These peanut butter heart cookies combine the best of two worlds... decadent chocolate + creamy peanut butter. This recipe features my favorite soft and chewy peanut butter cookies. Each cookie has a chocolate heart pressed into the middle. I chose Reese's and Dove dark chocolate. Valentine's Day will be complete with these homemade cookies for a friend or loved one.
Nothing gets me into the spirit of Valentine's Day, like some quality time in the kitchen making treats. Although it's not one of my favorite holidays, I do love baking! Whether it's heart-shaped brownies or strawberry cake, I always find myself in the kitchen around February 14th. This year was no exception!
Why you'll love this recipe
Taste & Texture: These peanut butter heart cookies combine two of my favorite flavors... peanut butter + chocolate. The cookies are chewy and soft. Coated in sugar before baking, you could seriously eat these cookies on their own. I won't judge you! The chocolate takes things to the next level and I'm a fan of using Reese's hearts which really amps up the peanut butter flavor.
Level of Difficulty: This recipe is a medium level of difficulty. You'll want to use your mixer to speed things along. Chilling the dough—a necessary step—takes a little bit of time, as does the rolling and chocolate additions. So while this won't be ready right out of the oven, these babies are totally worth the wait!
Key ingredients and why we use them
- Chocolate Candy: Choosing your chocolate is 100% a matter of personal preference. You could use milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate... you name it! You can see that I made some with Reese's peanut butter hearts and others with Dove dark chocolate in the pictures. Both were amazingly delicious!
- Peanut Butter: Opting for a cheaper brand of peanut butter is totally okay with this recipe. There's so much going on here, and no one will know if your peanut butter costs $6 a jar or not. However, if that's what you prefer—do you!
- Butter: Unsalted butter is a must in this recipe. Make sure it's at room temperature and ready to beat in your mixer. Don't plop butter directly from the refrigerator into your mixing bowl!
- Brown Sugar: Feel free to use dark or light brown sugar in this recipe. Either will produce delicious results.
Frequently asked questions
Why are my peanut butter cookies flat?
There are SO many reasons! Common culprits are that your butter was too warm or that you mixed the butter and sugar for too long. This is one reason we chill our cookie dough. Speaking of... did you skip chilling the dough? This can often lead to flat cookies! Another common mistake is using oven trays that are too hot. If you're re-using a tray, make sure you allow it cool between batches.
Can natural peanut butter be used in cookies?
Absolutely! In fact, for most recipes, you won't be able to notice a discernable difference. You may want to consider adding a little extra salt (¼ teaspoon) since most natural peanut butter has less sodium.
HEATHER'S HELPFUL HINT
If you want to speed up the cooling of your cookies after adding the chocolate, place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step-by-step: how to make these peanut butter heart cookies
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter on medium speed until creamy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until creamed (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed for an additional minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat on medium until combined. Add the flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in ¼ cup of sugar. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies are ready to take out when the tops begin to slightly crack.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Press a chocolate heart into each cookie.
Make ahead and storage tips
- You can make this cookie dough in advance and then store it in the freezer (up to two months) to bake later. Simply shape the dough into balls and pop them into the freezer for one hour on a baking sheet. Transfer them to a zip-top bag and squeeze out the extra air.
- You can store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
- If you plan to freeze your cookies, do so the same day you bake them. Store them in a zip-top plastic storage bag. Remember to put the name and date on the bag so you don't forget about them! Store for up to eight months.
There are a number of different ways to switch up this recipe according to your taste!
- Feel free to use any type of chocolate in this recipe! You could use plain Hershey's Kisses and the cookies would be delicious. You could bring these to a Christmas cookie exchange.
- Not a fan of chocolate? No problem! Simply leave it out of the recipe. These soft and chewy cookies stand alone without any additions.
- If you want to lighten things up, I'm a fan of these keto peanut cookies! With only five ingredients and only 72 calories each, you can't go wrong!
Try these other cookie recipes
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and what didn’t — with a recipe! Be sure to check out some of our other recipes linked below!
Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
- 19 x 13-inch half-sheet baking pan
- parchment paper
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup peanut butter creamy
- ¼ cup granulated sugar optional, for rolling
- 30 chocolate candy hearts
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter on medium speed until creamy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until creamed (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed for an additional minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat on medium until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If chilling for longer than a couple of hours, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling.
- Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 20 minutes before baking your cookies. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in ¼ cup of sugar. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies are ready to take out when the tops begin to slightly crack. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Press a chocolate heart into each cookie. Allow cookies to cool completely before enjoying!
Notes and Tips
- I chose Reese's chocolate hearts and Dove dark chocolate hearts for this recipe. However, you can get creative with any type of chocolate in this recipe!
- Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature before beginning.