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
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.
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 Store or Freeze the Cookie Dough: Refrigerate cookie dough with plastic wrap pressed against the dough for up to 3 days. To freeze cookie dough, 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 Buckeyes
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
- No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
The Best Peanut Butter for These Cookies
While we generally prefer natural peanut butter (the kind that's simply made with peanuts and salt) for sandwiches, when it comes to baking peanut butter cookies most bakers will agree that conventional store-bought brands, such as Skippy, Jif, and Peter Pan, perform better. The oils in natural peanut butter tend to separate, causing cookies to spread and take on a gritty texture. Conventional peanut butter, on the other hand, contains emulsifiers that prevent it from separating, which gives us a smoother cookie dough.
Peanut Butter 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.
1/2 cup (112g) butter, unsalted or salted, room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 cup (130g) peanut butter
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
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.
Chill the dough:
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C):
Shape the cookies:
Shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place the balls of dough about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (unlined sheets are fine, though you can use parchment paper to line them, if you like). Flatten in a crisscross pattern with a fork. (It helps to dip the fork in sugar to keep it from sticking to the dough.)
Bake the cookies:
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 1 minute, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Note: For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F (150°C) for 15 minutes.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||15%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|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.|