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This is the BEST Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe you’ll ever make. It’s soft and chewy and full of peanut butter flavor. It’s a classic – and it’s my husband’s favorite cookie! You can make easy cookies like this from scratch in NO TIME at all – just mix and bake. Your family will love them as much as mine does.
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EASY Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
I’ve made hundreds of peanut butter cookie recipes over the years and most of them stem from THIS basic recipe.
That’s right: this cookie recipe has spawned dozens of others. That’s why I’m proclaiming it to be the BEST peanut butter cookie recipe ever!
Why you’ll love this recipe
I’ve made this cookie hundreds of times so you know it works!
I’ve got so many other forms of this cookie: stuffed cookies, cookie cake, cookie pie, gooey bars. I figured it was about time I posted the basic good old fashioned peanut butter cookies I base all those recipes on.
These are also easy, fast, cookies with NO CHILL TIME!
Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
- Unsalted Butter – While you can easily substitute shortening for the butter, I prefer the flavor that the butter lends to the cookie. It makes it a bit more light and fluffy too. Be sure your butter is room temperature.
- Peanut Butter – It’s the most important part! For this recipe, use a regular no-stir creamy peanut butter you can get at the regular grocery store. Don’t use natural peanut butter. You can also use chunky peanut butter.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar – I love using brown sugar in cookies so much more than granulated. While this recipe has both kinds of sugar, the packed brown sugar keeps the cookies soft. You can make peanut butter cookies without brown sugar but I don’t recommend it.
- Baking Soda – The leavening for most cookies – just a half teaspoon of baking soda makes them chewy!
- Milk – my secret peanut butter cookie ingredient!
- Flour – this recipe is written for all purpose flour.
I also have a recipe for three ingredient peanut butter cookies, if you prefer those!
How to make Peanut Butter Cookies
- Wet Ingredients: Mix together the butter and 3/4 cup peanut butter until smooth, then add both sugars. Cream until smooth and fluffy, just a minute or so.
- Mix in the egg, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
- Dry Ingredients: Mix in the baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, then slowly mix in the flour just until the batter comes together. Be sure to scrape the bowl during mixing!
- Form the Cookies: Scoop 2 tablespoon cookie dough balls and place 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Using a fork, create a criss cross pattern on the cookies to flatten slightly.
- Bake: Bake at 350°F for about 9-13 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown and the tops are no longer glossy.
Tip From Dorothy
- You can roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet for a crispier outside.
- If the dough sticks to the fork when you’re making the criss-cross pattern you can dip the fork in sugar.
- These can be made into peanut butter cookie bars and baked in a 9×13-inch pan for about 20-25 minutes.
Why are my peanut butter cookies falling apart?
- Too much flour: did you measure your flour correctly? You should use the weight in the recipe if using a scale; if using a measuring cup be sure to spoon the flour into the cup.
- Baked too long: they should come out of the oven as soon as they are no longer glossy and the edges just start to look golden.
FAQ About Peanut Butter Cookies
It’s best to use a no-stir peanut butter for this classic cookies recipe. Natural peanut butter that requires stirring will change the texture and outcome of the cookies.
These cookies are so soft because of the fats from the peanut butter and the milk I add into the batter. As long as they are not overbaked they will stay soft for days.
In these cookies, the milk makes them more moist and keeps them soft and never dry.
Store cookies in an airtight container on the counter. They’ll be soft for at least 3-4 days, if you haven’t over baked them.
You can also freeze cookies. I freeze them in airtight containers or sealable bags for up to one month. Read how I freeze all my desserts!
Have you ever wondered why there are hash marks (or criss cross marks) on PB cookies? It’s because adding peanut butter makes them not spread as much, so the fork criss cross was to help the cookies flatten and bake evenly.
You can tell these cookies are done because they are no longer glossy. They don’t brown much but become dull instead of shiny.
Milk keeps the cookies nice and soft – it’s my secret ingredient! You can use any kind of milk or nondairy milk in this recipe.
Be sure to read my guide on how to tell when your cookies are done baking!
THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (200g) creamy peanut butter
- ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) milk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup (217g) all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Place butter and peanut butter in a large bowl. Using a hand or a stand mixer, mix until combined then add both sugars. Cream until smooth. Mix in egg, vanilla, and milk and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Mix in baking soda and salt, then slowly mix in flour and mix just until the batter is smooth and comes together. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl during mixing.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of dough and place 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Using a fork, create a criss cross pattern on the cookies to flatten slightly. (Tip: if the dough starts sticking to the fork, dip it in a bit of granulated sugar.)
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown and the tops are no longer glossy. Cool on cookie sheets at least 10 minutes before removing.
- Any kind of milk or nondairy milk may be used
- Omit salt if using salted butter
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months
- Chunky peanut butter can be used but don’t use natural peanut butter.
Favorite Cookie Recipes
This recipe is my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. I hope it will be yours too!
Last Updated on March 26, 2023
I made these for easter today and made the shape more oblong and egg-y like, then used my fork and made the lines along the pointy-er end to make a neat design, like a colored egg! I didnt end up using all of my flour and the cookies came out great. Still soft and chewy after hours- the sign of a perfect batch! I made a few extra crunchy as well, and they also turned out beautifully- if you prefer more bite to your cookie. I also recommend replacing a dash of the vanilla with some almond extract if you want a less sweet and more nutty flavor!
Hands down the best and easiest recipe. Make sure you do read how to gradually mix the ingredients. Most people just throw stuff in one bowl and go for it but the gradual process is what makes the texture more on a professional baker level. I have a kitchen aid mixer and it was the quickest process! 10/10
I tried this recipe out tonight and this will be the peanut butter cookie recipe I use from now on!! I added milk chocolate chips & chunks of marshmallows then baked 8 cookies at a time (each were about 3tbsp size) @ 350 for 9 mins… set on cookie sheet for about 2mins then transfer to cooling rack…My husband and 3 boys loved how soft and chewy they were. Each batch turned out perfect; no hard cookies at all!! Thank you so much for this wonderful classic peanut butter cookie recipe 🙂
Made this weekend as a bar cookie. I used salted butter and left out the salt. Very easy, good and will be making again.
Why is natural peanut butter not suggested? Not enough oil or…?
Natural peanut butter often behaves differently in recipes than traditional because of the oils. This recipe has been tested and made with regular PB so I cannot speak to how natural will work in the recipe.
I made these with Splenda awesome thanks
Just tried your recipe and they turned out perfect. Real similar to my mom’s recipe.
I tried the Half Batch Peanut Butter Cookies and WOW!
It’s nice to have this option when I’m craving a treat!
I did not care for this recipe for the simple reason that the ingredients have to be measured in quarter cup increments, which for someone who doesn’t have five different sets of measuring cups is very troublesome
Weigh the ingredients using a scale, a lot simpler.
I made these for my husbands platoon and I kept getting requests for more. They’re truly delicious and easy to make!