peanut butter brownie swirl cookie on parchment

This Christmas, go big on the cookies — literally. These peanut butter brownie swirl cookies are oversized and totally delicious, thanks to three different kinds of cookie dough. Each swirl features peanut butter and sugar cookies plus a brownie layer that is absolutely extra yet very necessary. Bake up a batch to instantly get yourself into the holiday spirit!

Welcome to 12 Days of Cookies!

Happy December! Last we talked, it was nearly Thanksgiving — and now here we are, practically knocking on the door of Christmas Eve. I mean yes, I know there are still plenty of shopping days left ’til Christmas, but my point is that the holidays are flying, and we need to talk about cookies.

For the next 12 days (save the weekends), I’ll be sharing my favorite Christmas cookie recipes on Instagram and Facebook — including four new recipes (yep; this is one of them!). Be sure to follow along on social to get all the recipes just in time for the holidays.

peanut butter brownie swirl cookies on parchment paper

Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

These cookies are the perfect recipe to kick off this mini-series. They’re fun, flavorful and perfect for an afternoon of cookie-baking (and eating). They’re also as big as your hand, which means you can share one with a loved one or enjoy it all yourself as an extra-special treat. Every bite is soft with a slight chew and tastes like a peanut butter cookie + sugar cookie + brownie all at once. You really can’t lose.

The Best Ingredients for Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

The ingredient list for these cookies is fairly straightforward, thankfully! But as always, you’ll want to be sure you have the freshest, best-quality ingredients you can get your hands on to ensure a really, really delicious cookie. Here’s what you need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar (light or dark works here!)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs (large, pls!)
  • Creamy peanut butter (make it Jif or Skippy, and save the natural PB for your sammiches)
  • Vanilla
  • Dutch-process cocoa (for that deep color and chocolatey richness)

Measure everything out ahead of time, tie your apron strings and you’re ready to gooooo.

peanut butter brownie swirl cookies stacked on parchment

How to Make Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

This cookie recipe does come with a caveat, and that is that the preparation and shaping of the dough is an intermediate-level practice. That said, if you don’t get these absolutely perfect the first, second or even third time, who cares? They’ll still taste delicious. Since the recipe directions themselves are a bit lengthy, I won’t bother to repeat them in full here. Instead, here’s the high-level overview of what you can expect when you make this recipe:

Time needed: 8 hours.

  1. Step One: Make the peanut butter cookie dough.

    Mix all the ingredients to make the peanut butter cookie dough, then shape the dough into a rectangle and cover with plastic wrap.

  2. Step Two: Make the sugar cookie dough.

    Mix all the ingredients to make the sugar cookie dough, then shape the dough into a rectangle and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze the dough along with he peanut butter cookie dough.

  3. Step Three: Make the brownie “batter.”

    Mix all the ingredients to make the brownie batter. Refrigerate for a few minutes to firm up.

  4. Step Four: Assemble the cookies.

    Roll out the peanut butter cookie dough. Roll out the sugar cookie dough. Stack the two on top of each other, then top with the brownie batter. Carefully roll the dough into a log, and freeze to set.

  5. Step Five: Bake the cookies.

    Use a very sharp knife to cut the log into even slices; arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and set. Cool completely.

It’s not really a complicated recipe at all, but it does take time and patience! Trust me, it’s worth it — and you’re basically getting three treats in one, so if you break it down that way, you’re actually saving time. It’s math.

peanut butter brownie swirl cookies on a cooling rack

Tips for the Best Swirl Cookies

I know you’re just itchin’ to get into the kitchen to make these cookies, but let’s pump the brakes just a bit and cover a few quick tips so you can do your best baking:

  • The peanut butter cookie dough might crumble a bit when you roll it out or roll it into a log — this is normal. If it seems too stiff, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften. A few cracks here and there won’t ruin your cookies (they’re pretty forgiving once they bake).
  • The brownie batter layer is just that — brownie batter. So don’t expect it to be like cookie dough! That said, it will be quite soft, so be sure to let it hang out in the fridge for about 15 minutes before spreading on top of the cookie dough so it doesn’t ooze out when you roll it in the log.
  • I cannot recommend any substitutions on ingredients for this recipe, as I did not test it with other options. This is one recipe where I think you should follow it to a T for best results!
  • You’ll notice in the recipe that I call for a “1/2 egg” a couple of times — DON’T FREAK OUT. Check out the Recipe Notes to see just how easy it is to measure out a half-egg for this recipe!

I hope you love these oversized, swirly, multilayered cookies as much as we do. They’re as fun to make as they are to eat! And I have a hunch Santa wouldn’t mind enjoying them when he stops by on Christmas Eve.

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peanut butter brownie swirl cookie on parchment

Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 12 giant cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Peanut butter, sugar and brownie cookie dough all swirled together into one delicious, oversized cookie! These slice-and-bake treats are going to be a new favorite during the holidays and beyond.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs*
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (preferably not natural peanut butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. First, make the peanut butter cookie dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat 5 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in 1/2 egg (*see Notes) until completely combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl, then beat in peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until creamy. Reduce speed to medium; stir in flour mixture until completely combined. 
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll and press into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap; set aside.
  4. Next, make the sugar cookie dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and reduce speed to medium; stir in flour mixture until just combined. 
  6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll and press into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to freezer along with peanut butter cookie dough; freeze 30 minutes (no longer).
  7. Finally, make the brownie batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt until combined. 
  8. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter; whisk in a medium bowl with 6 tablespoons brown sugar until combined. Whisk in 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until mixture is smooth and no large clumps of sugar remain. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture; stir for 15-20 seconds until batter is thick and smooth. Refrigerate 15 minutes to firm up slightly (no longer).
  9. Now, assemble the cookies: Generously flour two large pieces of parchment paper. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the chilled peanut butter dough on one sheet of parchment to an 8×12-inch rectangle. Repeat with sugar cookie dough on second piece of parchment. Using parchment to help you, gently flip the sugar cookie dough onto the peanut butter dough, parchment side-up, so that edges of both doughs are lined up. Brush off excess flour; trim edges with a knife or bench scraper to square off sides.
  10. Evenly spread brownie batter on top of sugar cookie dough all the way to the edges. Turn the dough so one short side is facing you. Working from the bottom edge closest to you and using parchment to help, roll up dough tightly, peeling back parchment as you go. Continue to roll until you reach the end, then place seam side-down. Keep the log covered in parchment and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove from freezer; gently roll log on counter to shape into more of a circle, then cover in plastic wrap. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
  11. To bake, preheat oven to 375°F; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Slice half of the frozen dough with a sharp knife into six 1/2-inch slices (keep remaining dough frozen until ready to bake). Place sliced dough rounds on one lined baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart. Bake until golden and just set, about 15-20 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  13. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • *You’ll need to “split” the eggs for this recipe. Thankfully, it’s easy to do! Simply whisk the eggs together with a fork in a bowl until completely combined; then, measure out as needed (about 2 tablespoons per half-egg).
  • Recipe adapted from The Food Network.
  • If the dough seems to be too difficult to slice through after freezing, let it rest 5 minutes at room temperature. You can also use a serrated knife to very gently “saw” through the log.

Keywords: peanut butter cookie dough, sugar cookie dough, brownie batter, brownie cookies, slice and bake cookies

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