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These crisp peanut butter cookies are old-fashioned style with crunchy, crumbly edges and soft-baked centers.

stack of peanut butter cookies

Peanut butter lovers rejoice! This cookie is for you.

peanut butter cookies on a white plate

I made a huge batch of these classic cookies for the weekend. These peanut butter cookies will melt in your mouth. The edges are chewy, the centers are soft, the tops are crinkly.

2 images of hand using a fork to criss cross tops of peanut butter cookies on a silpat baking mat and baked peanut butter cookies

This is a super basic recipe. A classic cookie, holding a top spot near chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. No frills, nothing fancy. No candy bar pieces, gooey caramel, chocolate chips, or sprinkles to take away from the massive peanut butter flavor. Trust me, you won’t miss any of that stuff! Just pure peanut butter. By the way, if you want EXTRA peanut butter flavor, you must make these very peanut butter cookies. Twice the peanut butter!

Today’s cookies are large with crisp crunchy edges and soft-baked centers. For a smaller cookie that’s completely soft, I recommend my regular peanut butter cookies. That dough serves as the base for other favorites like peanut butter blossoms and peanut butter chocolate swirl cookies.

The most important part of today’s recipe? Chill your cookie dough! The dough is extremely soft due to the creamy peanut butter, eggs, and butter and if it’s not cold going into the oven, the cookies will spread all over your baking sheet. I chilled this cookie dough for 24 hours and my cookies were soft, thick perfection. I recommend chilling the dough for at least 3 hours.

stack of peanut butter cookies
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stack of peanut butter cookies

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These classic peanut butter cookies are always a hit. Easy to make, easier to eat! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature*
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter*
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix on high until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Cover dough tightly and chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 Tablespoons or 27-30g of dough per cookie) and roll into granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press fork into the tops to create the criss-cross pattern. Bake for 12–13 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and undone. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 3. Baked cookies freeze well—up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well—up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure you have room temperature butter, not melted in the slightest. Do not soften in the microwave—that makes it sort of melty and greasy. Place out 1 hour before beginning. Room temperature eggs are preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
  3. Peanut Butter: Chunky peanut butter works as well. I do not suggest using natural style, oily peanut butter. Brands such as Jif or Skippy work best.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: peanut butter cookies, classic peanut butter cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. What is the difference between Classic Peanut Butter cookies, and Very Peanut Butter Cookies on this site?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Raquel, The very peanut butter cookies are made with twice the amount of peanut butter for a dense flavor and softer texture.

  2. Just made these again tonight! They’re amazing – the flavor is just right. I leave them in the oven an extra minute because otherwise the middles are too underdone for me. Sally’s site is my go-to site! 🙂

    1. I love these too, I refer to Sally’s for any and all baking recipes that I need!! PS if you haven’t tried her cinnamon rolls, you must!

  3. I mixed up the batter last night and planned on baking them in the morning. I got anxious and baked 6 cookies right away. They were very dry. I left the remainder of the dough in the fridge overnight and baked more in the morning. What a difference chilling the dough made !
    Soft, chewy, delicious cookies. Best Peanut Butter cookies I have had since my childhood !! Thank You for such great directions.

  4. Sally, I’m 7 years old, and I am making this peanut butter cookie recipe for my uncle. I have my own baking business and I’m making a lot of money. Today I made a an apple bundt cake and chocolate chip cookies. And both recipes are yours. Yours recipes are awesome!!!

  5. I made these cookies a couple days in advance and froze them. After defrosting them, I rolled them in sugar and then used a meat tenderizer to give shapes to the cookie dough. I liked that the cookies were not overpowered with the peanut butter flavor. Next time, I may bake them for just 10 minutes. My cookies were a little too crunchy for my taste. The middle of the cookie however was perfectly chewy.

    Note: I was able to make 48 cookies with this recipe instead of 30 cookies.

    1. We don’t recommend it, Becky. You want the solid butter to cream with the peanut butter. Oil would make these cookies very thin and they would spread out too much when baked.

    1. Yes! Add 1 cup of chocolate chips. Tastes wonderful.

  6. This is my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. In fact I keep it on my Favorite recipes board on a Pinterest. The cookies have great flavor and come out perfect every time. If my husband had his way I’d be making these every night. I followed the recipe as is.

    1. So glad these cookies are such a hit for you, Annette!

  7. Hi, Sally! First off, I think your recipes are AMAZING! I am really looking forward to baking these cookies, but I really want to freeze the dough and was curious if I still needed to chill the dough for 24 hours.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Anna, no need to chill the dough for 24 hours, but it may still be helpful to chill them for a bit before rolling into balls, as this dough can be very sticky. Then, once they’re in balls, you can freeze them. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Paige! Chunky peanut butter works well in this recipe. Enjoy!

  8. Question — in step 2 of directions, you say to chill the dough for at least 3 hours and then proceed with rolling dough into balls. In your make-ahead directions, you say the dough can be chilled up to 2 days but then remove dough from fridge and bring to room temperature. Bringing to room temp would defeat the purpose of chilling the dough to prevent excessive spreading when baking. I must be missing something. Can you please clarify?

    1. Hi Jerri, after the dough comes together, it’s quite soft and crumbly. Chilling it will solidify the dough. Even after it comes back to room temperature after chilling, it will still be much more solid and compact than it was right after mixing together.

  9. Hi! I love your website. I am wondering for this recipe or cookie recipes in general can I just cut all the ingredients in half to make a half-batch? I thought I remembered reading once that some recipes just don’t work out the same when cut down proportionally. Thank you!

    1. Hi Laura, in most cases, that should work just fine! It gets a bit trickier when halving cake recipes, but for most cookie recipes you can simply halve by halving all ingredients. Hope this helps!

  10. The peanutbutter cookies turned out great .They are not lasting very long lol . I waited 4 hours after getting them out of fridge and I made them smaller and got 3 dozen cookies. Thank you

  11. Why do you have to chill the dough if you bring the dough to room temperature before baking?

    1. Hi Carol, chilling the dough solidifies it. If chilling for longer than 3 hours, the dough will be very hard. Bring it to room temperature so it’s easier to roll into balls. It will not be as soft as it is right after mixing the dough together.

  12. One of the best peanut butter cookie recipes! My family and friends loved them!

  13. Could I use this recipe to make bars instead of cookies? If yes, what size pan would I use?
    Thank you! I love your recipes – they are the best!

    1. Hi Jan, We haven’t tested this exact dough as bars, but it should fit into a 9×9 inch square baking pan. We are unsure of the exact bake time needed. Let us know if you give it a try!

  14. I love this recipe so much and it’s been a total hit with my family.
    My husband’s aunt was just diagnosed with celiac, so I was hoping to make a gluten free version of it. Could you suggest the right flours and ratios to mimic the taste of these?

    1. Hi Ori, We have not tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let us know if you try it!

    2. Hello Ori! I am 12 and also celiac, so I understand how difficult it is to find gluten-free baking recipes! I use 1-1 King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Four! I haven’t tried it with these cookies yet, but I’ve tried it with other recipes, and it works great! Let me know how it goes!

  15. i’ve done this one and the very peanut butter ones, they are both very yum!!
    but i want to do some egg-free ones for my friends, can you help me with some idea?
    thanks!!

    1. Hi Lily, we haven’t tested any egg substitutes in this recipe but let us know if you do! Here’s all our egg-free recipes if you’re interested.

  16. These were so good. I don’t even why to try the “very” pb ones because I don’t want to mess with the perfect taste! I may have eaten half the dough too (shh…I don’t mind living dangerously with raw egg). But…I have a flattening problem. I weighed the ingredients to make sure I have recipe perfect. I used parchment. I chilled the dough over night. I have a thermometer in the oven that says the temp was right. And still, mine were super flat. I tried baking from frozen too and the same thing happened. They are still delicious was hoping for the classic thicker cookie with the cross marks. Maybe I should try less butter next time?

    1. Hi Danielle, We are so happy you enjoyed these! If yours are spreading too much check the temperature of your butter. Butter that is too soft is one of the most common reasons cookies spread. This is what room temperature butter really means. Also make sure you are using a creamy style commercial peanut butter like Jif or Skippy, and not a natural or oily type. You can also check out all of our tips for preventing cookies from spreading for more troubleshooting ideas. If you are still having trouble, try adding an extra TBS of flour to the dough which can help bulk it up. Hope this helps!

  17. Holy Moley! Wow, these are good! Soft, with a sandy texture. Just the right amount of peanut butter. Not too sweet, but great with a cold glass of milk!

  18. I just walked my 8-year-old son through this recipe tonight and the cookies came out amazing. We can’t stop eating them. They really hit the spot when you want something sweet.

  19. I followed the recipe to a ‘t’ weighing the ingredients and baking for 13 minutes. They were delicious, but not at all crispy. Mine turned out to be a nice thick peanut-buttery cakey cookie. Maybe the temp of my oven is off. Still, I had no problem polishing off these cookies.

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