This old fashioned Peanut Butter Cookie recipe creates cookies that are slightly crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, and have the best peanut butter flavor.
There is something that is so comforting about baking; I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is the meditative process of carefully measuring out the ingredients. Perhaps it could be the bringing together of something from simple household ingredients. Or maybe it is just that you are making something with butter and sugar. Regardless, I have loved turning to baking during difficult times in my life.
Whether you are celebrating or looking for comfort, these peanut butter cookies hit the mark. These went through so many rounds of testing so they could be perfection when I gave them to you. The end result cookies are perfectly crips on the outside while buttery soft on the inside and packed with peanut butter flavor.
OMG! I should never have made these cookies! They are so moist and wonderful! I am trying to get rid of them as fast as possible! There is only one problem with that…I will have to make them again right away! Honestly these are great and YES I will be making them again and again! And Lisa, they won’t last a week here no matter what kind of container they are in!
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
This is an easy cookie recipe that even a beginning baker can tackle. This is a brief overview, but you will want to read the full instructions at the bottom of the post (either scroll to the bottom or hit the jump to the recipe button at the top of the page).
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Combine the “wet” ingredients. Cream the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar, then add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Don’t miss my tips on this below.
- Form into cookies and bake. Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Press down with a fork to make a hash mark, and bake.
Tips and Tricks
While these are easy peanut butter cookies, there are a few tips and tricks that will ensure that these turn out perfect.
- Use room temperature butter. Room temperature butter will feel cold to the touch. You should be able to easily dent it without your finger going too deep or all the way through. Resist the urge to microwave your butter to soften it. It will work better to cut it into 1 inch pieces and leave it on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time of year.
- Properly measure your flour. While your best bet is to use a kitchen scale, if you follow my steps below, you will get the perfect amount of flour without it packing.
- Use baking soda that is fresh. Baking soda typically needs to be replaced every three months. You can test yours by placing a little in some vinegar. It should bubble right away.
- Do not use baking powder. It is not interchangeable with baking soda.
- Make sure to pack your brown sugar. It is what helps make these cookies chewy.
- Bring your eggs to room temperature. To do this, put them in a bowl of luke warm water for five minutes while you are prepping the rest of the recipe.
- Cream your butter and sugar for about three minutes. This is an important step of the recipe, as the sugar beats air into the butter and is part of what makes your cookies delightfully chewy. So you aren’t just “mixing” these two ingredients, you are really working them together.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients all at once. Read more on this below.
- Use a cookie scoop. This creates uniform cookies that cook at the same rate.
- Use good baking sheets. A baking sheet can literally make or break a cookie recipe. See my recommendation below.
- Rotate your cookies while baking. Lots of ovens have hot spots and this will help them cook evenly.
How to Measure Flour for Peanut Butter Cookies
Improperly measured flour is the number one cause for baking fails. Too much flour and you have cookies that aren’t going to spread. Of course, if you don’t use enough flour your cookies won’t come together.
Here are step by step instructions to measuring flour.
- Whisk the flour in the container it comes in: This will loosen up the flour and is the first step to preventing the flour from packing.
- Grab a dry measuring cup. These are usually metal or plastic and come in 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup measurements. Do not use a glass measuring cup with lines on the side.
- Scoop the flour out of the container into a dry measuring cup using a spoon.
- Level the flour off with the flat end of a spatula.
Avoiding Over Mixing
For years, cookie recipes have been warning users to not “over-mix” their dough. Over mixing cookie dough will over activate the gluten in the flour and this will result in a cookie that is tough. They have suggested that adding just a little of the dry ingredients at a time to the creamed butter and sugar is the way to go.
I have learned that you will be less likely to over mix if you add all the flour at once. To do this, you add all of the dry ingredients at once. Turn your mixer on very low and get it incorporated just enough that when you turn up your mixer the flour won’t fly out of the bowl. Then you crank the mixer up all the way for just a matter of seconds until the flour is just incorporated. The end result is dough that has mixed for a fraction of the time compared to mixing in a little of the flour mixture at a time.
Freezing Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Nothing really beats a cookie hot out of the oven. The good news is that this peanut butter cookie dough freezes really well and bakes great from frozen.
- Make the cookie dough up to the point of baking.
- Instead of putting the dough in the oven, put the pressed down dough onto a wax paper lined plate.
- Freeze on the plate for 1 hour.
- Remove and transfer to an airtight container in the freezer.
You can store it like this for 3 months. When you are ready to bake, put the frozen dough (as many cookies as you would like to make), on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 11 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Storing and Freezing Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
This peanut butter cookie recipe will likely not make very long after they come out of the oven. However, they can be kept in an airtight container, once completely cooled, for up to one week.
My peanut butter cookie recipe is also great for freezing after baking. After the cookies have cooled completely, place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
My husband likes eating frozen cookies right from the freezer without any thawing.
I’m sorry these cookies have not been tested with gluten free flour. If I was going to test them, I would use a 1:1 gluten free flour mix.
While it will work in the recipe, I personally think it would interfere with the great soft texture you get in the inside of the cookie.
You really do need something so that the cookies don’t stick to the baking sheet. Parchment paper or a silicon mat are the best choices for that.
Yes! See my freezing instructions above.
Other Great Cookie Recipes
I have so many great classic cookie recipes. Here are a few to try next:
If you make these cookies or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 312.5 grams
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking soda 9.58 grams
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (170.1 grams)
- 1 cup brown sugar packed (200 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 grams
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter 240 grams
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4.2 grams
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Please see notes in the post about measuring flour: How to Measure Flour for Peanut Butter Cookies.2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Using a stand mixer or a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes.12 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Beat in the peanut butter, scraping down the sides as you go, until fully incorporated.1 cup creamy peanut butter
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla extract.2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add in the flour mixture. Beat on low until combined enough that it won't beat out of the bowl. Turn the beater up high and beat just long enough that the flour mixture is fully incorporated.
- Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, form into balls. Drop onto the prepared sheet, placing each cookie 2 inches apart. Press down with a fork, first one way, than the other to make a hash mark.
- Bake for 10 mintues, rotating the pan half way through baking. Allow to cool for two minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, store in an airthight container for up to 1 week. See instructions in the post for freezing both the baked cookies and the prepared dough.