Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:

As if peanut butter and salted caramel weren’t delicious enough as separate ingredients, just wait until you combine those flavors into one delicious cookie. These cookies may look like regular peanut butter cookies, but once you take a bite, you’ll taste the deep undertones of caramelized sugar that add complexity to salted peanut butter.

These cookies begin with a salted caramel sauce that’s combined with a hefty dose of peanut butter. This is intended for the cookie dough, but if you decide to stop right here and pour the sauce over ice cream or use it to frost a sheet cake or pan of brownies, I won’t tell anyone as long as you give me some, too.

Once the sauce is safely inside the cookie dough and is in no danger of being eaten, the recipe is just like any other cookie recipe: some butter and sugar are creamed together with eggs and the caramel sauce, then mixed with flour and leavening agents, before getting pressed into a cross-hatch pattern and baked.

These cookies are perfect for anyone who’s ever been bored by traditional peanut butter cookies, and they are sure to please salted caramel fanatics. Add this recipe to your holiday cookie repertoire, and plan on making a double batch.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the peanut butter sauce and beat to combine, 30-60 seconds. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low speed until combined.
  2. Roll tablespoons of the dough and place on the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart, then using the tines of a fork, create a cross-hatch pattern on the top of the cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup creamy, salted peanut butter

1 teaspoon table salt

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water and stir once to combine. Cook for 6-8 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar is a deep amber color. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter and cream until the butter melts. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until it reaches 350 degrees. Take the pan off heat and add the peanut butter and salt and stir until well combined. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly for about 30 minutes before you bake the cookies.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe!


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