Recipes Dinners Comfort Food

Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the best peanut butter cookies ever! Use your favorite store-brand peanut butter and a combination of white and brown sugar. For the best cookie shape, let the dough chill for at least three hours before baking.

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
Elise Bauer

If there is a Hall of Fame for cookies, peanut butter cookies hold a place of honor, along with chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. They also happen to be my mother's favorite cookie, the one cookie she requests when I'm in a cookie making mood.

The cross-hatch pattern on top is the defining touch for a peanut butter cookie. One look and you know what the cookie is, right?

Who Invented the Peanut Butter Cookie?

The peanut butter cookie recipe that most resembles modern peanut butter cookies, and introduced the now familiar cross-hatch pattern, first appeared in Ruth Wakefield's Toll House Tried and True Recipes in 1936. Over the years, similar recipes followed, including Betty Crocker's peanut butter cookie recipe.

Our recipe most closely follows Betty Crocker's proportions, but as in Ruth Wakefield's, we are using all butter instead of a combination of butter and shortening.

These peanut butter cookies are super easy to make, with no fancy ingredients. What's in peanut butter cookies? Just peanut butter, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Video! How To Make Peanut Butter Cookies!

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How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies

Tips for the Best Peanut Butter Cookies

There are a few tips that will help you make the best cookies.

  • Use a name brand peanut butter like Skippy, Jif, or Peter Pan. I usually buy a natural version of peanut butter for my PB&Js, but the natural brands (the ones that separate) yield a cookie with a grittier texture, and spread too much. That said, if you have a natural brand of peanut butter that works for you, use it! I just find I get better results with the name brands.
  • Chill the dough. Chilling the dough for a few hours will help the peanut butter cookies maintain their shape, and not overly spread when cooked.
  • Dip the fork in sugar. To help keep the fork from sticking when you make a cross-hatch pattern on the cookies, dip the tines in a little granulated sugar between cookies.
  • Use a lower oven temp for chewier cookies. If you want chewy cookies, bake a little longer at a lower temperature.

Fun Peanut Butter Cookie Variations

  • Roll in sugar. Roll the cookie dough balls in sugar before pressing with a fork.
  • Add a Hershey's kiss. Skip the fork marks (don't press, but leave as a ball). Roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar and bake as instructed. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press in a chocolate Hershey's kiss (out of the wrapper of course). Here's the full recipe.
  • Use almond butter. Swap out the peanut butter with almond butter for an easy almond butter cookie.
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies on a serving plate
Elise Bauer

How to Store and Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies

Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about 5 days before drying out.

To freeze before baking, line a sheet pan with foil and then add the balls of cookie dough. Press with a fork to make cross-hatch marks, and then freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake as directed, adding on a few extra minutes of baking time.

More Ideas for Peanut Butter Treats

Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Dough Chilling 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings 24 servings
You can use either smooth or crunchy peanut butter for this recipe. Smooth peanut butter will give you a smoother consistency. Crunchy will give you some bits of peanuts throughout the cookie. You can chill the dough for less time than the 3 hours the recipe calls for, but it does help the cookies to keep their shape if the dough is completely chilled, which it should be by the 3 hour mark. Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, 112 g), unsalted or salted, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (130 g) peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, omit the salt)

Method

  1. Make the cookie dough

    Beat the butter until creamy, 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, beat for 2 more minutes. Mix in the peanut butter and the egg.

    In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the dry ingredients—the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar butter mixture.

  2. Chill the dough

    Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
  4. Shape the cookies

    Shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place the balls of dough about 3 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork. (It helps to dip the fork in sugar to keep it from sticking to the dough.)

    rolled peanut butter cookie dough
    Elise Bauer
    pressing peanut butter cookie dough
    Elise Bauer
  5. Bake

    Bake at 375°F (190°C) until light brown, about 9 to 10 minutes. (Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool in their baking sheets for a minute. After a minute, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

    Note: For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F (150°C) for 15 minutes.

    peanut butter cookies ready to bake
    Elise Bauer
    homemade peanut butter cookies
    Elise Bauer