I had a revelation: oatmeal and peanut butter are a match made in dessert heaven. Each alone makes a wonderful cookie, but together they are the perfect duet! Like, cue cookie angels singing with a harp good.
To be fair, I haven’t met a cookie that I don’t like, but there's something extra warm and homey about these cookies. It must be the soft, chewy texture of the oats paired with the salty, nutty peanut butter. Swoon! With simple ingredients and just a few steps, this recipe comes together in a snap.
Bring them to a friend’s house, put them on a cookie tray or keep them in a cookie jar for those need-a-cookie moments.
3 Key Ingredients
These cookies bake up nice and thick without being overly dense. There are three key ingredients that help with that:
- Oatmeal: To get an extra chewy texture, old-fashioned rolled oats came out as the winner for this recipe. They are thicker than quick-cooking oats, making the overall cookie chewier. This recipe calls for loads of old-fashioned rolled oats, 3 1/2 cups!
- Sugar: These cookies only call for one kind of sugar—light brown sugar (three cheers for easy!). I think it produces a moister and thicker cookie than granulated sugar. I also love how brown sugar pairs with the nutty, salty flavor of the peanut butter.
- Peanut Butter: The best peanut butter for these cookies is regular smooth peanut butter, not the all-natural kind. All-natural peanut butter will cause the cookies to spread too much, resulting in a flat, crunchy cookie. It may also become crumbly. Any brand of smooth peanut butter will do, as long as it’s not labeled as all-natural.
My Tips for Baking Cookies
Here are some things to keep in mind when baking these cookies:
Room temperature butter is best: The butter should not be cold or warm. Cool or room temperature is best. If the butter is too cold, you’ll have a difficult time creaming it and getting the ingredients to incorporate properly. If the butter is too warm, the cookie will spread too much in the oven. Aim for 64°F to 68°F.
The idea of using a thermometer for cookies sounds like a terrible? Pick up the butter. It should be soft, but still hold its shape.
Unsalted butter is best: Make sure it’s unsalted butter, unless you really, really like salt. For this recipe, I do not recommend salted butter. In a pinch, proceed with the salted butter, but leave out the salt.
Weigh the flour: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Once the flour has reached just above the top of the measuring cup, use the backside of a knife to scrape off any excess flour.
The flour compacts when scooped with a measuring cup—you’ll end up with too much flour. Properly measuring the flour is difference between dense, dry cookies and wonderfully moist and chewy cookies.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl: Stop the mixer while beating the batter and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to help mix it properly. Whenever I don’t do this, I end up with poorly combined dough and flat or lopsided cookies.
Chill the dough: Chill the dough for 1 hour before baking the cookies. It makes the biggest difference in texture. You could bake them without chilling, but they will be denser and much thinner.
Use a cookie scoop: This recipe calls for a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to form the dough. A regular ice cream scoop also does the trick! To keep the dough from sticking to the inside, wipe it clean every three or four scoops with a paper towel or a rinse under running water.
Let the cookies cool: Cool the cookies for at least 30 minutes directly on the baking sheet set over a wire rack. It will be tempting to eat one right away (I know), but they will fall apart! The cookies need time to properly set and prepare themselves to be eaten.
Use this recipe as a guide and feel free to play with some of your favorite mix-ins.
- Add a handful of raisins or nuts. Chopped walnuts, pecans, or even peanuts make a great addition!
- Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Try adding 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips—I like dark chocolate, but any type will do! It may seem like a lot of chocolate chips, but it all comes together perfectly. If you decide to add nuts too, reduce the chocolate chips to 1 cup.
Make the Cookies Ahead
If you have no need for 24 large cookies all at once, consider freezing some. Scoop the dough on a baking sheet and freeze it until solid. Transfer the frozen cookie dough into a freezer bag. The unbaked cookies will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
There is no need to thaw the cookie dough before baking. Just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.
Oatmeal Treats to Try
- Oatmeal Almond Butter Breakfast Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Orange Pecan Cookies
- Oatmeal Lace Cookies
- Easy Overnight Oats
Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
3 1/2 cups (390g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (325g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup (280g) smooth peanut butter (not all-natural)
1 cup (228g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients:
In a medium bowl, add the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix well. Set it aside.
Cream the sugar, peanut butter, and butter:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sugar, peanut butter, and butter.
Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Occasionally, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t skip this step!
Mix for 1 minute more, until fully combined and creamy. The mixture should be smooth, fluffy, and lighter in color.
You can also do this in a large bowl using a hand mixer.
Add the eggs and vanilla:
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again. With the mixer running on medium-high, add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until each is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
Again, stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl between each egg. Beat for 30 seconds more, until fully combined and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients:
With the mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Once all the flour mixture has been added, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Beat the batter for 10 more seconds or longer until the batter is fully combined. The dough should be light in color and not overly dense.
Scoop the cookie dough:
Use a 3-tablespoon cookie scooper or a large spoon to scoop out the cookies onto a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2 inches of space between each cookie. I was able to fit 8 cookies on a 9x13-inch baking sheet.
You’ll get about 24 cookies. If you don’t have extra baking sheets, scoop the cookies onto a large plate, stacked on top of each other to chill. Transfer them onto your baking sheet when you’re ready to bake them.
Chill the cookie dough:
Refrigerate the scooped cookie dough for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Do this when there are 20 minutes left to chill the cookies. Set the oven rack to the center.
Bake the cookies:
Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and bake them for 14 minutes, until golden brown.
Chill the cookies:
Transfer the baking sheet onto a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before enjoying them.
Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They aren’t too sticky, but to be safe, lay parchment paper between each layer of cookie to prevent them from sticking to each other.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||31%|
|Total Carbohydrate 33g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 14g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|