Ever since the New York Times published the original recipe for Peanut Butter Miso Cookies, the world seems to have become obsessed with miso! And specifically, miso in all the sweet things! Truth be told, we have jumped right on board this miso train, and these Miso Peanut Butter Cookies are our absolute favourite way to enjoy the umami flavour in a dessert! These 8-ingredient cookies are an absolute delight – they have a chewy texture, crispy edges, a bit of bite from the crunchy peanut butter, a savoury undertone, and most importantly, beautiful cracked tops that other cookies can only be jealous of!
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If you’re a regular, here at Somebody Feed Seb, you will know that if we are making cookies, they are likely to have some kind of nutty flavour in them! It just so happens that we love a bit of the toasty earthy taste of various nuts in our sweet treats, like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Almond Meringue Cookies or Hazelnut Biscotti.
The great news is that the umami-rich miso is a perfect complement to nuts. It acts as a flavour enhancer as well as seasoning in this recipe, creating a perfect balance between sweet and savoury. Trust me, the combination of peanut butter and miso is a match!
Miso In Baking? Really?
Yes, absolutely! Miso is a traditional Japanese Seasoning paste (much like stock cubes in the Western world) that is typically used as a miso soup or ramen base, or to flavour sauces.
In the modern days, however, miso is used around the globe to make a variety of savoury dishes, like Miso-Glazed Cod or Miso Butter Salmon, Creamy Miso Pasta or Miso Aubergine as well as in salad dressings and marinades. However, the most innovative ways to use this soybean paste are represented in the dessert department. From Miso-Salted Caramel to Peanut Butter Cookies, Miso is a great replacement for salt in a variety of recipes.
TOP TIP: What Type of Miso To Use?
Diverse miso varieties abound, yet a general rule prevails: the lighter the hue, the gentler and sweeter the miso’s profile. Yellow miso or creamy white miso paste (also known as “shiro miso”), therefore, finds its place in dressings and desserts, infusing them with a savoury umami reminiscent of salted caramel.
For heartier stews and robust dishes, turn to the darker miso options, such as brown and red miso paste, but use them in moderation to avoid overpowering all other flavours in the dish. We highly recommend using light miso in dessert/ baking recipes.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- all-purpose flour (plain flour): can be replaced with pastry flour with lesser gluten content.
- bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): do not confuse it with baking powder.
- unsalted butter: softened. If you can, use European-style butter that has a higher fat content.
- light brown sugar: can be replaced with dark brown sugar for a more prominent sweet molasses flavour.
- peanut butter: we used creamy crunchy peanut butter.
- white miso paste: can be replaced with yellow miso.
- egg: use large in the UK, and extra large in the US.
- caster sugar: can be replaced with granulated white sugar, demerara sugar or turbinado sugar.
A Note On Peanut Butter
Choose an extra creamy peanut butter and avoid natural peanut butter that has oil separation on top. The latter will make dryer, more brittle cookies. And the best cookies have a chewy center and crisp edges. To achieve this you will want a peanut butter that has a cohesive creamy texture (they typically have added vegetable oil in the ingredients list).
Whilst you can use smooth, we prefer chunky peanut butter for a little bit of subtle crunch that peanuts add to these innocent little cookies 🙂
Do you believe that more is always more? Well, then…
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract of vanilla bean paste to your cookie dough.
- Mix a tablespoon of black sesame seeds into the sugar that you’ll roll your cookies in.
- Chocolate chips! Everything is made better with chocolate chips – but you won’t be able to taste miso quite as much!
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
In a separate large mixing bowl, with an electric handheld mixer on medium speed, cream softened butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy.
Spoon in the miso paste and peanut butter, and beat again until fully incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl midway through. Add an egg, and beat again to incorporate.
Finally, gently fold in the dry ingredients, until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
Tip the caster sugar into a small bowl. Take large tablespoons of dough (or use a cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop)) to shape 18 balls. Roll each ball of dough in sugar, and place them on a lined baking sheet.
Chill the cookie balls in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Place each chilled, sugared dough ball on the prepared baking sheet making sure to leave plenty of space for the cookies to spread.
Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes. The edges should be golden brown, and the centre should still be slightly soft (this will ensure the chewy centre – the cookies will continue cooking in the residual heat).
Let the cookies firm up on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack.
These cookies are not exactly difficult to make, but if it’s your first time making them, here are a few things to note:
- Take your butter and any other ingredients out of the fridge an hour before you intend to use them, so they can come to room temperature. They will be easier to combine!
- Do not skip the chilling time. Unchilled cookie dough will spread very thinly, and the cookies will overbake.
- Whilst I never had a problem with them not cracking on top, Krysten Chambrot suggested giving the cookie sheets a big bang about 7 minutes into the cooking.
- To achieve a chewy peanut butter cookie, make sure the centre of your cookies looks slightly underbaked.
- Do not try and move the cookies when they first come out of the oven – they will be soft and tender. Let them firm up for 10-15 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Warm miso peanut butter cookies will taste too sweet.
Yes, cream the wet ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment instead. I find that a stand mixer works better if you are making a double batch though. You may also need to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times more.
There are two reasons why this may happen. The first and most likely reason is overbaking the cookies. Furthermore, cookies made with natural peanut butter tend to be hard and fall apart. The texture of your cookies is just as important as the flavour. They should have crunchy brown edges and a chewy centre!
Most large supermarkets have miso paste these days. Alternatively, you can get White Miso paste online!
Storage & Freezing
These Peanut Butter Miso Cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.
You can also freeze them by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap or foil and then placing them in a sealed container or ziplock bag to avoid freezer burn. Thaw them at room temperature for 2-3 hours before enjoying!
Other Delicious Cookie Recipes
Best things in life come in the form of a cookie, – Seb said last week whilst indulging in his favourite Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie With Nutmeg. If you are still on the hunt for a perfect cookie, try some of our beloved recipes below:
- Quick & Easy White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
- Peanut Millionaires Shortbread
- Spiced Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- Sourdough Sugar Cookies (Sourdough Discard Recipe)
Peanut Butter Miso Cookies (8 Ingredients)
- 230 g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- 115 g unsalted butter softened
- 220 g light brown sugar
- 60 g creamy peanut butter crunchy or smooth
- 80 g white miso paste
- 1 egg large
- 50 g caster sugar for rolling
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, with an electric handheld mixer on medium speed, cream softened butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy.
- Spoon in the miso paste and peanut butter, and beat again until fully incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl midway through. Add an egg, and beat again to incorporate.
- Finally, gently fold in the dry ingredients, until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
- Tip the caster sugar into a small bowl. Take large tablespoons of dough to shape 18 balls. Roll each ball of dough in sugar, and place them on a lined baking sheet.
- Chill the cookie balls in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Place each chilled, sugared dough ball on the prepared baking sheet making sure to leave plenty of space for the cookies to spread.
- Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes. The edges should be golden brown, and the centre should still be slightly soft (this will ensure the chewy centre – the cookies will continue cooking in the residual heat).
- Let the cookies firm up on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack.