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The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

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Thick and soft with a rich peanut butter flavor and slightly sandy texture, these are the best peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

In search of the very best peanut butter cookies, we gathered up the best-looking recipes from the internet and my cookbook collection and baked them all. Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe from her cookbook My Father’s Daughter was the winner, hands down. The cookies are thick and soft with a rich peanut butter flavor and slightly sandy texture – and they are chockfull of Reese’s peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts.

What you’ll need to make The Best peanut butter cookies

ingredients for peanut butter cookies

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients.

whisked dry ingredients

Next, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.

butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in mixer

Beat until smooth and creamy, about a minute.

smooth and creamy peanut butter mixture

Add the egg.

adding the egg

Mix to combine, then add the dry ingredients.

adding the dry ingredients

Add the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts (if using).

adding the peanut butter chips and peanuts

Mix until just combined.

peanut butter cookie batter

Form the dough into 1-1/2-inch balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, and then use a fork to make a crisscross pattern and push the cookies down.

dough balls on baking sheet

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

baked peanut butter cookies

Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Note: This recipe is modestly adapted from Grandad Danner’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies in My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow. We replaced the dark brown sugar with light brown sugar, omitted the additional sugar for rolling (we found the original recipe a bit too sweet), and add chopped peanuts for texture and more peanut flavor. We also made a few tweaks to the method. To see the original recipe and read the rave reviews, click here.

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The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Thick and soft with a rich peanut butter flavor and slightly sandy texture, these are the best peanut butter cookies.

Servings: 32 cookies
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes, plus 1 hour to chill the dough

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature (I like Skippy No Need To Stir)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • ½ cup very finely chopped salted peanuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds more. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts (if using).
  4. Chill the dough for 1 hour (see note below). Set racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Using a 1½-inch scooper with a wire scraper (if you don’t have one, use a spoon and your hands), form the dough into 1½-inch balls on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, mark a crisscross pattern on the cookies, pressing them down slightly. Bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until puffed and golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. (Note: the cookies are very fragile when hot, so take care not to break them. They’ll firm up nicely as they cool.)
  5. Note: It's not absolutely necessary to chill the dough, however, it is quite sticky and difficult to handle if you don't have a "cookie scooper." Chilling the dough makes it much easier to handle, but feel free to skip this step if you like.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 173
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Sodium: 13mg
  • Cholesterol: 78mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • After doing the fork cross-cross, I sprinkled a light sprinkling of granulated sugar crystals for baking on them. Then baked them! Just an extra pro touch!

    • — Lisa C. on September 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow … perfect! I didn’t use the peanut butter chips, but didn’t need to!

    • — Anne C. on August 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are ‘Melt in the Mouth Peanut Butter Cookies’. I’ve gotten so many nice compliments with this recipe. Thanks so much!

    • — Liz on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these GREAT peanut butter cookies! Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe Jenn. It was the best peanut butter cookie I ever had. My family loved them! Actually every recipe I’ve made from OUAC has been Outstanding.

    • — S Stewart on July 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow Wow wow!!! My 7 year old said it best after trying one:
    “It’s like I’m having a party in my mouth by eating this cookie”
    Will definitely make these again.
    Sidney from Wisconsin

    • — Sidney on April 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these today. My husband said “well, these are not going to last long!”. These are the very best peanut butter cookies I have ever made and I have been making peanut butter cookies literally for 60 years!! Followed the recipe to the letter. Another great recipe from Jenn!

    • — Patti on March 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! Very tasty and moist. I was having trouble with the baking time. The cookies didn’t seem done after 10-12 minutes or even 14 minutes at 325 degrees F. I noticed the original recipe you linked says bake at 350 degrees F. Is that intentionally adjusted to 325 or a transcription error?

    • — Christina on February 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Christina, glad you enjoyed these but sorry you found the bake time to be off. I’m going to have another look at the recipe. Stay tuned!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Is the 1/2 teaspoon salt a correct measure?

    • — Dorothy Bollmeier on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, that’s correct. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • hi Jenn..
    let me tell you about my ‘nut butter’ cookies. i have been happy with your other cookie recipes & wanted to make your chunky peanut butter cookies but only had trader joes’ almond butter.
    that & dark brwn sugar were my only changes. they were very good! the batter was never oily & not sticky..instead it was kind of like modeling clay, very easy to roll in a ball. one batch i baked longer & they came out crisp. the other batch i took out at about 13 min or so. that is when the center of the cookie was ‘moist’ w/the butter..delicious! forgot to add the ‘butter’ was chunky, no salt. thank you..

    • — POOKIE on November 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad they came out nicely with your tweaks!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,

    I have a friend whose favourite dessert is chocolate peanut butter cookies — can I make those for her using this recipe and sub the peanut butter chips for chocolate chips (or add the chocolate chips in addition to peanut butter chips?). Would you recommend milk chocolate chips or semi sweet ?

    • — Mlak on November 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mlak, I haven’t used chocolate chips in place of the peanut butter, but I think it would work (and milk or semi-sweet is really just a preference but if you want something similar to the flavor in Reeses candy, then I’d go with milk). Hope your friend enjoys!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • I had a limited supply of peanut butter chips, so the first batch was cooked per the recipe — and they were fantastic! The second batch was a mix of 1/2 peanut butter chips, 1/4 milk chocolate chips, 1/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips — also yummy! I’m going to try a third round with the caramel chips that I have in abundance. About 18 months ago, I could only get some things in bulk, so I have a lot of baking chips that are nearing their expiration dates and a crazy supply of smooth peanut butter, lol. This recipe seems like a super versatile peanut butter cookie base that a person can have a lot of fun with. P.S., I had a longer baking time (20 mins), but that’s often the case with my older oven (clearly time for me to buy an oven thermometer). I have no doubt that I will make this recipe many times through the coming years.

    • — Pam on October 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’ve made these cookies several times and everyone loves them! I’d like to bake some today, but for some reason, none of the 3 grocery stores that I went to had peanut butter chips. I would guess that something needs to be substituted for the chips. Would you recommend more chopped peanuts, milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips or dark chocolate chunks?
    Thank you!

    • — Donna on September 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna! I’d probably go with milk chocolate, Reese’s pieces or chopped Reese’s PB cups. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 24, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much for your quick reply! I didn’t think to use Reese’s Pieces, I think I’ll do that. Have a great weekend 🙂

        • — Donna on September 24, 2021
        • Reply
  • I bake all the time, but the recipe I am most often asked for is this one. Everyone (even avowed non peanut butter lovers) love this recipe. The peanuts add the perfect amount of crunch. Just know they’re hard to stop eating!

    • — Lindsey on September 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • I only have organic chunky peanut butter and there is a layer of oil on the top. If I mixed it in well will that be ok to use?

    I am making them for a family reunion with my sons and their GF’s to I want them to be awesome (perfect) when I see them all over Labor Day.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Beth

    PS do you have also a notable chocolate chip cookie recipe?

    • — Beth Childs on August 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, I wouldn’t recommend that peanut butter. You’ll have the best results with creamy peanut butter. And I have a chocolate chunk cookie recipe that you can check out here. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on August 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • Love all your recipes and appreciate your responses to questions!
    When putting cookie dough (in balls) on cookie sheets to freeze before placing them in freezer bags should those sheets be covered – in plastic wrap, foil, etc?

    • — Susan W on August 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! You certainly can but don’t need to cover the dough balls when you put them in the freezer as you should only need to freeze them for about an hour before putting them into a freezer bag. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, So I added a second egg to the batter because others commented how dry it was using the Costco 100% natural peanut butter. I found my dough to be very moist, actually oily from the peanut butter. The peanuts and chips didn’t mix in well to the dough and I had about half sink to the bottom of the bowl and would not mix in no matter how hard I tried even with my hands. They baked in my oven for about 14 minutes and came out a beautiful golden brown. After the inconsistencies that I had compared to yours, they still tasted fantastic.

    • — Sheree on July 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Wish I read about the extra egg after using Costco PB. Mine were quite dry

      • — Jan on March 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • They don’t sell peanut butter chips here in Sweden. What can I replace them with?
    Thanks

    • — Andrea on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrea, You could use chocolate chips instead. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I plan on making these with the Costco Natural no sugar added peanut butter. I noticed someone said the batter was crumbly. Would it help if I added another egg?

    • — Sheree on July 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Sheree, I don’t recommend natural peanut butter here. That said, you could try including another egg; it may help but I’m not 100 percent sure. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can is recipe be doubled?

    • — Ellen on June 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on June 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi can I use canola oil instead of butter? We can’t have butter>

    • — Victoria on May 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Victoria, Canola oil won’t work here but you could use coconut oil. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made these cookies and they were so soft and delish! I did omit the peanuts and chips based on a request, the base cookie was really good….I am so happy I discovered all your recipes, they are easy to follow and always turn out perfect. Thank you!

    • — Michele on February 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • I wondered how these could be different from other recipes but I highly recommend! It’s a little more complicated than other recipes (two sugars, pb chips, etc) but the result is WORTH IT. The salted peanuts – love! You’ll want to make again and again. On that note, think I’ll make more tonight! 🙂

    Side note to Jenn: I’ve been so impressed with the recipes. It’s evident to me that you have tested and refined these recipes because I haven’t missed yet and I’ve tried a lot. My entire family loves what I make from here. So I just say to say thank you for testing all these with your family. We appreciate it!

    • — Kathy on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on January 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • You can make these vegan! I used Earth Balance to replace the butter, and both Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer and the standard flax egg. I slightly prefer the flax egg as it seems just a touch richer than the BRM egg replacer, comparable to the version I made with Earth Balance vegan butter and eggs from my hens.

    I was skeptical about this recipe considering who the original author is, as celebrity cookbooks don’t tend to be very… good. This recipe is very similar to my Mom’s! And I have the pleasure of telling my mother I did not “mess with” -her- recipe to make my vegan and modified vegetarian versions.

    I did go ahead and use unsalted raw peanuts I roasted myself and threw some salt in with that, as that’s what I had on hand. Would be lovely with dark chocolate (my next batch!) For a Reeses-like cookie.

    Dough can be a little fussy if baking with kids. A good teachable dough for older kitchen helpers, probably not the best recipe for having the little ones help!

    • — Amanda on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • These needed a minimum of 16 minutes in my oven, and even then they were oddly pale and soft to the touch. But I took them out and let them cool as instructed, and once they were completely cool—SO GOOD!

    • — Jess on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Greetings, hope all is well.
    Curious, can you use dark brown sugar or half of each? I was trying to get a more soft chewy cookie?
    Thanks in advance.

    • — Amelia on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Amelia, that’s fine. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • I want to make this recipe but many comments are saying 325 degrees was too low? Is 325 degrees the correct temperature? Btw every recipe on your site that I have tried has been great! If I serve something new & my husband likes it, he always asks “ Is this one of Jenn’s recipes!” 😊

    • — Dana on January 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Dana, So glad you like the recipes! Yes, 325° is the correct temperature for these. Hope you enjoy if you make them. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • These really are the best peanut butter cookies I ever tasted. They have so much substance I think you can eat them for breakfast! Don’t leave out the chopped peanuts!

    • — Carol on December 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi there. Followed directions to a T and yet after 12 minutes cookies are not golden. The sure taste good though. I was curious about the temperature of 325. Is that Conventional or Convection? Most cookies I have baked usually are at 350 conventional. Input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • — Lori on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, sorry to hear you had a bit of a problem with the timing on the cookies. I use the standard/conventional oven setting for all of my recipes. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on December 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Anyone ever subbed Nestle’s Chocolate Chips for the peanut butter chips?

    • — Dorothy on December 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • I found that the baking time was almost double that which is in the recipe. Anyone else have this issue?

    • — Janis McGladrey on November 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, same for me. But they were excellent!

      • — Erin on December 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • These cookies are definitely for the peanut better lover and were delicious! I saw that the original recipe used 1/2 light brown sugar and 1/2 dark brown sugar so I used the combination of the brown sugars. Even after refrigerating, the dough was hard to work with – very crumbly but once baked and cooled came together nicely. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • — LisaR on October 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • One word……YUMMY!

    • — Kathy Bedard on October 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Will this recipe work if you leave the peanuts out? Thanks. Love your recipes

    • Sure — the cookies may have slightly less texture without the crunch of the peanuts, but they’ll still be good — hope you enjoy!

      • Thank you. I did add the nuts, just not as much as the recipe. They turned out great.

        • — Kathy Bedard on October 1, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – could I use a hand mixer? I don’t have a kitchen-aid. Also would gf flour work?

    • Hi Catherine, you can definitely use a hand mixer; you’ll just need to increase the speed a bit. And I’ve never made these with gluten-free flour, so I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it will work nicely. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • Hi Jenn – gluten-free flour worked fine (Bob’s Redmill 1 to 1) and I used chocolate chips rather than pb and they were delicious. I did use the natural peanut butter and as you noted, it was a little dry & made the batter a bit crumbly. Wondering if adding a tablespoon of coconut oil or peanut oil when mixing the peanut butter and butter would help? Or more butter?

        • Hi Catherine, glad you like these! If you want to stick with a natural peanut butter, yes, I think adding a tablespoon or so of coconut oil may help to provide a little more moisture.

      • Best peanut butter cookies ever!!!😊😊💕💕🇨🇦

  • Simply put, this is the best peanut butter cookie recipe that I have made. In the past month, I have been craving peanut butter cookies and have tried other recipes.This one is the BEST! I made exactly as outlined–don’t skip the peanut butter chips or salted peanuts. They give the cookie a creamy and crunchy bite. Normally, I get my fix from Subway–strangely, they make a good peanut butter cookie. Now, I have balls of deliciousness in the freezer and can pop into the oven at will. (Oh, I used a Cusinart as my KitchenAid mixer is in storage and everything came together beautifully.) Thank you, Jenn.

  • JUST SO GOOD!

    • — Theresa McGuire
    • Reply
  • I tried these for the first time and had been eying them in Gwyneth’s cookbook which I have as well. They were amazing!! So peanut buttery! My husband loved them!

    • — Mylene Mangalindan
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this. What a delicious cookie. I have had my eye on this recipe for a while, and finally made it out to the supermarket to get the PB chips. I wanted to add a couple of notes, in case they are helpful for others:
    1) I only used 2/3 cup sugar and I thought they were plenty sweet. I think if they were sweeter they wouldn’t taste peanutty enough.
    2) I used two baking sheets. One was very light in color and one was very dark in color. The cookies on the lighter sheet took at least 6 more minutes to get “golden” on the underside, and even then didn’t look as golden as the ones baked on the darker sheet. I used parchment on both sheets.

  • Jenn is the cookie master. Every recipe from her site is amazing. These peanut butter cookies are no exception. Although peanut butter are not my personal favorite type of cookie, my husband LOVES them. He took a bite as they came out of the oven and immediately exclaimed, “They’re so peanut-buttery!!!” He has eaten 6 so far. Thanks, Jenn!

  • Thank you once again for a wonderful recipe. My grandson is going to love these😍

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