Filed Under: Cookies | Dessert

Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
August 20th, 2019
3.75 from 4 votes
3.75 from 4 votes

These Peanut Butter Cookies are absolutely PERFECT and so easy to make! Thick, soft, and slightly chewy with tons of peanutty flavor. Your new go-to recipe!

Yield: 28 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ultra peanut buttery and perfectly sweet.
Texture: Soft, tender, and slightly chewy. Perfect with a glass of milk!
Ease: Very simple and easy.
Pros: My favorite PB cookie recipe. No dough chilling required.
Cons: None!!
Would I make this again? Of course.

To know me is to know my love and obsession for peanut butter.

So when I realized that in over 10 years of blogging, I had never published my recipe for classic Peanut Butter Cookies, I was in shock. How could I have been so neglectful to all my fellow PB lovers?!

Amazing Peanut butter cookies on a cooling rack

So I actually took my go-to recipe and got to work tweaking and improving until I got the perfect balance of nutty flavor and thick, tender, and slightly chewy texture in every bite.

This is a simple and easy old-fashioned peanut butter cookie recipe, you don’t even need to chill the dough. But it’s one of those recipes I hope you add to your repertoire and return to again and again. Especially during the Christmas cookie season!

Stack of peanut butter cookies on a plate

How to Make the BEST Peanut Butter Cookies

Rolling peanut butter cookie dough in sugar

How to make peanut butter cookies thick and soft:

Peanut butter is one of those ingredients that basically automatically lends itself to a thick texture in cookies. It’s thick and rich all on its own, and that translates to the final result. That’s actually why we press the tines of a fork into the balls of cookie dough to flatten it into a disk shape. Otherwise the cookies would hardly spread.

Now the key to soft peanut butter cookies is the perfect ratio of PB, butter, flour, and leavening which is what I believe I’ve accomplished here! Plus a hefty amount of brown sugar, which draws in moisture for soft and tender cookies.

TIP: When measuring flour, be sure to use a digital kitchen scale or the scoop & level method that I discuss in detail here. This will prevent dry or crumbly cookies.

Lastly, for soft cookies be sure not to over-bake these. They’ll continue to bake from the residual heat of the oven. I find it’s best to remove them *just* before they look completely done so you don’t over do it.

What’s the best peanut butter to use for cookies?

When it comes to baking in general, conventional creamy peanut butter is usually best. Some “natural” peanut butter products have too much oil separation and won’t make for a cohesive dough. You can usually get away with the more natural options among conventional brands like Skippy, Jif, or Justin’s – as long as they have an ingredient like palm oil to keep everything smooth.

Pressing a fork into peanut butter cookies to make the cross indentation

Can Peanut Butter Cookies be frozen?

Yes! Freeze baked cookies in an airtight container for about 1 month. Allow to defrost at room temperature then re-fresh in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes, if desired. You can also freeze the disks of cookie dough (that have been rolled in sugar and pressed with the fork) in an airtight container for several months. Allow to thaw to room temperature before baking.

Peanut butter cookies on a plate

More Peanut Butter Recipes:

If you prefer crunchy & crispy peanut butter cookies, check out my recipe here.

3.75 from 4 votes

How to make
Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 28 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
These Peanut Butter Cookies are absolutely PERFECT and so easy to make! Thick, soft, and slightly chewy with tons of peanutty flavor. Your new go-to recipe!

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (302 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (200 grams) creamy peanut butter (don’t use “natural” peanut butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For rolling:

  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°Line large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the peanut butter until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until combined.
  4. Place the granulated sugar for rolling in a small bowl. Using a medium spring-loaded cookie scoop, form the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds. Roll between your palms to smooth then roll in the granulated sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the dough by pressing the back of a fork into each ball of dough twice to create a crisscross pattern.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Stephanie — August 23, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I love peanut butter and love these cookies. They are the right texture soft with a nice crumb like the Pb cookies we used to make as kids. They are going to be perfect when we make s’mores with them later on tonight! I noticed when you rate the recipe, it automatically clicks on “I made this” maybe you should change that so people aren’t misled with a 2 star rating when clearly that’s crazy!

    • #
      Tessa Arias — August 29, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      Yay! So glad to hear that. I’m not sure I’m understanding your comment re: recipe rating. The “I made this” box gets ticked because the rating is meant to allow for feedback from only people who have actually made the recipe 🙂

      • #
        Stephanie — August 29, 2019 at 9:51 pm

        Oh in a perfect world people follow directions but looks like the comment I was referring to was deleted. Keep up the good work cookie queen

  2. #
    Kay Hagan-Haller — August 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I’m sorry but your videos popping up over the recipe I am trying to read are SO annoying!!!!

    • #
      Tessa Arias — August 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Kay – I’m sorry to hear that! You should be able to press the X to close out of them 🙂

  3. #
    Susan — August 23, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Tessa,
    Have made several of your creations and am very pleased with the results, so thank you for sharing them.
    On the PB cookies, is the sugar roll absolutely necessary to the flavor ?
    Thank you

    • #
      Tessa Arias — August 29, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      It’s traditional to PB cookies, but if you don’t like that you can skip 🙂

  4. #
    Jennifer Gillingham — August 24, 2019 at 7:42 am

    I made these as soon as I got the recipe yesterday. I followed the directions exactly. They are a nice cookie, but I find them a bit dry…next time I would bake a little less, as my edges weren’t browning so I think I overbaked them a bit. I am also not liking the sugar on the outside, so I would omit that next time. So, I will try this recipe one more time with the above changes and then review it again.

    • #
      Tessa Arias — August 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      Hopefully these changes will make them work for you 🙂

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