Sometimes, when it really and truly is the very last thing I should be doing – when I’m tired and overwhelmed, when the kitchen sink brims with a day’s worth of dishes, baskets of laundry beckon, and children need help with homework — I turn my back on it all and find refuge in baking a batch of cookies.

That’s exactly what it was like this afternoon when preparations for the school week needed to be underway and a filet of salmon and bag of dried lentils had to be cooked into dinner. But instead, I gathered ingredients to make something sweet and nurturing and totally unnecessary, putting practical tasks aside.

Lucky for my to-do list, this is a four-ingredient cookie that takes less than five minutes to stir into a batter. It’s also just two sheet pans worth, so one go-round in the oven. The cookies were inspired by a recipe in Real Simple that I simplified further by knocking out three ingredients and cutting the batch in half. It could have been pared down to a three-ingredient cookie, only I had to add chocolate (Peanut butter without chocolate?   Sacrilege.).

I suppose there could be worse distractions from life’s chores than baking: I could be heavily into online gambling.

Or there could be better ones: I could be writing grants to fund a small charity.

But baking cookies it is. And today, it calmed me, made my kitchen smell heavenly, and resulted in a stack of homemade cookies for school lunches and after school treats.

And now I can get back to the business of getting ready for the week, and turning salmon and lentils into dinner….maybe with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie for dessert.

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A sweet, gluten-free, peanutty treat studded with dark chocolate chips. All you need is four little ingredients and just a bit of time to get the job of baking them done.


  • 1 cup unsweetened, salted creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper, silpats, or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, put the peanut butter, brown sugar, and egg. Use a rubber spatula to mash and stir the ingredients into a smooth batter. Add the chocolate, and stir again until evenly distributed.
  3. Pinch up a tablespoon of dough and roll in the palms of your hands into a smooth ball. Cover each baking sheet with 12 balls. Press a fork firmly into the dough, first in one direction, and then the opposite direction. If the dough crumbles a bit, just patch it back together.
  4. Bake until the cookies brown slightly and you start to see a hint of a darker rim around the cookie, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air-tight container.
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Inspired by Real Simple magazine’s Peanut Butter Cookies


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  1. yunah
    03.25.2013 at 6:52 AM #

    finally! no salt? vanilla?

    • katiemorford
      03.25.2013 at 6:54 AM #

      The peanut butter is salted…just realized I need to specify that. I’m sure a little vanilla would do nicely, but isn’t necessary.

  2. 03.25.2013 at 7:18 AM #

    Peanut butter and chocolate are my desert island foods — totally trying these! 🙂

    • katiemorford
      03.25.2013 at 7:25 AM #

      Desert island foods….love that.

  3. gina
    03.25.2013 at 9:18 AM #

    Sounds fabulous for my gluten sensitive daughter as well. Thanks Katie.

    • katiemorford
      03.25.2013 at 4:20 PM #

      yes…a good one for the gluten-free-ers

  4. 03.25.2013 at 9:25 AM #

    I’m 100% with you 🙂 Sometimes baking cookies is the best medicine for a stressful day.

  5. 03.25.2013 at 12:07 PM #

    Looks good. And it looks simple enough for a kid to make. I like that.

    • katiemorford
      03.25.2013 at 12:21 PM #

      Definitely easy enough for kids…and they like rolling it into balls and making the marks with a fork.

  6. 03.25.2013 at 1:58 PM #

    These look delicious, I’ve been wanting to make flourless peanut butter cookies for a while now 🙂

  7. 03.25.2013 at 9:42 PM #

    Looks absolutely delicious and tempting.. First time here.. Happy to follow your space 🙂

    • katiemorford
      03.26.2013 at 7:32 AM #

      Welcome! Look forward to visiting yours as well!

  8. 03.27.2013 at 10:13 AM #

    yes! these cookies sound awesome.

    • katiemorford
      03.27.2013 at 12:38 PM #

      Thanks Lisa!

  9. Pam
    03.27.2013 at 11:29 AM #

    Just made these with chunky (because it was all I had in the house) and they are delicious!

    • katiemorford
      03.27.2013 at 12:37 PM #

      Glad to know it works well with chunky. I was also thinking of adding peanuts to the batter.

  10. 03.27.2013 at 12:03 PM #

    I love these kind of cookies!

  11. Nikki
    04.03.2013 at 4:12 PM #

    I just made these with sunflower seed butter so my nut-allergy husband could eat them. I added two tablespoons of Graham flour and used mini-chocolate chips because I was worried the runnier texture of the sunflower seed butter wouldn’t hold together as well. The texture was just right! Yum.

    • katiemorford
      04.03.2013 at 4:58 PM #

      Nice to know these can work with sunflower seed butter, too! Thanks for sharing.

  12. April
    05.05.2013 at 8:10 PM #

    10 to 12 minutes is much too long. Mine were almost burnt after 8 mins. Other than that…quick and delicious!

    • katiemorford
      05.05.2013 at 9:01 PM #

      Thanks April…appreciate the input.

  13. Tiffany
    05.11.2013 at 3:13 PM #

    I am about to make these right now they sound so great!

  14. Tiffany
    05.11.2013 at 3:50 PM #

    Well, I made them and they taste amazing! My boyfriend and I love them! I left mine in for 8 minutes and they are real soft and gooey which is how I like my cookies. They also cook on the pan still after you take them out just like any cookie does. I transferd them to a plate right away and the second batch I am making I am going to cook a little longer so I have the best of both worlds. Either way you cook it they taste so good thank you for sharing!

    • katiemorford
      05.11.2013 at 3:54 PM #

      You are so sweet to report back…and a testament to how quick they are to make !

      • Tiffany
        05.11.2013 at 4:06 PM #

        Oh not a problem they were very easy to make and clean up! I also added some vanilla, all spice, cinnamon, and flax meal to mine as well (just a pinch of each) and it gives it a very “holiday” like taste which always make you feel good!

  15. Sara
    05.19.2013 at 8:21 PM #

    Found this recipe via google when I needed a quick pick me up. In the oven in under 5 minutes and done within 15 total! Perfect and delicious. Thanks!!

    • katiemorford
      05.19.2013 at 9:14 PM #

      Great to hear. So easy!

  16. Allison
    05.21.2013 at 4:57 PM #

    Just made these at high altitude, about 7,000 ft. They came out great! I just put another cookie sheet underneath and baked for 10 minutes.

    • katiemorford
      05.21.2013 at 7:39 PM #

      Tested at altitude….good to know they work! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Ashley
    05.22.2013 at 5:04 AM #

    These were far too sweet for my liking. I made a second batch with 1/2 cup brown sugar and they didn’t set up quite right with my alteration.

    • katiemorford
      05.22.2013 at 6:23 AM #

      Hi Ashley

      Appreciate you giving it a second go-round…but I guess with so few ingredients, the sugar plays an important role in the texture and structure of the cookie.

  18. George
    01.02.2014 at 10:38 PM #

    What if you use unsalted peanut butter? How much salt would you add?

    • katiemorford
      01.03.2014 at 2:13 PM #

      I’d probably just add a pinch of salt.

  19. Dottie
    04.21.2014 at 1:58 PM #

    Does it matter if you use natural peanut butter

    • katiemorford
      04.21.2014 at 2:04 PM #

      Hi Dottie, I use unsweetened peanut butter for this. If you use sweetened, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar somewhat.

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