Make Ahead

PB & C (Peanut Butter and Cheese) Cookies

June 11, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 3 dozen cookies
Author Notes

This is inspired by both my mother's unusual but delicious late night snack she made us growing up (peanut butter and cheese sandwiches) and my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe from Cook's Illustrated. —Abduffy

Test Kitchen Notes

My mom used to make us peanut butter and cheese quesadillas when we were kids, so I had to test this combination in cookie form. The recipe made a delicious cookie: not too sweet, nice and light, with a wonderful savory, cheesy bite in the center. This is a nice departure from the traditional chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter cookies. The only change I might make is to halve the amount of "The Cheesy Stuff." —Maria Sumner

What You'll Need
  • The Cookie
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter (not natural)
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • 1 cup pre-roasted and salted peanuts, ground to breadcrumb texture
  • The Cheesy Stuff
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (not natural)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In small bowl combine 8 ounces of cheese, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup peanut butter and set aside.
  3. In large bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine eggs, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with a mixer (on high) until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes.
  6. Add peanut butter to butter/sugar mixture and beat an additional 2 minutes until mixture is combined.
  7. Add 1 ounce cheddar cheese to peanut butter mixture and beat on low just until combined.
  8. Slowly incorporate egg, milk, and vanilla mixture to peanut butter/cheese mixture with beaters on low until combined.
  9. Stir peanuts into peanut butter mixture by hand with spoon or rubber spatula until combined.
  10. Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture by hand with spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Cover this final mixture and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour, though longer is better.
  11. When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove batter from the refrigerator and drop by rounded tablespoons into your hands and roll batter into a ball for reach cookie.
  12. Place dough balls on cookie sheet and flatten with your palm. Make an indent in the middle of the cookie with your thumb.
  13. Fill each indent in each cookie with cheese/peanut butter mixture until it just goes over the top of the indent, approximately 1/8 teaspoon. If you have extra cheese/peanut butter mixture leftover, use it to spread on crackers, it's delicious!
  14. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once halfway through. The cookies will puff up and be slightly brown but will look undercooked.
  15. Let cool and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Abduffy
  •  Coing

5 Reviews

Abduffy February 19, 2014

How did it work out? The Cooks Illustrated recipe I based this on specifies non-natural peanut butter it contains more sugar, molasses etc. which won in the peanut butter cookie taste test.
Coing January 17, 2014
The question really is, why does it matter in the recipe (or does it?) Because if it doesn't matter, why would one specify it? I hereby commit myself to try it both ways.
Abduffy January 16, 2014

I'm never sure if we can mention brand names on here by "non-natural" I meant a typical commerical peanut butter that you would find in every grocery store, Skippy, Jif etc.
Coing January 9, 2014
These look great! Before I plunge in, I'd like to know what is "not natural" peanut butter, and why is it required? On the supermarket shelf there are "natural" labels on all sorts of peanut butter, with and without added ingredients. There are no "not natural" labels. Help me understand, please.
Abduffy July 5, 2013
Thanks for the feedback Maria Sumner! I'm glad you liked them. I agree, you probably could 1/2 the amount of the cheesy stuff. I should have said approximately 1/8 tsp. as I usually eyeball it by putting in enough cheesy stuff til it just goes over the indent. Usually there's some left over which is delicious to use to spread on crackers.