I have a small confession. For the longest time, I could not get myself to eat peanut butter in sweet situations. In Sierra Leone where I grew up, we use peanut butter to make killer chicken or fish “ground nut” soups aka peanut butter stews that are spicy and full of savory flavors. We also use it as a thickening agent in a very popular local dish called cassava leaves. So for a very long time, I found it odd for peanut butter to be used in sweets because it’s always been associated with savory spicy dishes for me.
But then I met Reese’s peanut butter cups. And everything changed.
Chocolate and peanut butter were just meant to be and since then I’ve been convinced the combination of peanut butter in sweets is a great idea. Thanks to this past year of baking adventures, I am over the moon about the combination even more. Of course it does help that a certain someone I live with is addicted to peanut butter cups. Now we both enjoy peanut butter in spicy African stews and in baked goods like these peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel cookies.
I made these cookies a few weeks ago to send to my August Bakin Friends, Steph of Steph’s Bite by Bite. They are soft peanut butter cookies studded with crunchy pretzels, M&Ms and chocolate chips. It’s the perfect sweet and salty combination!
And since it’s Friday, these would definitely be a great way to start the weekend! Make these peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel cookies to share with loved ones (or not!).
Slightly adapted from Heat Oven to 350
1 ¾ all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons malt powder
3 cups chopped salted pretzels
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Reese’s pieces or M&Ms
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, malt powder and pretzels.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes on medium speed. Add in the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add in vanilla extract.
Reduce speed to low and slowly beat in the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Finish folding the flour by hand since dough will be stiff. Stir in the chocolate chips and Reese’s pieces.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Drop tablespoon- sized dough on baking sheet and flatten slightly into disks. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Have a great weekend!