Very Peanut Butter Cookies

Packed with double the peanut butter, these very peanut butter cookies boast a dense flavor, remarkably soft texture, thick center, and a deliciously crumbly edge. My go-to best peanut butter cookie recipe!

peanut butter cookies

I know these cookies look familiar to you. Peanut butter cookies are nothing new in our kitchens and certainly nothing new on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Along with oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies rank high on my repeat recipes list!

I have a recipe for the classics on my website and another in Sally’s Cookie Addiction, but can there be room for one more? With 2 cups of peanut butter in the cookie dough, today’s extra soft cookies steal the spotlight. We’re using the same cookie dough as my bakery-style peanut butter chunk cookies, a cookie recipe I’ve grown to love so much that they’re now the only peanut butter cookies I bake. Today’s cookies are easy to make, completely packed with flavor, and boast a deliciously crumbly criss-cross pattern on top. Love them!

Meet your new favorite peanut butter cookie recipe.

peanut butter cookies

Less Flour, More Peanut Butter

I call these very peanut butter cookies because they’re packed with 2 cups of peanut butter in the dough. This is 2x the amount of my previous recipe AND they have less flour, so you can be sure today’s cookies are dense with flavor! They remind me of these peanut butter oatmeal cookies in terms of peanut butter flavor, but they don’t have the chewy oat texture.

By the way, did you know that nut butter can take the place of flour in some recipes? These flourless almond butter cookies require just 5 ingredients. Almond butter provides enough structure and stability so there’s no need for any flour at all. If you’re looking for a gluten free peanut butter cookie, use that recipe and replace the almond butter with peanut butter.

Here’s What You’ll Love:

  • Crumbly edges
  • Packed with flavor
  • Extra soft
  • Crisp sugar coating
  • Easy straightforward recipe

My first piece of advice… make a double batch so you can freeze the cookie dough. No need to thaw, just bake for an extra minute or two. You never know when a cookie emergency will rear its head. You might not have time to make cookies from scratch, but you’ll have frozen peanut butter cookie dough. That’s a lifesaver!

peanut butter cookie dough

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies

The cookie dough comes together in about 10 minutes.

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together. You need flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together. Make sure the butter is cool to touch, not overly warm or melted. Here’s what room temperature butter really means. Use more granulated sugar than brown sugar. When making chocolate chip cookies, I always prefer to use more brown sugar than white sugar because it produces a softer cookie. With peanut butter cookies, however, the peanut butter already makes the cookies soft. More brown sugar made them EXTRA soft, so they fell apart. Too much of a good thing.
  3. Beat in eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Chill the cookie dough. Chilling the cookie dough is important, but this dough is thick so it doesn’t need hours inside the refrigerator. A quick 1 hour of chilling will prevent the cookies from over-spreading.
  6. Roll into balls and coat with sugar. Each dough ball is about 1.5 Tablespoons. Roll each into granulated sugar for an extra sparkly crunch!
  7. Indent fork marks on top for that classic peanut butter criss-cross cookie.
  8. Bake until the edges are set, about 12 minutes.

 

 

Cookie dough balls

criss cross peanut butter cookies

Best Peanut Butter for Cookies

The most common mistake with peanut butter cookies is using the wrong type of peanut butter. The BEST peanut butter for cookies is a processed creamy peanut butter, preferably Jif or Skippy. (Those are my preferred brands for baking.) Natural-style peanut butter is my choice for eating, but it just doesn’t produce the same type of cookie as its processed counterpart. Natural peanut butter lends dry, crumbly cookies. I recommend processed peanut butter for my peanut butter blossoms and peanut butter jam thumbprints too.

If you prefer peanut chunks, use Jif or Skippy crunchy. See recipe note.

Want to add extra peanut flavor? Go for it! Fold 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts or peanut butter chips into the cookie dough.

stack of peanut butter cookies

I’ve made hundreds of different cookie recipes and I say with 100% confidence that these are the best traditional peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had. And I know you’ll agree!

More No-Fail Cookie Recipes

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peanut butter cookies

Very Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 40 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Packed with double the peanut butter, these very peanut butter cookies boast a dense flavor, remarkably soft texture, thick center, and a deliciously crumbly edge. Chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour to prevent excess spreading.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (310g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (500g) creamy peanut butter*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar for rolling
  • optional: 1/2 cup (65g) finely chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, then beat on high speed until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, add the peanuts, if using. Dough will be thick and soft.
  4. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator (and up to 2-3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and then roll the balls in granulated sugar. Use a fork to make a crisscross indent on top of each. Bake each batch for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls, without sugar coating, freeze well for up to 3 months. Let frozen cookie dough balls sit on the counter for 30 minutes, roll in sugar, indent a crisscross pattern with a fork, then bake for an extra minute. No need to completely thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Peanut Butter: It’s best to use a processed peanut butter like Jif creamy or Skippy creamy. I do not suggest using natural style, oily peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter adds peanut chunks as well as a more crumbly texture. I prefer to use creamy in this recipe.
  3. Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.

Keywords: peanut butter, cookies, Christmas cookies

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196 Comments

  1. Garry Navin-Barker says:

    The cookies turned out great! Thank you! Have tried 3-4 of your recipes, always amazing!

    1. Wendy Smith says:

      My family absolutely loved this cookie recipe! Even my husband who originally said he does not like peanut butter cookies. Well now he does! Because I like crisp cookies, I added a couple of minutes to one tray and both cookie times produced a excellent cookie. Very rich and creamy so you only really need one……..ty

  2. What if I only have dark brown sugar ? Should there be an adjustment in measurement or will it still
    Work with the 3/4 cup

    1. This is my favorite PB cookie, I’ve made them twice, they are delicious. I don’t used sugar when I make the indents, just because they are less messy when eating
      Great recipe, thanks for putting it out hete

  3. Best peanut butter cookies EVER!!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  4. Hi! I only had natural creamy peanut butter so thats what I used. I put the dough in the fridge and plan to bake tomorrow. Any recommendations for baking to avoid the crumbly/dry cookies that you warned might happen when using natural pb? I want them to be soft and chewy inside!
    Thanks!

    1. Natural peanut butter can cause the cookies to be dry because of the oil content. You can try to slightly under bake the cookies but it will depend on how oily your peanut butter was.

      1. I used Adams PB and followed the instructions to use two whole cups of PB in the recipe. The cookies would not hold. I had crank up the oven to 375 to bake them 15 minutes and not touch them and then store them very carefully. Too much PB (natural or unnatural) in the recipe.

    2. Linda Hicka says:

      I first off- best pbutter cookies ever. My 2nd batch I used 1C creamy + 1C crunchy. They were much more crumbly. People loved the bit of crunch, but they fell apart. What addition will help bind them for next time? Extra egg?

      1. Maybe just mix in chopped peanuts to the regular recipe?

  5. These cookies are awesome! Very crumbly when freshly baked but after sitting in the container on the counter for a couple of days they are perfect. I kept some dough aside, rolled them and have them in the freezer. I’m sure they won’t be there long… . Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Safiyya Hawa says:

    My kids loved it and once he took a bite he new I got the recipe by you that’s how much he loved watching all your videos and learning from you thank you for what you do.

  7. Marcy Sno says:

    I love this recipe! I tried others but none hold a candle to this one! Each batch I bake gets better and better. Thank you! I even tried it with the oily peanut butter and they turned out great! I did pay attention to your suggestion by using less brown sugar ,chilling the dough, and less cook time. That seemed to do the trick. I appreciate all your tips. Thanks again Sally!

  8. I love PB cookies and this recipe exceeded my expectations. The texture of these were beautiful: delicately soft (not crumbly) with a light crunch on the exterior. I will be making these again, for sure! Thank you!

  9. Felicia B says:

    Finally a peanut butter cookie that tastes like peanut butter!
    We baked 8 cookies and I froze the remaining dough. So happy to have them on hand for when a craving strikes.

  10. Laurie Lehman says:

    I always eat Smart Balance Creamy or Chunky Peanut Butter. I don’t believe it falls into the “natural peanut butter” category. I have used for making peanut blossoms and don’t think any issue with final cookie. You suggest Skippy or Jif for your recipe. Do you feel any major difference using Smart Balance?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Laurie, I haven’t personally tested this recipe with Smart Balance creamy. I include the peanut butters I’ve tested and I know work. Feel free to use it and let me know how they turn out!

  11. Loren E. Clive says:

    Really awesome! Melts in your mouth. I used only 1c of sugar, oily natural peanut butter and added 2 teaspoons cinnamon, which you really couldn’t taste due to the big peanut flavor. I also used King Arthur’s white whole wheat all purpose flour cause I like my baked goods whole grain. 12 [email protected] convection oven. Thank you, Sally, for sharing your always reliable recipes and expertise!

  12. Hi Sally – do you think I could mix in chocolate chips? Thanks!!

    1. Yes, you can add 1 cup of your favorite add-ins like chocolate chips. Enjoy!

  13. Terrific peanut butter taste…just what I was hoping to find with using 2 cups of peanut butter. Living at high altitude (4500 feet), I made no changes; receipe worked just fine as is. MY OBSERVATION: I made 2 batches; one batch using Skippy CREAMY PB; and the other batch using Skippy CRUNCHY PB. The cookies using the CREAMY PB came out picture perfect and DELICIOUS!! On the other hand, the cookies using the CRUNCHY PB came out drier and crumbly. I do not know my cookie science so am unable to say why this happens.

  14. Jack & Carol says:

    Sally, awesome recipe, thank you.

  15. I was using the crunchy JIF I had, and they turned out delicious. Also, I made a mistake on one of the later sheets of rolled balls by forgetting to smash with a fork and liked them “fluffy” better! Taking out of the oven at 11 mins just before looking golden and letting them set on the cookie sheet a few minutes was the best soft cookies based on my oven.

  16. I made these cookies to get rid of some natural chunky peanut butter. I read the notes and advice – strained the chunks out ( will use in Thai cooking later) and refrigerated the dough overnight. The cookies turned out lovely! If they are drier than that with traditional peanut butter, I know my cookie eaters will not complain – because they have a good flavor and are not too sweet. Many thanks!

  17. Debra Creswell says:

    There’s nothing like baking to keep you humble! I bake cookies all the time, but haven’t made PB in years so was on the lookout for a reliable recipe. I’m sorry to say we did not like this recipe at all…there is no chew to the cookie and it just crumbled. I never imagined a peanut butter cookie could be so dry with all that fat content. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was definitely not overbaked. I guess I have to keep looking for that chewy PB cookie from my childhood.

  18. Hi! How do you freeze dough? What type of container and how long will the dough last?

    1. Hi Jessica, Here is everything you need to know about How to Freeze Cookie Dough!

  19. Amazing

  20. Another great recipe of yours. Excellent cookies

  21. Maggie Boyle says:

    Best peanut butter cookies I have ever made and I have made many in my 73 years. I shared some with a friend and she is now requesting I make more. I have also make a few of your cakes and frostings for birthdays of friends and everything has been a hit. Thank you for sharing with us.

  22. Hey Sally, if I wanted to make half the number of cookies this recipe yields (say, closer to 20 than 40) would I just halve ALL the ingredients?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes – just divide the entire recipe in half. Enjoy!

  23. I am wondering why my cookies spread A LOT? I followed the recipe precisely. Also, I baked it for longer than usual (20-23 minutes) because 12-13 mins they looked super underbaked. I measured the ingredients with a digital kitchen scale, I used softened butter, and I chilled the dough overnight. My oven temperature isn’t automatic setting so I adjust and keep an eye on it every now and then. I weighed each cookie to 50g too. What could have possibly gone wrong?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Josie, Did they look like they spread when you checked them at the 12 minute mark? When these are finished in the oven they will be very lightly browned on the sides but the centers will look very soft. If they spread after that they were simply overbaked. For more troubleshooting tips you can visit the post 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading.

  24. Aisha Qayum says:

    Can I use coconut oil in place of butter?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aisha, Solid coconut oil should work as a substitute.

  25. Hi,
    The peanut butter I will be using is organic Kirkland (from Costco). I saw your comments regarding too much oil making the cookies crumble. Could I cut down on the butter in the recipe to try and alleviate this issue?

    1. Hi Najla, that peanut butter should be fine to use without any changes to the recipe.

  26. Laurie jennings says:

    These were absolutely the perfect peanut butter cookie. So good! I am using a oven thermometer now and it has made a big difference in my baking. Thank you for the best peanut butter cookie recipe.

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