Food

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

at a glance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 20 -24 cookies

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These peanut butter cookies (with or without chocolate chips) are incredibly easy to make, really yummy, and deserve a spot in your baking rotation!

a cooling rack of peanut butter cookies

Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Goodness do I love peanut butter. If you’ve ever seen me around a tray of cookies (you know, the ones that get brought out at parties, conferences, and other big gatherings), you also know that I ALWAYS go for the peanut butter cookie. Even better if they include chocolate chips (which this recipe has an option for). With all of that being said, you can definitely consider me a trustworthy source when it comes to cookies of this variety, and when it comes right down to it, I have to say that these peanut butter cookies are some of the very best I’ve ever had! 

To be quite honest, this recipe is SO GOOD because of the talented developer who created it. Brittany Angell is incredibly gifted in this department and really puts so much care into her recipes — if you’re making these peanut butter cookies, you can bet your bottom dollar that she has taken every single piece of the guesswork out of the process for you so that the baking experience is enjoyable and your cookies are delicious.

Ingredients for Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need to make really delicious, classic peanut butter cookies:

the ingredients for peanut butter cookies in different sized bowls and plates on a marble surface
  • Butter – to start, you’ll need 4 tablespoons of room temperature salted butter (or vegan butter for a dairy-free option).
  • Brown Sugar – to add a nice, rich, caramel-y flavor to the cookies, you’ll need a ½ cup (105g) of brown sugar.
  • Organic Cane Sugar – in addition to the brown sugar, a ½ cup (110g) of organic cane sugar will go into the cookie dough. Optionally, if you’d like to roll your cookies in sugar, you’ll also need ¼ of a cup more organic cane sugar.
  • Egg – 1 large egg goes into the dough too.
  • Peanut Butter – peanut butter is obviously a must in this recipe! You’ll need 1 ¼ cups (308g) of creamy peanut butter. One thing that Brittany noted about these cookies is that they’re best made with conventional (more processed) creamy peanut butter rather than the natural stuff that we typically recommend. 
  • Flour – 1 cup (139g) of all-purpose flour (or King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon of double acting baking powder helps the cookies to rise and spread just a bit.
  • Himalayan Salt – a ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt counters the sweetness just a tad and helps to bring out all of the other flavors in the cookie.
  • Chocolate Chips (Optional) – if the peanut butter chocolate combo is your thing (my favorite combo *ever*), feel free to add 1 cup of either semi sweet or dark chocolate chips to the cookies too. For a regular peanut butter cookie, leave them out! 

Ingredient Modifications

Though this recipe is perfect as written (thank you, Brittany!), there are definitely some ingredient swaps you could make. Here are a few that we know will work well:

  • Make them dairy-free: use vegan butter and either leave the chocolate chips out, use a different mix-in, or use dairy-free chocolate chips!
  • Swap the brown sugar: coconut sugar is typically an easy swap in for brown sugar, so if you’d like to go that route, feel free. Do know that coconut sugar isn’t nearly as rich and caramel-y tasting as brown sugar, so your finished cookies may be impacted in that way.
  • Use a different mix-in: if you’re looking to give your peanut butter cookies a fun twist but don’t want to use chocolate chips, feel free to use 1 cup of dried cranberries, crushed pretzels, M&M’s, or even white chocolate chips. Have fun with these and make them your own!

Supplies You Need to Make This Recipe

How to make Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl
peanut butter cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl
a parchment paper lined cookie sheet of peanut butter cookies
peanut butter cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl
a bowl of granulated sugar
a parchment paper lined cookie sheet of peanut butter cookies
peanut butter cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl
peanut butter cookie dough being rolled in sugar before being placed on a cookie sheet
a parchment paper lined cookie sheet of peanut butter cookies
  1. Prep – before you get started on measuring and mixing, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350°F, set 2 of the oven racks to be as close to the center of the oven as possible, and line 2 standard baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter – in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), add the butter, brown sugar, and cane sugar, and using an electric hand mixer (or the stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on high for about 30-40 seconds.
  3. Add the egg and peanut butter – add the egg and peanut butter to the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar, and mix on high again until fully mixed.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and (optional) chocolate chips – next, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on medium just until the dough comes together and thickens. If using, stir in the chocolate chips. 
  5. Roll the cookies and place them on the baking sheet – if you plan on rolling your cookies in cane sugar, go ahead and pour the cane sugar into a small bowl. Scoop the cookies and, if desired, roll them in the sugar, and place them on the pan at least one inch apart. You should have about 10-12 cookies per tray.  Using a fork, press down on the cookies in a criss cross pattern — the cookies should be about a ½-inch to ¾-inch thick.  
  6. Bake – bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Swap their positions in the oven after 5 minutes (moving the bottom tray to the top and the top tray to the bottom). Remove them from the oven when the edges are golden brown, and allow them to cool completely before removing from the pan, otherwise they will crumble. 
  7. Enjoy! 

Tips and Tricks for the Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Oh boy, does Brittany have tips and tricks for you! Here are all of her secrets for the very best peanut butter cookies:

  • If using table salt, only an ⅛ of a teaspoon is needed (as opposed to a ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt).
  • For best results, a more processed creamy peanut butter is best (Jif Naturals peanut butter works perfectly).
  • Use a cookie scoop that holds roughly 1 ½ tablespoons of cookie dough.
  • Use the gram measurements for perfect results.
  • These cookies do not look fully baked when they are removed from the oven, but you will know they are done when the edges are golden brown — they will finish cooking through as they cool.
  • Other cup for cup gluten-free flour mixes should also work. 
  • To make these dairy-free, use vegan butter & dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • If using regular all-purpose flour, be sure not to over mix the cookies — this will develop the gluten and make them a tougher texture.

Because these cookies won’t need to rise nearly as much as, say, pumpkin bread, you can totally refrigerate this dough before baking it.

There are a few reasons for this, actually! First, as silly as it may sound, is purely because this is the way peanut butter cookies have been treated since the 1930s — it’s become a tradition of sorts to put hash marks (the classic criss cross pattern) on peanut butter cookies. Secondly, because peanut butter cookie dough tends to be denser than other cookie doughs, the hash marks help to flatten the dough, ensuring that the cookies bake more evenly. 

The biggest piece of advice we can give here is to take the cookies out of the oven as soon as the edges start to look golden brown. As Brittany mentioned in one of her tips, the cookies aren’t going to look fully cooked at this point, but they’ll continue to cook on the baking sheet as they cool. Waiting to pull them out of the oven until they look fully cooked is going to lead to a much crunchier, overdone peanut butter cookie.

a plate of peanut butter cookies stacked on top of each other

Peanut butter cookies only need to be in the oven for 10-12 minutes — that means even the most impatient of bakers (that’s me!) should be able to make it through the waiting period!

You’ll know that the cookies are ready to be pulled out of the oven when the edges are golden brown. Remember, waiting until the cookies look fully cooked will yield a much crunchier, slightly overdone cookie, so it’s best to judge the doneness based on the edges rather than the overall look of the cookie.

Good question! This could be for a couple of reasons. First, if you’re using regular table salt, you’ll need to use less (an ⅛ of a teaspoon) than if you’re using Himalayan salt (a ¼ teaspoon) — if you’re using table salt but aren’t reducing the amount, this could definitely be the culprit for a salty cookie. Also, check your peanut butter — if your PB is super salty, your cookies will (obviously) end up on the saltier side.

I actually think that these peanut butter cookies are hard to beat (and I’m a big peanut butter cookie fan, so I’ve had A LOT to compare these to), but if you’re looking to jazz them up, feel free to add in the optional chocolate chips or 1 cup of any other mix-in that sounds especially delicious to you. White chocolate chips, crushed pretzels, M&M’s, or dried cranberries are all really great options.  

a person dippinga peanut butter cookie in a glass of milk

Store your cookies in a sealed container at room temperature or in the fridge — they’ll stay great in either spot! Alternatively, if you’d like to store your cookies in the freezer (for a longer-lasting option), that’ll work too.

Cookies stored on the counter or in the fridge will stay good for about 5 days. If you freeze the cookies, though, they’ll stay good for up to 1 month. 

Video

By: Brittany Angell
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Servings: 20 -24 cookies
These peanut butter cookies (with or without chocolate chips) are incredibly easy to make, really yummy, and deserve a spot in your baking rotation!

Ingredients  

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 105 g brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 110 g organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups 308 g creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup 139 g all-purpose flour (or King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour)
  • 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspooon Himalayan salt

Optional:

  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar for rolling the cookies
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, set 2 of the oven racks to be as close to the center of the oven as possible, and line 2 standard baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), add the butter, brown sugar, and cane sugar, and using an electric hand mixer (or the stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on high for about 30-40 seconds.
  • Add the egg and peanut butter to the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar, and mix on high again until fully mixed.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on medium just until the dough comes together and thickens. If using, stir in the chocolate chips.
  • If you plan on rolling your cookies in cane sugar, go ahead and pour the cane sugar into a small bowl. Scoop the cookies and, if desired, roll them in the sugar, then place them on the pan at least one inch apart. You should have about 10-12 cookies per tray.  Using a fork, press down on the cookies in a criss cross pattern — the cookies should be about a ½-inch to ¾-inch thick.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Swap their positions in the oven after 5 minutes (moving the bottom tray to the top and the top tray to the bottom). Remove them from the oven when the edges are golden brown, and allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan, otherwise, they will crumble.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks:
  • If using table salt, only an ⅛ of a teaspoon is needed (as opposed to a ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt).
  • For best results, a more processed creamy peanut butter is best (Jif Naturals peanut butter works perfectly).
  • Use a cookie scoop that holds roughly 1 ½ tablespoons of cookie dough.
  • Use the gram measurements for perfect results.
  • These cookies do not look fully baked when they are removed from the oven, but you will know they are done when the edges are golden brown — they will finish cooking through as they cool.
  • Other cup for cup gluten-free flour mixes should also work.
  • To make these dairy-free, use vegan butter & dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • If using regular all-purpose flour, be sure not to over mix the cookies — this will develop the gluten and make them a tougher texture.
Meet the Author
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Brandi Schilhab

Brandi leads our efforts on content audits, outline construction, website calendar management, and a great deal of writing. She could unashamedly watch reruns of Friends + Harry Potter movies and never get bored!⁠ ⁠ ⁠
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