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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. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  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. These were just perfect!! Soft and chewy perfection 🙂 Thank you for always having the best classic recipes!

  2. just made these using chunky peanut butter and everyone here is gobbling them up.. lovely.. crunchy on the outside, light and moist inside .. yummm

  3. Hey Sally!
    I was looking to make these over the weekend but could you help me out with something? I tried one of your other cookie recipes where chilling was mandatory but it was tough to form them after being chilled. Would it be possible to form the balls of dough beforehand and put them on a tray to chill then stick it in the oven and bake it that way? If that works it’d help a lot 🙂 Thanks for the recipes!! These look delicious!

    1. Candice, sometimes cookie dough is too soft and sticky to form into balls right after preparing. So, I usually chill the dough as recommended and then let the dough sit out at room temperature for around 20-35 minutes (depending on how much dough I’m working with) to slightly soften. The chilling step helps solidify the dough and allows the flavors in the dough to mingle. Allowing the dough to sit out after chilling and before rolling helps make the dough easier to scoop/handle.

  4. This is my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe. I’ve made them countless times, with success every time! The dough freezes quite well and, though the notes on the recipe advise you to not thaw the dough out, I accidentally did before I read that, and the cookies turned out perfectly. Also, it advises to not soften butter in the microwave, but that’s the way I’ve done it the majority of the time, without the finished product suffering at all. Definitely a five out of five star recipe.

  5. I made these cookies for bible study last week and they were a hit! Only thing i chabged was that I used crunchy peanut butter. I also refrigerated the dough for 24 hrs. Best PB cookies I’ve ever made!

  6. Made these cookies today. Absolutely wonderful combination of texture and flavor! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  7. Hello Sally,

    I have a friend’s birthday coming up and she absolutely loves peanut butter; therefore, I wanted to know how could I turn this recipe into a cookie cake? Is it as simple as baking it in a 9 inch dish or do I have to make some other adjustments to it?

    1. Definitely! Bake in a 9×2 inch cake pan or 9-inch springform pan. Unsure about the exact bake time.

  8. These cookies are phenomenal…finally found a great recipe for peanut butter cookies after much looking. Baked them for my husband’s birthday and he proclaimed them the best he’s had. I followed the directions as written and they turned out perfect…we like to eat them frozen.

  9. Wow! I made these last week and have now made 4 batches.. that’s right four. I even made ice cream sandwiches with some that I over baked a little and they were anazing! Thank you so much for this solid recipe!

  10. Made these last night – followed the recipe and measurements exactly and chilled the dough overnight.  I baked them 2 different ways to get soft and semi crunchy. The consistency of the dough was fine but they are just dry cookies .  The recipe has too much flour. In an effort to not waste an entire batch of 35+ cookies I turned them into PB & fluff cookie sandwiches.  Also wish I had added chocolate chips, disappointed 🙁

  11. These were amazing!! They did make about 4 doz. with about a 1″ scoop. GREAT COOKIES!

  12. I made these today and they were to die for! My sister is vegan, so I substituted the butter with 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup earth balance vegan butter. Also substituted the eggs with 2 flax eggs. I alllllsssooo added a little bit of cinnamon to the sugar that the cookies were rolled in because I just couldn’t help it! :p Thanks, Sally! Love this recipe, even if i did make a few changes

  13. I was so excited to make these and followed the recipe to a tee.  Unfortunately, they didn’t even taste like peanut butter cookies.  They needed three times the amount of peanut butter.  I had my husband try them and he didn’t like them at all and asked where the peanut butter was.  He thought they tasted more like a sugar cookie! So disappointed as I had high hopes for this recipe. 

  14. Wonderful cookies! I made them as directed & chilled overnight. These turned out just as you described. Thanks so much!

  15. Best cookies ever!!! They are so soft and so so peanut buttery! Everyone loves them. One thing I have to add every time, cinammon! Perfect.

  16. Hi Sally! Would I be able to shape these like sugar cookies? Using cute cookie cutters for Christmas? If so, how thick do you recommend rolling the dough to prior to cutting? Would you change the bake time? So excited to try these! 

  17. Hi! Have you ever tried adding chocolate chips to these? I love the idea of peanut butter chocolate cookies, but to be quite honest with you, I don’t know if chips would throw off the consistency of these. Has anyone tried this?

    Thanks!!

    Tommy

  18. I made these today after refrigerating the dough overnight. They are amazing! I followed the directions to a T other than rolling the dough in sugar before putting on the baking sheet. I think the sugar would have helped to keep the fork from sticking to the dough as I made the required 😉 criss-cross pattern. Great recipe and I’m sure I will be sharing it with everyone this weekend! Pinned! 

  19. I just made these and I thought they were awful! I’m so sorry to even say that. I’m praying it was something I did, but I’ve checked this recipe over three times and I do not think I missed a thing! Ugh. The dough was not sticky at all. In fact I wondered if the recipe had too much flour? Well maybe I’ll try these another time. I’m dissapointed. 🙁

  20. As a European, I was a total beginner regarding American cookies, but I love peanut butter and had to give this a shot. I must admit I didn’t measure the ingredients exactly for a lack of kitchen scales – but even at my barbarian baking level, they turned out perfect! This recipe really is foolproof. Lots of raves from friends and colleagues, too. Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. I made these this week and they were deliciously chewy and yummy! I used a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients.

  22. I baked the peanut butter cookies and they were really good and still soft after 2 days, everyone really liked them, this will be my go to recipe.

  23. Best cookies ever. I even used white whole wheat and natural style chunky Jiffy. The hardest part about making these is trying to stop yourself from eating them all!!!!

  24. The most perfect peanut butter cookie!!! Not too crumbly, but with a definite hint of crunch, I’m printing this and putting it right in my recipe binder! I subbed half the white flour for whole wheat and was a little worried about the texture, but they were absolutely delicious; thanks Sally!!!

  25. Love these cookies. I like to bake them so they’re on the soft-chewy side (not a fan of hard cookies). Crumbly peanut butter goodness! These will be great for gatherings because it’s a classic, no-fuss, large-batch recipe.

  26. Not sure where I went wrong??? The taste was great but I just couldn’t get them to flatten out. The dough chilled in my fridge for 24 hours, I rolled it and did the fork indentations. First batch I did exactly what u said and they were so small and did not even spread. Second batch I had to squish the dough down a bit to give it a flat look. So disappointed with how they look. Where do you think I went wrong? The taste however was great. Help please!!!

    1. If your baking powder or baking soda is out dated you will not get the spread you are looking for in this cookie.

  27. An easy, straightforward recipe with excellent results! I made the dough 24 hr ahead of time. Dough was easy to work with and cookies turned out so delicious! I’ll be making these again!

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