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How to jazz up peanut butter cookie mix?

What ingredients and additions can be used with a basic packaged peanut butter cookie mix to make it more delicious?

Peanut butter cookies are a classic favorite for many people. The sweet peanut butter flavor combined with a soft and chewy texture makes them hard to resist! While peanut butter cookie mixes offer convenience, the standard recipes can feel a bit basic at times. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to jazz up a packaged peanut butter cookie mix and take the flavor to the next level.

Additions to Elevate Peanut Butter Cookie Mix

Some simple additions to liven up a packaged peanut butter cookie mix include:

  • Chopped nuts – Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc. add crunch and complementary flavor.
  • Chocolate chips – Mini chocolate chips or chunks create bursts of chocolate in each bite.
  • Candies – Add M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, toffee bits, etc. for extra sweetness.
  • Spices – A bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc. enhances the warming flavors.
  • Extracts – Almond, vanilla, maple, etc. extracts boost the flavor complexity.
  • Salt – A pinch of flaky sea salt balances out the sweetness.
  • Coconut – Shredded or flaked coconut provides tropical flair.

The key is to choose additions that pair well with peanut butter. Nuts, chocolate, sweet mixes, warm spices, and extracts are natural complements. Start with small amounts of mix-ins at first, adjusting to taste. You want the peanut butter cookie base to still shine through.

Making Adjustments to the Cookie Mix

Beyond just stir-in additions, you can adjust the cookie mix itself to improve the recipe:

  • Use peanut butter instead of oil – Substitute extra peanut butter for some or all of the oil. This amps up the peanut flavor.
  • Brown the butter – Browning the butter before adding to the mix deepens the nutty taste.
  • Add an egg – Beating an egg into the mix helps bind the cookies for a richer texture.
  • Up the cookie size – For a more substantial cookie, scoop into bigger portions on the baking sheet.
  • Underbake slightly – Take the cookies out when slightly underdone to keep them extra soft and chewy.

Tweaking the peanut butter cookie mix base along with stir-ins is an easy way to create a gourmet-tasting cookie from a humble mix.

Toppings to Finish Peanut Butter Cookies

After baking peanut butter cookies, you can add extra toppings for over-the-top presentation:

  • Chocolate drizzle – A classic finishing touch, drizzled artfully over the tops.
  • Chopped nuts -Sprinkle more nuts on top to highlight the crunch.
  • Flaky sea salt – Just a pinch on top adds an upscale flair.
  • Crushed candy bars – Drizzle melted candy bars like Snickers or Reese’s for decadence.
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce – For dunking or pouring over as a sauce.
  • Peanut butter chips – Stud the cookies with extra peanut butter chips post-baking.

With endless options for toppings, you can get creative with different textures and decorative touches. Warm peanut butter cookies fresh from the oven make the perfect canvas!

Ingredient Substitution Ideas

If you want to depart from the standard peanut butter cookie recipe even more, get inspired by these ingredient substitution ideas:

Using Alternate Nut Butters

  • Almond butter – For a milder nutty flavor
  • Cashew butter – With a buttery, rich taste
  • Sunflower seed butter – Great for nut allergies
  • Cookie butter – For an indulgent cookie-in-cookie experience

Swapping out peanut butter for another nut or seed butter changes the flavor profile while keeping the textures similar. Reduce any other nuts in the recipe to prevent clashing.

Trying Fruit Purees

  • Applesauce – Adds moisture with just a hint of fruit
  • Pumpkin puree – For pumpkinyspice flavor
  • Banana – Contributes sweetness and texture
  • Prune puree – Provides deep, rich notes

Fruit purees infuse cookie mixes with extra flavors and natural sweetness. You may need to reduce other liquids in the recipe. Applesauce makes an especially seamless substitution for oil or butter.

Using Alternate Flours

  • Oat flour – For extra oat flavor
  • Almond flour – Nutty, gluten-free option
  • Coconut flour – For tropical flair
  • White whole wheat flour – Healthy switch with neutral taste

Subbing out all-purpose flour for alternate flours adds nuance to the base. Since flour properties vary, you may need to tweak liquids and leaveners. Start by swapping just half the all-purpose flour to maintain the structure.

Mixing in Natural Sweeteners

  • Honey – For floral sweetness
  • Maple syrup – Adds distinctive rich maple flavor
  • Molasses – Contributes deep, bittersweet notes
  • Brown sugar – More complex sweetener than white sugar

Using liquid sweeteners like honey or maple syrup yields super moist cookies. The flavors come through more than granulated sugar. Reduce other liquids slightly to account for the extra moisture.

Creative Flavor Combinations

Once you have perfected the basic peanut butter cookie recipe, get adventurous with unique flavor combinations! Here are some fun ideas to try:

Tropical Twist

  • Coconut flakes
  • Diced mango
  • Lime zest
  • Toasted macadamia nuts
  • Pineapple preserves swirl

Transform peanut butter cookies into a tropical escape with coconut, mango, lime, and macadamia nuts. The sweet pineapple preserves create a cheesecake-like swirl.


  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Toasted marshmallows
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Chocolate cookie swirl

All the flavors of campfire s’mores come together in cookie form. Use both chocolate chips in the dough and on top along with marshmallows and graham for crunchy texture.

Backyard BBQ

  • Crispy fried onions
  • Candied bacon bits
  • Smoked paprika
  • BBQ sauce swirl

Smoky, savory flavors give these cookies a cookout vibe. Top with crispy onions, bacon, and a swirl of your favorite bbq sauce. A touch of paprika enhances the blend.

Caramel Apple

  • Chopped apples
  • Caramel bits
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Oat flour

Taste the flavors of caramel apples in cookie form. Diced apples, caramel pieces, cinnamon, and brown sugar capture the essence. A bit of oat flour adds to the apple theme.

Rocky Road

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate chunks

This cookie remix channels the rocky road candy flavor. Marshmallows, walnuts, rainbow sprinkles, and chocolate chunks join forces for ultimate cookie indulgence.

Let your creativity run wild and the possibilities are endless for remixing peanut butter cookies! Try out flavor combos inspired by your favorite desserts, candy bars, milkshake flavors or anything delicious.

Decorating Ideas

Peanut butter cookies beg to be decorated into edible art. Here are aesthetically pleasing decorating ideas to wow any peanut butter cookie lover:

Monogrammed Initials

  • Use peanut butter or chocolate frosting in a piping bag to monogram cookies with initials for a personalized dessert.
  • For Christmas, pipe names in red or green frosting for Santa’s cookies.
  • Add crushed candy canes, sprinkles, or red and green sugar on top for a festive flourish.

Monogrammed cookies make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, weddings, baby showers or any special milestone. Practice your piping skills to create gorgeous lettering.

Geometric or Abstract Patterns

  • Start with a peanut butter cookie base dipped in melted chocolate.
  • While chocolate is still wet, drizzle and drag toothpicks through it to create geometric patterns.
  • Try concentric circles, crisscross lines, zig zags, dots or other abstract designs.
  • Let chocolate set completely before serving.

Channel your inner artist and adorn peanut butter cookies with tapestry-like chocolate designs. The options are limitless for mesmerizing patterns.

Seasonal Shapes

  • For Christmas, roll dough into logs, slice into rounds and press with cookie cutters to shape into trees, wreaths, etc.
  • Around Easter, cut cookies into egg shapes, bunnies, chicks, and lambs.
  • For autumn, cut dough into leaf, turkey, or pumpkin shapes.
  • Cut into heart shapes for Valentine’s day.

Shaping peanut butter cookies into seasonal designs makes them perfect edible decorations for your holiday tablescape. Get creative with cookie cutter shapes!

No-Bake Options

  • Press peanut butter cookie dough into mini cupcake tins for quick no-bake cookies.
  • Scoop dough, roll into balls, and press tops into crunchy toppings like chopped nuts, coconut, or sprinkles.
  • Layer dough rounds with chocolate ganache and crushed candies for no-bake peanut butter cookie sandwiches.

Skip the oven and whip up easy no-bake decorated peanut butter cookies and bars. Refrigerate to set – then admire your handiwork!

Serving Suggestions

Now for the best part – devouring your dazzling creation! Here are serving suggestions to take your spruced-up peanut butter cookies to the next level:

Ice Cream Sandwiches

What could be better than the marriage of cold creamy ice cream nestled between two warm, freshly baked cookies? Some delicious combos include:

  • Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip peanut butter cookies
  • Moose Tracks or Rocky Road ice cream between classic peanut butter cookies
  • Strawberry ice cream and cookies with strawberry jam swirl
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate drizzled cookies

Ice cream sandwiches are a surefire crowd pleaser. Feel free to get creative with your favorite cookie varieties and ice cream flavors.

Pie Crusts or Bars

Press peanut butter cookie dough into a pan and bake as a crust for no-bake desserts like:

  • Pudding pie filling
  • Whipped cream and berries
  • Cheesecake filling
  • Cookie butter mousse
  • Chocolate ganache

Or bake peanut butter dough into a layered bar dessert with ingredients like caramel, peanut butter cups, coconut and jam. Endless sweet possibilities!

Crumble Topping

Sprinkle crumbled peanut butter cookies as a topping over:

  • Ice cream sundaes
  • Puddings or parfaits
  • Fruit crisps and cobblers
  • Cakes and cheesecakes
  • Brownies, blondies and bars

The peanut butter cookie crumbles add a crunchy, candied texture as well as flavor contrast – taking the dessert up a notch!

Dunking Cookies

Speaking of texture contrast, soft and chewy peanut butter cookies are even more crave-worthy when dunked into:

  • Cold milk or plant-based milk
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruit juice or smoothies
  • Milkshakes

Dip your tricked-out peanut butter cookies to unleash an explosion of flavors and textures.

Storing and Freezing Cookies

Baked up a big batch of jazzed up peanut butter cookies? Here are tips for storing and freezing:

Storage Tips

  • Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 week.
  • For chewy cookies, store in a sealed bag at room temp.
  • For crispy cookies, store in a container at room temp.
  • Cookies with frosting or fillings should be refrigerated and consumed within 5 days.

Keeping cookies in an airtight container prevents them from drying out and retains texture.

Freezing Cookies

  • Let cookies cool completely before freezing.
  • Place cookies in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard.
  • Transfer frozen cookies to an airtight freezer bag or container.
  • Thaw at room temp or bake frozen cookies a few extra minutes.

Frozen cookies will keep for 2-3 months. Freeze icing and decorations separately.


Elevating a basic peanut butter cookie mix is easily achievable with a few extra ingredients and techniques. Stir in tasty mix-ins like chocolate, caramel or fruits. Adjust the dough’s texture and flavor with ingredient swaps. Top with drizzles, crunchy toppings or decorate into edible art. And serve peanut butter cookies in creative ways like ice cream sandwiches or pie crusts. With this guide, you can jazz up packaged mixes into gourmet peanut butter cookie creations to impress any crowd. So unleash your inner cookie artist!