These homemade, old fashioned peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy with crispy edges and have the perfect sweet and salty balance. Rolled in sugar and pressed with the classic peanut butter cookie hash mark, these cookies are melt in your mouth delicious. The perfect peanut butter cookie!
The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
These peanut butter cookies may be my favorite cookies of all time. There’s something so nostalgic about a classic, old-fashioned peanut butter cookie. This was actually the first recipe I learned how to make all by myself when I was just eight years old! I used to beg my mom to let me make them almost every weekend.
Is there anything better than a perfect, salty sweet, old fashioned peanut butter cookie? I think not.
Peanut butter cookies are super easy to make with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- Peanut Butter – I love to use chunky peanut butter for a little extra texture. You can use crunchy or creamy, just make sure that it’s “no stir” and that it isn’t the kind that separates.
- Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar – equal parts brown sugar and granulated sugar gives these cookies great flavor and chew. Plus we’ll roll in extra granulated sugar just before baking for that extra sparkle. I absolutely LOVE this Zulka granulated sugar. It’s my favorite for baking.
- Milk – whole milk is preferred. You can use whatever kind of milk you have on hand. I’ve also used half and half or cream in a pinch!
- Vanilla – good vanilla extract is a must.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Salt – the salt compliments the sweetness for a perfectly balanced flavor.
How to make perfect peanut butter cookies
This recipe is incredibly easy to make. It’s the first recipe that I learned to make all by myself as a kid! Here are the step by step instructions:
- Whisk together dry ingredients: Add flour, baking soda and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
- Beat butter and peanut butter: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together peanut butter and softened butter until smooth and creamy.
- Beat in sugars: Add in granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat thoroughly until light and fluffy.
- Add in egg, vanilla and milk: Mix thoroughly.
- Add in dry ingredients: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed, just until everything is combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Chill the dough: This dough is pretty soft so I chill it for at least 30 minutes before I scoop it out and bake it. This makes it easier to form into balls and roll in sugar.
- Scoop and roll: Use a cookie scoop to evenly portion the dough and gently roll into one inch balls. Roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with plenty of space in between each cookie. They spread quite a bit!
- Make a criss cross: Using a fork, gently press a criss cross pattern into each cookie dough ball, flattening slightly.
- Bake: Bake cookies in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They will be light golden brown, sparkling from the granulated sugar roll and have perfectly crispy edges with a soft and chewy center.
- Cool: Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two before using a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the best flavor in peanut butter cookies, you want to use good quality peanut butter. Organic or no sugar or salt added is fine but you do want to steer clear of natural peanut butter that tends to separate. Look for labels that say “no-stir” or jars that don’t have a layer of oil at the top.
Yes. You can make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days. The dough can also be frozen and baked later, just unthaw overnight in the fridge or until you can easily scoop it out.
Yes. Baked cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container on the counter for 4-5 days. You can also freeze baked cookies by placing them between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw on the counter at room temperature.
There are a few reasons why your cookies may have turned out crumbly. Using natural peanut butter that tends to separate or has a grainy texture can make your cookies crumbly. It’s also important to correctly measure the flour using the spoon and level method so that you don’t stiffen the dough by adding too much.
Peanut butter cookie variations
These cookies are perfect as is, but here are some fun variations:
- Dunk half of each cookie or drizzle with melted chocolate
- If using smooth peanut butter, add chopped roasted peanuts for extra peanut flavor and texture
- Skip the hash mark and bake the cookie dough balls as is and press an unwrapped Hershey’s kiss in the center of each warm cookie to make peanut butter blossoms.
More peanut butter desserts you’ll love
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter (use 2 tablespoons extra if using crunchy peanut butter)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter until well combined.
- Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in egg, vanilla and milk and mix well.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop out dough into one inch balls, roll gently with your hands and roll in granulated sugar.
- Place dough balls several inches apart on the baking sheet and use a fork to gently press a criss cross hash mark into each cookie, flattening slightly.
- Bake for 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through.
- Allow to cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies will spread quite a bit so leave plenty of space between them on the baking sheet.
If using smooth peanut butter, use exactly half a cup, if using chunky, add an additional 2 tablespoons.
Measure flour accurately for perfect soft and chewy texture.
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David Burke Large Cookie Sheet 17x11 - Rose Gold
Cookie Scoop Set - Include 1 Tbsp/ 2 Tbsp/ 3Tbsp - 3 PCS Cookie Scoops for Baking - Cookie Dough Scoop - Made of 18/8 Stainless Steel
KitchenAid KSM150PSAQ Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Aqua Sky
Nordic Ware Oven Safe Nonstick Baking & Cooling Grid (½ Sheet), One Size, Non-Stick
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.