Cookie of the Day: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirls

Baking, Cook, Cookie of the Day, Holidays

Holiday season is cookie season! We are all about cookies this month: bakingdecoratinggifting and hosting the classic cookie exchange. Today, we’re kicking off 30 days of holiday cookies, so be sure to check back every day for a new recipe! And for more inspiration and great recipes, visit our Cookie Central page. 


These crisp chocolate and peanut buttery cookies are great for a crowd, as one batch yields lots of cookies. Make the dough ahead and keep it in the freezer, then just slice and bake what you want.


Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirls


Cookie of the Day

Leading up to Christmas, we’ll be featuring one standout cookie recipe every day. Let the holiday cookie exchanges begin!

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup good-quality unsweetened creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 (12-oz.) bag semisweet chocolate chips


In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all but 1 tablespoon of the butter and the sugar on medium-high speed until lightened. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the bowl, and stir into the peanut butter mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the chocolate chips over very low heat. Stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.


Divide the dough into 2 balls. Place 1 dough ball on a large piece of floured parchment paper. Flour the top of the dough, place another piece of parchment on top, and roll into a rectangle about 10 by 15 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. (See Note for tips on rolling out this dough.) Spread the rectangle with half of the chocolate mixture, leaving a 1-inch border on the long side closest to you. Starting from the long side farthest from you, and using the parchment to help, carefully roll the dough into a log. Place the log seam side down and wrap it in the parchment, twisting the ends to hold it tight. Repeat with the remaining dough and chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours or ideally overnight.


Space 2 racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the logs, trim the ends of each log, then cut crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Space the cookies evenly on the prepared pans. You will need to bake in batches, so refrigerate the remaining portion of the logs until you are ready to cut and bake more cookies. Bake until the cookies are puffed and lightly golden, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.


NOTE: This is a soft dough, so you have to show it who’s boss! Use the parchment to help you, and keep peeling it up and sprinkling it with flour if it gets too sticky. If you keep the dough floured, it will roll out more easily. When you spread the chocolate, brush off any excess flour, or the chocolate will be difficult to spread.


For more great cookies and other baking recipes be sure to check out our latest book, Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort.

29 comments about “Cookie of the Day: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirls

  1. Lisa

    Looks delicious! What about using powdered sugar instead of flour to keep the dough in line?

  2. frances

    great idea I am going to make these and put them in the freezer for when needed..better than having dozens of cookies weeks before Christmas and then they are stale or better at least all eaten haha.

  3. Lutsky

    This recipes calls for 1 cup of butter but only uses 2 tablespoons. Is that an error?

  4. Melissa

    The recipes says “beat all but 1 tablespoon” for the butter. Haven’t made the recipe yet, but looking forward to it! Sounds delightful!

  5. Catherine Pries

    Where’s the print button? Also I saw on America’s Test Kitchen that if you make a quarter turn each time you make a cut, the roll will stay round. I tried this with another recipe and it worked. It took a minute or so to get a rhythm going, but it was worth it.

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  7. Christina

    Made these cookies the other day and yes, they are yummy! Then again what cookie with peanut butter and chocolate wouldn’t be! 🙂
    Dough was a bit difficult to roll up. but once it was all put together and chilled again and baked – they were delicious. Would I made them again? Perhaps not. I think I would make the dough and just dump the chocolate chips in and make them a drop cookie instead. You wouldn’t have the pretty swirl, but the same delicious cookie is less time!

  8. Sarah Hendrickson

    Made these today….good flavor, but a bit too labor intensive and I had a hard time slicing the dough after being in the refrigerator overnight; the chocolate was quite brittle.


    I just made these and I don’t know what went wrong but they were so dry when I baked them. Actually they were not really great at all but I followed the recipe as close as I could as the recipe was probably the most confusing recipe I have ever read, as it was so out of order. I love to bake and usually don’t have things turn out badly so I wish I knew what happened.

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  12. Mary Leitch

    I looked for this recipe for years. A coworker had made these and I never forgot them, but couldn’t find the recipe. They are delicious.

  13. Sarah

    These were too soft to work with. They turned out much larger than the picture makes them appear, melted into puddles in the oven (pretty puddles but very melty) and the dough was so hard to work with that I ended up with misshapen lumps instead of beautiful rolls. I did refrigerate it for the length of time stated but it thawed very quickly as soon as I started working with it. If they had behaved more like the other, firmer slice cookies I’ve made, they would have been perfect (as the flavor was terrific), but I can’t deal with the nearly batter-like consistency of the dough and won’t be making them again.

  14. Monique

    These are amazing! I made them last Christmas and everyone who had some never stopped asking for them throughout the rest of the year. I found them quite simple to make and they turned out gorgeous! I made four rolls and kept them in the freezer. If company was expected I would just pull out a roll and cut off as many as needed. If there were any crumbly or cracked spots, dipping your fingers into a cup of warm water and fixing the cracks worked perfectly.

  15. Jill

    Adding a couple tablespoons of creamy peanut butter to the melted chocolate instead of the one tablespoon of butter the recipe calls for will make the chocolate easier to cut after the logs have been frozen.

  16. Pamela

    I have been making this cookie for years. I only refrigerate for 1/2 hour, any longer the chocolate becomes hard and makes it difficult to slice and they don’t turn out as nice but of course still tastes good.

  17. Play possum

    The chocolate part is literally chocolate, not chocolate DOUGH. It will chip and break if frozen. Another option is to make the base DOUGH. Split it into two batches…to one add the peanut butter and mix well, then make a log and refrigerate. Then melt the chocolate and once cool add to the other half, mix well and roll into a log and refrigerate. An hour or two later you can roll out both logs side by side. Carefully slide one onto the other and roll up into One log. Wrap in Satan wrap and refrigerate or freeze until your ready to bake. This will give an entirely different texture of the chocolate portion but works better for those of us who make and freeze our DOUGH for later.

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  19. D. Hamil

    Where is the reference note ((See Note for tips on rolling out this dough.)) in the 3rd paragraph of the directions?

    How do you roll in a rectangle?

    Thank you!

    1. Williams-Sonoma

      Hi D., sorry for the confusion! Here is the note referenced:

      NOTE: This is a soft dough, so you have to show it who’s boss! Use the parchment to help you, and keep peeling it up and sprinkling it with flour if it gets too sticky. If you keep the dough floured, it will roll out more easily. When you spread the chocolate, brush off any excess flour, or the chocolate will be difficult to spread.

      We have also added it to the post. Hope you enjoy!

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  23. Sarah

    I was afraid to try these after reading the comments. But I just made my first batch and they are gorgeous (and delish!). I followed the recipe exactly as written and had no trouble with the rolling/cutting or baking. They hold their shape really well and turn out so lovely. I would NOT skip the rolling and make them as drop cookies as the swirl is what makes them really pretty and special for Christmas.


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