These peanut butter Neapolitan cookies are like a sugar cookie, peanut butter cookie and chocolate cookie all wrapped up into one. One dough is split into three to make three different flavors, only to come back together to create this triple threat cookie. They’re so fun to make and turn out perfectly soft and chewy every time.
How to make peanut butter neapolitan cookie dough
A cookie with three different flavors may seem like a daunting task, but the process of making this dough is actually very easy. The base of this cookie is a soft and chewy sugar cookie dough. It’s buttery enough to create a delicious texture, but sturdy enough to bake into a perfectly flat cookie.
Once the sugar cookie dough is made, the dough is split between three bowls. One for just the plain sugar cookie dough, one to be turned into chocolate cookie dough, and the other to be turned into peanut butter cookie dough.
The sugar cookie dough is placed into the refrigerator while the other two are being mixed. This is because the sugar cookie dough has no additional dry ingredients added, unlike the other two. Because of this, the sugar cookie dough spreads slightly different in the oven. If the cookie is chilled beforehand, it will spread just like the chocolate and peanut butter sections.
To make this process as easy as possible, the chocolate section is mixed with a bit of cocoa powder and the peanut butter section is mixed with an equal amount of peanut butter powder.
After all three doughs are ready to go, each is scooped into a 1 tablespoon-sized ball. To your hand, add a sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate cookie dough ball and roll together to create one big Neapolitan cookie!
Tips for making peanut butter neapolitan cookies
This cookie dough is very easy to make, but there are some things to look out to make sure these cookies turn out just right:
- Weigh the ingredients – Once the dough is mixed, it is split between three bowls. To ensure each bowl has the exact amount of dough, I like to weigh them out for accuracy. If all INGREDIENTS were weighted, each bowl should fill with 300g of dough. If the ingredients were not weighed, this number way be a bit off.
- Properly measure the flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail, especially for cookies. If there’s too much flour, the cookies will turn out dry and they will not spread. If you can, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.
- Room temperature ingredients – It’s very important that the butter and eggs are at room temperature before starting. The butter should be the right softness in order to seamlessly mix with the sugars. As the two are mixed together, the sugar whips tiny air pockets into the butter. These pockets allow the oven heat to evenly flow throughout the cookie as they bake, giving you a perfectly flat cookie. The eggs should also be room temp so they do not disrupt the overall temperature of the dough. Cold eggs could curdle the room temperature butter as the dough is mixed.
- Don’t over mix – After the dry ingredients are added to the dough, take things low and slow. Over mixing can lead to a tough cookie. When mixing in the cocoa powder and peanut butter powder, take your time and mix them in by hand.
What is powdered peanut butter?
Powdered peanut butter is made by pressing roasted peanuts to remove as much oil as possible. Then these nuts are ground into a fine powder that tastes just like…well…peanuts! It’s the perfect way to add that peanut butter flavor into these cookies without disrupting the spread of the cookie.
Most powdered peanut butters can be found right next to the traditional peanut butter. For use outside of these cookies, you can mix the powder with a bit of water to create actual peanut butter. It’s great to add into smoothies or oatmeal.
Can you freeze the dough?
To freeze the cookie dough, roll out each ball and place into a freezer safe ziplock bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for a few months. Then, when you want a cookie, bake at 340F for about 14 minutes.
Can these be made gluten free?
I have not tested this, but I would recommend swapping the flour with a good quality gluten free baking flour like this one. Just be careful when measuring as gluten free flour tends to be a bit more dense than regular flour. For accuracy, I recommend weighing the flour.
For more cookie recipes, check out my:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies
- BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these peanut butter Neapolitan cookies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print
Peanut Butter Neapolitan Cookies
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 16 cookies
A sugar cookie, chocolate cookie and peanut butter cookie all wrapped up in one! They’re soft, chewy, and so fun to make.
- 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/3 cup (270g) granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugars on medium high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the bowl and mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla for another 2-3 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl again and mix in the flour mixture on low speed, just until combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to further incorporate the dough, ensuring all of the dry bits at the bottom of the bowl are well mixed in. The dough should be fairly thick – almost like mashed potatoes.
- Split the dough between 3 bowls. If everything was weighted or measured correctly, each bowl should contain 300g of dough.
- Take one bowl and place it in the refrigerator. To the other two bowls, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to one and 2 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter to the other. Use a spoon to mix the doughs until fully combined.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Then fill a small bowl with granulated sugar.
- Using a small 1 tablespoon scooper, or a regular tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate cookie dough balls onto a plate. Then wipe the scoop clean and scoop out the peanut butter balls.
- Remove the plain sugar cookie dough from the refrigerator. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into your hand and add one chocolate cookie dough ball and one peanut butter cookie dough ball. Roll all three balls together to form one large cookie dough ball.
- Roll the cookie in sugar and place it onto the baking sheet. Repeat this process until you have about 5-6 cookies on the baking sheet. With the remaining dough, roll and place on to a plate and set aside while the first batch of cookies bakes.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges look set and the center is pale and puffed.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. After a few minutes, I like to take the back of my spatula and flatten out the tops a bit to create a level surface.
- Continue baking the rest of the cookies. Then enjoy!
*RECIPE INSPIRED BY CONSTELLATION INSPIRATION MATCHA NEAPOLITAN COOKIES
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
Keywords: neapolitan cookies, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, sugar cookie recipe
These cookies are crispy on the outside and super soft and chewy on the inside! I love all of the cookie recipes and this is another great one I’m going to make over and over again! Thank you!
I’ve made these cookies twice because they are THAT GOOD! The perfect combo of crispy and chewy! Thank you!
Was curious if the peanut butter powder could be replaced for another powder? Have you tried any freeze-dried fruits?
Yes freeze dried fruit will work! I’d use about the same amount as the peanut butter powder.
Maria Mastrocola says
Very tasty recipe. I’ve tried several variations of this cookie and this one might be my favorite. Next time I’ll try it with black cocoa. Thank you..
Thanks for sharing!
I whole-heartedly agree with everyone else – perfectly crunchy + chewy, and so delish! And they are so pretty, too. That’s a quality good cookie for sure. Thank you for the detailed instructions, Jenna!
Aw thank you!!
Monica Biegel says
These are amazing! Thank you for sharing the weights in grams! Perfection! How do you store these baked cookies? I wrapped them in plastic wrap and I lost the crispness in the outside.
Keep them in an air tight container once they’ve completely cooled. They will likely loose some texture as any cookie does over time!
Hi! Can’t wait to try these – did you use natural cocoa powder or dutch processed?
Nadia Guillemette says
I have a question, Can i change the powdered PB by really PB? Not easy to find in my neck of the woods.
Sadly not 🙁 but you can also use ground up freeze dried strawberries for a true neapolitan flavor!