These are the softest, thickest peanut butter cookies! You need just 9 ingredients for the base recipe, and it can be adapted in so many ways to make different variations (see post above). Do not skip chilling the dough.
- 1 and 1/3 cups (170g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup (100g) for rolling
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (about 185g) creamy peanut butter (see note)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on high speed until creamy. Switch to medium-high speed and beat in the brown sugar and 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar until completely creamed and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. The dough will be very creamy and soft. Cover and chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1–2 hours, and up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Roll & coat the dough: Place remaining 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar into a bowl. Roll chilled cookie dough into balls, about 1 scant Tablespoon (5/8 ounce or 18g) of dough each. Roll each ball in the sugar and arrange on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to make a criss-cross indent on top of each. To prevent the cookies from over-spreading, after indenting the cookies, use your fingers to reshape into a thicker disc (since indenting the balls flattened them out).
- Bake for 11–12 minutes or until the edges appear set and are very lightly browned. The centers will still look very soft.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make-ahead instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 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. See How to Freeze Cookie Dough for more success tips.
- Peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter is ideal for this recipe because crunchy peanut butter creates an overly crumbly cookie. You can use processed peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy, or natural-style peanut butter. If using natural peanut butter, make sure it’s at room temperature, stirred well, and expect a slightly crumblier cookie. 3/4 cup of peanut butter weighs anywhere between 185–195g.
- Can I use almond butter? Yes, you can use almond butter in this cookie recipe; however, expect a crumblier cookie. You may enjoy these flourless almond butter cookies more, though!
- Can I add chocolate chips or other add-ins? Yes, in step 3 after the dry and wet ingredients come together, you can fold in 1 cup add-ins like chocolate chips (180g), peanut butter chips (180g), or chopped salted or unsalted peanuts (150g). Skip indenting the cookies with a fork.
Keywords: peanut butter cookies