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 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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144 Comments

  1. I’m not big on peanut butter cookies but these are absolutely to die for! I’ve had requests from several people since I first made them about a month ago for the first time for more. I think in this last month I have made at least 6 batches of these cookies, and none of them were for my household! I do have one person asking if I can make them less sweet, if I use less sugar will that ruin the cookie?

    1. I’m thrilled that these are such a hit, Cherie! Sugar in a recipe is certainly for taste but it’s also required for the correct texture and helps the cookies spread. You can however skip rolling the cookies in the sugar in step 6 to make them less sweet.

  2. Sally, a neighbor who is battling cancer loves peanut butter cookies. Can I also make a half a batch of these? Thank you so much!

  3. I made this recipe today for a neighbor & it was wonderful! I look forward to getting other recipes that you have! Joyce

  4. Thank you, Sally, for an incredible recipe! I have a severe peanut allergy but substituting soy butter 1:1 gave excellent results, and I now have some understanding of why people love PB cookies so much 🙂 The recipe is a fantastic discovery for those with allergies and for kids who attend schools with a nut-free lunchroom policy.

  5. Made this yesterday and they were perfect! Question though – what’s the trick to getting the nice ‘fork” indent in the cookies? Mine were nowhere near as pretty as yours!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Tracy! Did you roll the dough balls in sugar? The sugar will help the fork not stick to the dough when making the markings. Also be sure the dough is still cold – if it warmed up when you were rolling them you can pop them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes before using a fork on the top.

      1. I did not roll in sugar so I will try that with the second batch sitting in the freezer! I want mine to look as pretty as yours! Thank you!

    2. Tracy if you did not roll the cookies in sugar, you can just dip your fork in a little flour when making the prints on the cookies. This is a trick my Mum taught me when making her PB cookies

  6. Great recipe! I made 2 of your recipes today, this one and the corn, chicken chowder. Both were a hit. Everyone of your recipes I’ve tried have been great! Thank you!

    1. I found this recipe this summer and have made them several times and it’s the only peanut butter cookie recipe I’ll ever use! My husband loves anything peanut butter and asks me to make these cookies all the time. I’m baking these delicious cookies right now to add to my goodie boxes I give to family and friends at Christmas with cookies, candies and fudge.

  7. Of course these came out great! They are less sweet than my normal Betty Crocker goto recipe and I was nervous about the amount of PB and while they were definitely more peanutbuttery, they were not overpowering in flavor either. I liked them.. they were big, soft but also had a small crunch to them.. These are my new favorites. Thank You!

  8. This turned out delicious. I never rolled peanut butter cookies in sugar before and it makes adding knife marks much more easier than the old flour method. And I actually made 48 cookies. This recipe is a keeper. Bake for 12 minutes exactly.

  9. Say I have to make it with Skippy Natural because someone has a soy allergy…do you have a recommendation on how to counter the natural style peanut butter’s tendency towards more crumbly cookies?

  10. I made a batch, dropped some off at a friend’s cabin. Before I got to the gate of the acreage, I had a text praising the cookies and begging for more. They are really delicious. About to make another batch. Thanks for the great recipe.
    Dez

  11. My husband and 4 year old granddaughter love these cookies, and I like that they have more protein with the extra peanut butter. Could I skip the step flattening with a fork and add a chocolate kiss after baking? My hubby loves peanut butter blossoms.

  12. Oh Sally! I have used the same peanut butter cookie recipe from my grandmother for over 50 years, I decided to try yours and to avoid having to chill dough. I added about 1/4 cup more . I worked fabulously and the cookies????? Best we have ever eaten! Thank you so very much for sharing this delightful recipe! Have a Blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday from us here in Georgia! 🙂

  13. These are so good. In fact, I love all your recipes. I just bought your “Cookie Addiction” book and I have been making cookie dough and freezing it to bake for Christmas. Of course, all my favorite recipes are coming from you. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  14. I love the recipe but beg you all to skip the Skippy and the Jiff. They are only creamy because they contain palm oil. Do we really need softer cookies at the expense of our rainforests? Or the lives of innocent orangutans? I vote for organic palm oil-free peanut butter. There are lots of brands out there that skip the palm oil but also don’t need stirring. ✌️

  15. Made these last nite….yummmi…love the extra PB…i tucked a couple choc.chip chunks into them while cooling…i know were supposed to share… lol… but…yummi…they cooled quick out on deck …wisconsin winters…like having extra freezer…

  16. I just wanted to say thanks for this recipe. My wife is currently deployed to Iraq with the Navy and when I asked what kind of cookies I could send for her and her crew she said peanut butter. I found this recipe and made a double batch this evening. They are delicious with a lot of peanut butter flavor! I also read your tips and tricks for better cookies and learned a lot. Thank you so much!

  17. This recipe produces THE perfect peanut butter cookie – in form and flavor! Thank you, Sally!
    It is ten days before Christmas, and would recommend freezing them, or packing in tins. I appreciate your advice. If freezing, can you suggest how?
    Thank you, and have a beautiful holiday !

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy it, Jo! Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you are making them today for Christmas I would freeze them. You can read about how I freeze both cookie dough and baked cookies in this post.

  18. I wrote a bad review for these cookies and its not published. So does this mean you only publish the good reviews? HMMM…

    1. Deania, I see no pending reviews for this cookie recipe besides this one where you are accusatory. Sorry you weren’t a fan. Thanks so much!

  19. This past summer I made this recipe for the first time while visiting the grandchildren. The cookies disappeared so quickly I repeated the process the next day before heading home. Everyone LOVED them. Well done Sally. Today I am making them again for Christmas 2019. Going to put chocolate chips in some of the batch and will let you know how them are received.

  20. Results: Taking an excellent Peanut Butter cookie and adding chocolate chips was less than expected, much less. I should of known better….

  21. There were a hit at work! And that was only a half batch. I do not roll mine in sugar and still were great! They loved the ones that I topped with 5 chocolate chips and then cooked them and once cooled a tad and firmed up a bit, spread the chocolate like frosting while still melted. Made them again for neighbors today. This time was a whole batch!

    1. Hi Carol, What type of peanut butter did you use? Natural peanut butters can lead to a dry and crumbly cookie. It’s best to use a processed peanut butter like Jif creamy or Skippy creamy.

  22. Very easy to make and super yummy. They came out thick like I’ve been wanting. They are so good especially fresh out of the oven. I love this recipe.

  23. Baked these with my granddaughter. On Christmas night…
    Added mini chocolate chips and tasteless protein powder in one batch and another with white chocolate chips. Then froze 3 rolls for the kids to bake later. Easy recipe to follow and the taste was delicious.

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