These classic homemade peanut butter cookies are chewy, full of flavor and have the perfect balance of sweet and peanut butter! They are made with simple ingredients and perfectly baked with a classic crisscross pattern. It’s simply the best peanut butter cookie recipe.
Did you know that the idea of peanut butter cookies didn’t take off until the mid-1900s? Since peanut butter itself has been around for centuries, it’s hard to imagine a world where people didn’t have access to gooey peanut goodness in cookie form!
Invented right here in the States, these cookies come with a mouthwatering chewy texture and the classic waffle pattern on the surface—and there are few things more tempting than the smell of them wafting from the oven!
Here, we’re sharing our best recipe for homemade peanut butter cookies: moist, chewy, and full of flavor. As you get to baking, check out the tips below to make the perfect batch.
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
- All-purpose Flour – A stabilizer that controls how much the cookie will rise. It also holds the cookie together.
- Unsalted Butter – Salt is added to the recipe to unsalted butter at room temperature is best.
- Smooth Peanut Butter – A smooth creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy works best for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar – Both sugars together create the most flavorful peanut butter cookie.
- Egg – Helps bind the ingredients together.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds extra flavor to the cookies.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder – Helps the cookies rise and creates a fluffy texture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and give it a whisk with a fork.
Cream together the butter and both sugars using an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract and continue to mix on medium.
Turn the mixer to medium low and add in the peanut butter. Mix for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl so all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Turning the mixer to low, slowly add in the flour mix. Blend only until the ingredients are incorporated.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use a cookie scooper to roll the dough into 1 1/2″ balls.
Place 9 dough balls on the sheet, spaced out.
Then, using a fork press into the dough twice making a crisscross pattern.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are a very light golden brown.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Tips for Making these Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies
Follow these tips when making this peanut butter cookie recipe for the best results.
- Cookies will continue to bake when they are taken out of the oven, so it’s important that you don’t over bake them.
- Baking times will vary on true oven temperature, location, room temperature, etc. Check on the cookies after 8 minutes to see if they are a light golden brown.
- Use creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy works best for this recipe.
- Make sure you refrigerate the dough. Very important.
You can try this recipe with crunchy peanut butter if you like a crunch texture.Drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies for the best peanut butter chocolate combination.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
If you love a peanut butter chocolate combination, you can easily add a chocolate drizzle over the peanut butter cookies.
Simply, melt milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute. Remove and stir until the chocolate is smooth.
Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Best to add a baking sheet under a wire rack and drizzle while the cookies are cooling on the rack. The extra chocolate will fall below and it makes for a much easier clean up!
Add crushed peanuts for a crunchy texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
We actually press peanut butter cookies down to ensure that they have a more standard height. This helps the dense dough to cook more evenly.
As for why we use a fork for pressing, it all goes back to the 1936 Pillsbury cookbook that made the cookies famous! This recipe popularized the use of forks for pressing, and the tradition continues today.
The short answer is yes. Whenever possible, chilling any cookie dough can keep your cookies from spreading under the oven’s heat. Chilling the dough keeps the softer ingredients—namely the peanut butter, eggs, and butter—from melting too much.
If time allows, chill your dough for up to 24 hours. However, even a 30-minute chill makes a big difference in a pinch!
Traditional recipes call for smooth peanut butter, which makes the best peanut butter cookies. Experimenting with crunchy peanut butter can be fun, but it may change the ratio and resulting texture of your cookies.
What Ingredient Makes Cookies More Moist?
Soft peanut butter cookies have eggs and sugars to thank for their moist, chewy texture. Eggs can keep a dough fluffy and help prevent cookies from drying out and hardening once the batch is out of the oven. This is why adding an extra yolk can sometimes make a difference.
Sugars help as well. It’s worth noting that because of how brown sugar is made, it contains more moisture than white sugar. This is why many peanut butter cookie recipes call for at least a little brown sugar.
Why Did My Cookies Get Hard?
It’s natural for the moisture in your cookies to evaporate once they’re out of the oven, but your cookies shouldn’t get too stiff or crumbly. If you aren’t eating them the day they’re baked—a foolproof way to keep them from getting hard —make sure to seal them in an airtight container.
Can These Cookies Be Frozen?
Peanut butter cookies are easy to freeze! Make sure they’re completely cooled, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, and place them in an airtight container. To thaw them, let them sit in the container until they come to room temperature.
Can I Prepare the Dough Ahead of Time?
For easy peanut butter cookies whenever you want them, you can prepare ahead. There are two ways to do this.
First, you can prepare the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
However, if you won’t be baking the cookies for a while, you can also freeze the dough. To do this, shape the cookies and press them with a fork. Place them in the freezer on the baking tray until frozen, and then move them into an airtight container.
More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love!
Try These Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies
Now that you know how to make peanut butter cookies, it’s time to try your own. These cookies are a genuine crowd-pleaser and they may even disappear within minutes of coming out of your oven!
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment and review below.
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanut butter, smooth
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and give it a whisk with a fork.
- Cream together the butter and both sugars using an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract and continue to mix on medium.
- Turn the mixer to medium low and add in the peanut butter. Mix for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl so all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Turning the mixer to low, slowly add in the flour mix. Blend only until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scooper to roll the dough into 1″ balls.
- Place 9 dough balls on the sheet, spaced out.
- Then, using a fork press into the dough twice making a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are a very light golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.