This is the BEST peanut butter cookie recipe ever! These classic, soft peanut butter cookies are easy to make, loaded with peanut butter, and will definitely become your new favorite peanut butter cookie recipe! Learn how to make peanut butter cookies by following our step-by-step instructions and watching the video!
If you've been searching for the best peanut butter cookie recipe, then look no further. Say hello to the most amazing peanut butter cookies EVER. With twice the amount of peanut butter as butter, these soft peanut butter cookies have a rich peanut butter taste and irresistibly soft texture!
If you know me at all then you know I take both my cookie and peanut butter consumption very seriously. I set out to create the absolute best peanut butter cookies 15 years ago, and today I'm sharing my recipe with you!
Truth be told, due to the popularity of our famous Chocolate Chip Cookies, and the fact that peanut butter is my favorite food, I have had many requests for a classic peanut butter cookie recipe! These easy peanut butter cookies are soft, buttery sweet and salty cookie perfection. They're easy to make and even easier to eat! Plus they have a secret ingredient (cinnamon) that sets them apart from the rest!
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe: Ingredients
Let's start by chatting about the ingredients in this peanut butter cookie recipe!
- Butter. I use salted butter to make these peanut butter cookies. Unsalted butter also works well, you may just need to increase the amount of sea salt.
- Peanut Butter. I recommend using a variety of peanut butter that is solid at room temperature (Jif, Skippy, Skippy Natural, etc.).
Can you use natural peanut butter in cookies?
Yes, but be aware that the cookies may spread more and be more on the crispy side than the soft side. Also, many natural peanut butters are unsalted, so you may need to increase the amount of salt int he recipe by ¼ tsp.
- Egg. I have not tried making this recipe with an egg substitute, so if you do let me know in the comments below!
- Milk. Any type of milk works excellently in this recipe. I typically use whole milk because it's what we buy. However 2%, whole, and half-and-half have all worked well for us!
- Vanilla Extract. Please only use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best taste!
- Brown Sugar. I recommend light brown sugar for this peanut butter cookie recipe! However if you like a little bolder, molasses taste then you can try dark brown sugar!
- Granulated Sugar. Organic cane sugar is my granulated sugar of choice, but regular granulated sugar works perfectly!
- Cinnamon. Ok, I truly believe the touch of cinnamon sets these peanut butter cookies apart from the rest. I do not recommend leaving it out, as it greatly enhances the flavor!
- Sea salt. I only ever bake with pure, fine sea salt. If you are using iodized salt I recommend decreasing the amount of salt by ½.
How to make the best peanut butter cookies
Now that we've chatted about the ingredients, let's dive into how to make peanut butter cookies! Start by making sure the ingredients are room temperature! This ensures they are easy to mix together and the dough is the proper texture!
Combine butter & peanut butter
Start by beating the softened butter and peanut butter together until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. This step is important to ensure there are no lumps of cold butter in the dough!
Add wet ingredients
Next add milk, egg and vanilla and beat again until the mixture is light and fluffy and homogenous (uniform throughout).
Next, beat in the brown and granulated sugars until they dissolve and the mixture is light and fluffy. You may need to scrape down the sides
Mix in dry ingredients
You can either mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before you begin the rest of the recipe - which I recommend to ensure even distribution, or just toss them into the mixer on top of the beaten wet ingredients. Either way, beat them in until they are just combined and the dough is uniform throughout.
Add mix-ins (optional)
If you want to add some mix-ins, now is the time to do it! Toss about 1 cup of mix-ins into the dough and stir to combine. Here are some suggestions:
- chocolate chips
- peanut butter chips
- cinnamon chips
- chopped peanuts
- mini peanut butter cups
- Reese's pieces
I tried making a peanut butter cookie recipe that didn't require chilling, I really did. However I found that in order to achieve the best peanut butter flavor and texture, chilling is necessary.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the dough to an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes (or overnight).
Why should you refrigerate peanut butter cookie dough before baking?
Since there is double the amount of peanut butter as there is butter in this peanut butter cookie recipe, chilling helps solidify the fat (peanut butter and butter) and keeps the cookies from spreading too much when baking. It also makes for a chewier cookie that holds up better after it has cooled.
Measure out dough
Use a 1 ½ to 2 TBS cookie scoop and measure out the dough. I recommend using a cookie scoop because it ensures all the peanut butter cookies are the same size and bake evenly! Roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball and place them evenly spaced on a large cookie sheet.
Make a criss cross pattern on top
Use a fork to make a criss cross pattern on the top of each peanut butter cookie, gently pressing it down!
Why do peanut butter cookies have fork marks?
This peanut butter cookie dough is denser than other cookie dough due to the fact that there is double the amount of peanut butter as there is butter. This makes the peanut butter cookie dough a little harder to bake all the way through.
Pressing the cookie dough down with a fork while making a criss cross pattern flattens the cookie dough and makes them bake more evenly.
Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
NOTE. ALL ovens bake differently.
I use a convection oven which uses a fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the oven. My convection oven in our new house bakes differently than my convection oven did in our old house. I had to learn it's "baking personality" when we moved in and figure out the best way to use it.
That being said, make sure you know your oven. Invest in a cheap oven thermometer to check the temperature and ensure the internal temperature is actually the temperature to which the oven is set. If your oven is baking too hot or too cold, then the cookies will not turn out well.
Cool & Enjoy!
For the best texture, let these soft peanut butter cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I find these are even better the second day, because they have had a chance to firm up. However, I am weak, and can never resist a warm peanut butter cookie fresh from the oven!
FAQs about peanut butter cookies
Here are my answers to a few frequently ask questions about how to make peanut butter cookies!
You can freeze the baked peanut butter cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer!
However, I prefer to freeze the peanut butter cookie dough, rather than baked cookies. To do this follow these instructions:
Roll the peanut butter cookie dough into balls
Place dough balls onto a cooking sheet
Flash-freeze them in the freezer until hard.
transfer to an airtight, freezer-friendly container or ziplock back and store until ready to bake.
To bake peanut butter cookie dough: remove cookie dough from freezer and let come to room temperature, then follow recipe instructions for the criss cross pattern and baking.
Store these soft peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. You can also put them on a plate wrapped with plastic wrap to give to friends as a gift for the holidays! The beauty of these peanut butter cookies is that they actually still taste amazing on day 2-5 since they are so soft and chewy!
These soft peanut butter cookies are done with the edges look set, the cookies are slightly browned, the cookies have puffed up a little bit and begun to crack slightly.
More cookie recipes
Like I said, we take cookies seriously around here. Here are some of our favorite cookie recipes:
- The BEST chocolate chip cookies EVER - no chilling, no funny ingredients. Just a simple, straightforwardly delicious cookie that turns out perfectly every time.
- These peanut butter oatmeal cookies are the best!
- Our Double Chocolate Chip Cookies have three different forms of chocolate!
- These cut-out sugar cookies are our family's favorite to make at Christmas time!
- These Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies are my favorite Christmas cookies!
- Who can resist a snickerdoodle cookie?! This is my grandma's recipe and it's the BEST.
- And gingerbread cookies, another soft chewy version of a Christmas classic that is truly the best!
- You have to try our Oatmeal Cookie Recipe - it's seriously the BEST!
- These snowball cookies are a Christmas classic!
If you make something from Joyfoodsunshine, don't forget to rate the recipe & leave a comment below! Follow along with me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter and tag your photos #joyfoodsunshine @joyfoodsunshine!
Peanut Butter Cookies
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth.
- Add sugars and beat until combined.
- Add eggs, vanilla and milk and beat for 30-60 seconds on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and sugar is dissolved.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.
- If desired, add chocolate chips or other mix-ins and stir until combined.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes in an airtight container.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Use a cookie scoop to measure 1 ½ to 2 TBS dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Place 12 cookies on each large baking sheet.
- Use a fork to gently press a crisscross pattern into the top of each cookie.
- Bake in preheated oven for approximately 9-10 minutes. Take them out when they are just *BARELY* starting to turn brown, puffed and just start to crackle.
- Let the cookies sit on the baking pan for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before serving or storing.
To store:Store peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
How to freeze peanut butter cookie dough:
- Roll the peanut butter cookie dough into balls
- Place dough balls onto a cooking sheet
- Flash-freeze them in the freezer until hard.
- transfer to an airtight, freezer-friendly container or ziplock back and store until ready to bake.
- To bake peanut butter cookie dough: remove cookie dough from freezer and let come to room temperature, then follow recipe instructions for the criss cross pattern and baking.
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