Best Peanut Butter Cookies
Soft, chewy, and full of peanut butter flavor, these are the best peanut butter cookies! This classic peanut butter cookie recipe is super easy to make with simple ingredients and the dough doesn’t require any chilling. You’ll never need another homemade peanut butter cookie recipe!
Peanut butter cookies are a timeless classic. These irresistible cookies never go out of style and are always recognized by the traditional fork criss-cross. So, what makes this recipe the BEST peanut butter cookies?
I personally prefer peanut butter cookies that are thick with a slightly crisp exterior and a soft and chewy center with tons of peanut butter flavor. To make these peanut butter cookies soft and chewy (as opposed to crispy), the cookie needs to have a higher moisture content. We’ve achieved this by using two large eggs and an entire cup of brown sugar.
And I’m not the only one that thinks these are the best cookies! I brought these to a small celebration for my sister’s birthday and my family went crazy over them. There wasn’t a single cookie left at the end of the party!
This classic cookie is perfect for the holidays, family gatherings or an after school snack. I’m bringing this recipe to you just in time for cookie baking season and it will be a crowd pleasing addition to your Christmas cookie tray! These soft & chewy peanut butter cookies will be sure to please. I can’t wait for you all to try them!
This peanut butter cookie dough is made from standard ingredients: flour, leavener, salt, sugar, butter, eggs, & vanilla. It’s the ratios and small details of those ingredients that make this recipe stand out from the rest.
- Butter. I like to use unsalted butter, so I control the salt. You will want your butter to be softened to room temperature, which means it’s still cool to the touch. When you press it, your finger will make an indent. Your finger won’t sink down into the butter, nor will your finger slide all around.
- Peanut butter. I like using crunchy peanut butter and recommend a no-stir peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy. You may use creamy peanut butter, instead, if you prefer.
- Sugar. We’re using an equal amount of brown sugar and granulated sugar for these cookies. You will also need extra granulated sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls.
- Eggs. Two eggs will add structure, stability, and richness.
- Baking essentials. Vanilla, baking soda and salt are all used to ensure your peanut butter cookies taste amazing and bake up perfectly!
- Flour. All-purpose flour is my top choice for the best peanut butter cookies. It gives the cookies a tenderness that you just won’t find when using other types of flour. Be sure to measure it correctly, using the spoon and level method or simply weigh the flour on food scales.
How to make peanut butter cookies
This recipe is super easy and you’ll be happy to know that you don’t even have to chill the dough! There’s enough flour in the cookie dough to create a cookie that won’t spread when baking.
- Preheat your oven and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a large stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat until smooth.
- Beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Then slowing add into your wet batter.
- Roll your dough into balls and then roll balls into sugar.
- Place on a baking sheet and use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies just start to look brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Why do peanut butter cookies have a criss-cross pattern?
The crosshatch pattern on the top of peanut butter cookies is a classic trait of nearly all peanut butter cookies. And isn’t just for looks!
Peanut butter cookie dough doesn’t spread much when baking, so pressing down on the cookie dough helps to flatten the cookies a bit so they bake up perfectly. As an added plus, you always know which cookies the peanut butter ones are, without having to ask.
It’s very easy to make the criss-cross pattern. You can either roll the cookies in sugar (which is what I like to do) or dip the tines of a fork in sugar, gently press it into the top of the cookie, then repeat and make the fork imprint perpendicular to the first. Easy peasy!
There are tons of tips and tricks for baking peanut butter cookies, but follow the suggestions below and you’re sure to have the BEST peanut butter cookies of your life!
- Measure your flour correctly. If you have a scale, that’s the easiest way to measure ingredients. If you don’t, spoon flour into a measuring cup and without shaking the cup, use the straight side of a butter knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
- Fresh baking soda. Be sure that your baking soda is fresh! Baking soda loses potency over time. When I open a new can of baking soda, I always write the date on the lid with a sharpie. Discard the opened can after 6 months.
- Peanut butter type. I do not recommend using a natural peanut butter for this recipe. I’ve found that a commercial peanut butter, i.e. Jif or Skippy will work best for these cookies. You need the higher oil and sugar content that are found in the Jif variety type of peanut butter. Using natural peanut butter may yield crumbly cookies.
- Peanut butter hack. Peanut butter is sticky, which makes it hard to get out of a measuring cup. Try coating the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray to help it slide right out.
Peanut butter cookies are fantastic as-is, but sometimes it’s fun to change things up. Here’s some ways to get creative and experiment with your favorite ingredients!
- To make chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. Add up to 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the cookie dough. You could also add other types of baking chips, like cinnamon, butterscotch or even mini M&Ms.
- For extra peanut flavor. Fold 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts or peanut butter chips into the cookie dough.
- Peanut butter cup cookies. Place the ball of dough into a mini muffin pan, then press a mini peanut butter cup into the centers when they come out of the oven.
- Peanut butter blossoms. Place the sugared balls of dough on a cookie sheet and press a Hershey’s kiss into the center when they come out of the oven.
- Colored sugar. Instead of rolling in regular white granulated sugar, try rolling in colored sugars for a festive look.
- Decorate for the holidays. Drizzle with or dip the cookies into white or dark chocolate and then add sprinkles or colored sugars. See these double chocolate chip cookies for instructions.
Storage and freezing
- Freezing cookie dough. This cookie dough recipe freezes beautifully. I love having cookie dough already mixed up, so I can bake a special treat whenever the craving hits. Scoop out balls of cookie dough. Place the cookie dough in a freezer-safe baggie and freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Or you can wrap all of the dough in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe bag.
- Thawing dough. When you’re ready to bake cookies, remove the dough balls from the freezer, set them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and let them thaw on the counter for 30 minutes, roll in sugar, indent a crisscross pattern with a fork, then bake for an extra minute. No need to completely thaw.
- Make ahead cookie dough. If you are wanting to prep just several days ahead, you can keep cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to bake, allow dough to set out for about 20 minutes and until the dough is soft enough that you can scoop it and roll it.
- Freezing baked cookies. Peanut butter cookies freeze very well. Store cookies in a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
- Storing baked cookies. Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container or zip-top baggie for about 1 week, but I can’t imagine them lasting that long!
These classic peanut butter cookies are a personal favorite of mine. I love baking them all year round, but especially around the holidays! Beware, it’s really easy to eat about a dozen of these soft, chewy, flavorful peanut butter cookies before you even realize what you just did. You only live once, so indulge and enjoy!
More delicious cookies to enjoy
If you try these soft & chewy peanut butter cookies, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Best Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup (113g) butter, softened
- 1 cup (240g) crunchy peanut butter*
- 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
For rolling cookie dough balls
- 3 tablespoons (40g) granulated sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat until smooth, then beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and slowly add them to the mixture just until incorporated.
- Place the 3 tablespoons (40 grams) of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scoop dough (about 1.5 tablespoons) roll into a ball, and coat in the granulated sugar. Place each ball of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one. Gently press each one down with a fork to make a small criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 10 minutes until barely starting to brown, puffed and beginning to crack. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.