If you love a classic peanut butter cookie that has crispy edges and a chewy center, this recipe is for you. These cookies are easy enough to make for an afternoon snack but are substantial enough to serve for dessert.
Batches of peanut butter cookies come out of my oven on a regular basis because they are a family favorite. I could make these cookies every week and no one would complain.
I've had this recipe in my recipe box since childhood and I've probably made it over 100 times but I wanted to make sure I was sharing the very best peanut butter cookie recipe with you, so I looked at a lot of other recipes online and found most are identical to my tried-and-true recipe.
When it's good, it's just good. There's no reason to mess with perfection!
Typically, I use the recipe to make traditional peanut butter cookies with a criss-cross pattern on top, but sometimes I like to have a bit more fun.
I've used this recipe to make Jack-O-Lantern Cookies, adorable 3-D Turkey Cookies, delicious Peanut Butter Cookie Sundaes, and Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies filled with Chocolate Ganache.
Watch the video to see how easy these peanut butter cookies are to make. You can see the step-by-step tutorial and recipe below.
how to make homemade peanut butter cookies
- unsalted butter - Butter adds a rich flavor to these cookies. You can use margarine, but butter will make better-tasting cookies.
- creamy peanut butter - Use your favorite creamy peanut butter like Jif (my favorite), Skippy, Peter Pan, etc.
- We don't recommend using natural peanut butter (the kind that's simply made with peanuts and salt) when making this peanut butter cookie recipe. The oils in natural peanut butter tend to separate which can cause peanut butter cookies to spread too much. It also can give your cookies a gritty texture.
- You want to use peanut butter than contains emulsifiers (like Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan) that prevent the oils from separating from the peanut butter to make these cookies.
- light brown sugar - Makes your peanut butter cookies nice and chewy and gives the cookies a hint of molasses flavor.
- granulated sugar - Adds structure and sweetness to the cookies. It enhances browning and helps create crisp edges on the cookies.
- eggs - Eggs add stability and moistness to your cookies. Use large eggs in this recipe.
- all-purpose flour - The main source of structure for your cookies. I recommend weighing all of your ingredients, particularly the flour. I give you measurements in grams and ounces in the recipe as well as using a measuring cup.
- baking soda - When baking soda is combined with an acid like brown sugar, it creates carbon dioxide gas, providing lift, and making your cookies puff up so they aren't flat.
- baking powder - The baking soda will help to neutralize the acid and create lift but if too much is added to a recipe it can make your cookies taste metallic, so baking powder is added to provide a little more lift.
- salt - Balances out the sweetness and enhances the peanut butter flavor.
- 2 tablespoon (ice cream) scoop - This is optional but really helpful! I used a medium OXO Good Grips cookie scoop. It's actually slightly smaller than 2 tablespoons.
- baking trays - Your cookies will bake more evenly on heavy-duty aluminum cookie sheets.
- parchment paper or silicone mats - Cookies can stick to aluminum pans so line them with parchment paper (preferable) or silicone mats.
NOTE: If you bake your cookies on a non-stick pan, you may need to cut the baking time down by 1-2 minutes.
- Beat 1 cup of butter until light and fluffy then add 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar, and beat until smooth.
- Add 2 eggs and beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl stir together 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend just until combined.
- Scoop out 2-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough and arrange them on your parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Flatten using a fork then rotate the cookies and flatten with the fork again.
- You can roll the cookie scoops into balls if you want, but it isn't really necessary. The cookies will bake with cracks and crevices even if you roll them into smooth balls.
- Bake in a 350-degree F (177° C) oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and the tops of the cookies no longer look wet.
- If your kitchen is warm, you may want to place your unbaked cookies in the refrigerator.
- If the cookie dough gets too warm, the butter will get really soft and your cookies may spread too much.
- If you chill the dough after you've scooped the cookies, it also makes it easier to make the criss-cross pattern with the fork. The fork won't stick to the chilled dough.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking tray.
- Then, you can move them to a cooling rack to cool completely or you can just leave them on the tray.
- I like to use my stand mixer to make this cookie dough.
- You can use a hand-held mixer for the wet ingredients but once you add the flour and mix it a little, you may need to finish mixing the dough by hand so you don't burn out the motor in your mixer.
- You can also easily divide this recipe in half. If you make a small batch of cookie dough, an electric mixer will work fine to add all of the dry ingredients.
Tips for making the best peanut butter cookies:
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion the cookies so they are all the same size.
- Flatten the cookies using the tines of a fork making a criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie.
- Use brown sugar and white (granulated) sugar to make chewy cookies with crisp edges.
- Mix in your favorite creamy peanut butter. I use Jif!
- Bake on an aluminum cookie sheet topped with a piece of parchment paper to ensure even browning.
- Store in an airtight container to keep the cookies soft and chewy.
More cookie recipes you might like:
See the links to the recipes below the images.