Peanut butter cookies are a classic that has always been easy to love. There’s something about that sweet and salty combo that always finds a way to call you back. These peanut butter cookies though, go a little bit beyond the classic. With one simple ingredient swap, you end up with a delightful cookie that still has that sweet and salty peanut butter flavor, but also takes on the creaminess of cheesecake and a fluffy texture that’s the stuff of dreams.
Instead of having that crisp outer bite that peanut butter cookies so often do, this cheesecake version is soft and pillowy, but never crumbly. Each bite gives way without resistance – almost doughy, but never delicate. The nuttiness runs throughout, backed by a creamy note that feels totally new, and maybe even ingenious.
The secret here is simple. The butter that would normally be one of the foundations of a peanut butter cookie is switched out for cream cheese, which on the surface seems like a simple swap, but really changes the profile of the cookie entirely. They’re just as easy to make as the classic, but are really a whole new peanut butter confection to enjoy.
You combine the sugar, peanut butter, and cream cheese, and mix until smoooooth…
And then add in the eggs and vanilla, the flour, salt, and baking soda, and mix until you have a dough that’s sturdy but sprightly.
You’ll want to chill the dough for at least an hour. This solidifies the fat and keeps the cookies from spreading all over the cookie sheet as they bake. It helps give them that amazing puffy texture, so don’t skip this step! You scoop the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake until the edges are just golden brown. The centers might still be soft, but never fear, they’ll set up a bit when they come out of the oven.
These Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies are not quite as silky as a cheesecake and don’t even approach the crisp nature of a classic peanut butter cookie. Instead, they’re something all their own – a soft cookie, that’s a little bit creamy, a little bit fluffy, but still imbued with that sweet and salty combo we all know and love.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies
Serves 18; 20 minutes active, 1 hour inactive
- 1 cup (8 oz) full fat cream cheese
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- In a medium bowl, cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in between.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.
- Let dough chill in refrigerator for at least one hour, up to 2 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon sized balls onto cookies sheets, flattening balls down slightly with your hand, and bake until edges are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. (They will continue to cook when they come out of the oven, so don’t worry if the center seems underdone.)
- Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!