Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies


For a baking snob such as myself, admitting that one of my favourite cookies is actually storebought is akin to sacrilege. As a general rule, if it’s not homemade or from some wonderful bakery, it can’t possibly be very good. I usually give supermarket bakery counters a wide berth, with their sawdust cookies and sugary but tasteless cakes. So how is it that a supermarket brand cookie ranks up there among my absolute favourite cookies?

The cookie of which I speak comes Hannaford Brothers, a grocery chain based primarily in Maine, with a few outposts in other parts of New England. I was introduced to these circular pieces of heaven by my sister-in-law on a visit up to their house near Bar Harbor. I have to confess, I was skeptical when she said that they were really good, but she is a wise, wise woman and I should never doubt her. I liked them so much that I have, in the past, made up excuses for a trip into town so that I can smuggle a box home with me. They have other varieties besides the Peanut Butter with Reese’s Pieces, and they are decent for storebought cookies, but they don’t quite measure up. And you really do have to buy them when they are fresh, as otherwise they become hard and dry and significantly less flavourful.

For a few years now, I have been attempting to make something comparable to the Hannaford Peanut Butter Cookie. And I have failed. The cookies I came up with were good, just not Hannaford good. They didn’t have the right texture, they weren’t chewy enough, or they didn’t spread properly. I realize now that my mistake was attempting to adapt traditional peanut butter cookie recipes, which tend to produce sandier, crumblier textures. What I needed was more of a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a peanut butter cookie, something that spread while baking, and crisped up on the edges while retaining a chewy center.


With my sister-in-law and her family coming for a visit this past weekend, I decided I needed to tackle these puppies again. This time, I scoured the internet for the right base cookie. Okay, really I just scoured Foodgawker and Tastespotting because I figured I would know the right cookie by how it looked. This lovely recipe from A Sweet Spoonful caught my eye. It looked exactly like a Hannaford cookie, minus the Reese’s Pieces. So I gathered my ingredients together and away I went.

The Results: Ta-da! May I introduce to you the one, the only, Homemade Hannaford Peanut Butter Cookie with Reese’s Pieces! It is chewy, it is peanut-buttery, it is crispy on the edges, and it has delightful chunks of sweet peanut butter candy. I can stop searching, I have found the ultimate peanut butter cookie and this time, it IS Hannaford good.


I can say all of this first hand, because I did try one. Well, really I tried one and a half. I ate half of one as dessert the night that they were made, because I couldn’t present them to my readers without knowing if they were any good. But I also ate a whole one the next morning. Cookies for breakfast for a diabetic? Sounds a little wacked, but my dear sister-in-law and I were running a half-marathon and I figured that was about the only time I could get away with it. I was definitely burning all of those sugars off on Sunday morning, believe me!

And I am happy to report that I set a personal best in my race. Was it the cookie that fueled me through???

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies (aka Hannaford Cookies) adapted from A Sweet Spoonful

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups Reese’s Pieces candies (more if you want!)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and both sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined, scraping down bowl and beaters with a rubber spatula as needed. Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just combined.

Add half of flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, then repeat with remaining flour mixture.

Fold in Reese’s Pieces with a rubber spatula.

Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. The original recipe said three hours, but I was impatient, as always, and put some in the oven at the 1 hour mark and they turned out just the same as the ones chilled for longer.

Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared sheets at least 2 inches apart. Press each cookie down lightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies have just barely begun to brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for at least 10 minutes.

Makes 24-30 cookies.

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  1. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says

    OH MY GOODNESS I'm in love, seriously! I LOVE reese's pieces and I LOVE peanut butter cookies. When I saw these in my inbox, oh my word I clicked on it so fast. Your cookies are just absolutely BEAUTIFUL! And not to mention delicious looking. Thanks so much for the amazing recipe. I love it!

  2. Kim - Liv Life says

    Your pictures are amazing!! Absolutely gorgeous. My mom is diabetic and she would have worked some magic for some of these cookies too. Excellent job!

  3. Susi says

    Delicious looking cookies and so fitting for season! I'm bookmarking them to make for our neighborhood block party next weekend, I just know the kids (and I'm sure adults) will love these cookies!

  4. Lauren at KeepItSweet says

    i've been looking for a great peanut butter cookie recipe, i will definitely be trying this! congrats on your half marathon!!

  5. Stella says

    Yay! You made them properly-that's nice! I'm glad you figured the recipe out. I feel weird about buying packaged stuff, even if it's organic and such. I don't know if I should feel that way or not?! Your cookies look wonderful though, Carolyn. Oh, and I'm a total Reese's Pieces fan. I cannot have those things around me;)

  6. Sommer J says

    Ummmm cookies for breakfast is a bad thing? Ooops 😉 I LOVE this recipe and I will be making these Saturday night!! Oh yeah, baby, I am totally on grandma status. Baking on Saturday nights! May also add that the styling is fantastic on these photos??? Awesome job!!! How'd you keep the lil ones from swiping candy??


    Ooooo! I love peanut butter and reeses cookies. They look awesome–I probably wouldn't been abe to stop at 1 1/2!

  8. baking.serendipity says

    I love reeses pieces! I always used to get them when I went to the movies in high school, but never thought to add them to cookies…yum!

  9. Karen says

    Oh my! I think that if this was the only cookie I could eat for the rest of my life, I would be okay with that! They look amazing. Peanut butter, Reese's Pieces, chewy, and crispy??? Yes, please!

  10. Indie.Tea says

    I'm a baking snob too. But I used to love Reese Pieces as a child. Reese candies are so Halloween-ish too. And so these cookies are pretty darn tempting. They look really comforting and moist and delicious.

  11. gringarl says

    I love Reese pieces, ok, ok, I love the peanut butter cups too, but your cookies, Oh my I can only imagine how good these must be, I'd so selfish and keep them all for myself

  12. Foodiva says

    I've yet to make peanut butter cookies and your recipe will be the first one I try! They look positively gorgeous. Well done also on your PB for the half marathon. If I was running the same distance, I'd definitely throw caution to the wind and try more than 11/2 of these cookies!

  13. The Mom Chef says

    Congrats on your tenacity in finding the perfect recipe, for your personal best in the race and for a gorgeous, wonderful cookie. Bravo!

  14. Lindsey @ Burn Me Not says

    These look delicious!! I love a good peanut butter cookie, so I'll definitely have to give these a try! :)

  15. Anonymous says

    made them for my family, not knowing if they would take to them…
    Now I have to triple the recipe to keep everyone happy.
    SOOOOOOO delicious, no one should go without.

  16. Jen says

    Came across your recipe after googling Reese’s pieces cookie recipes….WOWZERS….these cookies are delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will be bookmarking this one :)

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