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I won’t mince words. These are hands down, the best cookies I’ve ever baked. (Update: well until these chocolate chip beauties!) And I have baked a ton of cookies. But I finally hit upon the perfect recipe and I am really quite pleased with how these peanut butter candy cookies turned out.
The Hubs wanted me to bake some cookies he could take into work. I wanted to try to use and improve on my Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe but also change it up a little. And for some reason, Reese’s Pieces candies came to mind. I didn’t set out to make a peanut butter cookie because I don’t actually like peanut butter cookies…but these are really pretty fantastic! Not too much peanut butter flavor.
My Favorite Candy
I don’t consider myself a real candy fan. Give me all the cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and doughnuts…but candy? I will eat a little here and there, but it’s just not my thing. However, one of my favorite candies are Reese’s Pieces. I’ve loved them since childhood when we’d buy a box to share at the movie theater. They’re a trusty, classic treat that even E.T. loved!
What’s funny is I’m not even really a peanut butter fan, except in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hate peanut butter and chocolate! Don’t even give me a Reese’s cup… yuck! I’ll always give mine to my dad or some peanut butter cup loving friends. But Reese’s Pieces are the exception, and I thought they would be the perfect substitution for chocolate chips.
The Perfect, Fluffy Cookie
I have done a lot of testing with cookie dough lately. I usually find that my cookies come out on the flatter side. But with the final batch of these peanut butter candy cookies, I got the fluffy cookie I always wanted. The key to the fluffiness of this cookie is threefold.
You have to use a little less butter to a little more flour. As yummy as buttery cookie dough is, the grease from the butter is a big part of the cause of the spreading and flatness of the cookie.
You also need to use a touch of baking powder, which most cookie recipes don’t use. But a little bit set against a larger amount of baking soda helps this cookie rise and fluff.
The last key is the corn starch. It makes the cookie soft and fluffy with a nice crunchy shell on the outside.
The Final Verdict
Honestly these cookies taste like childhood. They take me back to a simpler time and simpler tastes. Some Reese’s Pieces and pretzels will do that to you. It’s like a childhood, summertime afternoon snack in a cookie. Give me a glass of cold milk and I can just imagine running around outside during the hot summer days when I was ten years old. Try them and maybe they’ll take you back to childhood, too.
Tell me in the comments, what’s your favorite childhood candy?
Peanut Butter Candy Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour sifted
- 9 oz Reese's Pieces
- 1 cup pretzels broken into small pieces
- Sift together baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, and flour. Add salt and set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Add in sugars and mix completely, until mixture resembles wet sand.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Do not over mix!
- Add in flour mix about a cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mixture will be thick and hold together.
- Mix the candy and pretzels in a bowl together. Dump that mixture on top of the cookie dough. You can use the mixer to mix together or mix in by hand.
- Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Pull dough out and preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop, roll about ⅓ cup of dough into a ball and place on parchment paper. Place dough balls about 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for 13-16 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown. Keep cookie dough in the fridge until ready to use.
- Cookies will keep for about 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.