Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies, Crunchy & Chewy

Are you a peanut butter cookie sleuth like me?  I love a classic peanut butter cookie – fork marks and all, but what sends me over the moon is a cookie combo of crunchy on top and chewy on the inside. Toss in some brittle bliss and you get peanut butter brittle cookies – it’s like falling in love all over again.  Best nut-brittle secret – Pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)! Yes, by adding pepitas to your brittle, this makes for the most amazing topping and you still get to enjoy the rich, creamy inside of a good old-fashioned creamy peanut butter cookie.  Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

In a nutshell, these cookies are a two-step process: quick brittle making on the stove and a rich dough. It’s only natural to think brittle can be daunting but trust me, it’s simple and you don’t even need a thermometer (just a good pair of glasses in my case!). Just prep the dough and scoop.  Then, lightly sprinkle those dough balls in some demerara sugar (light brown sugar).

Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

Stovetop brittle is easy!  My two favorite ingredients for making this hard candy are Pepitas and Aleppo Pepper. Pepitas have an incredibly deep green color and are loaded with beta carotene, Omega 3, and Vitamin K. After making brittle for years, I discovered that when I wanted to kick it up a notch, I added in Aleppo Pepper (also known as turkish chili flakes). The spice factor for Aleppo Pepper is strong, but don’t worry, the heat is not overwhelming.

Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

Once the brittle is ready, crack it into uneven small shards for your topping.  The next part is my fave. It’s the sweet union of placing those cut up pieces of shard atop your cookie balls. (Tip: place 2-3 shards per cookie)

Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

I literally watch these peanut butter brittle cookies bake in the oven as if I’m watching my favorite telenovela. I am in a trance!  And as a proper baking nerd, my heart fills with sugary love from the combination of that candy imperfection atop an incredibly delicious cookie.  Bon Appetit!

Credits: Modified recipe from Mindy Segal, Cookie Love

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Peanut Butter Brittle Cookies

By TheSweetNerd  

December 27, 2017

  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins


Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), room temperature

3/4 cup cane sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 extra large egg, room temperature

1 Tablespoon whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Demerara sugar for rolling cookies

Pepita Seed Brittle

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup pepita seeds, toasted

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon turkish aleppo chile, ground (optional)


Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

1Dries: Whisk flour, salts, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

2Wet: Mix eggs, vanilla, and milk. Set aside.

3Base: In a mixer, mix the butter until light in color and aerated. Next, add the sugar until aerated. Add the peanut butter and mix on medium to combine.

4Add wet to the base until incorporated.

5Add dries on low until the dough comes together - don't overmix.

6Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and pop in refrigerator.

7Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and use an ice cream scooper to make even sized balls.

8Roll the balls in demura sugar and place on cookie sheet pan.

9Garnish with shards, 2-3 per cookie. Gently press in shards.

10Bake at 350F 12-14 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Check for doneness when the edges are lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool, but they will still be chewy.

11Cookies can be kept in airtight container for up to one week.

Pepita Brittle

1In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar, water, and corn syrup.

2Stir in pepita seeds over medium heat until light caramel forms (4 minutes)

3Meanwhile, put the butter, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and aleppo chili in a bowl.

4When the syrup reaches a light caramel stage, pour the contents of the bowl into the pot, stir, and remove from heat. (If it still looks too light, put it back over heat for a few seconds).

5Spread the brittle onto a silpat. Let it harden and cool.

6Once set, break into shards with your hands and use for garnishing.

Recipe adapted from Mindy Segal


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