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.

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

Want to add extra peanut flavor? Go for it! Fold 1 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

Print
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 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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81 Comments

  1. Hey Sally! Infinite thanks for sharing your recipes…..your website is my first destination for anything that I endeavour to bake and I am immensely grateful to you for all the inspiration!
    Please clarify whether these cookies are to be indented with a fork at the ball stage prior to baking (as per your notes) or soon after they bake when still soft to take in the indents (as suggested by the photos above)? Thanks a ton!
    Cheers!
    Nona

      1. So should the cookie dough balls be flattened out a bit before baking to create the criss cross indents? Thanks

      2. Hi Nona, Do you see the photo above where I’m pushing the fork into the dough? It will flatten the balls out some when you do this!

    1. Making cookies now. They are great. Did not have brown sugar and had to make with maple syrup. Put choc chips in and they are so good. Had to cook longer for first batch, but soo good. Thanks

  2. Hi Sally. Your recipe is very similar to the one I use, mine has half the leavening (on both leaveners,) same amount of flour, 1 1/4 cups PB, 1/4 cup more brown sugar. But I add 1 1/4 cups chopped dry roasted peanuts. YUM!!! I am definitely going to try your recipe with even more peanut butter. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. BTW, I read that you prefer Jif or Skippy. I prefer Jif, I find that Skippy causes too much spread, and is sweeter. My personal preference for any baked good that less sweet is better, so if you want a sweeter cookie, use Skippy.

  4. These are great ! Hubby loved them , and after 47 years of my recipe , that’s saying
    Something . Thank you for sharing and keep the delicious recipes coming !!

  5. two quick questions: 1. can I use light peanut butter?( it worked great in your peanut butter frosting recipe, by the way) and 2. can I add mini chocolate chips in?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Light peanut butter should work as long as it has the same creamy consistency! And yes, you can add 1 cup of your favorite add-ins like chocolate chips. Enjoy!

  6. Made these today after reading the email subject line. You had me at very peanut butter! They did not disappoint! Definitely will make again and again. Kudos for her another winning recipe and thank you for sharing it.

  7. Whenever I make peanut butter cookies for my grandson, I always add more peanut butter than what the recipe calls for. Definitely going to make these cookies and will let you know how they turn out. Thanks again for another great recipe.

  8. No kidding, these are the best peanut butter cookies we’ve tried. I love the chunk version with the chocolate chips too. Great recipe Sally!!

  9. Sally I love your recipes, I have found out being RETIRED BAKER that to keep my cookies soft and fresh is to put two pieces of bread on top of a sheet of wax paper that is placed on your cookies. I use this a lot because of the holidays when I do a lot of baking. Have you ever tried that?

    1. Hi George – thanks for the great tip! Cookies usually don’t last that long in my house but I have heard from other bakers who do this to keep their cookies fresh longer!

  10. Hi Sally! Made these tonight – delicious!! Any reason you recommend not rolling in sugar before freezing?

  11. Hi Sally, do you have a recipe for crispy peanut butter cookies? I’m looking for a similar flavor profile ie super peanut buttery but want the crispy texture. Thanks.

  12. I LOVE the Big Bakery PB Cookies — the texture, the crunch of the peanuts and intense PB flavor. These sound a bit similar in texture so I’m hoping for some suggestions to make them chewier. All white sugar and 1 egg? Would really appreciate your input.

    1. Hi Lori! This is actually the same recipe minus the chocolate chips and peanuts. 🙂 If you’d still like them chewier, though, you could try adding another egg.

  13. Hi Sally, these peanut butter cookies were delicious! Another success! I followed all your instructions and tips. They needed to bake a couple extra minutes, but turned out perfectly once they cooled! I love your recipes, videos, and detailed instructions. My next challenge is to make homemade pie crusts!

  14. Why would chunky peanut butter make these more crumbly when you have an option of adding chopped peanuts and that wouldn’t make it crumbly?

    1. Hi Michelle! Chunky peanut butter isn’t as creamy– it’s firmer, so the consistency of the cookies will be different. Adding peanuts directly to the dough doesn’t change the texture of it. Hope this helps!

  15. Awesome, as all of your cookie recipes are! I didn’t even chill the dough and they were thick and so soft. I always use your chocolate chunk cookie recipe and decided to try a copycat Levain bakery cookie from another website. Not even close to your chocolate chip cookies. Will not do that again!

  16. Love PB cookies. Haven’t made them in sooo long though. My mom used to work for Girl Scouts and if they didn’t use all the goverment food for the camp they would give them less the next year. So at the end of the camp season she would always bring home a giant can of PB. I always thought it made the best cookies. Can’t wait to try this recipe:)

  17. HI Sally,
    Is there any way to make these Keto friendly? I miss my sweets and you are the only one I trust to come up with a delicious alternative. I know that isn’t your field, but I thought I would throw it out there. Thanks! Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I know many people follow the Keto diet but I have never tried it so I’m unsure of the nutritional requirements to know how to alter a recipe to fit.

  18. I made these and chilled the dough and wished that I hadn’t. I found the cookies quite dry so I’m wondering how to combat that? Larger cookies? Less baking time?
    I have made so many of your recipes and they are fantastic! My first disappointment.

    1. Hi Robin! Happy to help. Make sure you’re using creamy peanut butter (not natural style). Spoon and level the flour and avoid over-baking. You can add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk to the dough if needed. Next time you can slightly under-bake to avoid drying out, too.

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