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.
I don’t know who came up with the cross-hatch pattern for this cookie, but it is the defining touch for a peanut butter cookie. One look and you know what the cookie is, right?
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.
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).
- Use almond butter. Swap out the peanut butter with almond butter for an easy almond butter cookie.
Recipe and photos updated, first published 2005
Peanut Butter Cookies RecipePrint
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.
1 Beat the butter, add sugars, mix in peanut butter and egg: 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.
2 Whisk dry ingredients, stir into sugar butter mixture: Vigorously whisk together the dry ingredients—the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt—in a separate bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar butter mixture.
3 Chill the dough: Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
4 Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
5 Shape into balls, flatten with a fork: 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.
For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F (150°C) for 15 minutes.
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