Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons

May 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm 83 comments

I absolutely hate these cookies.

First of all, they are addictive. The peanut butter cookie melts in your mouth and has a sugary crunch. They are topped with a whole chocolate chip – white, milk, or bittersweet – to make them bite sized and dangerously irresistible.

Secondly, they are adorable: teeny tiny baby cookies, smaller than a quarter. When I brought them to school, some of my girl friends actually squealed as they held one. “These are so cute!” And they really are as cute as buttons.

Thirdly, they are excellent for any baker’s self esteem. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t fall in love with these cookies. Nothing compares to the warm, happy feeling I get when people reach for their third, fourth, even fifth cookie. They’re so small that no one can stop at one. And it makes me feel good.

And the last reason I hate these cookies? They are a real pain in the butt to make.

Every time I make these cookies, I actually say to myself, “I will never make these again.” The recipe makes 15 dozen little cookies. That’s 180 moments of happiness, 180 cute cookies on the cooling rack, 180 little balls of dough to measure, shape into circles, roll in sugar, and top with a chocolate chip.

Needless to say, I got very, very tired of making Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons after about 8 dozen cookies.

Normally I would not even imagine posting such a frustrating recipe. But the results? Magic. I taste the first cookie and immediately eat my words. (Ha, ha, ha.) Every time. And there have been many times. And I know in my heart it won’t be long before I make this recipe again.

I’m sharing it with you now for two reasons. I made them for my friend A-‘s birthday as he is a PB and chocolate fanatic. (He is a good friend through everything and deserves fantastic cookies on his birthday, even if they are annoying to make.) Plus, I discovered that the dough can be frozen! Thank goodness you don’t have to stand there and make 15 dozen cookies in one standing. Phew!

Your last excuse not to try them is gone.

My family was a little amused to see me standing in the kitchen, making cookies for such a long time. I was not. I briefly considered making them bigger, but I knew that would be beside the point. Half of the cookies’ charm is their size. So I continued on. The things you do for friendship!

When I finally couldn’t bear to bake another tray, I caved and wrapped the remaining dough in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer, planning to finish up the next day. Well, it turns out I didn’t want to roll cookies the next day either. So I used heaping tablespoons and made normal-sized mounds of dough before pressing down with a fork. The result? The best peanut butter cookies ever.

I brought these to school to oohs and ahhs. Hopefully A- enjoyed them as much as I did and had a lovely 17th birthday. Special cookies for an offbeat, original, artistic friend like no other.

A few notes on this recipe:

– The recipe can be halved, but you need to consider that the recipe calls for 1 egg.

– Don’t use your nice organic natural peanut butter on these. Use commercial PB, like Skippy’s.

– I use evaporated cane juice, which is brown. Your cookies might turn out lighter than mine if you use white granulated sugar.

– Don’t put too many cookies on each sheet. You need to press the chocolate chip into the cookie while it is still completely warm, and if there are too many cookies on the sheet they will cool too fast.

– The dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen. I’m not sure how long they’ll last, but I’d guess at least a week. Then take out of the freezer and let come to room temperature.

Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons
From Hershey’s Easy Baking
Makes about 15 dozen cookies, depending on size

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Granulated sugar for rolling
Chocolate chips (any type)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat peanut butter and shortening until well mixed, then beat in the two sugars until light. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then add in 3 batches to the peanut butter mixture, beating well between additions.

I find that this dough is easier to work with when cold. Consider chilling the dough for 10 minutes or so before baking.

Using a 1/4 tsp, roll dough into 1/2 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 5-6 minutes (5 is best for me) and remove from oven. Immediately press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. [Note: the chocolate chip will be warm and gooey for some time, so be careful before stacking them.]

Alternatively, drop heaped tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and press down gently with the tines of a fork. Do not roll dough or coat with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden for tasty PB cookies.

The cookies will keep for several days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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83 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer  |  December 30, 2009 at 12:18 am

    I have been following your blog ever since they ran something about you in the Seattle Times. I made these tonight for a New Years party. They are delish!!! Very labor intensive but so yummy.

  • 2. Tanvi  |  December 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    So basically, after falling in love with your blog, i ended up stumbling on this post. Which i adored too. i’ve been baking for my entire life, and i know exactly the calming sensation you’re talking about when you talking about the feeling you get while baking. its brilliant, absolutely magnificent.
    I tried these cookies, with high expectations, and was blown away. I made all 180 of them for school. i brought the box in, and basically just offered them to anyone who walked by (that i knew). I heard squeals and shouts, and people did end up reaching for a second, a third, a fourth, and a fifth. A few of my guy friends, even collaboratively stole the box,while i was distracted and stuffed their faces. its safe to say they had at least 20 each. ive promised at least 7 people these for their birthdays, and its safe to say, that this is probably my favorite recipe in the world. thanks for sharing.
    also, yours are ridiculously cute.
    with practice comes perfection i guess.
    keep baking in college. :)

    • 3. Elissa  |  December 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm

      Tanvi – Your comment made my day! :) I’m so happy for you! These are some of my all time favorite cookies too!

  • 4. Aaliyah "Liya" Joy  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    you are soooo amazing! IM A BIIIIG FAAAN!

  • 5. conniex721  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I made these for a bake sale I had at school. Almost every girl that walked by the table went, “Those are soo cute!” They were also a huge seller, going for $0.25 each or five $1.00. All the proceeds went to Share Our Strength. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    • 6. Elissa  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm

      Connie – Wow! That’s so great to know and I’m so glad the cookies were popular! I’ll have to try selling them the next time I hold a bake sale, too. :)

  • 7. Loose Ends « The Cracked Cheesecake  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    […] peanut butter buttons ($0.25 or 5 for $1) […]

  • 8. KatyR  |  January 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I made these last night and they are delicious! My 2 yr old wanted to help so I pulled out the colored sugar and we went to town rolling those little balls :) And they pack great for little lunches too! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • 9. Peanut Butter Buttons « The Bento Baker  |  January 28, 2010 at 10:55 am

    […] cookies are so adorable! I saw these on 17 and baking and I knew I had to try my hand at them!  This is a great recipe if you have little helpers, my 2 […]

  • 10. Karina  |  January 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Wow! these cookies really look amazing. I feel like I could eat them right off the page. I’m 16 and just started a baking blog last week. Your site is very inspiring. I’m going to add you to my blog roll.

  • 11. My great blog discovery! « Much Ado About Lisa  |  February 8, 2010 at 2:33 am

    […] Tiny peanut butter chocolate chip buttons […]

  • 12. Grace  |  February 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Memorable recipe–a new favorite. They roll up and bake super fast and are cute as a button. Used callebaut white an dark chips–not mandatory but it was an opportunity to showcase an over-the-top chip of fine chocolate. Elissa…you got it goin’ on!

  • 13. gabrielle  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Peanut butter cookie recipe:
    1 jar of peanut buter
    1 egg
    1 cup of sugar
    1/2 choc chips

    combine sugar,peanut butter, egg and choc chips.
    Mix well
    form little teaspoons of mixture.
    cook for 10 minutes.

    by gabrielleof auckland
    11 years

  • 14. Marissa  |  April 5, 2010 at 12:40 am

    my sister and i made these cookies and they are WONDERFUL! its a delight to just pop them in your mouth :) we each took roles in the baking process so it didnt take too long to do, but i cant imagine doing it alone!! definately worth the time though!

  • 15. beep  |  May 10, 2010 at 11:48 am

    You also can make them a little bigger and use a chocolate kiss in place of the chocolate chip.

  • 16. Kate  |  May 23, 2010 at 7:03 am

    There’s only one word to describe these cookies.
    I made these yesterday and I can’t stop eating them!!

  • 17. Summertime & Small Cookies « Procrastibaking  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

    […] quickly realised the difficulty of these cookies when reading a similar recipe on another blog but I decided to soldier on with my initial idea, reasoning that I had gotten the idea from Scrubs […]

  • […] recipe is 17 and Baking’s Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons. As always, Elissa’s pictures are much prettier than mine, so you should go take a […]

  • 19. Monica  |  July 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I love your blog! I came across it recently after noticing it listed on Smitten’s blog! I have literally flipped through all your posts and have decided to make this recipe first! I made world peace cookies recently which only lasted 2 days so I need something unchoclately now hehe I think this peanut butter cookies fits the bill :)

    Keep it up! U’ll find with studies and work ect you’ll become increasingly busy but do find time to keep this blog going! It will u sane! :)

  • 20. Stacey  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I made these cookies, and you were right! THey are very, VERY addictive. I made mine slightly larger though, almost 1 inch, but they’re still very cute and VERY good.

    Great recipe and great pictures!

  • 21. Sarah  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I have made these several times- they’re amazing! Toady I’m going to try making them with Nutella… hopefully they are amazing too!

  • 22. Pearlyn  |  December 21, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I just made this! And rolling 80 of them already made my wrist slightly sore, dayum are you impressive to make 180 of them! @_@
    Unfortunately i used mini chocolate chips so they aren’t as cute as yours :c

  • 23. Isabel Kitchen  |  February 2, 2011 at 2:22 am

    These are so adorable! I do have a similar recipe to this but I will for sure have to try these, bite-sized cookies are o dangerous because every time I pass by one I just pop it into my mouth. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

  • 24. Rona  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Question: I know, I know, they are adorable, but have you ever tried making them with kisses? And if so, do they turn out ok?

    • 25. Elissa  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Rona – While I’ve never tried it, I’m sure you can make them with kisses. Just make slightly bigger balls of cookie dough to compensate. I like the chocolate chips because yes, they’re cute, and also it’s less chocolate with your peanut butter, but it’ll be faster to use kisses.

    • 26. Young Idealistic Baker  |  June 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      I actually just made these the other week and used Hershey’s kisses for some of them. It worked out pretty well- I used a 1/2 teaspoon or a full teaspoon (I can’t remember which) to help make the balls instead of the 1/4 teaspoon and I baked them for about 2 minutes longer.
      You can see the pictures on my blog: http://youngidealisticbaker.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/peanut-butter-baby-steps/
      And Elissa, thanks for posting- these were really great!

  • 27. Lina Nguyen  |  April 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Haha, I just made these today, with dark chocolate and white chocolate. I also did use all natural peanut butter (Smart Balance) and they were pretty sexy. I used a 1/2 teaspoon measurement for all of them. Edible chess pieces! I’d even use them for black jack or poker or something. I’ll also try using peanut butter chips, butterscotch, carob, and other things.

  • 28. Itty Bitty, Teeny Weeny Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms  |  July 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    […] shoe and the cuteness gets lost somewhere between the 6 and the 8. Where does it go? So, I saw these cookies over a year ago on the site 17andbaking.  I don’t know if you have been to her site, but […]

  • 29. lmtrentLisa  |  September 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Holy delicious evil. I love the pb/chco combo as well and came across these. I needed to make cookies for a funeral- and ate them all before delivering. Now I’m going to hell.

    But what a way to go…

  • 30. Kelly V  |  December 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    So i’ll be making these later today with m&ms or mini pb cups in the middle instead for a party on thursday….

    thanks for the idea! I’ll probably be having my littlest sister help with placing the m&ms/pb cups.

  • […] were based off this concept, but I used this peanut butter cookie base instead. No go. The modified vegan cookie base […]

  • 32. Carolina  |  November 25, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Such great photos! :) and it looks delicious!

  • 33. Foundation for Defense of Democracies  |  March 10, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Foundation for Defense of Democracies

    Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons | 17 and Baking


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Elissa Bernstein

I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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