These are the Nancy Silverton Peanut Butter Cookies from her new book titled, The Cookie That Changed My Life. They’re a peanut butter cookie on nutty steroids! Each cookie features a deeply flavored dough base, a big puddle of peanut butter and a pile of the crown jewels—toasted and salted Spanish peanuts. The flavor these cookies achieve are insane! 

What Makes These Cookies So Good

For starters, the recipe is inspired by Roxana Jullapat’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe which Nancy Silverton then built upon in her newest book, The Cookie That Changed My Life (featured in our 2023 Cookbook Guide). It takes everything you love about peanut butter cookies and enhances it.

Adding sorghum flour builds depth and nuttiesness while also making the cookie a but chewier. And to drive home the peanut flavor, Nancy fills the dough balls with supermarket peanut butter (how nostalgic) and tops them off with mounds of roasted peanuts.

  • They’re super chewy: thanks to a combo of brown sugar and white sugar as well as a couple eggs and sorghum flour.
  • They make A LOT: this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies which is insanity. Go into this recipe knowing you will be sharing them with friends and neighbors.
  • They bake quick: the key is to underbake the cookies a bit which makes them softer and chewier. The nice thing about this—the baking process for all 4 dozen cookies goes quickly.
Peanut butter, butter, vanilla beans paste, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, flour, peanuts and eggs set out on a counter in anticipation of making peanut butter cookies.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Spanish Peanuts: make sure they are raw spanish peanuts. The recipe will direct you to salt and toast them yourself. You can order Spanish peanuts online
  • Vegetable oil: you’ll need a few tablespoons to toss with the peanuts prior to roasting. 
  • Kosher salt: Nancy develops recipes using Diamond Crystal. If you don’t have Diamond Crystal, I’ve included notes in the recipe card on how to modify the amounts for Morton kosher salt.
  • Extra-large eggs: make sure you buy extra-large eggs for this recipe. Most recipes call for large, but this recipe needs that extra bit of binding that extra-large sized eggs offer. 
  • Vanilla bean paste: you can also use vanilla extract but the flecks of vanilla bean add wonderful flavor. 
  • All-purpose flour: you’ll need one cup of all-purpose flour for this recipe. I always recommend buying unbleached. 
  • Sorghum flour: this interesting addition adds nutty flavor and a bit of protein which aids in chewiness. You can find it at most health food stores, or you can buy sorghum flour online. 
  • Unsalted butter: I always recommend baking with unsalted butter so you can control the seasoning. You’ll need 12 tablespoons. 
  • Creamy peanut butter: use a supermarket no-stir peanut butter like Jiff or Skippy. Save the natural peanut butter for our Monster Cookie Bars, Cereal Bars or Banana Milkshake.
  • White sugar and dark brown sugar: for this recipe you’ll need both white sugar and dark brown sugar. Brown sugar adds flavor and chewiness while the white sugar adds structure and lends itself to crispy edges. 
  • Baking soda and baking powder: use both leaveners to achieve the right texture. 

How to Make Nancy Silverton’s Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. Toast the Peanuts
  2. Toasted spanish peanuts on a baking sheet.

    The first step is to toast the raw spanish peanuts. To do this, toss them with oil and season them with salt. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until they are deeply browned. 

  3. Prep the Wet and Dry Ingredients
  4. Eggs beaten with vanilla bean paste in a glass mixing bowl.

    In a medium-small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and the sorghum flour. 

  5. Cream the Butter, Peanut Butter and Sugar
  6. Cream the butter until smooth in a stand mixer. Add in the peanut butter and the sugars and cream until light in color and fluffy. Add the baking soda and the baking powder and mix just to incorporate. 

  7. Add the Remaining Wet Ingredients
  8. Peanut butter, butter and sugar whipped into a light batter in a glass mixing bowl.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then with the mixer running, slowly add the egg mixture to combine.

  9. Add the Dry Ingredients 
  10. Peanut butter cookie dough in a glass mixing bowl.

    Gradually add the flour mixture and mix just to combine. I like to give it one more mix by hand to ensure there’s no butter or dry flour hanging at the bottom of the bowl. 

  11. Chill the Dough
  12. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill until it’s firm. I find this takes at least an hour. 

  13. Scoop, Shape and Fill the Dough
  14. Scoop and roll the dough into balls. Then use your thumb to create a fairly deep indentation in the dough. Fill the divot with peanut butter. 

  15. Bake then Top with Peanuts
  16. Bake the cookies 4 minutes the remove them from the oven and top with heaping mounds of peanuts. 

  17. Bake and Finish with Salt 
  18. Nancy Silverton's Peanut butter cookies with puddles of peanut butter and toasted peanuts on top on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

    Return the cookies to the oven and continue baking until they are puffed up and beginning to collapse. The key is to not overbake them—Nancy wants them to be underbaked! 

Expert Tips from Nancy Silverton

  • These are best enjoyed the day they are baked. They are also delicious the next day but she doesn’t recommend keeping them longer than that. This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so get ready to dole them out to friends.
  • Since this recipe makes a lot and since the cookies are best enjoyed fresh, feel free to mold the room-temperature dough before freezing for easy assembly and baking at a later date. 
  • Use supermarket peanut butter—not health food peanut butter or artisanal nut butter. Nancy uses Skippy (I use Jiff). 
  • Nancy uses unsalted raw skin-on Spanish peanuts, but if all you can find are roasted and salted Spanish peanuts, skip the first two steps. 
Nancy Silverton's Peanut butter cookie with a puddle of peanut butter melted on top with toasted peanuts on top.

More Incredible Cookies to Try 

Our Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are a favorite of my friends. They’re short and tender, lightly spiced and not too sweet. 

If you’re a fan of bold, chewy cookies, then you’ve gotta try my Hermit Cookies. They are insane!

Looking for a perfect version of a classic cookie? Try my Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies or my Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. They both are deeply flavored and insanely chewy thanks to bread flour and browned butter.

Nancy Silverton’s Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

4.64 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 4 dozen
Category Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine American


Nancy Silverton's popular Peanut Butter Cookies from her book, The Cookie That Changed My Life.


Toasted Peanuts


To finish


Toasted Peanuts

  • To toast peanuts, heat oven to 350ºF with rack set in middle position.
  • One a large rimmed baking sheet, toss peanuts with oil and salt to coat. Arrange in an even layer and toast until dark mahogany in color, 18–20 minutes, shaking pan occasionally and rotating pan front to back halfway through toasting time.
  • Remove sheet from oven and set aside to cool nuts to room temperature. (If they’re on the verge of overtoasting, transfer nuts to a plate so they don’t continue to toast on hot pan.) Turn off oven.


  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and sorghum flour.
  • Add butter to a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until butter is softened but still cold, 3–4 minutes, scraping down and bottom of bowl as needed.
  • Add peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat on medium until mixture is light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  • Add baking soda, salt and baking powder; beat on medium for about 15 seconds to incorporate. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl and paddle. With mixer on medium, gradually add egg/vanilla mixture, mixing until egg is completely incorporated. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add flour mixture and mix on low for about 30 seconds until combined. Using a spatula. Give dough one more mix, ensuring no dry ingredients are at bottom of bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 375ºF with racks set in upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.

To Finish

  • Add granulated sugar to a small bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator. Remove and reserve plastic wrap.
  • Scoop dough into 1½ tablespoons (21 gram) portions; roll each into a ball. Coat balls in sugar then arrange 12 dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover and chill remaining dough.
  • Press thumb in center of each dough ball and turn thumb to expand and round out divot. Spoon 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into each divot then sprinkle a generous pinch of flaky sea salt over top.
  • Bake cookies, two sheets at a time, for 4 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and pile a mound of peanuts (about 20) in center of each cookie. Return baking sheets to oven, rotating pan top to bottom and front to back. Bake cookies until golden brown, puffed up and are just beginning to collapse, 4–5 minutes. (You want the cookies to be slightly underdone, so they will feel soft to the touch. They will firm up when they cool.) Remove cookies from oven.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. Repeat scooping, shaping and baking process with remaining dough.


I took the liberty to condense the instructions to make them a bit shorter and to write them in Zestful Kitchen’s style. The ingredient list and method remain true to Nancy’s original recipe. A few of my notes from making the recipe are in the following notes.
If you would like to read the recipe in its original form, you can buy the book here or read the recipe on Saveur.
Peanut butter: Nancy recommends supermarket peanut butter such as Jiff or Skippy.
Sorghum flour: Nancy adds sorghum flour to the dough to add nuttiness and chew (it’s high in protein). If you can’t find it at your local grocery store or health food store, you can order it online.
Peanuts: Nancy uses unsalted raw skin-on Spanish peanuts, but if all you can find is roasted, salted Spanish peanuts, skip steps 1 and 2. I find 3 tablespoons of oil to be far too much for tossing with the peanuts. I use 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Chilling the dough: It’s key to allow the dough to chill until firm. In the recipe, Nancy recommends chilling for at least 30 minutes. I recommend chilling the dough for at least 1 hour. It’s a lot of dough and needs more than 30 minutes to chill through.
Toasting the nuts: Nancy recommends toasting the nuts for 18–20 minutes until the peanuts are a deep mahogany color. It took my nuts at least 30 minutes if not 40.
Kosher salt: For the dough, if you only have Morton kosher salt, use ¾ teaspoon. For the peanuts, use 2 teaspoons


Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Nancy Silverton's Peanut butter cookies with puddles of peanut butter and toasted peanuts on top, all stacked on a metal tray lined with parchment paper.

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This recipe is loosely adapted from Nancy Silverton’s recipe in The Cookie That Changed My Life.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. 2 stars
    I made these…exactly as printed. I do NOT think they’re worth the hype. The cooking time is off (yes, my oven is calibrated), and the actual cookie (which is very delicate) is totally overwhelmed by the goop of pb and peanuts in the middle. I love peanut butter with all my heart, but after these, I think I might need a break from it for the first time in my life.