Filed Under: Cookies | Dessert

Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
August 20th, 2019
4.79 from 14 votes
4.79 from 14 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.

4.79 from 14 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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Recipe Rating




  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 🙂

  5. #
    Karen Pearman — November 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Good evening,

    I made the peanut butter cookies OMG they are amazing!!!!! took them to work everyone loved them. I will definitely be checking out more of your cookie recipes .
    I also tagged#handletheheat on my Instagram page with a picture of the cookies I made.
    Thanks Karen

  6. #
    Margarita — January 27, 2020 at 9:03 am

    this recipe is perfect , it is one of my favorites! I am thinking about using the exact same recipe to make nutella cookies. Instead of peanut butter I will use nutella.What do you think?

  7. #
    Mandi — March 21, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Wow!! Wonderful cookies!! I added chocolate chips to mine and they were perfect!! I made them again using cookie butter instead of pb and they were amazing too!! Thanks for a great recipe!!!! ♥️

  8. #
    Lina — March 23, 2020 at 12:15 am

    I love cookies so much, thanks for great recipe and step by step tips 😉

  9. #
    Alina Evans — March 29, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Thank you for the recipe, I love cookies so much.

  10. #
    Jennifer — April 9, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    The cups and grams measurements are not adding up. 302 grams of flour is equivalent to about 1 and 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons i believe. and the sugars are each 3/4 cups but the grams are different. Which measurement is correct? Grams?

    • #
      Jennifer — April 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Sorry i meant the brown sugar and the peanut butter are different. The cups are the same but the grams are different.
      3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
      3/4 cup (200 grams) creamy peanut butter

      • #
        Charlotte — June 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

        3/4 cup of peanut butter weighs more than 3/4 cup light brown sugar.

  11. #
    Scarlett — April 11, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for the tips appreciated your work.

  12. #
    carol — April 26, 2020 at 5:45 am

    I usually use Skippy Natural Creamy peanut butter. You say don’t use natural in the recipe. Why?

  13. #
    Marlene Hall — April 27, 2020 at 11:07 am

    OMG!! Made these for Monday Pandemic Baking Monday lol… and these are FANTASTIC! I love your blogs and reasoning why you do what ya do! Thank you!

  14. #
    Melissa — April 29, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    I made these for the first time and they were a hit with everyone. I found that rolling the balls in sugar made them crunchier, so I like it better without rolling them. These are nice, chewy and not too sweet!

  15. #
    Chelsea — June 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Tessa
    I want to make nutella stuffed peanut butter cookies, which you do have a recipe for but the measurements for it are all by volume instead of weight and I really prefer to use weight for more consistent, predictable results. This recipe is very similar to the nutella stuffed recipe, same total amount of sugar but more brown sugar in this one and this one has more flour.

    Do you know if the reason the nutella stuffed recipe has less flour is because of the nutella or because it’s just an older (possibly less tested?) recipe? I’m thinking I’ll use this recipe with the instructions for stuffing with nutella, unless there is a reason not to do that.

  16. #
    HNH Style — July 2, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Godddd these cookies are so delicious!!! gosh super duper yummy! can’t wait to try more!! Love it!

  17. #
    Heather — August 15, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    These are freaking amazing!! I’ve made these about ten times & they always come out delicious. I’ve had them rolled in sugar & without. The sugar really brings a beautiful look & extra little crunch yet super soft middle.

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