Here comes Fall and the holiday baking season. Do you like to bake homemade cookies?
Serve this classic cookie recipe with an ice cold glass of milk for dunking.
Homemade peanut butter cookies are perfect any time of the year. This nostalgic cookie recipe will bring back memories of baking with Granny.
Table of contents
You'll need these ingredients
- butter: use unsalted real butter that has softened on the counter for a couple of hours.
- sugar: granulated white sugar and packed dark or light brown sugar.
- peanut butter: creamy smooth peanut is the classic ingredient but you could use crunchy peanut butter.
- salt and baking powder
- large egg
- vanilla extract: I always use my homemade vanilla extract when baking.
- all-purpose unbleached flour
Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Step 1: Beat the softened butter and peanut butter together.
Scrape the sides of the bowl using a silicone spatula.
Step 3: Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat in until combined.
The cookie dough batter should be light and fluffy.
Step 4: Beat the flour in a ⅓ at a time. Beating each addition until completely mixed in with the cookie dough.
Once the dough gets too stiff for the mixer switch to a wooden spoon to mix the last bit of flour in completely.
Step 5: Roll the cookie dough into dough into 1-inch balls. Use a teaspoon or a cookie dough scoop for even sized cookies.
Roll the cookie dough ball into a bowl of granulated sugar covering all sides.
Step 6: Arrange the sugar coated dough balls on the parchment lined cookie sheets two inches apart.
Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Step 7: Use a fork with long tines to press a crisscross pattern into the top of each cookie.
Step 8: Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not overbake or the cookies will be dry.
Remove the cookies from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack. Cool for five minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Storing cookies: Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Crunchy or chewy peanut butter cookies
When it comes to making peanut butter cookies you have two choices. Do you love them crunch or chewy? It is the baking time that will determine the crunchiness of the cookies.
For a crunchier cookie bake them for the 10 to 12 minute recommended time in this recipe. Crunchy cookies hold up better for dunking in a glass of milk.
If you like a chewier peanut butter cookie bake the cookies for less time. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes.
Peanut butter cookies are dryer than most homemade cookies. If they weren't as dry as they are you wouldn't be able to press the crisscross pattern across the top of this classic peanut butter cookie. The stiffer dryer cookie dough is needed to keep the decorative pattern on the top. If the dough had more moisture it would be softer and when you pressed the pattern on and the cookie baked the dough would spread too much. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and do not allow the cookie to brown on the top or edges for a softer cookie.
Unsalted butter is the best butter to use when making cookies. Most cookie recipes already have a small amount of salt in the ingredients list. Avoid using salted butter or delicate cookies might taste too salty.
Peanut butter cookies which are already a drier cookie should be stored in an airtight container as soon as possible to extend the storage time. Allows cool homemade cookies completely before storing. Cookies should be room temperature before sealing in an airtight container to prevent moisture from forming and causing the cookies to get soft or mushy.
Recipe Expert Tips
- lining the cookie sheets: Lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper allows the cookie bottoms to brown evenly. It also makes clean up a breeze.
- softened butter: soften the butter on the counter for a couple of hours. The butter should be completely softened.
- mixing cookie dough: you will start out mixing with a handheld or Kitchen Aide mixer then switch to a wooden spoon when the dough gets too stiff.
- cookie baking tip: light aluminum baking pans will brown faster than when baking on a dark non-stick baking pan.
- extra crunchy peanut butter cookies: add ½ cup of chopped roasted peanuts to the dough to make extra crunchy peanut butter cookies.
- cookie baking tips: oven temperatures vary so it is important to make adjustments to the baking time as needed. The 10 to 12 minute baking time is an estimate. The cookies bottoms and edges should be slightly golden brown. Overbaked cookies may be very hard.
- Pressing the cookie dough shape: slightly flattening the cookie dough ball before rolling in the granulated sugar makes it easier to press the cookie with the fork.
Bonus Tip: How to make same sized uniform cookies
Over the years of baking cookies I have learned a trick or two - it is possible to bake a perfectly sized round and uniformed cookie.
The trick is to use a cookie dough scoop to make your cookies the same size.
The scoop helps to make sure that each cookie is made with the exact same amount of dough.
When you scoop the dough be sure to always trim off the same amount of dough from the top of the scoop so it is level with the plastic edges of the dough scoop.
The shape and roundness of each cookie will depend on if you have any add-ins in the dough.
Cookies made with nuts and chocolate chips might be a little uneven on the edges.
Cookies like Mexican Wedding Cookies which are ball shaped will be perfectly shaped when you use a dough scoop.
What Size Cookie Scoop?
- 1 inch cookie dough scoop will bake forty-eight 1 ½ inch cookies.
- 1 ½ inch cookie dough scoop will bake twenty-eight 2 ½ inch cookies. I used this cookie dough scoop. You can buy a set of three cookie dough scoops for just a few more dollars.
More Classic Cookie Recipes
Check out some of the other classic cookie recipes I have shared.
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Peanut Butter Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (no substitutes)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (check the expiration date!)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe Prep
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the cookie dough
- Beat together butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about 1 minute until creamy . Add both sugars, baking powder and salt, beat until combined.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
- Beat the flour in a ⅓ at a time. Beating each addition until completely mixed in with the cookie dough. Once the dough gets too stiff for the mixer switch to a wooden spoon to mix the last bit of flour in completely.
- Roll the cookie dough into dough 1-inch balls. Flatten the ball slightly and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press a crisscross pattern into each cookie with a fork.
Bake the cookies
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until a light golden brown on the bottom.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack. Cool for five minutes and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Makes twenty-eight 2 ½ inch round cookies or forty-eight 1 ½ inch round cookies.