much, but they do sound delicious!

  11. Oh my…Sally!! 🙂 These cookies are so so so delicious!!! Here in germany soft and chewy cookies are not that popular, we only have those hard, crumbly cookies…you could do some serious damage with them 😛 hehe

    I made this recepie yesterday and these cookies are PERFECTION – so soft and chewy…I have to control myself, not to eat them all at once! Yup, Peanutbutter mixed with chocolate is the best combination ever! 🙂
    Next time I HAVE to try your other Peanutbutter-Chocolate-Cookie-Recepie with the melted peanutbutter on top…

    Thank you so much!!

  12. Can this recipe be doubled or quadrupled?

    1. It can, but for best results I recommend making separate batches.

  13. I made your peanut butter mm cookies last week. They were a HIT!! I used peanut butter M and Ms. My MIL requested a chocolate peanut butter cookie using peanut butter M and Ms AND caramel M and Ms lol. I just finished the doughs adding the peanut butter and caramel m and ms rather than chocolate chips and the dough is chilling in the fridge. The last recipe was so AMAZING I knew I needed to look for another delicious cookie recipe from your site. Thank you!

    1. I’m thrilled they were a hit! I bet they are amazing with the caramel M&Ms also!

  14. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I did not add the chocolate chips at all and for me it is perfect. I was looking for something with chocolate and peanut butter and I actually hid the peanut butter under the chocolate for my own fun, but these flavors are amazing. The cookies may not last long enough to check for chewy texture later but oh so good at the moment. I froze the peanut butter dough in balls and then mashed it under a refrigerated over night chocolate dough I formed in a slight disc . Just wow! Thanks again.

  15. These cookies were such a hit and very pretty. You know you brought in good cookies when you get thank you notes from your friends. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Hi Sally! I’ve made these cookies every year since you’ve posted them and they are always such a huge hit! Today however, of course I did not check my ingredients and am out of unsweetened cocoa powder, but have dutch processed cocoa (Droste) on hand. Is this substitute okay or should i brave the weather to buy the unsweetened cocoa powder?

    1. Hi Selena! There’s likely enough brown sugar to take the place of the acidity in the natural cocoa powder, but for best results, I do recommend using natural style.

  17. Followed the recipe to a “t,” and they turned out amazing! My whole family loved them, and I will be making another batch soon.

  18. Roxanne Turpin says:

    The cookies are two different textures (peanut butter is soft and chewy and chocolate is heavy and moist) and they took 16 minutes to bake. They are delicious, but I won’t make them again… maybe separately…

  19. These cookies are great! I used natural peanut butter because that was all I had and it worked out completely fine, but I was prepared to add and egg, oil and some half and half as someone mentioned above. I was quite short on time, so I put the chocolate dough in the fridge right after I made it, which worked well because the peanut butter dough needed much less chilling. (It only managed to chill for 1.5 hours, and It was only a little sticky.) When rolling them I rolled all the peanut butter dough balls first, and then as I rolled the chocolate ones I combined them, which eliminated the need to wash your hands as much.

  20. These are AMAZING! I just finished making them and half are already gone. We’re a cookie loving family! They’re easily the best cookies I’ve ever made! Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Jessica Medrano says:

    Can you use oatmilk for this recipe as a substitute for milk?

    1. That should be fine, Jessica!

  22. Sooooo ok. I’ve been trying to learn more about baking with cacao powders and trying different chocolate cookies – I *thought* I’d found the most awesome recipe, but then found this. This is heaven – the combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter in a rich, soft cookie – omg. Being a relatively noobish baker, it took me longer to do the prep, but that will come with repeated practice (which I intend to follow through on. Frequently.)

    Used almond milk and it turned out great. I also wanted to try using black dutch process cacao for the extra 2 tablespoons and WOW did it make a difference when added to the regular!

    I now also understand why it’s important to make sure to refrigerate the dough – after the first batch was in the oven I put it right back in to the fridge so it firmed up again. Thank you for this important note.

    Hands down (and chocolate-covered), the best cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. Thank you!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally