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

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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 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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139 Comments

  1. I love Peanut Butter Cookies, but I hate PB, I know it’s weird but it’s the truth. I haven’t tried your recipe yet because I am nervous about the amount of PB in the recipe. The only PB cookies I’ve ever eaten or made are my Mum’s, and of course it has a lot of ingredients. Yours sound a lot simpler and more straight forward, and after reading all of the great reviews I think I will try making a batch and see if I like them, if not I’m sure my Grandkids will love them!

      1. Hi Sally,
        So I made the cookies today and I actually made the recipe twice because I thought I had done something wrong with the first batch, so I made it a second time and it turned out the same. I did not refrigerate the batter first as it did not appear to need to be put there. I also did not use parchment paper. I baked them for 10 minutes first, but they were still a little under so I put them back for another couple of minutes, and the rest of the batches were baked at 12 minutes. The cookies tasted very familiar to me, but were quite dry, even trying the second batch at 10 minutes. I decided to get my Mum’s recipe out as I hadn’t baked anything since my husband passed away a couple of years ago. So it turns out that my Mum’s recipe is very similar to yours except for a few things. She used only a half cup less peanut butter, 3 eggs instead of 2 and shortening instead of butter, and there is icing sugar (you may call it confectioners sugar, same thing) in her recipe also. So I made her recipe as well and I have to say that, while I like yours, hers has a much more melt in your mouth texture. So I think I will stick with Mum’s, but thank you so much for sharing. It has certainly got me back into baking which is something I always loved doing.

  2. I made these cookies for all my friends at dialysis and they just loved them. This recipe is amazing good. Thank so much for sharing it.

  3. Made 100% as-is and it’s perfect. You’ve gotta weigh your flour or you’re most likely going to have too much. I admit I was worried they were dry when I tasted them hot out of the oven, but once they were all the way cooled and especially the next day they are the furthest thing from dry. A lot of reviews said they needed longer than 10-12 min, but then said they were dry. Trust the recipe. Take them out at 11, they will not look done, but they’ll be perfect. I tested baking three ways: just scooping the dough, flattening but no sugar, and rolling in sugar and flattening as written. As written was hands down the best. Don’t change a thing and you’ll be greatly rewarded folks.

  4. I made these cookies for my family and they loved the flavor, but as soon as they bit into the cookie they crumbled like sand. I was hoping you could provide some insight as to why that might be.

    1. Hi Lily, I’m happy to help. Make sure that you’re not over-baking the cookies and use processed peanut butter. Though I love natural style, it’s just not the best option to use in cookies.

  5. I made these over the weekend! It was a bit of a struggle getting my butter to the perfect temperature, so I think it impacted the moisture in the cookie, and unfortunately I did not have enough vanilla left. I found these a bit salty! Next time I may skip the salt all together as peanut butter tends to have salt in it already. It is so important to take these out of the oven in a timely fashion or they will be dry. Definitely will be retrying this recipe with a few tweaks.

  6. Do you think I could use this recipe with the chocolate hearts to make Peanut Butter Sweethearts? I have made these peanut butter cookies before without the heart and they are delicious!!

  7. If you were going to add the chopped peanuts, should I use salted or unsalted peanuts? Or what chopped nuts would you suggest?

    1. You can use either salted or unsalted peanuts, depending if you like salty/sweet cookies. (I always prefer salted for a little salty/sweet kick!)

  8. I’m making these now and they are chilling in the fridge. When you say to use 1 1/2 Tablespoons to roll into balls – do you have a video or pic that explains exactly what you mean? I’m a visual learner and I’m also very black and white so I don’t know if I’m suppose to be literally using a measuring spoon and make it level or just using a heaping measuring spoon. I know this is probably common sense to most but I wanted to double check. Thank you! This is the 4th recipe that I am trying – love your site!!

    1. Hi Nancy! Yes, use a measuring spoon and measure 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of cookie dough then roll into a ball. You can just make it 1 heaping Tablespoon OR 1 Tablespoon + 1-2 teaspoons of cookie dough. A medium cookie scoop measures 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons, so that is helpful as well!

  9. Best ever , go and make some like right now
    Bakery quality cookies
    Super easy, packed with flavour
    Hold their shape

  10. Love this recipe!! I’ve always been a big fan of peanut butter cookies and this recipe is hands down the best I ever used. Thanks so much for posting! I will be using this recipe for now on.

  11. I so wanted to love these since I am a fan of all of your cookie recipes.

    But these were TOO peanut buttery and I had to drink milk after each bite just to get it down to swallow. Cookies had to bake longer like other posters said and the flavor was lacking. I will stick with your classic peanut butter recipe. Still adore you!

  12. I made the Very Peanut Butter Cookies tonight and they turned out fantastic . These are the best PB cookies ever. Thank you for a great recipe. It’s a keeper!

    1. If your cashew butter is thick and creamy and not oily it should be ok. I haven’t tested it though so let me know how it turns out!

  13. I tried this recipe today. The dough was rather crumbly, and the baked cookies crumbled, too. They were good, but I would not try this recipe again.

    1. Hi Linda, What type of peanut butter did you use? The BEST peanut butter for cookies is a processed creamy peanut butter, preferably Jif or Skippy. (Those are my preferred brands for baking.) Natural peanut butter lends dry, crumbly cookies.

  14. Delish. Everyone loved them made them 2x in 3 days. Followed the recipe exactly. Used jif crunchy pb. Thank you!

  15. Made these cookies tonight exactly as the recipe states, used Skippy PB As recommended, but they have turned out a bit sandy as other reviewers have mentioned. Tasty but quite dry…not sure where it went wrong?

    1. Hi C! This recipe is from a few other peanut butter cookie recipes I have up my sleeve (highly loved!) and the general consensus– and I agree– is that these cookies can quickly dry out if they’re over-baked. Keep a close eye on them and when the edges are JUST set, remove them from the oven. The centers will continue to cook as the cookies cool on the baking sheets.

  16. Made these earlier today, they are sooooo good. Made sure not over-bake them after reading these comments, they came out perfect. Thank you for sharing!

  17. By far the best peanut butter cookies we’ve ever tasted. And the most peanut butter we’ve used in acookie recipe too! We’re going to try the peanut butter chunk ones with the peanuts and chocolate chips next. Thanks SAlly!

  18. Just finished cooling- followed recipe exactly- these are delicious- so peanut buttery! I baked with convection @ 325 for 12 minutes- very good!

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