These Outrageous Pretzel Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies are soft, chewy, and irresistible! A decadent peanut butter cookie dough packed with chopped pretzels, Reese’s cups, Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips, dark chocolate chips, and optional peanuts make these the peanut butter cookies of your dreams!
I had some friends over a few nights ago to hang out in my backyard. We were all chatting when my neighbor Alex came over holding our 1-year-old son Edison. “I found him out in the middle of the street.” I literally thought Edison had already been put to bed. Had no idea he was even out of the house, let alone roaming the streets in his footie pajamas.
Apparently he had snuck out the side gate where my friends had come in. It takes a village, right? Good thing I have amazing neighbors or I would have lost all my kids by now.
We are in that wonderful phase where the baby gets into everything, all the time. You turn your back for one second and a nightmare has occurred.
Things Edison did this week: Sprayed himself with copious amounts of Eric’s cologne. Took a bite out of Eric’s deodorant. Ate a cigarette butt at the park. Ran out into the street (I was there this time). Played in the toilet. Rammed his head into our stone hearth, resulting in a massive goose egg on his forehead. Ate a Lego. Puked up said Lego. Dragged a chair over to the water dispenser on the fridge and pushed all the buttons (thank goodness it locks). Dragged a chair over to where the candy is kept and tried to climb in. Dragged a chair over to the stove and tried to turn on the gas burners. Took an actual bite out of my phone case. Climbed onto the counter and started the toaster. Half-chomped a dishwasher soap pod. Ate my chapstick.
It is a freaking miracle we have not had to call poison control yet, I always seem to catch him in the nick of time. There is nothing quite so stressful as always knowing that if your kid is awake, you are two minutes away from baby kamikaze. This list makes me sound like a terrible parent, I know. You other mom’s get me, right?? Solidarity!
Peanut Butter ftw.
I know that it is pretty ridiculous that I’m bringing you YET ANOTHER peanut butter cookie recipe. I’ve been a little obsessed lately. First I was on a mission to perfect the Softest Peanut Butter Cookie of Your Life (they really are my favorite stand alone recipe, with the ultimate peanut butter flavor.) Then there are Nathan’s Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies (salty and sweet!), these classic No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and just recently I posted these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies that are like the cookie version of the sandwich. (I also perfected my Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe recently!)
I even did a peanut butter themed cake. Eric’s birthday was a few weeks ago, and he requested a chocolate peanut butter cake. I made my favorite Chocolate Cake, smashed chocolate buttercream and chopped up Reese’s in the middle, with Peanut Butter Frosting on the outside, and a ganache layer on top. Plus more Reese’s cups and crushed Butterfinger.
It was decadently rich and way more effort than I usually put into cakes. Are you into making fancy cakes? It’s not my forte but it’s always fun once in a while. I’m more interested in having flavorful, moist cakes than having them be super fancy looking. Plus those ganache drips are WAY HARDER than all the food bloggers make them look!!! I kind of feel like my cake looks like one of those Pinterest fail “nailed it” cakes, haha! We ate nothing but peanut butter and chocolate for days. So worth it. If I can get the drip right, would anyone like the cake recipe?
How to make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies
I may not be great at making fancy cakes but I’m actually a pretty amazing cookie baker. Enter these pretzel Reese’s peanut butter cookies! My friend Jen told me about these cookies she tried that had chopped up Reese’s and PRETZELS in them, and I knew I had to make it happen.
First we are going to start out with a decadent peanut butter dough. BRING ON THE PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOR.
I like to mix my butter and sugars together really well and make sure there are no lumps before adding in the peanut butter. If your butter is cold (I always start cookies with cold butter and beat it into submission with my stand mixer) and you don’t beat it well enough, and then add the peanut butter, you will have little butter chunks in your dough that are super hard to get out. No thanks. Easy solution, just mix together the butter and sugar really well first (this is called “creaming” although sometimes I don’t use that word because then inexperienced bakers get really confused about when they were supposed to add the cream, which I think is kind of hilarious.)
Anyway. Add in your peanut butter. A whole cuppa this stuff. I love to use Jif. Do you use a particular brand of peanut butter? I used to not care until I did a taste test for my Softest Peanut Butter Cookie. High quality brands really do have better flavor and texture.
Here are all your mix-ins. You are going to have a lot of orange wrappers! I added even more pretzels than in this photo (it’s correct in the recipe). The first few batches I made, people told me that it needed more pretzels. Bring it on!!
Look at all this goodness. It’s hard to even find the dough in there. I like to chop up some of my ingredients before adding them, that’s why you can see a bunch of crumbs. Obviously the Reese’s cups need to be chopped. I use big ol Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chips and prefer when at least half the amount that I’m using in my cookies are chopped smaller. Then I like to chop half of the Reese’s Pieces. I do this anytime I’m adding M&M’s to a cookie recipe too. It’s nice to be able to distribute that flavor and crunch a little more!
Then make sure you fold it in with a spatula instead of beating it in. We don’t want to crush the Reese’s cups!
Here’s how big to shape the dough. I like big, 1/4 cup size cookies. You can make them smaller if you like! Start with an 8 minutes bake time if you do that.
Then, after you take them out of the oven, use a spoon to smoosh the edges in toward the center a little bit. See more details about this technique on my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies post. It makes the cookies more fudgy and less crunchy on the edges. It’s by far my favorite cookie technique!
Then, it’s a rule, you have to eat at least one of these cookies warm with some milk. It’s just the best, right? My mom always puts cookies in the fridge after baking and eats them cold. She’s a monster. Sorry mom, it’s true. I don’t even know what planet you are from.
Can you freeze cookie dough with pretzels in it?
Yes you totally can! I actually assumed that you would not be able to do this. Won’t the pretzels get soggy? But these cookies taste great even after chilling or freezing. The pretzels are not going to be next-level-crisp as when they were fresh, but they are not soggy either. They still have a nice snap in the center. Totally worth being able to freeze and chill ahead of time!
Can you freeze Reese’s peanut butter cookies?
Yes! I have some in my freezer right now! I like to shape the dough into balls and store them in a ziplock bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months! I never thaw cookie dough before baking it. Just bake it straight from frozen and add a couple minutes to the bake time. Voila!
More outrageous cookies to love!
- Nathan’s Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies << my brother’s childhood favorite. Today’s cookie is based on this dough.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies << like your favorite sandwich, in cookie form!
- The Best, Softest Peanut Butter Cookies of Your Life! << say no to crunchy pb cookies.
- Chocolate Cookies with Pretzel Peanut Butter Frosting << Chocolate, pb, and pretzel! Yum
- Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies << these are so soft and perfect.
- No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies << Please tell me you’ve tried no-bakes? A classic!
- Texas Cowboy Cookies << everything’s bigger (and better) in Texas ;)
- Chewy Cookies and Cream Cookies << Crushed Oreos, white chocolate, oh my!
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies << just like your favorite Girl Scout cookies, but better!
- 30 Minutes Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies << my all time favorite. They are just the best, right?
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Outrageous Reese's Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies
For the peanut butter dough
- 1 cup butter, 2 sticks, I used salted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup peanut butter, I like Jif
- 2 large eggs
- 1 &1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 10-oz bag Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, quartered (about 2 cups chopped)
- 1 cup Reese's Pieces candy, chop half of it
- 1 & 3/4 cup pretzels, measure the pretzels, then coarsely chop
- 1 cup peanut butter chips, I used the Reese's brand
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, chop half of it into smaller bits
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a few baking sheets with parchment paper, or line with a silicone mat.
- Add 3/4 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Beat for another 2 minutes, taking the time to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl in between. Your butter and sugar should be light and fluffy with no chunks of butter.
- Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and mix well.
- Add 2 eggs and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat well, scraping sides and bottom.
- Add 2 cups flour but don't mix it in yet (make sure you spoon and level your flour). Use a small spoon to stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda into the flour, then beat in gently. There should still be flour streaks when you stop.
- Prepare the mix-ins. Quarter the mini Reese's cups with a knife. (I used the mini size Reese's that are about the size of a quarter, but you can use any kind. You need about 2 cups.)
- Measure out one cup of Reese's Pieces candy. I like to chop half of it into smaller pieces for the best texture, but that's optional.
- Measure out 1 and 3/4 cup pretzels, then chop coarsely.
- Measure out 1 cup of dark chocolate chips; if the chips are big I like to chop half of them into smaller pieces (again, optional.)
- Set aside a handful of any of the mix-ins that you want to press into the tops of the cookies.
- Add 1 cup peanut butter chips, the quartered Reese's cups, all the Reese's Pieces, the pretzels, the dark chocolate, and the peanuts to the dough. Peanuts are totally optional.
- Use a rubber spatula to mix all the ingredients into the dough. I like to do this part by hand so that the Reese's cups don't get smooshed.
- Use a quarter cup measuring cup, or a very large cookie scoop to shape the dough.* Place cookie dough balls on a baking sheet with about 2 inches in between them. I like to fit between 8-12 on a half baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies at 350 for about 9-11 minutes, until the edges are a very light golden and the edges have set. It's ok if the centers of the cookies (no more than the size of a quarter) are still shiny. The rest of the cookie should be matte.
- Immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, use a spoon to push the edges of the cookies toward their centers. This makes the cookies round in shape and makes the center thicker and more chewy. You have to do this within 30-60 seconds of taking them out of the oven. See my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe for more details about this technique!
- While the cookies are still warm, press any reserved mix-ins into the top of each cookie.
- Remove the cookies to a wire cooling rack and let cool. But you better eat at least one warm. With milk. Live your best life.
Silly question probably, but do you let your butter soften before mixing? Also, I bought a bag of these Reese’s baking cups and pieces I saw at Walmart and will be attempting these for a cookie exchange I’m going to, hoping it works as a sub for the cups and pieces part since they’re all in one bag! These look so good I really hope they turn out and go over well! Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Kassie! There are no silly questions; glad you asked. If you’re using a powerful stand mixer, you can start with cold butter, add the sugar, and beat it into submission before adding the peanut butter. If you’re using a hand mixer, let the butter soften first. Enjoy!
Just made these cookies for the first time toady. My, oh my! Delish!
A note to the add-in ingredients:
I bought 2 boxes of the “theater-size” Reese’s Pieces. Measured 1-cup exactly and I think may be more cost effective. Also, I bought the mini “unwrapped” Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Saved time and waste :) The package is only 7.6oz, but due to their tiny size, they only needed to be cut in half.
Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Ah thank you for your notes, P! That is super helpful to know. I’m so glad you loved it! Thanks for reviewing!
These are our new family favorite! So darn good!!
I’m so glad you loved them Christine! Hard to beat this much peanut butter right? 😂🖤 thanks for reviewing!!
I have made these twice and love the taste (especially out of the freezer just thawed!), but mine are not chewy – I only baked them 9 min and they crumble easily and are dry.
Hi Tracy! I’m wondering if you have overpacked your flour? I’m sorry they are turning out crumbly for you!
These were a big hit with my family! My Reese’s loving son came down with covid and I made a special batch of these for him. I had a bag of the mini Reese’s cups and pieces and chopped up a full size cup to sub in for the chopped ones in your recipe. I really loved the texture that the peanuts and pretzels added! Delicious just like all the other recipes that I’ve made from your site!
These are the BEST cookies i’ve ever made-look just like the picture and directions very well written and easy to follow. I’ve given this recipe out to at least 5 people!
Hooray I’m so glad it’s a hit LuAnn! It’s tough to beat this much Reese’s right?? Thanks so much for coming back to review! That always helps me out!
This looks amazing. I am definitely going to try it!
I hope you get to make them soon Cynthia!! These cookies are so much fun!
I like my chocolate cool- not cold, certainly not frozen! I like any sort of chocolate chip-type cookie the very best for breakfast the day after I make them- mmm, mmm good!
May I just say that despite being raised by a monster, you make some dang fine-tasting cookies :)
Okay okay now cookies for breakfast the next day sounds perfectly reasonable, Mom. I guess we’ll take off the monster status ;)
K first of all, there’s no such thing as too many peanut butter options! Seconds, your cake looks amazing. Especially for your first attempt at a drip cake, just more cream next time and while still warm and you’ll be perfect! I also put my cake in the freezer for about 15 min before doing the drip.
These cookies look amazing, I make something similar and call them my, everything but the kitchen sink, cookies. The pretzels really give it a fun kick.
When I was visiting all of you at Eric’s a couple Christmases ago, I thought all my kids were happily playing with cousins downstairs. I did not know there was a door to the outside down there. So it’s dark and snowing and I’m happily talking with you all and the front door opens. In walks my hardly dressed 2 year old! I was horrified, so been there!😉
Okay I’m writing down all your tips Misty and will probably have to call you again mid-bake the next time I make it! You are the cake queen! And you know what, i think we’ve all lost a kid at some point, but you win for him being naked in the snow. That’s hilarious lol!!
Your littlest guy is quite the pistol!!!!
I too am a peanut butter cookie fanatic. Will definitely have to try your recipe :) Would love the cake recipe, it is similar sounding to what I made my son this year for his birthday (a chocolate peanut butter overload cake). My husband likes his cookies cold also! haha! I also have added pretzels to cookies, but as I recall, they did not stay crunchy, but I like to chill my dough before baking to ensure a thicker cookie, so maybe that was the problem? Don’t worry, I will test this out!!! Thank you for all your great recipes AND your hilarious stories…(you make parenting AND cooking/baking seem so easy!) You are so talented in the kitchen and your blog is one of my favorites!!!
Okay so Cindy I am wondering if I have lower standards than the average person when it comes to pretzel crunch. I chilled this dough multiple times and baked, and thought the pretzels were still snappy enough. Yes, a little soft on the edges, but still snappy in the middle and you retain that great baking-soda-y salty taste that pretzels bring. This might be a matter of personal preference. If you can only handle pretzels that are CRISP LEVEL ULTIMATE then maybe bake all these right as soon as you make the dough!
Thank you for all your kind words, it means so much to me that you are enjoying the blog! I’m going to work on my drip technique so that I don’t turn into a Pinterest failure and then I’ll share the cake ;) oh and your husband and my mom must be from the same planet. cold cookies?? Weirdos!!!! hehe.