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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. Can I freeze the dough for a month or so? Or ok to 1/2 the recipe? I know, why wouldn’t I what so much as cookies, lol. Or best to freeze cookies after baked? Thanks!

    1. You can freeze before or after baking the cookies, whichever is easiest for you. See my make ahead tip!

  2. Hi Sally, just wondering if I can use the smooth light peanut butter? Its my husbands birthday today and thats all we have at home 🙁 & its his favorite cookies! please let me know! Thanks! 

  3. Hi Sally! I’m a big fan of your recipes 🙂 Would this recipe be okay with crunchy peanut butter?

  4. Made these cookies this past weekend “just because.” Dipped half of them in some melted semi-sweet chocolate I was trying to get rid of & rainbow sprinkles. One of the “omg” simple desserts, loved them!

  5. These cookies are delicious and this recipe makes a big batch! I found them a bit too sweet for my liking, so will reduce the white sugar a bit next time. Mine also needed a little longer than 11 minutes. Will definitely make them again though! 

  6. I tried making these cookies last night and they turned out with a sand-like consistency. I was very disappointed with this recipe and was sad to have to throw it all away! 

  7. I’m not clear on the purpose of refrigeratating the dough for 3+ hours if then you bring the dough to room temperature. Do I work with the cold dough so it’s not sticky? Or does it magically stop being sticky after it’s been refrigerated?

    1. I don’t bring the dough to room temperature – roll it into balls right out of the refrigerator after 3 hours. If you are reading the “make ahead” tip when you refrigerate for 2 days the dough will be super hard and difficult to roll so you might need to let it sit out until you are able to roll it! Hope that helps!

  8. This is my first review because I just had to tell everyone, these are the BEST peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had! I’ve made this recipe several times and they are always nothing but perfection. Everyone that’s had them just goes nuts over them. Sometimes I put a chocolate kiss on top. I made them again today and I was a little nervous because I only had skinny natural peanut butter (it’s not oily or refrigerated) but they are just as perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe! 

  9. Sally – these are our go-to peanut butter cookies. My husband’s favorite. Just a quick tip – we use a meat mallet to “criss cross” our cookies. Twice as fast!

  10. Made these last nite so my grandson could take them out hunting this morning…they’re great! Will make again & again!

  11. Hi Sally! Thank you for putting the weight measurements also in grams-baking in the UK . These cookies turned out fantastic!! I added about 20g less of both sugars and still they’re perfect. Looking forward to trying out more if your recipes. Thank you ❤

  12. These are amazingly good! I’ve never been a peanut butter cookie lover but my husband is and after making a batch, I am in love! 

  13. Great recipe! Made alot of nice big cookies. I topped mine with chopped peanuts and flaked maldon sea salt. They were a huge hit. Thanks!

  14. Do these cookies come out soft or crunchy? I’m looking for soft cookies!

  15. Thank you for the recipe and a big THANK YOU for putting measurements in grams! Unfortunately I am not a fan of these. They are ok but not peanut buttery enough for me. I’ve tried simpler recipes that seems to bring the peanut butter taste out a bit more. I also didn’t love the slight baking powder taste.

  16. I made these tonight. I have to agree with one of these comments about not tasting peanut buttery enough. I’m curious as to WHY this recipe calls for 3 cups and and two tablespoons of flour? I’ve looked at so MANY recipes and not one called for so much flour. I think it’s just too much flour and it takes away the peanut butter flavor. Next time I’ll only put 11/2 cups and ill put 11/2 cups of peanut butter. Otherwise they came out good.

  17. I have the dough balls in the freezer, along with some chocolate chip and snickerdoodles. I found out, that the party these are for, is now on the 2nd of Dec. My question is: if I bake them, this week, should I just put them in the fridge until time? I would be afraid to re-freeze, after they are baked. Can’t wait until the week of the party, as I have 3 more of your recipes to finish…..peppermint mocha, thumbprint and the ganache filled ones, from the challenge. Your cheesecake brownies, need to be made also.
    Thanks….

    1. Hi Sheila, That’s a great variety you are baking! These baked cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. It’s ok to bake them and freeze the cookies if you need to bake them now!

  18. These cookies are fantastic. My kids love them and I love to see them eating homemade baked cookies. They have way fewer additives than the store bought ones.

  19. These were a disappointment, I weighed my ingredients, used Jiff vs. a generic or natural peanut butter and chilled the dough 12 hours and they are just ok. The peanut butter flavor is too subtle and they are crumbly. I am sure they will get eaten, but not a cookie I will make again. I am a fan of the blog and this is the first recipe I have tried that is not a keeper.

  20. O have never liked peanut butter cookies. My husband loves them. I have made so many of your recipes that making yours was a no-brainer! Now not only my husband loves them, but I do too! They are easy to make, don’t have a ton of clean up, and most importantly they are delicious! Crispy outside soft inside. I did add one thing. Instead of rolling them in just sugar, I used cinnamon sugar! So good. Thank you again for all the recipes.

  21. These have become my go-to recipe for peanut butter cookies. They always disappear quickly and get rave reviews from all that try them:)

  22. I made these and all my adult grandchildren LOVED them. A new favorite for them. Thanks!!

  23. Hello Sally!
    First let me just say that I LOVE your blog! Everything I make of yours turns out perfect! I have used several different peanut butter cookie recipes in the past and they don’t turn out right. However this recipe is perfect they turned out thick and did not flatten out! Every time I am looking for a cookie recipe I go to your blog and I am always satisfied with the result I get from your recipe! Thank you!!!

  24. Sadly, mine didn’t turn out. The dough was really crumbly and kept falling apart. I would reduce the amount of flour by at least a cup. I thought 3 cups + was a bit much when I read the recipe but decided to try anyways. The pictures of your cookies look great, mine are a crumbly mess. They taste great though.

  25. Hi Sally, would dark brown sugar work instead of light? Many thanks.

    1. You can use dark brown sugar, just expect a darker color cookie with just a bit more of a maple flavor.

  26. I made them several time with great results!

  27. All I have to say is this is a bomb recipe. I made a batch and froze the dough in balls. I take two out and pop them in the oven and they are divine. This is my favorite peanut butter recipe!

  28. They were delicious! Only wished I had added in the peanut butter chips to make richer peanut butter flavor. Everyone loved them and will be making these more often. Perfect crispness on edges and softness in center.

  29. Delish cookies, beautiful dough
    Turned out perfectly!
    Since I discovered you I go to your site constantly for breads, cookies and all things baked- thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes and how tos!

  30. Delicious and relatively easy. I tend to shy away from cookie recipes that require freezing or putting in the fridge because I always want to make them ASAP. But I knew I had to try these. They were perfectly soft with just a hint of a crunch around the edge. Personally my husband and I like a crunchier cookie all around BUT we will definitely make this recipe again.