• October 1, 2017

    Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter cookies


    I went on a super-fun back-to-(pre)school Target run in Bellingham with my friend Jenny last week. We both managed to escape without any kids (????) and made a full day of shopping.

    I bought lots of cute clothes for the boys (including the lion shirts they have on in the pics below – I hope they never get tired of matching outfits!), re-stocked our stationary and craft supplies, and filled a basket with lunchbox goodies.

    This post is sponsored by Horizon and Santa Cruz Organic – two fun-for-lunch organic brands available at Target.  I used tasty Santa Cruz organic peanut butter to make these soft and chewy cookies.

    My kids love deconstructed meals, and eat a lot more of their lunch when it’s separated and/or compartmentalized. As I was taking pictures of this lunch box, I had two hungry boys hovering over my shoulder waiting to attack.

    I have container sets with separate little boxes that snap together (I’ll share more about them soon) which make this bento-style lunch a breeze, but you could use small dishes, mini tart pans, muffin liners, etc. to make dividers.

    Horizon cheese sticks are yummy and they come already wrapped and pre-portioned, so they’re convenient to throw in as the meal’s protein. Their single-serve milk boxes fit the same bill. Both are organic and fun.

    (Save 20% on Horizon with Target’s Cartwheel app and go in-store for savings on Santa Cruz Organic from August 6th-26th, 2017.)

    And, let me just say, I’m all for fun lunches as long as they’re practical. I’m not about to go carving a triceratops into a cheese sandwich, but quickly cutting easy-to-eat shapes (I keep little cookie cutters in my knife drawer), and putting a few extra seconds into appearance (like with individual cubbyholes for different items) really go a long way to helping the food actually get eaten.

    Do you have any good lunchbox tricks for (wholesome) convenience or (practical) fun presentation? My school lunch journey is only just beginning.

    I fell upon a trick to achieving amazingly soft and chewy cookies a while ago, when I was baking with my sister and we were well into the creaming of sugar with butter when we realized we had no eggs. Knowing one large egg yields about a quarter cup, I swapped in yogurt as a liquid substitute.

    Guess what? I’ve been regularly including it on purpose ever since. And, given I used it here to replace half the typical amount of butter, dare I say it nudges these peanut butter cookies slightly in the direction of a lighter version?

    I stirred some crisp rice cereal into the dough, because adds a really nice texture. I love peanut butter and rice cereal together.

    I topped the cookies with a sprinkle of salt, because the sweet, salty, peanut-buttery trifecta is just too much to resist. I also made a little puddle of peanut butter on top of each cookie for a gooey surprise.

    There’s no question kids and adults both love a good peanut butter cookie.  These might possibly become your new fav.

    I had to include some pics of my munchkins because (in my obviously-biased opinion) they looked so cute with their matching, brand-new (read: not-yet-stained) t-shirts as they happily blew bubbles in their milk boxes.

    (UPDATE: Ten minutes after the pictures were taken, Everett smeared raspberries all over the front of his. Since I’m calling out for mom tips, I’d also welcome those in the stain removal arena.)

    Thank you, dear friends and readers, for supporting the thoughtfully-chosen sponsors who keep the Foodess kitchen running! As always, opinions are my own. ?

    Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter cookies

    Soft-baked peanut butter cookies with crispy rice cereal and a surprise peanut butter puddle. A secret ingredient makes them super chewy.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 24
    Author: Jennifer Pallian


    • 1/2 cup Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter plus more to top (optional)
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
    • 1 cup crisp rice cereal plus more to sprinkle
    • sprinkle of flaky salt optional


    • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat peanut butter and butter with sugars on high speed in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes, until nicely creamed. Beat in yogurt, egg, and vanilla.
    • With mixer speed on low, sprinkle in the flour, then the baking soda and salt. Beat to combine.
    • Stir in crisp rice cereal. Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. If desired, use a 1/2-teaspoon measure to make small indents in the cookies, and spoon in about 1/4 teaspoon more peanut butter per cookie. Sprinkle with a few grains of crisp rice.
    • Bake for 6 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for 2-3 minutes more, until golden but still slightly underdone. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired.
    Tried this recipe?tag @foodess



    Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + something delicious, in roughly equal parts. Join me for seasonal baking punctuated by globally-inspired comfort recipes and (healthy-ish) dinspiration, plus with lots of tips and resources. So happy that you're here!

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