Classic chewy Peanut Butter Cookies make the perfect pick-me-up, after school snack, or all around sweet treat. This old fashioned recipe is the one to bake, right down to the criss-cross pattern made with a fork.

Peanut butter cookies stacked on a blue plate.

Chances are your grandma (and your grandma’s grandma) had this recipe in a little metal box sitting on the counter. It’s been around that long, and for a very good reason: there’s no better PB cookie around.

This recipe is easy to make with creamy or crunchy peanut butter, plus you can freeze the dough for large batch baking (Christmas cookies!) or just to have on hand anytime you want a still-warm, deliciously soft peanut butter cookie.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Peanut butter: The recipe calls for creamy, but crunchy is fine too. I like making the cookies with store-bought peanut butter better than homemade peanut butter.

Step-by-step instructions

Let’s make some cookies! You’ll need a standing mixer or an electric hand mixer with a paddle attachment and a mixing bowl.

  1. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 baking sheets. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
  2. Next, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This should take 3 to 6 minutes.
    Peanut Butter cookie dough in a mixing bowl.
  3. Turn the speed down to medium and add the peanut butter. Beat until combined, then add the vanilla. After that, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle down when you need to.
  4. Then turn down the speed to low and pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, only 30 seconds or so.
    Peanut butter cookie dough in a silver mixing bowl.
  5. Portion out the cookie dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, using a heaping tablespoon. Then space out about 12 cookies on the paper-lined baking sheet.
    Twelve balls of peanut butter cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Using the tines of a fork, gently press a cross-hatch pattern on the top of each cookie.
    Someone pressing the cookie dough flat with a fork.
  7. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes, rotating and switching the sheets about halfway through the cooking time. You’ll know the cookies are done when they have golden edges and the centers have puffed, but are just beginning to deflate.
    Baked peanut butter cookies on a baking sheet.
  8. Once you take them out of the oven, let the cookies set up on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Thicker cookies: Portion out and chill (or freeze!) the dough before baking.
  • Storage: These cookies last about 4 days in an airtight container or cookie jar. Like soft cookies? Store them in a ziplock bag.
  • Freezer: Make the dough, form it into a log, and wrap it up tightly and freeze it. It will last for 3 to 4 months. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling up. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about how to freeze cookie dough.
  • Dusted in sugar: Like glittery, crispy edged cookies? Roll the unbaked dough ball in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar before pressing with a fork.
  • Chocolate chips: Mix in ½ bag (about 6 ounces) of your favorite chocolate chip into the dough.
  • Cinnamon: Sift ½ teaspoon of cinnamon into the dry ingredients to gently flavor the cookies.
  • Extra nuts: Throw in a handful or two (4 to 6 ounces) of chopped peanuts (or walnuts, pecans, or cashews) to the dough for extra crunch.
Peanut butter cookies stacked on a blue plate.

More delicious cookies

Peanut butter cookies stacked on a blue plate.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Classic chewy Peanut Butter Cookies make the perfect pick-me-up, after school snack, or all around sweet treat. This old fashioned recipe is the one to bake, right down to the criss-cross pattern made with a fork. 
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cooling Time 10 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 24 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 253

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions 

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, or on to parchment paper, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-6 minutes. Beat in the peanut butter until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  • Beat in the vanilla until smooth, Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as necessary.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and lay on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (I use the OXO medium cookie scoop, a size 40 portioner, and do 12 scoops of dough per baking sheet). Make a crosshatch design on each cookie with a fork.
  • Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and the centers have puffed and are beginning to deflate, about 12-17 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Peanut butter: The recipe calls for creamy, but crunchy is fine too. I like making the cookies with store-bought peanut butter better than homemade peanut butter.
  2. Thicker cookies: Portion out and chill (or freeze!) the dough before baking.
  3. Storage: These cookies last about 4 days in an airtight container or cookie jar. Like soft cookies? Store them in a ziplock bag.
  4. Freezer: Make the dough, form it into a log, and wrap it up tightly and freeze it. It will last for 3 to 4 months. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling up. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about how to freeze cookie dough.
  5. Dusted in sugar: Like glittery, crispy edged cookies? Roll the unbaked dough ball in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar before pressing with a fork.
  6. Chocolate chips: Mix in ½ bag (about 6 ounces) of your favorite chocolate chip into the dough.
  7. Cinnamon: Sift ½ teaspoon of cinnamon into the dry ingredients to gently flavor the cookies.
  8. Extra nuts: Throw in a handful or two (4 to 6 ounces) of chopped peanuts (or walnuts, pecans, or cashews) to the dough for extra crunch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 253kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 276mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 361IUCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. Hello Meggan……..Greetings from Canada
    Love this recipe. Great taste and easy ingredients. My cookie sheets are 17 X 11 inches. I followed the recipe exactly, I thought. The cookies spread out and covered the whole sheet with slight indents between each one. The dough when mixed was very wet so before I put them in the oven I put them in the fridge before baking. With the rest of the dough I made the cookies smaller, 3/4 inch balls. Into the fridge again before baking. The end result was much better. Would really like the cookies to be thicker. I have two questions:
    1. When I added the flour mixture I may have/probably over mixed. Could that be my problem?
    2. Are my pans smaller than yours?
    The cookies were the best and family wants a repeat.

    I am new to your site and we have enjoyed your Honey Garlic Chicken, Chicken Piccata and Turkey Meatballs to name a few. Look forward to making more of your great recipes,

    Thank you
    Delicious Wishes
    Yvonne

    1. Hi Yvonne, thanks for taking the time to write in! I’m so sorry your peanut butter cookies turned out flat! I don’t think it was overmixing as much as your butter may have been too soft or melted, or your oven temperature may have been too high. Oven temperatures vary somewhat, so I recommend making sure you let the oven warm up completely and use an oven thermometer. I believe your pans are actually bigger than mine. I use 1/4 size sheet pans, which are 9 1/2- by 13-inches. Also you did exactly what I would have done by placing the cookie dough into the refrigerator to chill. I hope your next attempt goes a lot better and I’m glad your family loved them. – Meggan