Peanut Butter Cookies

BakingCookiePeanut Butter

Easy to make, classic peanut butter cookie recipe, made with flour, sugar, butter, egg, and peanut butter. Homemade peanut butter cookies are the best!

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. 

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 Recipe

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  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, 112 g), 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 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

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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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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How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies

249 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Jani

    Have not baked them yet, was easy recipe, I’m using Cashew Butter!

  • Saunnie Bell

    Easiest dessert I’ve ever made and tasty too! I got so many likes posting a picture of the finished product on Facebook! I’m making a second batch and promised to make more to friend’s special requests! Thanks for making simple recipes even a novice can execute perfectly!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Chef Nell

    My husband is peanut butter cookie fanatic.
    So after reading the reviews I decided to give
    this recipe a try. I liked the simplicity of this
    recipe. I used my kitchen aid stand mixer w/
    the paddle attachment. After creaming
    together the butter, sugars, peanut butter and
    egg; I decided to add a 1/2 teaspoon of pure
    vanilla extract to the batter before sifting in
    my dry ingredients. I made XL cookies and
    baked them at 300 degrees for about 20
    minutes. My husband stood over the cookies
    fanning them to cool so that he could sample
    one, then he ate another, then another.
    Delicious!!!! he says while chomping away.
    Lol!!! Needless to say I’ll be making another
    batch of cookie dough in the next few days
    cuz this batch won’t last 24 hours.

  • Alyssa

    This cookies are really good. I made them for my parents and they loved them.

  • Alyssa

    Do I have to hand beat everything?

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