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!

stack of 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 in a glass bowl

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.

 

 

peanut butter cookie dough balls on baking sheet

adding a criss cross to peanut butter cookies with a fork

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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stack of 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 (313g) 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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230 Comments

  1. I made these with crunchy peanut butter and without the sprinkled sugar. I like the frothy lightness of the batter, for cookies, and it certainly stiffens up to shape and fork-down after chilling. This took more than a full jar of peanut butter, which was great and it certainly tastes like it. I’ll make them again, and again.

    My only real concern here is the gadgetry. Silicone baking sheets (which off gas enough to kill a pet bird in the same room while baking) or wasting parchment paper? Why? I lifted the cookies off the sheet when they cooled, with my fingers, not even a spatula necessary. There is no mess. Why are we using toxic materials or wasting paper? Are we steep walking? July 2021 was the hottest on record. Fires are burning from Vancouver BC to the Sierra Nevada, historic towns have been burned off the face of the earth. Even Athens, Greece had fires on both sides. An island the size of Texas, full of plastic floats in the Pacific. Why are we baking on silicon and wasting paper? Shame.

    1. Silicone doesn’t off-gas; Teflon does. And it must not off-gas much as I’ve had birds all my life and Teflon pans all my life and no casualties.

      In my mind silicone mats are a great reusable product. And I love parchment paper too. Sometimes a clean silicone mat isn’t ready for use. The production and use of parchment paper isn’t responsible for an island of floating plastic in the ocean. We all can do more for our environment but misinformation and accusatory language doesn’t help. I hope you’re having a better day.

    2. Janet Oresick says:

      I use one piece of parchment paper for several batches of cookies, so I don’t think of it as being very wasteful. I have a fish spatula-metal-that I use for everything–especially cookies. I could just see using the spatula here and protecting my fingers. Why would I want to risk a burn or these delicious cookies falling apart because I chose not to use my metal spatula? I haven’t made these cookies yet…but the recipe looks like something I will enjoy!

  2. The flavor is good, but my cookies were big and puffy. My husband liked them more than I did, so I suspect I will make them again. I think I would prefer my cookies a bit thinner.

  3. Ashley Coughlin says:

    Can you use self rising flour

  4. These were a huge hit with my mom and dad(note: mom doesn’t even eat peanut butter). I did use natural no-stir because that was all I had on hand and withheld the salt. I did have to wait longer than usual to handle the cookies, and once they cooled, they didn’t crumble. Another one for my box, thank you!

    1. Sorry, forgot one very important note. .I did have to bake for 15 minutes.

  5. Smells great! Somehow my dough came out too crumbly. I can’t imagine adding more butter, it’s oily to the touch. Suggestions?

    1. Hi Ellie, did you use a natural style peanut butter by chance or processed? While I love natural peanut butters, processed peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy really is best for traditional peanut butter cookies like this recipe. How about adding a splash of milk to bring the dough together?

      1. Melan Lussier Finlen says:

        Everyone loves your Peanut Butter Cookie recipe! I’m starting a batch right now! Thank You for the double the peanut butter recipe. ⭐️

  6. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve used this peanut butter cookie recipe! the texture and flavor is absolutely perfect! i always have pre-made dough in my freezer, they are just that good. i always get so many compliments when I make these, thank you sally! 🙂

  7. Made this recipe and cookies turned out so crumbly you could not pick them up . They were so dry no one could eat them without having a glass of water to go along after each bite. Sorry.

  8. An absolute classic. Great consistency, just follow the directions exactly as written. Why add any item such as chips to these, detracting from the peanut butter heaven? I always use creamy Jif when making peanut butter cookies, which I’ve been making all my long life. It never fails. Now I can bake with my granddaughter! Sally, thank you for another great recipe and clear instructions.
    Amanda

  9. I made these cookies exact to recipe but added butterscotch chips. These are the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had! I live alone and they made so many I took some to work and my neighbors. Shaped the rest in balls rolled them in raw sugar and froze them. I just pull out a couple and bake when I have that sweet tooth. Perfect every time!!!

  10. Dough was dry, I should’ve added a bit of milk. I did bake 15 min. They look very cracked.. hope they hold together.

  11. the cooking time is too long; 16 minutes – compare this to the alton brown recipe, which uses similar ingredients and proportions and calls for the same temp, but only 10 minute…i have a wolf oven, 12 minutes is a better time for me.
    (and yet i ate the overdone ones)

  12. I had my own little peanut butter cookie competition and these cookies won hands down! Thanks for the great recipe and all the wisdom you shared with it! My grandchildren thank you as well!

  13. I finally placed the dough in the freezer yesterday. That was day 3.5 from the day I first made it. Do you think I saved it?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Suzanne, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  14. Hello Sally,
    Can Chocolate Chips be added to this recipe,
    If so how much would you recommend putting in the cookie dough recipe?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jessica, Absolutely — you can add 1 cup of your favorite add-ins like chocolate chips. You might also enjoy our Big Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies. Happy baking!

  15. Great recipe. I used natural organic peanut butter and my cookies came out perfect. Also added chocolate chips & chopped peanuts on top before baking. As usual Sally’s recipes are the best!

  16. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe I made a double batch and they turned out perfect such a great peanut butter taste the texture was awesome thank you so much

  17. Hello Sally. I made a double batch of these wonderful cookies yesterday. I froze most of the dough ( per your instructions) to save for Christmas cookie time.
    Have you ever made this recipe with mini chocolate chips? Wondering how they would be and how much.
    Thanks for the great recipe
    Patricia

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patricia, absolutely — you can add 1 cup of your favorite add-ins like chocolate chips. You might also enjoy our Big Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies. Happy baking!

  18. The whole batch has a bitter taste. I’m thinking because the amount of baking soda especially with the bank powder is too much.

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