These are the Nancy Silverton Peanut Butter Cookies from her new book titled, The Cookie That Changed My Life. They’re a peanut butter cookie on nutty steroids! Each cookie features a deeply flavored dough base, a big puddle of peanut butter and a pile of the crown jewels—toasted and salted Spanish peanuts. The flavor these cookies achieve are insane!
What Makes These Cookies So Good
For starters, the recipe is inspired by Roxana Jullapat’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe which Nancy Silverton then built upon in her newest book, The Cookie That Changed My Life (featured in our 2023 Cookbook Guide). It takes everything you love about peanut butter cookies and enhances it.
Adding sorghum flour builds depth and nuttiesness while also making the cookie a but chewier. And to drive home the peanut flavor, Nancy fills the dough balls with supermarket peanut butter (how nostalgic) and tops them off with mounds of roasted peanuts.
- They’re super chewy: thanks to a combo of brown sugar and white sugar as well as a couple eggs and sorghum flour.
- They make A LOT: this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies which is insanity. Go into this recipe knowing you will be sharing them with friends and neighbors.
- They bake quick: the key is to underbake the cookies a bit which makes them softer and chewier. The nice thing about this—the baking process for all 4 dozen cookies goes quickly.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Spanish Peanuts: make sure they are raw spanish peanuts. The recipe will direct you to salt and toast them yourself. You can order Spanish peanuts online.
- Vegetable oil: you’ll need a few tablespoons to toss with the peanuts prior to roasting.
- Kosher salt: Nancy develops recipes using Diamond Crystal. If you don’t have Diamond Crystal, I’ve included notes in the recipe card on how to modify the amounts for Morton kosher salt.
- Extra-large eggs: make sure you buy extra-large eggs for this recipe. Most recipes call for large, but this recipe needs that extra bit of binding that extra-large sized eggs offer.
- Vanilla bean paste: you can also use vanilla extract but the flecks of vanilla bean add wonderful flavor.
- All-purpose flour: you’ll need one cup of all-purpose flour for this recipe. I always recommend buying unbleached.
- Sorghum flour: this interesting addition adds nutty flavor and a bit of protein which aids in chewiness. You can find it at most health food stores, or you can buy sorghum flour online.
- Unsalted butter: I always recommend baking with unsalted butter so you can control the seasoning. You’ll need 12 tablespoons.
- Creamy peanut butter: use a supermarket no-stir peanut butter like Jiff or Skippy. Save the natural peanut butter for our Monster Cookie Bars, Cereal Bars or Banana Milkshake.
- White sugar and dark brown sugar: for this recipe you’ll need both white sugar and dark brown sugar. Brown sugar adds flavor and chewiness while the white sugar adds structure and lends itself to crispy edges.
- Baking soda and baking powder: use both leaveners to achieve the right texture.
How to Make Nancy Silverton’s Peanut Butter Cookies
- Toast the Peanuts
- Prep the Wet and Dry Ingredients
- Cream the Butter, Peanut Butter and Sugar
- Add the Remaining Wet Ingredients
- Add the Dry Ingredients
- Chill the Dough
- Scoop, Shape and Fill the Dough
- Bake then Top with Peanuts
- Bake and Finish with Salt
The first step is to toast the raw spanish peanuts. To do this, toss them with oil and season them with salt. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until they are deeply browned.
In a medium-small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and the sorghum flour.
Cream the butter until smooth in a stand mixer. Add in the peanut butter and the sugars and cream until light in color and fluffy. Add the baking soda and the baking powder and mix just to incorporate.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then with the mixer running, slowly add the egg mixture to combine.
Gradually add the flour mixture and mix just to combine. I like to give it one more mix by hand to ensure there’s no butter or dry flour hanging at the bottom of the bowl.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill until it’s firm. I find this takes at least an hour.
Scoop and roll the dough into balls. Then use your thumb to create a fairly deep indentation in the dough. Fill the divot with peanut butter.
Bake the cookies 4 minutes the remove them from the oven and top with heaping mounds of peanuts.
Return the cookies to the oven and continue baking until they are puffed up and beginning to collapse. The key is to not overbake them—Nancy wants them to be underbaked!
Expert Tips from Nancy Silverton
- These are best enjoyed the day they are baked. They are also delicious the next day but she doesn’t recommend keeping them longer than that. This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so get ready to dole them out to friends.
- Since this recipe makes a lot and since the cookies are best enjoyed fresh, feel free to mold the room-temperature dough before freezing for easy assembly and baking at a later date.
- Use supermarket peanut butter—not health food peanut butter or artisanal nut butter. Nancy uses Skippy (I use Jiff).
- Nancy uses unsalted raw skin-on Spanish peanuts, but if all you can find are roasted and salted Spanish peanuts, skip the first two steps.
More Incredible Cookies to Try
Our Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are a favorite of my friends. They’re short and tender, lightly spiced and not too sweet.
If you’re a fan of bold, chewy cookies, then you’ve gotta try my Hermit Cookies. They are insane!
Looking for a perfect version of a classic cookie? Try my Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies or my Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. They both are deeply flavored and insanely chewy thanks to bread flour and browned butter.
Nancy Silverton’s Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125g) unbleached all-purpose ﬂour
- 1 cup (120g) sorghum ﬂour
- 12 tablespoons (170g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
- ¾ cup + 2½ tablespoons (180g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 2 teaspoons (110g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (9g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt*
- ½ teaspoon (3g) baking powder
- To toast peanuts, heat oven to 350ºF with rack set in middle position.
- One a large rimmed baking sheet, toss peanuts with oil and salt to coat. Arrange in an even layer and toast until dark mahogany in color, 18–20 minutes, shaking pan occasionally and rotating pan front to back halfway through toasting time.
- Remove sheet from oven and set aside to cool nuts to room temperature. (If they’re on the verge of overtoasting, transfer nuts to a plate so they don’t continue to toast on hot pan.) Turn off oven.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and sorghum ﬂour.
- Add butter to a stand mixer ﬁtted with paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until butter is softened but still cold, 3–4 minutes, scraping down and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat on medium until mixture is light and ﬂuffy, 3–4 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add baking soda, salt and baking powder; beat on medium for about 15 seconds to incorporate. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl and paddle. With mixer on medium, gradually add egg/vanilla mixture, mixing until egg is completely incorporated. Scrape down bowl.
- Add flour mixture and mix on low for about 30 seconds until combined. Using a spatula. Give dough one more mix, ensuring no dry ingredients are at bottom of bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is ﬁrm, at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375ºF with racks set in upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Add granulated sugar to a small bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator. Remove and reserve plastic wrap.
- Scoop dough into 1½ tablespoons (21 gram) portions; roll each into a ball. Coat balls in sugar then arrange 12 dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover and chill remaining dough.
- Press thumb in center of each dough ball and turn thumb to expand and round out divot. Spoon 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into each divot then sprinkle a generous pinch of ﬂaky sea salt over top.
- Bake cookies, two sheets at a time, for 4 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and pile a mound of peanuts (about 20) in center of each cookie. Return baking sheets to oven, rotating pan top to bottom and front to back. Bake cookies until golden brown, puffed up and are just beginning to collapse, 4–5 minutes. (You want the cookies to be slightly underdone, so they will feel soft to the touch. They will ﬁrm up when they cool.) Remove cookies from oven.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. Repeat scooping, shaping and baking process with remaining dough.
This recipe is loosely adapted from Nancy Silverton’s recipe in The Cookie That Changed My Life.