Peanut Butter Cookies

VideoCookiePeanut Butter

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.

Photography Credit: 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!

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.

Peanut Butter Cookies

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

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Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Dough Chilling time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

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.)

6 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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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454 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Raymond

    Measured to 1 Tbsp (#60 scoop). Baked 11 1/2 min. @ 375. Half dipped in tempered Dark Belgian Chocolate. Everybody wants to be my friend. :)

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. AnnKate

    Followed the directions exactly and while they were easy to follow, they puffed in the oven and never flattened back out like most peanut butter cookies. In addition, I baked them in a 375 degree oven, but had to bake them for 13 minutes to get any color on them at all. I’d post a photo if I could.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Kim

    Best cookie recipe—except for the oatmeal raisin ones she posted which are also exceptional! I think the person who had a problem with the peanut butter ones didn’t use good brand name peanut butter – I love JIF– and maybe rushed the recipe. It is so important to blend fats and sugars, then eggs. Dry ingredients need to be wisked separately and added after. Also, there is another secret that my mother-in-law used: Get your eggs, butter, shortening, nuts and anything going in to your cookies to room temp before using. I LOVE THIS COOKIE RECIPE and will never use another.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. KD

    Actually the worst cookies ever lol. No offence. Followed the exact instructions. They don’t taste like peanut butter cookies at all. Super bland. Just plain. I put dough in fridge for 3 hours and they still came out super thin and not good at all. Just very disappointed

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  5. Nikki Eugor

    My favorite peanut butter cookie recipe! I’ve been making this recipe for years. I’ve brought them to several gatherings and parties, they are definitely a hit. This time around, I’ve never skewed from using anything but Jiffy’s etc. creamy peanut butter. I of course had some Justin’s peanut butter and thought meh, I’ll just make these cookies with them and hope for the best. They were a crumbly hot mess, I would advise not to use anything but creamy Jiffy or whatever creamy peanut butter you have that doesn’t separate. They were absolutely atrocious. Lol, so of course, my husband being my husband was really craving peanut butter cookies and I made them properly with Jiffy’s. He’s a happy camper. My advice is unless you like a crumbly hot mess cookie, don’t use peanut butter that separates.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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