Big, chewy peanut butter cookies with a smooth espresso flavor mixed in! Add it to your chewy cookie recipe collection with Mexican hot chocolate cookies, salted brown butter toffee chocolate chunk cookies, ginger molasses cookies, and fluffernutter cookies.
Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, I’m in full blown Christmas mode. The tree is up, the house is decorated, and I’ve already made and handed out a fair amount of Christmas treats to neighbors.
I don’t feel strongly that Christmas cookies need to be Christmas cookies. They don’t need them to be snowflake or ornament shaped. I don’t need them to be red and green.
They don’t have to be peppermint, eggnog, or gingerbread flavored. But I do need cookies.
These peanut butter espresso cookies have gotten rave reviews from my taste testers, and they would make the perfect addition to a Christmas cookie exchange, or a plaid-patterned tin full of cookies for your friendly neighborhood mailman.
And yes, that is very specific because that’s what he’s getting this year (hi, Dave!).
I got the idea for these cookies because my husband likes to make a shot of espresso, and then drinks it with some toast topped with peanut butter and cinnamon sugar. It all smells really good together, and tastes good together, so why not combine them all together into one delightful treat?
You all love my fluffernutter cookies so much, I decided to start with the peanut butter base recipe and build off of it for this recipe. I added a little more flour and some baking powder to make them a little bit thicker.
They’re still wonderfully chewy and they smell freaking amazing. I got legitimately sad when we ate the last one. And then I may or may not have immediately made another batch.
I’m not even sorry.
Can you use natural peanut butter for cookies?
Technically, yes. I find that the natural peanut butter where the oil separates and you have to stir can lead to unreliable results because it’s thinner and (obviously) more oily.
They tend to spread more, and lend itself to a crispier cookie, and you may need to adjust the amount of salt and/or sugar in the recipe as they have less (or none) of each.
All in all, I don’t recommend that kind, but a creamy natural peanut butter you don’t need to stir works wonderfully.
How should you store peanut butter cookies?
First of all, make sure they’re 100% cooled before you store them. If they’re still warm and you seal them up in a container, it will produce steam and they could get crumbly, or too soft.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. That cookie jar on the counter might look cute, but it’s going to allow them to get stale – and you don’t want stale cookies!
If you find they’re starting to lose their chewiness as the week progresses (she says as if they’ll still be around after that long), stick a piece of bread in with them. The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread and stay nice and chewy!
Tips for making the perfect peanut butter espresso cookies
- Use room temperature ingredients. Make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature, as it makes everything easier to incorporate with more uniform results because you won’t have the potential for little pockets of colder ingredients that didn’t get mixed in completely.
- Use freshly ground espresso, if you can. If you don’t have an espresso machine, don’t despair! You can use pre-ground espresso, or espresso powder. In a real pinch, you can even use ground coffee, but it won’t have the same robust flavor as espresso.
- Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Yes, you have to chill the dough. If you don’t, they may spread too much and they won’t have the perfectly chewy texture we’re going for. Plus, it gives the espresso flavor time to really infuse with the rest of the dough.
- Make them big! I like to portion mine out with a medium cookie scoop (about 1 ½ tablespoons worth of dough), so those are the baking instructions you’ll find below. If you would prefer smaller cookies, just reduce your baking time by a minute or two. If you want them even bigger, add a couple minutes.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Peanut Butter Espresso Cookies
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 ⅓ cups light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, peanut butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add dry mixture and beat again to combine until you have a thick dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably up to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare two baking sheets with nonstick silicon mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- Grab a medium cookie scoops and portion out each ball of dough on prepared baking sheets, with no more than 6 on each, evenly spaced out with plenty of room for the cookies to spread. Press down gently on the top of each cookie until they're about half the height they were originally.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until the cookies have spread and started to crinkle on top. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet itself – they will continue to spread and set a bit more as they cool. Carefully move to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!