Old-fashioned classic peanut butter cookies just like mom used to make. Light, not greasy, full of peanut flavor! And these are easy to make!
I first published this recipe in 2010, but decided it needed to be updated, so here’s the best peanut butter cookie recipe!
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
What kind of peanut butter should I use?
My favorite kind of peanut butter is smooth, no chunks allowed! So, first and foremost, I highly recommend smooth peanut butter for these cookies.
I like (affiliate link) MaraNatha creamy Peanut Butter for most of my peanut butter needs. They also have a new no sugar and no salt added version, which is great too.
I’ve also used regular grocery store peanut butters like Jif and Skippy in these cookies and they are always awesome.
When you use creamy peanut butter the cookies turn out smooth and chewy. Perfect.
Can I use crunchy peanut butter?
Yes, you can use crunchy in these cookies. Though I will question your judgment. LOL
You can also add in ½ cup of coarsely chopped dry-roasted and lightly salted or unsalted peanuts. Toss these into the dough after adding the flour mixture.
What other add-ins can be used?
Want to mix up these cookies a bit? Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination, so feel free to add ½ cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips to the dough after adding the flour mixture. You’ll get delicious chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.
Oh, speaking of chocolate, you could totally dip these in melted chocolate. Just dip half of the cookie into the melted chocolate, and maybe even sprinkle with some festive colored sprinkles for a pretty presentation.
Really, any chips can be added: peanut butter chips would be a fun double peanut cookie. Butterscotch chips are delicious in these.
Try adding ½ cup granola to the dough for a trail mix cookie.
Add in ½ cup of Rice Krispies cereal for a fun crunch.
Chop up some Reese’s peanut butter cups and toss them in (about ½ cup again) for a great kid-friendly cookie.
And, I’m a big fan of coconut, so I think it goes in everything, including peanut butter cookies!
Can I make these egg-free?
Yes, these cookies are great as an egg free cookie.
I may have made that mistake once when making them, and accidentally left the egg out of the dough. The cookies turned out delicate and crumbly, and very yummy.
Soften butter quickly
I want to make these right now, but I don’t want to wait for the butter to soften!
We’ve all tried microwaving the butter, which never seems to work properly. And, melted butter will lead to cakes and cookies having a different texture than you might want; cookies will often over-spread because the butter and sugar cannot “cream” properly.
We’ve all been there! If you forget to let your butter come to room temperature ahead of time, there are a couple of things you can do. Remember, butter is softened and ready to use when it can be easily squished between your thumb and forefinger.
First, cut the butter into smaller cubes. These smaller cubes will have more surface area, and therefore, come to temperature faster. You can also try grating the butter on the large holes of a box grater for quick softening.
Next, pour some boiling water in a glass bowl that will cover the butter, while not touching the butter. Pour the boiling water out, quickly dry the bowl, and cover the butter with the bowl. In a few minutes, the butter will be soft.
You can also try placing the smaller cubes of butter in a zip top bag, and pounding it 3-4 times with a rolling pin to soften it.
Adding the cubes of butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, and mixing it a bit by itself is essentially the same thing as the rolling pin trick, so you can try that as well.
Can I make these cookies ahead?
These cookies can be made ahead, cooled completely, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
They can also be frozen for longer storage. Again, let them cool completely. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined or Silpat lined baking sheet to freeze them, then store them in a freezer-safe ziptop storage bag for up to 6 months.
Looking for other peanut butter filled recipes?
I’m a big peanut butter fan. I’d probably start every day with an English muffin slathered in peanut butter and a smear of Cherry jam if I had my way.
So, I have lots of recipes that use the yummy spread. Take a look at 2-ingredient peanut butter chocolate fudge, Peanut butter coffee cake, Peanut butter cup Christmas trees, Chocolate peanut butter pretzel rods, and Peanut butter fudge ripple ice cream.
How to make these cookies
These cookies are really easy to make. Simply cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugars together. Then add in the flour mixture.
The image on the left, you can see the dough balls are in various stages: scooped out, rolled into balls, flattened, and pressed with a fork.
When I was in Junior High cooking class, we made peanut butter cookies, and instead of pressing them with a fork, we used the bottom of a glass. Press the bottom of the glass into a little sugar, then the sugar lined glass into the top of the cookie. Makes a little bit of a sugar crust, and a pretty design if your glasses have a pretty bottom (mine don’t so I didn’t do that for the pictures! LOL).
The image on the right is just after taking the cookies out of the oven. You can see that they are a little puffed, they flatten out as they cool.
Kitchen items you may need
Baking sheets (I love these insulated air-lined ones)
Wire cooling rack
Cookie dough scoop (I used a 2 tablespoon scoop for the cookies you see in the pictures, that’s about the size of a walnut. You can also use a ¼ cup sized one for large cookies.)
Cookie storage container
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Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature (I use natural peanut butter that you don't have to stir)
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature (1 stick)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a mixer, or by hand with a fork, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the egg and blend well. Stir in the flour just until incorporated.
- Using an ice cream scoop, or a spoon, scoop the dough into level portions, and roll the dough into balls of equal size about the size of walnuts for regular sized cookies, or about 1/4 cup size for big cookies. Place the dough ball on the lined baking sheet. Continue placing dough balls about 2-3 inches apart until the sheet is full. Press down on the dough balls with a fork to press the traditional crisscross marks in the middle of each cookie.
- Bake about 8 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies directly to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process until the dough is used up.