Peanut Butter Cookies with Sourdough Discard

Need an incredible peanut butter cookie recipe, but you also want to use your sourdough discard? This is the recipe for you! These peanut butter cookies with sourdough discard are delicious. Filled with peanut butter flavor and baked crispy on the edges with a nice and chewy center. I top these peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss for that iconic “peanut butter blossom” look, or use a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for even more peanut butter flavor. Yum!

The History Behind these Peanut Butter Cookies

This specific type of peanut butter cookie, with the Hershey’s Kiss in the middle, is called a “peanut butter blossom.” Peanut Butter Blossoms were created for a 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off. They were created by Freda Smith who wanted to decorate the peanut butter cookies she was making. She simply added a Hershey’s Kiss on top and the rest is history! The recipe was posted on the back of Pillsbury flour bags, and they’ve been an American favorite ever since.

Important Ingredients in Peanut Butter Cookies with Sourdough Discard

Sourdough Discard: In order to avoid a stronger sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe.

Unsalted Butter: I bake a lot of cookies and always use unsalted butter. You can control the flavor much better when you use unsalted butter. Salt content varies between brands of salted butter and your baked goods may come out too salty using salted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, decrease the salt a little bit in the recipe. Use softened butter for best results.

Sugar: Brown sugar and granulated sugar are used for the perfect balance of sweetness and flavor.

Creamy Peanut Butter: I like using creamy peanut butter in this recipe for a smooth cookie. If you like the texture, you can use crunchy peanut butter. 

All-Purpose Flour: These cookies are perfect with all-purpose flour. Use flour with an 11.5% protein content, not bread flour.

Cornstarch: Just a little bit of cornstarch makes these cookies extra soft and tender.

Hershey’s Kisses: An iconic part of these cookies is the Hershey’s candy kiss that is placed in the center. Unwrap one for each cookie. You could also use Reese’s Peanut Butter cups for more peanut butter flavor.

Mixing Up Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Peanut butter cookies with sourdough discard are easy to mix together. Use a hand mixer to whip up the room temperature butter. It should lighten a little in color as you mix. Add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Then add in the egg, sourdough discard, creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract. Whip again until fluffy.

To a separate bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Fluff together with a fork and then add to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined. This dough will feel soft, smooth and not overly sticky. You can easily roll it into a ball in your hands.

Scooping and Baking Peanut Butter Cookies with Sourdough Discard

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit convection. Scoop the dough into small balls, about 2 Tablespoons each. Place dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing the dough balls out so they have some room to spread out while they bake. Bake peanut butter cookies for about 7-8 minutes until puffed up with crispy edges.

A Note About Convection Baking

One of the secrets to a cookie with a delicious crispy edge with a gooey or chewy middle is convection bake. If you have convection bake on your oven, use it! If you don’t have convection, you have a couple of options:

  1. You can increase the temperature by 25 degrees (400 degrees Fahrenheit for this recipe) and preheat your oven for 15-20 minutes to get it really hot before baking the cookies.
  2. Bake the cookies at the convection temperature (375 degrees Fahrenheit for this recipe) and add some extra time to the bake, usually 2-3 minutes.

Whatever you do, the key to baking these cookies is to avoid over-baking them. Take the cookies out when they are still a little gooey in the center. They will keep baking and set up to be nice and chewy as they cool.

Adding a Hershey’s Kiss on Top

While the cookies bake, unwrap Hershey’s Kisses and set them aside. Immediately after the cookies are baked through, pull them out of the oven and place a Hershey’s Kiss in the center of each peanut butter cookie. The peanut butter cookie will crinkle up a little bit (that’s the signature look of these cookies) and the chocolate kiss will melt into the cookie just a little, while still retaining its shape. Let cookies cool completely and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover peanut butter cookies with sourdough discard?

If you have extra cookies, let them cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the freezer. Pull them out of the freezer a few hours before you want to enjoy them so they can thaw at room temperature. Enjoy!

Can this peanut butter cookie dough be frozen?

Yes. This is a great cookie dough to freeze. Mix up the cookie dough. Scoop into balls and place the balls on a baking sheet. Freeze the dough balls on the cookie sheet. Once they have frozen completely, place cookie dough balls in an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. When ready to bake, bake from frozen or thaw in the refrigerator. Add an extra minute or two to the bake time for the chilled dough.

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

You can use crunchy peanut butter for more texture in these cookies. I have not tried using a natural peanut butter in them.

Can these cookies undergo a long fermentation for more sourdough benefits and flavor?

Yes. Stick the dough in the refrigerator after mixing and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or for up to a couple of days. This extended fermentation time will give more of the health benefits of sourdough and will give the cookies a more sour flavor.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Sourdough Discard

Amy
Rich peanut butter cookies are made with sourdough discard and baked with crispy edges and a chewy center. We top this peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss for the perfect chocolate peanut butter pairing.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 113 grams unsalted butter about 1/2 cup
  • 115 grams brown sugar about 1/2 cup
  • 75 grams granulated sugar about 1/3 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 60 grams sourdough discard see recipe notes
  • 140 grams creamy peanut butter see recipe notes, about 1/2 cup
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • 225 grams all-purpose flour about 1 1/4 cups
  • 10 grams cornstarch about 1 Tablespoon
  • 6 grams baking soda about 1 teaspoon
  • 3 grams salt about 3/4 teaspoon
  • 20 Hershey's Kisses unwrapped, this is approximate – you want one for each cookie

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F convection. See recipe notes for non-convection.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the softened butter until light and fluffy for about a minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Cream together until fluffy and smooth.
  • Crack the egg and add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Whip together with the beaters until the egg is fully incorporated. Add the sourdough discard, peanut butter and vanilla extract, mixing with each addition until smooth and combined.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into small, 2 Tablespoon sized balls and stick on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies in a preheated, 375 degrees F oven on convection bake for about 7-8 minutes. After 7-8 minutes, the cookies should be puffy with the edges just a little crispy. If you don't have convection bake, bake the cookies at 375 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes. 
  • While the cookies are baking, unwrap a hershey's kiss for each cookie. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, place a hershey's kiss directly in the center of the cookie and press down just a little.
  • Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until they set up completely. Enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough Discard: In order to avoid a stronger sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe.
Peanut Butter: I like using creamy peanut butter in this recipe for a smooth cookie. If you like the texture, you can use crunchy peanut butter. 
Convection Bake: I almost always bake my cookies using the convection feature on my oven. This is what gives the crispy edges but a chewy center. If your oven doesn’t have convection bake, use 375 degrees F as the temperature and bake for a few extra minutes. 
Keyword homemade sourdough cookies, peanut butter cookie, sourdough cookie recipe, sourdough discard cookies, sourdough peanut blossoms, sourdough peanut butter cookie recipe, sourdough peanut butter cookies
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2 Comments

  1. Beautiful peanut butter flavour, but a rather expensive cookie if topped with a hersheys kiss (although 100% delicious). We will be experimenting with this recipe and topping it with other types of bar chocolate and having it plain to see what we love best. Will get incorporated in to our regular baking schedule for sure 👏

    1. Thanks for sharing! I seem to always have extra Hershey’s kisses lying around – so many holiday themed ones here. But, I also love these cookies probably the best with a peanut butter cup in the middle. They are great plain and rolled in a little granulated sugar or just add chocolate chips to the dough too.