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Trust me, if you’re a lover of all things sweet ‘n salty, the addition of crunchy pork rinds to a chocolate chip cookie will blow your mind.
With gratitude and much appreciation, this recipe courtesy of our friends at Taste of The South Magazine!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Pork Rind and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Classic Southern Cookie Recipes
And despite offering up a few recipes for THE BEST chocolate chip cookies out there, I’d yet to cover a recipe for peanut butter cookies. Brown sugar, butter, standard all-purpose flour, and good old peanut butter and chocolate chips are required for this cookie dough.
Oh, and that’s all before you roll the dough balls in crushed crispy pork rinds and bake! Trust me on this one, crushed pork rinds are other-dimensional when it comes to the flavor profile of sweet ‘n salty!
Do You Have What’s Necessary to Bake Up These Pork Rind and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? Check the List!
- creamy peanut butter
- unsalted butter
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- a large, singular room temperature egg
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- Kosher salt
- pork rinds, crushed or ground
- bittersweet chocolate baking bar or baking chips
- semisweet chocolate baking bar or baking chips
- flakey sea salt
How This Recipe Came About…
Do you ever stop and wonder who the first person was to try something, especially if it’s out of the ordinary? I wondered about this recipe and in particular, the addition of pork rinds the first time I read through it.
Once they were baked up and I’d had the opportunity to taste them, I wasn’t scratching my head any longer. ALL of the ingredients MAKE TOTAL SENSE TOGETHER!
This is not my recipe, but I am adopting it for its ‘entirely southern cookie recipes‘ attributes! These fall right in the middle of being described as chewy cookies with a wonderfully crunchy exterior and a welcome salty hint to each sweet bite.
What Are Some Classic Southern Cookie Recipes?
There are so many different types of cookies it’s mind-boggling. If you’ve followed me here on Not Entirely Average for a while, you probably baked my Southern Tea Cake cookies ages ago.
At the time of that post, I promised more southern cookie recipes would follow, recipes more unique than just classic sugar cookies or somebody’s grandma’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The south is known for rich food prepared from simple ingredients. Buttery cookies in different shapes and sizes grace every home and every cookie jar.
Over the coming weeks, I am preparing to release at least one dozen new cookie recipes in time for holiday baking. Recipes straight off the pages of Southern Living Magazine and recipes I have garnered locally here in Charleston simply by asking fellow church parishioners and friends.
Home baked cookies do not need to wait for special occasions though. Bake up a sweet treat any time of year.
How Long Will Homemade Cookies Stay Fresh?
If stored properly, homemade cookies will stay fresh for two to even three weeks. When I reference storing items in an airtight container, I cannot emphasize enough how great having metal cookie tins work.
I crumple parchment paper a couple of times before smoothing it out and lining a cookie tin. Then, I pile them in loosely. The best cookies much like this classic cookie, do best and stay freshest when stored in metal tins.
I usually find old tins at estate and yard sales and can scoop them up for as little as .50¢ a piece. Really look them over though and especially on the inside to ensure there is absolutely no rust.
Cookies make a great gift, so delivering them in a handy tin makes it double awesome! Never place a warm cookie in a tin, rather always allow them to cool COMPLETELY before loading.
What Kind of Chocolate Chips Do You Use for Cookies?
The majority of recipes specify semi-sweet chocolate. In this method, two types of chocolate are specified, as each one offers significance to the final bake.
The semi-sweet is going to offer that familiar warm cookie flavor we all love so much. Semi-sweet also pairs nicely with the peanut butter. Like biting into a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup, but in cookie form…you followed that, right?
The bittersweet chocolate however plays opposite the salty pork rinds. It’s needed. The cookies still taste good with only using semi-sweet, but they ROCK and ROLL with the use of both semi-sweet AND bittersweet.
And if you cannot find morsels, grab baking bars. I’ve been having difficulty sourcing chocolate lately, so I have taken to purchasing baking bars and chiseling them up for all of my recipes.
What Are Pork Rinds…Exactly?
Pork rinds are made by simmering pig skin in water until much of the fat has rendered (and the skin has shrunk). What remains is then chilled so that any additional pork fat can solidify.
And despite how it sounds, pork rinds are healthier than you’d think. Pork rinds contain fat that is slightly lower than the amount of fat found in potato chips. I know, go figure…
Look for pork rinds in the snack isle of your grocery. When purchasing, ensure you are purchasing plain or original pork rinds, as many brands now flavor them. The last thing you want to do is to purchase ‘Molten Lava’ or ‘Atomic Blaze’ flavored rinds for cookies!
How to Make Pork Rind and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies?
This simple cookie method could not be any easier, I promise. And these soon may even become your favorite cookies as they have become mine.
This recipe yields one dozen cookies which take about 15 minutes to assemble and another 12 to 15 minutes to bake. Be ready with a cup of hot tea or coffee for when these are baked because you’re gonna want to taste them.
Pro Tip: I do NOT recommend trying to stretch the recipe and make smaller cookies, as the bake time will be thrown off. That said, this recipe also did not do well when I doubled it. These are definitely at their prime as a single batch dozen bake.
Prepare the Cookie Dough
To a large mixing bowl, add some very soft unsalted butter. Spoon in your peanut butter and both brown and granulated sugars.
I use my stand mixer for these, but you may also use a handheld electric mixer and get the job done the same. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy and be sure to stop at least once to scrape the bowl.
Next beat in a single large room temperature egg. Then, some vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk some all-purpose flour together with baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture all at once and beat again until just incorporated, taking at least one time out to scrape down the bowl.
Fold in just under a cup of crushed pork rinds along with both of the chocolates and give the entire bowl and good stir. The dough will be very stiff, and this is correct. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes.
Assembling the Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. You want an ungreased cookie sheet here, so use parchment or the Silpat.
Crush the remaining cup of rinds and add to a shallow bowl or plate. I use a pie plate.
Form dough into a ball. Begin by halving the dough, then halving each half.
Shape three equally sized cookie balls from each quadrant of dough. That’s right, no cookie scoop required for this method.
Roll the dough balls in the crushed pork rinds and place 2 1/2-inches apart on the cookie sheets, 6 per sheet. Use the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to flatten each dough ball to 3/4-inch thick. Press together any obvious cracks in the edges if necessary.
Baking the Cookies
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until they edges are golden, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes. Once you pull the baking sheets from the oven, you will notice that the cookie centers still seem soft.
This is correct, and it’s now that you want to sprinkle them with a flakey sea salt. Not much, just a little. Allow the cookies to cool directly on the baking sheets for 4 minutes before using a wide spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like these southern cookie recipes:
- No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- A Copycat Recipe for DoubleTree Hotel’s Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pork Rind and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Classic Southern Cookie Recipes
- 2 large, rimmed baking sheets
- parchment paper
- stand mixer or electric handheld mixer
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups pork rinds crushed and divided
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or baking bar that has been chopped
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or baking bar that has been chopped
- flakey sea salt for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer), beat peanut butter, softened butter, and both brown and granulated sugars at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Ensure you stop at least once to scrape down the bowl. Add the egg, beating until well combined. Add in the vanilla beating until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a wire whisk to distribute all of the dry ingredients in the flour. Add this flour mixture to peanut butter mixture all at once, and beat on low speed just until combined, stopping at least once to scrape down the bowl. Fold in ¾ cup pork rinds and both the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolates. Your dough will be very stiff, and this is correct. Cover the dough with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Form the dough into a ball. Begin by halving the dough evenly, then halving each half evenly. Shape three equally sized cookie balls from each quadrant of dough. Roll the dough balls in the crushed pork rinds and place 2 1/2-inches apart on the cookie sheets, 6 per sheet. These cookies execute very little spread, but they still mustn't be crowded. Use the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to flatten each dough ball to 3/4-inch thick. Press together any obvious cracks in the edges if necessary but remember these are overall rustic in their shape.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until they edges are golden, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes. Once you pull the baking sheets from the oven, you will notice that the cookie centers still seem soft. This is correct, and it's now that you want to sprinkle them with a tiny amount of flakey sea salt. Allow the cookies to cool directly on the baking sheets for 4 minutes before using a wide spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.