Peanut butter cookies are a school days staple, perhaps because adults love them so much too! Indulge your family, friends, and neighbors today with this simple mouthwatering recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies stacked on top of each other

This soft peanut butter cookies recipe is one to write home about (or screenshot, bookmark, post on the fridge, frame, etc…. if you are already home!) Between the tender, chewy texture and the rich, nutty flavor, what’s not to love? A simple and portable treat for school, picnics, road trips, or parties, these peanut butter cookies will light up your loved ones’ days. I know my family has many happy memories in which this recipe makes a cameo! Share them at school or the office for an instant boost in morale. They’ll be gone before you can blink twice. Laughably simple to make, bake, and store, the result is totally worth the effort.

If you can’t get enough of this recipe for peanut butter cookies, check out our No Bake Peanut Butter Bars or Easy Peanut Butter Fudge. And stay tuned for our Peanut Butter Cookies 3 Ingredients post!


  • It is the best peanut butter cookies recipe I’ve tried, consistently delivering a soft and chewy texture.
  • Takes less time to prepare than more elaborate desserts, but makes the family just as happy!
  • All ingredients are already in my cabinet.
  • It is a fun recipe to make with kids:  let your little ones measure out and pour in the ingredients.
  • Peanut butter is a great source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and protein!




Peanut Butter Cookies on a baking sheet

What ingredients do you need to make peanut butter cookies?

This easy peanut butter cookie recipe requires butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, peanut butter, flour, salt, and baking soda.

Read on for suggestions about how to make simple peanut butter cookies without eggs, without butter, or without (gasp!) brown sugar.

How to make the best peanut butter cookie recipe:

Simply mix the ingredients (in the proper order, which we will discuss more below!) with a hand-held mixer, and roll the resultant dough into balls.

Space the balls on a baking sheet, flatten them with a fork in the characteristic crisscross pattern, bake, and you are done! The only remaining step is to cool and serve your fresh chewy peanut butter cookies to eagerly awaiting admirers. 

Peanut Butter Cookies dipped in a glass of milk

What makes these peanut butter cookies soft and chewy?

A number of factors contribute to the cookies’ delicate and delicious texture. Chief among them is NOT overbaking them. 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. 

Remember every oven bakes at different temperatures. Even if you have a thermometer in your oven, please don’t rely on an exact baking time, visually check the cookies to determine when they are done!

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.)

Of course, the butter, peanut butter, and short baking time also play a role in the cookies’ softness. Thank you brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter for your fantastic powers!


Peanut Butter Cookies on a baking sheet
5 from 3 votes

Peanut Butter Cookies

Our old-fashioned Peanut butter cookies are thick, soft and chewy. They're easy to put together with ingredients you probably already have.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 292 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment or Silpat mats.

  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar using a hand-held electric mixer, until well mixed.

  3. Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until well mixed.

  4. Add peanut butter and mix until well mixed.

  5. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined.

  6. 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. 

  7. 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. 

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cookies
Amount Per Serving (12 cookies)
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Potassium 172mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 19g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 5.2%
Calcium 2.1%
Iron 5.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes For Peanut Butter Cookies:

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.

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.

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!

Peanut butter cookies no eggs: To make these cookies without 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.

Peanut butter cookies without butter: To make without butter, substitute coconut oil, olive oil, or dairy-free yogurt. Go Dairy Free has some more great information on butter substitutes. Alternatively, stay tuned for our three ingredient peanut butter cookies post!

Peanut butter cookies no brown sugar: Don’t try this at home — the cookies will lose their signature chew! Unless of course, you are giving the three ingredient recipe a go.

One Peanut Butter Cookies broken in half placed top of a glass of milk

Can you make peanut butter cookies ahead of time?

One reason behind these peanut butter cookies allrecipes fan favorite status is their ability to be made well in advance. Homemade cookie dough lasts for up to five days in the fridge and twelve months in the freezer. Check out this article for more tips on storing cookie dough and ensuring its safety! 

Baked peanut butter cookies can keep for up to three weeks if spaced well in an airtight container, or even longer in the freezer. But good luck keeping them around for more than a few days!

Peanut Butter Cookies on a cooling rack

How do you freeze peanut butter cookies?

To freeze peanut butter cookies, wrap them in tin foil or a plastic wrap designed for the freezer. Alternatively, you can place them in a sealable bag or container designed for the freezer.

Carefully packed frozen cookies will keep for up to eight months! See Still Tasty’s article on preserving cookies for more useful tips

To make fork marks or not to make fork marks – that is the question….

From way back in 1916 when the first public recipe of peanut butter cookies was circulated, it seems fork marks have usually been included. Due to the thickness of peanut butter it helps flatten out this stout batter, you just can’t depend on the ovens heat to do that. If you leave the dough in a ball, odds are the center will not cook thoroughly. Who knew, the hash marks actually serve a useful purpose!

As an added bonus for the crispy cookie lovers out there, the hash marks create a wider cookie – more surface area, which produces more crunchable territory.

More yummy cookie recipes…