This classic peanut butter cookies recipe is the king of all cookies! It is the quintessential peanut butter cookies recipe with tons of nutty flavor and the classic texture- complete with the fork marks on the top!
Beyond that, it makes perfect cookies time after time. With a slight adjustment in baking time, you can control the chewiness, and they’re made with simple pantry ingredients. These classic peanut butter cookies are just like Grandma used to make.
Turn on the oven, and let’s get baking!
What I Love This Recipe
You simply can’t go wrong with this classic peanut butter cookies recipe, but here are my top favorites things!
- Simple, quick prep
- Uses simple pantry ingredients
- Makes a big batch
- Can be as crisp or chewy as you like
How To Make Classic Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
To make this classic peanut butter cookies recipe, begin by creaming the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla, followed by the peanut butter. Stir into the dry ingredients.
Roll the dough into balls and coat in sugar. Flatten slightly with a fork and bake.
This recipe is super easy to make, but here are a few pointers to make it even better.
Order of mixing – The order of ingredients is more important than you may think! Over mixing baking soda will lessen its leavening properties. For this reason, it is typically added near the end of the blending process.
Avoid overmixing- Stop mixing the dry ingredients as soon as the last streaks of flour disappear. Overworking the dough develops gluten and makes your cookies tough. You can mix the flour in by hand to be extra careful.
Peanut butter selection – While this recipe calls for smooth peanut butter, feel free to experiment with your household favorite! Some prefer a crunchy blend for an extra nutty result, and others swear by all-natural varieties with minimal additives.
Rolling in extra sugar –“Rolling in sugar” just means giving the cookie dough balls a dip in a small bowl of extra sugar and rolling them once or twice around to coat. This will give your homemade peanut butter cookies the characteristic sweet, slightly crunchy exterior.
Fork dipped in sugar – You may have trouble getting the sugar to stick to the fork if it is dry. Dampen the fork before coating, and the sugar should transfer to the dough when you make the crisscross pattern. The crosshatch ensures that the center of the cookie, in fact, bakes, and also generates more surface area for browning.
Tips For Making The Perfect Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
What makes these perfect classic peanut butter cookies recipe soft and chewy? A number of factors contribute to the cookies’ delicate and delicious texture.
- Baking time – To keep them soft and chewy, they must be slightly underbaked when you pull them out of the oven. Their edges are of course set, but they don’t really brown. The center should be slightly raw. These cookies, even more than most, harden as they cool.
- Check the temperature – Remember every oven bakes at different temperatures. Even if you have a thermometer in your oven, please don’t rely on exact baking time, visually check the cookies to determine when they are done!
- Use brown sugar – Another key factor is the use of brown sugar, which has a high moisture content. (Granulated white sugar, on the other hand, typically makes cookies crispier by absorbing moisture.)
Crunchy peanut butter cookies – If you or your family prefers cookies with a bit more crunch, simply leave them in the oven until the edges are a little darker brown and the center is not over soft. Remember that they will harden further during the cooling process, so don’t overbake!
Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ingredient Notes
Butter – To make the best peanut butter cookies, you need to use butter. Margarine will not give you the same results.
Substitutes – If you don’t want to use eggs, substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce. A pinch of baking powder will give the applesauce the additional properties it needs to stand in for the egg. To make without butter, substitute coconut oil, olive oil, or dairy-free yogurt.
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Storing Tips
Store this recipe like you would chewy chocolate peanut butter cookies. Be sure you have a well-sealed container and keep them in a cool place.
Can You Freeze Them?
Absolutely! You can freeze the dough or the baked cookies.
For the dough, roll into balls, put on a cookie sheet, and flatten with a fork. Freeze on the sheet for 2 hours and put the dough balls in a freezer bag.
To bake, defrost for 5 minutes and roll them in sugar before putting them in the oven. The cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
For baked cookies, allow them to cool completely. Put the cookies in a freezer bag. For maximum freshness, wrap the cookies in cling wrap before putting in the freezer bag. Baked cookies can be stored for 6-12 months in the freezer.
Make Ahead Tips
The cookie dough of this classic peanut butter cookies recipe will hold in the fridge for 2 days. You can make it ahead of time and bake them fresh when you’re ready!
How Long Can You Keep This?
According to food handling guidelines, this classic peanut butter cookies recipe will hold for about 2-3 weeks in the pantry and 6-12 months in the freezer.
This classic peanut butter cookies recipe has been around for ages, but if you have a mind to experiment, here are some suggestions!
Can I Add Chocolate Chips?
I love adding chocolate chips and making these into peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! Add in a cup or two of milk or dark chocolate chips!
But why stop with chocolate chips? Add some oats to make peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or M&M’s to make monster cookies! They’re all delicious!
Can I Turn These Into Cookie Bars?
You could press the dough into a pan to make these into peanut butter bars. You’ll have to monitor them closely in the over to get them done without overcooking them.
Monster cookie bars and peanut butter oatmeal bars are similar in nature but have added body thanks to the oats. They’re super moist and chewy!
Can I Add Chocolate To This Recipe?
You could add a bit of cocoa to the mix to make chocolate peanut butter cookies. One of my favorite peanut butter and chocolate cookie combos is no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
I also love the simplicity of chocolate peanut butter bars. So many great confections… So little time!
What Other Peanut Butter Cookies Can I Make?
You can never have enough peanut butter cookies. I love peanut butter blossoms and no bake peanut butter bars for quick and simple cookies with big peanut butter taste.
For a fun twist on the classic, consider peanut butter and jelly cookies! You’ll swear you’re back at Grandma’s table with a PBJ!
More Peanut Butter Cookie Recipes…
Want more peanut butter cookies recipes? Well, who can blame you! Here are some of my favorites.
- 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Brittle
- Nutter Butter
- Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment or Silpat mats.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar using a hand-held electric mixer, until well mixed.
- Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until well mixed.
- Add peanut butter and mix until well mixed.
- Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
- Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls then roll in extra sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets; flatten balls in a criss-cross pattern with fork dipped in sugar.
- Bake 12 minutes for chewy cookies or 15 minutes for crispy cookies or until edges are lightly brown and the cookies look dry on the top. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Fans Also Made:
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I did some changing. I lowered each sugar a little, and I did part canola oil. Turned out great and healthier.
I question the recipe as being 12 cookies a serving??
This is a great recipe a few years back i lost a family recipe so this is definitely a new one to add to the books.
Thank you Emerald! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. My family loves it, too. <3
Loved them. On my second batch right now!
Wow, thank you, Jenny! Enjoy baking 🙂
My kids just love them..its their new favorite??
Glad to hear it’s a big hit with your kids! 😀
These peanut butter cookies are my new favorite!! Thanks for the recipe <3 <3
You’re welcome, Lisa! 😀
Seriously sooo good! I doubled the recipe because the serving size says “12 cookies”……oh my …… do you mean to say I can eat 12 cookies?? Anyway, I got about 56 cookies by doubling the recipe which is not a problem because they will be gone in no time!
That’s wonderful, Vicki! 😀
Great recipe, didnt have buter used veg -oil (1/3 cup) came out yummy! Thank you for your time!
Thank you so much, Ciara!
A keeper recipe .Made these and they came out perfectly and so delicious My family asked for more couldn’t get enough of them?
Oooh that’s amazing Glenda! So glad you and your family enjoyed it! ? It’s favorite in our house too ❤️
Bonnie Esparza says
Hi there! Made these for my father’s 79th birthday and it was a hit! They came out soft and chewy and so delicious. At first I made a different type of cookies and he said I thought you were going to make those ones (peanut butter) you made the last time, those were really good. Which were these ones Yeah!?
Oh! Happy belated birthday to your father! I’m so glad he was pleased with the cookies!! <3
Everyone loved these so much I need to make a third batch for out cookie exchange. Made a great family cooking day, too. My oldest (8) and I made the dough and my youngest two (5 &3) rolled in sugar and flattened with a dipped “cookie smoosher.” (I truly have no idea what it’s called but it’s a ceramic mold that leaves a heart print on the dough. It’s ancient ?)
Hey Cat. I’m so happy that your kids can make these. I love getting kids in the kitchen! So happy everyone enjoyed the Peanut Butter Cookies <3
William Kelly says
Great Cookie,,Made 4 dozen, Cooked 12 Minutes..Wife loves them,,,Keeper recipe..Will k
Yay! I’m so happy you both like the cookies. Sounds like you got the perfect bake on them!! 🙂
OMG Kathleen these look AMAZING! I really love your cooling rack and baking sheet too!!!