BEST Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Filed Under: Cookies | Dessert

Peanut Butter Cookies

August 20th, 2022
4.84 from 154 votes
4.84 from 154 votes

Peanut Butter Cookies are absolutely PERFECT and so easy to make! Thick, soft, and slightly chewy with tons of peanutty flavor. Your new go-to Peanut Butter Cookie recipe!

Yield: 28 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ultra peanut buttery and perfectly sweet.
Texture: Soft, tender, and slightly chewy. Perfect with a glass of cold milk!
Ease: Very simple and easy.
Pros: My favorite PB cookie recipe. No dough chilling required.
Cons: None!!
Would I make this again? Of course.

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To know me is to know my love and obsession for peanut butter. My passion for PB means that any peanut butter recipe I create has to be absolutely packed full of PB flavor. 

peanut butter cookies on a cooling rack

In creating this recipe, I tweaked and adjusted until I struck the perfect balance of nutty flavor and thick, tender, chewy texture in every bite.

This is a simple and easy old-fashioned peanut butter cookie recipe. You don’t even need to chill the dough. But it’s one of those recipes I hope you add to your repertoire and return to again and again. Especially during the Christmas cookie season!

Follow my instructions and tips below for perfect Peanut Butter cookies!

stack of thick, chewy peanut butter cookies on a plate

How to Make the BEST Peanut Butter Cookies

Rolling cookie dough balls in sugar

    How to Make Thick, Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

    1. Peanut butter is one of those ingredients that automatically lends itself to a thick texture in cookies. It’s thick and rich all on its own, and that translates to the final result. That’s actually why we press the tines of a fork into the balls of cookie dough: to flatten it into a disk shape. Otherwise, the cookies would hardly spread!
    2. The key to soft peanut butter cookies is the perfect ratio of PB, butter, flour, and leavening – which is what I believe I’ve accomplished here! Plus a hefty amount of brown sugar, which draws in moisture, for soft and tender cookies.
    3. TIP: When measuring flour, be sure to use a digital kitchen scale or the spoon & level method detailed here. This will prevent dry or crumbly cookies.
    4. Lastly, for soft peanut butter cookies, be sure not to over-bake these. They’ll continue to bake from the residual heat of the oven. I find it’s best to remove them *just* before they look completely done so you don’t overdo it.

    What’s the Best Peanut Butter to Use for Cookies?

    • This recipe has been successfully tested with conventional peanut butter (Skippy and Jif) AND natural peanut butter.
    • Check out the peanut butter experiment here.
    • Only use natural peanut butter if it’s VERY well stirred to be completely smooth and cohesive with no oily or dry bits.
    • When it’s very smooth, natural peanut butter will yield a much bolder peanut butter flavor!
    • You can alternatively use almond butter at a 1:1 ratio. More on this below.

    Why Do You Put a Criss-Cross Pattern on Peanut Butter Cookies?

    Pressing a fork into these peanut butter cookies prior to baking helps flatten the cookies slightly, promoting oven spread.  The fork marks also encourage the cookies to bake more evenly and brown evenly. If we skipped that step, these cookies would be so thick that they’d barely spread, and they may not bake all the way through.

    Pressing a fork into peanut butter cookies to make the cross indentation

    Do I Have to Refrigerate This Cookie Dough? What Does Chilling Cookie Dough Actually Do?

    • You do not have to chill this peanut butter cookie dough for perfectly thick cookies that are full of peanut buttery flavor.
    • You can chill the dough for up to 72 hours if you prefer.
    • Chilling cookie dough is very similar to marinating meat – things just get so much better if you wait a day or two.
    • The baked cookies become chewier and thicker and the flavor intensifies.
    • Learn more about why we chill cookie dough and the benefits of chilling cookie dough here!

      How to Store Peanut Butter Cookies

      Store in an airtight container or a ziptop bag for about 3 days at room temperature. Keep a piece of bread or a tortilla in the container with the cookies to keep them soft and chewy and prevent them from drying out or getting hard as quickly.

      Can Peanut Butter Cookies be Frozen?

      Yes! Freeze the baked, cooled cookies in an airtight container for about 1 month. Allow to defrost at room temperature then refresh in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes, if desired.

      You can also freeze the peanut butter cookie dough disks (rolled in sugar and pressed with the fork) in an airtight container for up to six weeks. Allow to thaw to room temperature before baking as written. Get all of my tips for freezing cookie dough here!

      peanut butter cookies on a plate

      Peanut Butter Cookies Variations & Substitutions

      These cookies have endless variations, so feel free to have some fun with them!

      • Almond butter: Use almond butter in place of the peanut butter at a 1:1 ratio. Our team tested this substitution successfully using Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter. No need to adjust anything else.
      • Mix-Ins: Add 1 ½ cups (255 grams) chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee bits, toasted peanuts, or any other mix-ins you desire!
      • More PB: Add an additional 1/4 cup peanut butter (so 1 cup or 270 grams in total) and increase the vanilla to 1 teaspoon to really amp up the PB flavor.
      • Bars: If you’re looking for PB bars, try my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars or even my Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
      • Make mini cookie sandwiches: Use a 1-tablespoon size cookie scoop and bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. This makes about 30 small cookie sandwiches. Fill cooled cookies with the filling recipe below.
      Peanut Butter Filling Recipe
      • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
      • 1/2 cup (135 grams) smooth peanut butter 
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 1 1/4 cups (157 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
      • 3 tablespoons (44 grams) heavy cream (keeps filling light, fluffy, creamy, and not as sweet)

      In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and heavy cream, and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and fluffy, about another 3 minutes.

      More Peanut Butter Recipes:

      4.84 from 154 votes

      How to make
      Peanut Butter Cookies

      Yield: 28 cookies
      Prep Time: 20 minutes
      Cook Time: 12 minutes
      Total Time: 32 minutes
      Peanut Butter Cookies are absolutely PERFECT and so easy to make! Thick, soft, and slightly chewy with tons of peanutty flavor. Your new go-to Peanut Butter Cookie recipe!


      For the cookies:

      • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (302 grams) all-purpose flour, measured correctly
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
      • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
      • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
      • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
      • 3/4 cup (200 grams) creamy peanut butter* (see notes)
      • 1 large egg, at cool room temperature
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

      For rolling:

      • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar


      1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

      2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

      3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat in the peanut butter until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until combined.

      4. Place the granulated sugar for rolling in a separate small bowl. Using a medium spring-loaded cookie scoop, form the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds. Roll between your palms to smooth, then roll in the granulated sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the dough by pressing the back of a fork into each ball of dough twice, to create a criss-cross pattern.

      5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

      Recipe Video

      Recipe Notes

      For a stronger peanut butter flavor, use natural PB - just ensure it's VERY well stirred until completely smooth and no oily or dry bits remain. 
      Or, using conventional peanut butter, add an additional 1/4 cup PB (so 1 cup or 270 grams in total) and increase the vanilla to 1 teaspoon.
      Alternatively, you can use almond butter instead of peanut butter at a 1:1 ratio.
      Course : Dessert
      Cuisine : American
      Keyword : peanut butter, peanut butter cookie recipe, peanut butter cookies

      This recipe was written in 2019 and updated with additional tips and recipe improvements. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

      Tessa Arias
      Author: Tessa Arias

      I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

      Tessa Arias

      About Tessa...

      I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

      Find Tessa on  

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      Recipe Rating

      1. #
        Rebecca — November 7, 2023 at 7:41 pm

        I only have a small and large cookie scoop. Can I use a large scoop?

        • #
          Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 8, 2023 at 9:41 am

          Hi Rebecca! Yes, that should be just fine! Just shave a couple minutes off the recommended bake time if using your small scoop, or add a couple minutes to the bake time if using your large scoop. Happy baking! 🙂

      2. #
        Laura Diaz — September 30, 2023 at 6:42 pm

        Amazing and very tasty cookies, I made it with almond butter and taste AMAZING

      3. #
        Erin — September 30, 2023 at 6:06 pm

        Very good and easy to make! Very tender cookie.

      4. #
        Lauren Tillery — September 30, 2023 at 5:24 pm

        This peanut butter cookie recipe was a hit! The sugar on the outside perfectly complimented the peanut butter taste of the cookie. The outside had a nice crunch while the inside was deliciously tender. I will definitely make these again!

      5. #
        Melissa Lankheet — September 30, 2023 at 5:08 pm

        They’re delicious and the imprint on the top is so easy, but looks fancy!

      6. #
        Sarah B — September 30, 2023 at 4:15 pm

        Super yummy (like everything Tessa develops)! My husband is a pb-aholic so these were a special treat for him. And easy enough for our 6yo to help!

      7. #
        Shawn — September 30, 2023 at 3:43 pm

        These are light, peanut buttery & oh, so yummy peanut butter cookies! I’ll be making these again! Also, going to make a batch using almond butter.

      8. #
        Laurie Bettini — September 30, 2023 at 1:44 pm

        Who doesn’t love a classic peanut butter cookie? Of course, I had to add chocolate! These were easy, chock full of PB, and no chilling required! Bam! Delicious!

      9. #
        Michelle Rye — September 30, 2023 at 12:58 pm

        These soft and chewy just how I like them. Great recipe for pb cookies!

      10. #
        Donna Tamburi — September 30, 2023 at 8:38 am

        Tessa has done it again! These are delicious.

      11. #
        Nancy — September 29, 2023 at 4:09 pm

        Where is the entry widget

        • #
          Emily — October 2, 2023 at 8:38 am

          Hi Nancy! I hope you found the entry widget for the challenge! While September’s challenge is over, the link to the widget could have been found in every baking challenge email you received from us. If you weren’t able to find the link, please email your photo of the PB cookies to [email protected] within 24 hours, and we’ll add your entry before we choose September’s winners.

      12. #
        Heidi G — September 29, 2023 at 2:04 pm

        Very good and easy. They are almost under sweet. I will try them again with chocolate or peanut chips. Maybe both!

      13. #
        Persis — September 29, 2023 at 1:47 pm

        Super easy to make.Delish!

      14. #
        Julie — September 29, 2023 at 1:25 pm

        This is the second time making these cookies. This time I added a chocolate cream cheese icing between the cookies. OMG.

      15. #
        Donna — September 29, 2023 at 10:28 am

        Great flavour and texture!

      16. #
        Laurie Bechtel — September 29, 2023 at 10:16 am

        Excellent flavor and texture (I never had a soft PB cookie)! Easy to follow directions.

      17. #
        Patsy Roman — September 28, 2023 at 12:16 pm

        soft and tender; loved the cookies. They didn’t get hard like most peanut butter cookies.

      18. #
        Lisa Gretz — September 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm

        So easy and delicious. I made half plain and added hershey kisses to the other half. what a great snack for everyone, lots of yummy and smiles!

      19. #
        Emily Rudiger — September 28, 2023 at 10:10 am

        I like how big these are, they are like bakery style. So tasty!

      20. #
        Sarah — September 28, 2023 at 2:10 am

        Delicious cookie for any peanut butter lover! Not to mention they are super quick and easy to make #chefskiss

      21. #
        Brooke — September 27, 2023 at 9:12 pm

        Very delicious and easy recipe!

      22. #
        Amber Frost — September 27, 2023 at 8:24 pm

        These are excellent peanut butter cookies! Nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! I love that these are no-chill cookies! I’ll definitely make these again!

      23. #
        Kristin — September 27, 2023 at 6:35 pm

        The best ever and so easy!

      24. #
        Lisa — September 27, 2023 at 5:22 pm

        who doesn’t love peanut butter cookies. so easy to make, a favorite of everyone’s.

      25. #
        Aurora — September 27, 2023 at 5:09 pm

        These peanut butter cookies are delicious. My new go to recipe.

      26. #
        Lori M. — September 27, 2023 at 11:42 am

        First, I’ll say I appreciate the incredible facts on this site, thank you!
        I am a PB cookie lover since …forever. My go-to recipe is on back of the crisco package to be honest, but the amt of crisco has always weirded me out! I tried this recipe in hope of exchanging my go-to.
        Initial batch seemed…crumblier (?) than I prefer, but tasty. I decided to refrigerate the remainder, as mentioned in suggestions and baked them the next day, much better! Delicious, not crumbly to the touch as they were day prior …and no ingredients to weird me out! bonus.

      27. #
        Karen — September 26, 2023 at 6:38 pm

        Great easy peanut butter cookie recipe!

        • #
          Patsy Roman — September 28, 2023 at 12:03 pm

          Delicious soft and tender. They never got hard like most peanut butter cookies.

        • #
          Mary Small — September 28, 2023 at 12:17 pm

          easy to follow recipe. Delicious peanut butter taste. I split the dough and bake traditional pb cookies, mini chocolate chips mix-in as well as chopped reeses pieces.

      28. #
        Dawnya — September 26, 2023 at 6:19 am

        The best peanut butter cookie recipe I’ve ever made. Easy to follow recipe and the cookies turn out perfect every time.

      29. #
        Laura — September 26, 2023 at 5:47 am

        I was a bit reluctant at the beginning because I thought the cookies would be heavy with all the PB.
        However, what a great surprise! The texture is perfect: soft inside and crunchy outside. They are also delicious! Would recommend 100%

      30. #
        Christina Kurtz — September 25, 2023 at 8:41 pm

        These cookies were easy to make and came out great! I think my scoop was a little smaller than the one used to test the recipe because I got 38 cookies but they still came out great!

      31. #
        Becky L Rudella — September 25, 2023 at 7:13 pm

        Better than bakery cookies! I also baked some smaller ones and made a peanut butter filling for a few sandwich cookies. They’re super delish!

      32. #
        Kathleen Prudencio — September 25, 2023 at 4:21 pm

        I used Jif PB, and went with the extra PB and vanilla for more peanut butter flavor. It definitely helped! I find that most PB cookies taste amazing when they are warm and fresh out the oven; however, the next day they taste like sugar cookies. These held a good amount of PB flavor the next day.

      33. #
        Mallory Bauer — September 25, 2023 at 9:55 am

        Great cookies! I love trying different recipes

      34. #
        Andrea Christensen — September 25, 2023 at 9:44 am

        The texture on these was great- smooth and soft but chewy and delicious. I felt like I would have liked more peanut butter flavor, and I did add the extra in as suggested and it was still peanut butter light to me. But my husband and kids gobbled them up, so it’s a keeper!

      35. #
        Mae — September 25, 2023 at 8:24 am

        I’ve made both the natural and conventional PB and the former is definitely more PB forward but both are equally good.

      36. #
        Jennifer — September 25, 2023 at 5:35 am

        So easy and good!

      37. #
        Lisa W — September 24, 2023 at 10:47 pm

        Just love this recipe. they are not too sweet and have the perfect texture. Thank you..

      38. #
        Lisa Williams — September 23, 2023 at 10:56 pm

        I made the peanut butter sandwich cookie variation. What a yummy cookie. The peanut butter filling is amazing.
        Thanks for sharing!

      39. #
        Sabine — September 23, 2023 at 10:52 pm

        I made this yesterday.
        Since we are a peanut free school I tested the sub option and used hazelnut butter (couldn’t find almond butter). They turned out great and taste even better. The hazelnut comes through wonderfully. Of course it’s not a peanut cookie anymore, but I can totally imagine how it would be, just like I want my peanut cookie.

      40. #
        Courtney — September 23, 2023 at 6:41 pm

        I love the strong peanut butter flavor of these! I can’t wait to make them again.

      41. #
        Karen — September 23, 2023 at 5:39 pm

        Good but seemed like standard ob cookies

      42. #
        Rebecca — September 23, 2023 at 2:20 pm

        This is a great peanut butter cookie recipe. It was easy and tasted great!

      43. #
        Kelly Kardos — September 22, 2023 at 3:45 pm

        So easy-comes together quickly-super peanut buttery and soft.

      44. #
        Leanna — September 22, 2023 at 2:38 pm

        So soft and yummy! Love the addition of the sugar coating

      45. #
        Lisa — September 22, 2023 at 2:03 pm

        Yum. We used crunchy peanut butter, what I had. These bake up so nice.A huge hit with the grandkids.

      46. #
        Jennie Kenney — September 22, 2023 at 12:30 pm

        I have not made peanut butter cookies in years. But they’re a favorite of my husband. Great peanut flavor but not too sweet. These will be on deck for the holidays!

      47. #
        Kyle — September 22, 2023 at 11:07 am

        it was great for a traditional peanut butter cookie! easy to make.

      48. #
        Brigitte de Smit — September 22, 2023 at 10:36 am

        Awesome recipe! Loved it.

      49. #
        Erin — September 22, 2023 at 9:03 am

        Delicious and super easy! Sometimes all you want is a good plain peanut butter cookie and this is it.

      50. #
        Kristen — September 21, 2023 at 1:48 pm

        Cookies are absolute delicious and the recipe is super easy to follow!

      51. #
        christopher rannis — September 21, 2023 at 10:42 am

        My mom has used the same peanut butter cookie for YEARS and I thought that was all I’d ever need. Boy was I wrong, these cookies are so light and not too sweet and have the PERFECT amount of peanut butter. I did use cale flour instead since thats all I had at the moment and they turned out AMAZING.

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