Best Peanut Butter Cookies

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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! 

overhead view of 12 peanut butter cookies


If you’ve been searching for the best peanut butter cookie recipe, then look no further. With twice the amount of peanut butter as butter, these soft peanut butter cookies have a rich peanut butter taste and irresistibly soft texture! 

I take both cookies and peanut butter very seriously. I created this recipe for the absolute best peanut butter cookies 15 years ago and have been baking it ever since.

Truth be told, due to the popularity of our famous Chocolate Chip Cookies, I receive many requests for a classic peanut butter cookie recipe and all who try it agree it’s the best.

These will not disappoint, they are soft, buttery sweet and salty cookie perfection. They’re easy to make and even easier to eat! Plus they have a secret ingredient that sets them apart from the rest.

front view of 12 peanut butter cookies

Make sure all ingredients are room temperature for best results.

overhead view of the ingredients in this peanut butter cookie recipe
  • Salted Butter. 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.). You can use natural peanut butter, but 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. 
  • Whole Milk. you can use 2%, heavy cream, and half-and-half in place of whole milk..
  • Light Brown Sugar. If you like a little bolder, molasses taste use dark brown sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar. White sugar or organic cane sugar are both great options.
  • Cinnamon (the secret ingredient)!  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 half. 
front view of a hand holding a peanut butter cookie

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies

Let’s walk through how to make peanut butter cookies, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Make the dough

Begin by beating the softened butter and peanut butter together until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.

two photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies - beating together butter and peanut butter

Then, 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 

two photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies - beating in sugars

Next, add milk, egg and vanilla and beat again until the mixture is light and fluffy and homogenous (uniform throughout).

two photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies - beating in wet ingredients

Then, add the 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 you can put 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. 

two photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies - adding dry ingredients

If you want to add some mix-ins (to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies), now is the time to do it! Stir about 1 cup of mix-ins into the dough until combined. Here are some suggestions:

  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter chips
  • cinnamon chips
  • chopped peanuts
  • mini peanut butter cups
  • Reese’s pieces 
two photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies - adding chocolate chips

Chill the Dough

tried making a peanut butter cookie recipe that didn’t require chilling. 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). 

peanut butter cookie dough in a bowl with a spatula

Bake the Peanut Butter Cookies

Once the dough is chilled, Use a 1 ½ tablespoon 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!

a cookie scoop measuring peanut butter cookie dough

Then, roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball and place them evenly spaced on a large cookie sheet. 

Use a fork to make a criss cross pattern on the top of each peanut butter cookie, gently pressing it down! 

two photos showing how to make criss cross fork pattern in peanut butter cookies

Bake & Cool

Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

If using a convection oven, decrease the baking temperature by 25 degrees F.

All ovens bake differently

Invest in an inexpensive oven thermometer to check the temperature and ensure it’s heating properly.

two photos showing peanut butter cookies on a baking sheet before and after baking

Serve

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! 

overhead photo of 3 peanut butter cookies on a wire cooling rack

Store

Store these 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 or in a gift box to give to friends as a gift for the holidays.

front view of a stack of 5 peanut butter cookies, the top has a bite taken out of it

Freeze

You can freeze baked peanut butter cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer.

Freeze the cookie dough by rolling it into balls and placing it in an airtight, freezer-friendly container for up to 2 months.

To bake, thaw cookie dough to room temperature and follow recipe instructions on pressing the tops with a fork and baking.

front view of a hand dipping a peanut butter cookie into a glass of milk

Here are my answers to a few frequently ask questions about how to make peanut butter cookies!

How do you tell if peanut butter cookies are done?

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.  

Can you use natural peanut butter in cookies?

Yes, but the cookies may spread more and be more crispy/thin than soft. Also, many natural peanut butters are unsalted, so you may need to increase the amount of salt in the recipe by ¼ tsp. 

Why do peanut butter cookies have fork marks?

This peanut butter cookie dough is denser than other cookie dough because there is 2 times 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. 

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. 

How do you store peanut butter cookies? 

Store these peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

Can you freeze peanut butter cookies? 

You can freeze the baked peanut butter cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer!

front view of a peanut butter cookie with a bite taken out of it

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Best Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Laura
These classic, soft peanut butter cookies are easy to make, loaded with peanut butter, and will certainly 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! 
5 from 80 votes
Course cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 155.2
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Chilling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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 for 1 minute.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the dough to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Use a cookie scoop to measure 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons of 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 begin to crackle.
  • Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before serving or storing.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substituions
  • Salted Butter. 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.). You can use natural peanut butter, but 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. 
  • Whole Milk. you can use 2%, heavy cream, and half-and-half in place of whole milk..
  • Light Brown Sugar. If you like a little bolder, molasses taste use dark brown sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar. White sugar or organic cane sugar are both great options.
  • 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 half. 
Store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. 
How to Freeze
Freeze baked cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer.
Freeze the cookie dough by rolling it into balls and placing it in an airtight, freezer-friendly container for up to 1 month.
To bake, thaw cookie dough to room temperature and follow recipe instructions on pressing the tops with a fork and baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 155.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 9.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1g | Cholesterol: 18.1mg | Sodium: 132.5mg | Potassium: 93.8mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 9.7g | Vitamin A: 2.6IU | Calcium: 1.7mg | Iron: 3.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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54 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these last night. I had made the oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies before and they were the BEST cookies I’ve ever had and everyone who tried them agreed! So I made these, and they didn’t disappoint! These cookie recipes make the cookies airy, chewy, but crunchy. They’re SO GOOD. I left the cinnamon out as I felt it overpowered the peanut butter when I made them last time. And I added chocolate chips to some of them. So good. 🤤

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent peanut butter cookie!
    I was on the hunt for a really peanut buttery cookie.
    This recipe calls for 1 CUP of peanut butter! Woohoo! Delicious! Thank you for sharing🙌

  3. 5 stars
    WOW these cookies are awesome just made a batch
    And you are so right about the cinnamon couldn’t hardly sit still to eat them thanks for the great recipe