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Peanut Butter Cookies

Don’t settle for dry or crumbly Peanut Butter Cookies. These peanut butter cookies are soft, chewy and full of flavor, with no chill time necessary!

Small bowl of creamy peanut butter next to a stack of freshly baked peanut butter cookies with the top one missing a bite.

I love peanut butter, but to be honest, most peanut butter cookie recipes have been a disappointment. That ends today.

Peanut butter cookies tend to be made from a very thick dough that requires a fork to press it down to get your cookies to spread. Don’t get me wrong, the fork prints make a pretty design and have become a traditional symbol of peanut butter cookies everywhere, but the thick texture makes a big glass of milk a necessity and makes it easy to overbake them.

This recipe is different for a few reasons. The first is there are no fork prints required. Simply scoop your dough into balls and plop them on the baking tray. They will naturally spread as they bake.

That spreading results in a cookie that is perfectly cooked on the exterior but soft and chewy in the middle. It’s a texture that’s more like an excellent chocolate chip cookie than a traditional peanut butter cookie.  

While you may still want a glass of cool milk for these peanut butter cookies to balance out the rich peanut butter flavor, the texture is moist and chewy, not sticky and heavy. 

That being said, this cookie still has all the delicious peanut butter flavor you want in a peanut butter cookie–balanced out nicely by a good amount of brown sugar and vanilla. Give them a try and see why this is the peanut butter cookie recipe you need in your life!

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients shown are used to prepare peanut butter cookies.
  1. Unsalted Butter: The flavor of butter is a really nice complement to peanut butter. Make sure you let your butter soften to room temperature before using. Room temperature butter is between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Margarine: Margarine AND butter? Yes! The margarine is the key to helping your cookies spread as they bake and staying soft and moist too.
  3. Light Brown Sugar: Brown sugar helps keep the cookie moist and flavorful
  4. Granulated Sugar
  5. Egg + 1 Large Egg Yolk: The added fat in the extra yolk will give your cookies a richer flavor and a lighter texture
  6. Vanilla Extract: A good amount of vanilla extract is necessary to really bring out the peanut butter flavor
  7. Creamy Peanut Butter: I recommend using a good, creamy peanut butter. I personally use Jif Brand
  8. All-Purpose Flour: You can substitute most brands of 1:1 Gluten Free flour for a gluten free alternative if necessary.
  9. Baking Soda
  10. Salt

Adaptations

While these cookies are great on their own, they also work well with any add-in you might like. Add some chocolate chips, craisins, m&ms (like in my Monster Cookies) or anything your heart desires!

What’s the Best Peanut Butter to Use for Cookies?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to peanut butter. My preference is a name-brand, creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. They may not be 100% natural, but they have a consistent flavor and texture you can count on. I recommend these brands for all of my peanut butter recipes, including Peanut Butter Ganache, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, and my Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies.

You can use a natural peanut butter for this recipe, but make sure and mix it very well before adding it in so you have any oily or dry portions.

You can also use crunchy peanut butter if you want the chunks but be aware that it may make mixing a little tougher and may actually make your dough more dry. I recommend sticking with creamy and adding in peanut pieces if you want the crunch.

How to Make This Recipe

Step One: Mix your wet ingredients

Butter, margarine and sugars added to a Kitchenaid mixer.
Peanut butter cookie dough in a Kitchenaid mixer.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and creamy.

Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla into the cookie dough and beat again until just combined.

Add the peanut butter and beat again. 

Step Two: Add the Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients added to the wet cookie dough ingredients for making peanut butter cookies.

Finally, add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat until just combined. Do not overmix.

Step Three: Scoop and Bake

Spoonful of peanut butter cookies laying on a cooling rack.

Scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet using a #40 cookie scoop (2 Tbsp worth of dough).

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges turn brown but the centers are still soft.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

Serve and enjoy!

Expert Tips

Top view of a plate of peanut butter cookies next to the remaining cookies cooling on parchment paper with a small dish of creamy peanut butter alongside.
  • Be careful not to overmix your dough. Overworking your butter and margarine will make your cookies tough, rather than tender and chewy.
  • Measure your flour carefully. Your dough will be a little stickier than chip cookie dough. Not too soft and not too thick. Too much flour will make your cookies dry and crumbly. 
  • Be careful not to over bake your cookies. This is true with just about any cookie recipe. Over baking will dry out your cookies and make them crisp. Don’t worry if your cookies appear slightly underbaked when you pull them from the oven. They will continue to bake on the hot pan and will solidify as they cool.

Can I Make This Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can definitely make this dough ahead of time and bake when you are ready to enjoy. Just mix the dough as usual and store it in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

This dough also freezes nicely and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Once the cookies are baked, you can store them in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature or freeze them for several months.

Can I use Almond Butter Instead of Peanut Butter? 

You can substitute almond butter for peanut butter in a 1 to 1 ratio, but be aware that almond butter may have a slightly different texture than peanut butter. It may not bind your ingredients together as well so your cookies will be a bit more crumbly. 

Did you enjoy this Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe? If so, check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

Bite taken out of a peanut butter cookie that's sitting on top of a stack of the freshly baked cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Don’t settle for dry or crumbly Peanut Butter Cookies. These peanut butter cookies are soft, chewy and full of flavor, with no chill time necessary!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut butter cookies
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 258kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, softened
  • 4 Tbsp Margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the 1/2 cup softened butter, 4 tbsp margarine, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until light and creamy.
  • Add 1 egg, 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla into the cookie dough and beat again until just combined.
  • Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and beat again.
  • Finally, add 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt and beat until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet using a #40 cookie scoop (2 Tbsp worth of dough).
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges turn brown but the centers are still soft.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only.
  • Unsalted Butter: The flavor of butter is a really nice complement to peanut butter. Make sure you let your butter soften to room temperature before using. Room temperature butter is between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Margarine: Margarine AND butter? Yes! The margarine is the key to helping your cookies spread as they bake and staying soft and moist too.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Brown sugar helps keep the cookie moist and flavorful
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg + 1 Large Egg Yolk: The added fat in the extra yolk will give your cookies a richer flavor and a lighter texture
  • Vanilla Extract: A good amount of vanilla extract is necessary to really bring out the peanut butter flavor
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: I recommend using a good, creamy peanut butter. I personally use Jif Brand
  • All-Purpose Flour: You can substitute most brands of 1:1 Gluten Free flour for a gluten free alternative if necessary.
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Be careful not to overmix your dough. Overworking your butter and margarine will make your cookies tough, rather than tender and chewy.
  • Measure your flour carefully. Your dough will be a little stickier than chip cookie dough. Not too soft and not too thick. Too much flour will make your cookies dry and crumbly.
  • Be careful not to over bake your cookies. This is true with just about any cookie recipe. Over baking will dry out your cookies and make them crisp. Don’t worry if your cookies appear slightly underbaked when you pull them from the oven. They will continue to bake on the hot pan and will solidify as they cool.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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