Recipe Review

Ovenly’s Internet-Famous Peanut Butter Cookies Are 100% Worth the Hype

published May 27, 2020
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Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn

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If you, like me, spend way too much time looking at food photos online, you’ve probably come across Ovenly’s perfectly round, sea salt-sprinkled peanut butter cookies. The Brooklyn-based bakery serves all kinds of popular treats, but their peanut butter cookies in particular have amassed somewhat of a cult following. (Even Smitten Kitchen has jumped on the bandwagon).

Although I was certainly aware of the hype, I’d never actually baked a batch myself, so I was excited to finally give them a try as part of our peanut butter cookie celebrity recipe showdown. Their simplicity surprised me — they’re a five-ingredient, one-bowl affair — and I was eager to see if they tasted as good as promised. Here’s what happened when I baked a batch at home.

Get the recipe: Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Credit: Images: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn

How to Make Ovenly’s Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Ovenly’s peanut butter cookies are one of the easiest and most fuss-free cookie recipes I’ve ever made. They come together in just one bowl with no mixer required. You’ll start by whisking brown sugar and eggs together until incorporated. Whisk in vanilla extract, then add a generous amount of peanut butter and mix with a spatula until it’s incorporated. I found that the longer you stir the dough, the thicker it gets. The recipe states that it should be the texture of Play-Doh, but I found it was a bit looser than that.

Using a cookie scoop, portion the dough into balls onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and sprinkle the tops with flaky sea salt. (I used Maldon brand, which can be found in the salt section of most well-stocked grocery stores.) At this point you can bake the cookies, or pop them in the freezer to firm up for 15 minutes. Ovenly notes that if you freeze them they’ll hold their shape better, but it’s not necessary. Bake for 20 minutes and these cookies are done.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Ovenly’s Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

These cookies were incredible. They were moist, chewy, and unlike any other peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had before. If a peanut butter cookie can be fudgy, then that’s exactly what these are. The center was soft, chewy, and decadent — like molten peanut butter, or a really good blondie. The lack of both flour and a leavener (baking soda or baking powder) made their texture so much better than traditional peanut butter cookies. In fact, I began to question if any peanut butter cookie should be made with flour.

The only downside of this recipe is that my cookies didn’t bake up into the beautiful mounded shape that many of the photos online show, even though I froze the dough balls before baking them. But the taste and texture more than made up for this small aesthetic issue.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Ovenly’s Peanut Butter Cookies, a Few Tips

1. Don’t use natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butters have a tendency to separate and are a bit gritty, so you want to avoid using those varieties in this recipe. Instead use a classic creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) to make sure the dough is perfectly smooth and homogenous.

2. Use a cookie scoop. The scoop is what gives these cookies their signature rippled look. I used this scoop and it was the perfect size.

3. Freeze the dough balls before baking. These cookies do spread in the oven, so make sure to freeze the dough balls before baking. I froze mine for about two hours and they still spread a bit more than I wanted, so the more time the better.

4. Be generous with the salt. Because these cookies are so simple, they need that pop of salt on top to help elevate the flavors.

5. Let cool completely before eating them. These cookies are super soft when warm. The inside is basically just molten peanut butter, so you want to give them plenty of time to cool off before you eat them. I let mine sit for an hour and they firmed up perfectly.

Rating: 9/10

Have you ever baked Ovenly’s peanut butter cookie recipe? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn