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.
In search of the ultimate peanut butter cookies, I gathered up the best-looking recipes from the internet and my cookbook collection, and I baked them all. Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe, published in 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. Normally, I’m not a big fan of peanut butter chips, but they add really nice texture and flavor here.
What you’ll need to make The Best peanut butter cookies
Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients.
Next, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Beat until smooth and creamy, about a minute.
Add the egg.
Mix to combine, then add the dry ingredients.
Add the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts (if using).
Mix until just combined.
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.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: This recipe is modestly adapted from Grandad Danner’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies in My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow. I replaced the dark brown sugar with light brown sugar, omitted the additional sugar for rolling, and add chopped peanuts for texture and more peanut flavor. I 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.
- 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)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- 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).
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
These cookies are so delicious! Great flavour and texture! Another wonderful recipe. Thanks again Jenn!
I love your recipes !!!
question on peanut butter cookies:
I have all ingredients except peanut butter chips. can I substitute dark chocolate chips instead or more peanut butter ?
I’d go with the dark chocolate chips – hope you enjoy!
I love these cookies — very peanutty! I made exactly as directed and no issues with batter. Thanks for another great recipe Jenn!
I followed exactly what the recipe said. But when I went to scoop the dough out the chips and peanuts kept falling out and the dough had a hard time keeping its shape unlike your photo. I’m disappointed because I followed all the steps.
On your photo the chips aren’t sticking out of the scoop, why is that? I’m very confused as your dough on the sheet looks completely different.
I even refrigerated the dough! Help!
Hi Stephanie, Hard to say why you had that issue, but it sounds like the dough was a bit too dry. Did you use natural peanut butter? (That tends to be drier.)
I just tried this recipe with Adam’s creamy peanut butter- all natural. Dough is really crumbly. I goofed and added dry to mix before egg.
Could I add an another egg to my remaining half of dough ? or what would you recommend to remedy? (Besides eating it raw yummy lol) Thank you!! Tanja
Bummer — Not sure you can salvage the remaining dough at this point. 🙁
And if you make them again, I would avoid natural peanut butter as it tends to be drier.
I made these cookies tonight. The dough was perfect! I used an organic chunky peanut butter with only one ingredient – peanuts. I chopped up a 72% cocoa Belgian chocolate bar and added those as “chips”. I did not refrigerate the dough first. The cookies are pure bliss! I have used a tried and true peanut butter cookie recipe for about 40 years …. and this one is even better. So much for the old recipe!
For me, a Jenn Segal recipe renders all other recipes useless. For example, this peanut butter cookie recipe: I tried it after trying countless disappointing recipes, loved it, and simply stopped looking. It’s kinda like finally finding the right person and getting married, haha.
I don’t know what makes this recipe so perfect for me: I’m guessing it’s because the peanut butter to flour ratio is higher than most recipes, it makes the cookies intensely peanutty, as well as softer. Oh, and the chopped peanuts are a fantastic flavour + texture enhancer. I used Skor bits instead of peanut butter chips – OMFG.
Are we allowed to say cookiegasm on a recipe site? I just did!
Excellent! First recipe I have tried in 35 years for a different peanut butter cookie. Hopefully I will still be making this recipe in another 35 years. I followed the recipe to a tee and I had no issues with crumbling. They are simply scrumptious.
Love your recipes. Every one is a success!
Could I make the dough and leave it in the fridge overnight and bake it the following day?
I had to set the oven to 375 degrees when baking these cookies. When baked at 325 degrees, they did not get golden brown and were too soft. The cookies turned out great at the higher temperature. They are also good using chunky peanut butter as well.
Made these last night and they are delicious! Not as sweet as other peanut butter cookies I’ve tried, despite the fact that I used mini reese’s pieces instead of peanut butter chips. I had to bake them for 20 minutes instead of 12, though, and I had to up the heat to 340F. The only thing I will change next time is to chop the peanuts a little less, so that they are nice and chunky when baked.
Can I use chocolate chips instead of the peanut butter chips to turn these into peanut butter chocolate chip cookies?
Sure, Kathy – that’ll work. 🙂
OMG! I’m eating these right now! These are absolutely THE BEST peanut butter cookies ever. (Sorry Grams!) They are soft with a superlight texture and all that peanut butter flavor you’re looking for. I’m going to eat more now before my teenaged sons discover them. After that, it’s game over!
Could you sprinkle these with turbinado sugar
Sure, Lynda – I love that idea!
We loved these cookies! Easy recipe. No need for me to chill recipe since dough wasn’t too sticky to deal with. Baked up perfect. Only change is that I didn’t add 1/2 cup salted peanuts.
Jenn, would unsalted peanuts work in this recipe? Do you think I would need to increase the amount of salt called for in the recipe if I use the unsalted? (That’s what I have on hand.). Thank you!
Yes, I think that if you up the salt just a little, that you could get away with using unsalted peanuts here. I’d love to hear how they turn out!
Jenn, I ended up having just enough salted peanuts on hand so I went with that. I did substitute butterscotch chips because I had some that I needed to use. The cookies are delicious, although I think the butterscotch chips overtook the peanut butter flavor. ☹️I can’t wait to make these again and use peanut butter chips. The dough was soft and easy to handle after refrigerating for an hour. The cookies are very fragile as you state until completely cooled. Very sweet & nice texture. Thank you for sharing your great recipes!
Can I use chunky peanut butter? I inherited a large jar of it. Ha. Thanks!
Sure, Jen – enjoy!
I made these for staff birthday treats but it turned out to be a snow day so I froze them after posting a pic on FB. Well some people guilted me into giving them the cookies. The cookies (all 30) were consumed by 2 people in a day or so. The addition of peanuts along with the peanut butter chips made this recipe indulgent. I think putting real butter into the mix instead of Crisco have it added richness. You can’t go wrong with these.
Love these with the peanuts and chips! But thought mine were a little powdery/sandy? is that the correct texture or would this have been because of how I made them?
Yes, Louise, they do have a bit of a sandy (but till moist) texture, so it sounds like you did everything right!
ok these are yummo..I used chocolate chips because I didn’t have peanut butter ones and honestly..so good!
I made these cookies with my niece. She loved following the pictures (as I read the steps to her). And when the cookies were a huge hit with the whole family. The flavors were so rich and the cookies were so soft and creamy.
Hi Jenn, if I omit the PB chips, and use smokey salted peanuts, would it taste just as good?
Serena, I honestly don’t think they will be as good without the chips– they add some necessary sweetness and creaminess to the cookies– sorry!
What about the peanut butter itself? Can I use the no sugar added PB?
Yes, I think that should be fine.
I finally got to make this today, and I double the ingredients. But for some reasons, the batter was pretty crumbly to work with, is this normal? The only thing different I did was for about 100g of the peanut butter, I used the crunchy instead of cream cus I ran out.
Hi Serena, I don’t think a crunchy PB would make that much of a difference. This is quite a wet dough – is it possible you measured something incorrectly?
How long do you think the dough could be left in the refrigerator? Could I bake half of the cookies and wait a few days to bake the rest? Thank you in advance; I’m excited to make these!
Hi Ally, I think the refrigerated dough would be okay for 2 to 3 days. You can also freeze it. Hope you enjoy!
I made one batch of cookies without refrigerating, one batch after refrigerating one hour, and one batch after refrigerating two days. All three batches were amazing and called “the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had” by the recipients. I didn’t change a single thing. Thank you so much!
I see you have already answered my question earlier posts. Thanks.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE!
I was a little worried that Jenn threw chips and nuts into the cookie because it wasn’t good enough by itself, but that’s not the case at all.
The most peanut buttery tasting cookie I’ve ever eaten and I didn’t put in PB chips as I didn’t have any (used choc. chips instead) nor peanuts, again, didn’t have any (but used sunflower seeds)!
Thanks for all the details in you provide in your recipes and being able to see the ingredients in metric and imperial!
Delicious! This recipe was my first attempt at peanut butter cookies, and it was highly satisfying. Normally I follow Jenn’s recipes exactly, but I was short on a few ingredients (light brown sugar, peanuts and PB chips) this time around so I made a few adjustments. I used Trader Joe’s crunchy salted PB and all dark brown sugar. I baked half of the batch plain and half with Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips. Cooking time was closer to 14 minutes, plus 10-15 minutes to cool on the pan. The cookies were delightful warm, and surprisingly even better once they’d completely cooled about an hour later. I would agree that for a more intense PB flavor, PB chips would be the way to go! If you just want something indulgently rich, chocolate chips will hit the spot.
Fabulous recipe!! Made a double batch last night and my family all gave this a big yummy thumbs up!!! ( Great for breakfast with a cup of coffee the next morning too !! 😉
I’m not a fan of peanut butter cookies in general but for whatever reason I wanted to make this recipe for a long time. Amazingly delicious! My oven sucks and the first batch had brown bottoms but even slightly burnt they were so very tasty. I modified the temp to 300 because my oven runs hot, & took them out after 12 minutes.
These are the best cookies! I’m sure they are really great the way the recipe calls, but I didn’t have peanut butter chips or peanuts, so I added chocolate chips and no peanuts. They were excellent! My family loved them!
I made these one Sunday, I had to hide cookies in order to pack them into empty PB jars to send them to my daughter’s boyfriend at Prescott College in Arizona. they were a huge hit- at home and in AZ! Great mouth feel and taste! It’s a keeper!!
I’ve made these a few times and they came out great each time. Since I’m a vegetarian I substituted a flax egg for the real egg. I also used chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips because that was what I had on hand. This has become a new favorite staple in my household. They are substantial yet crisp, and deliciously flavored. Oh yeah, I added extra vanilla just because I like the taste of that.
I’ve just made them today and they cooled down totally but they are still very crumbly…:((
I’m wondering why, since I respected the recipe exactly, even chilled the dough.
I’ve made many of your recipes and never had a problem. I’m disappointed…
What can I do?!
Hi Ildi, So sorry you had trouble with this one. They shouldn’t be crumbly. What type of peanut butter did you use?
I just made the dough and it is very crumbly as well. Definitely not wet. I used the Costco natural – no sugar, not salt peanut butter.
Hi Joanne, Sorry to hear you found the dough to be dry — how did the cookies come out? If you weren’t happy with the results, I suggest using a peanut butter like the one I used (I like Skippy No Need To Stir).
Absolute perfection!! I doubled the recipe and everything turned out great. My colleagues have requested more. 🙂
Thank you for an awesome recipe!
Hi, Can i check if you will be able to specify the speed for each step? im always messing things up when it comes down to the mixer. im using a kitchenaid mixer!
Appreciate the help!!
Hi Jay, the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and then the egg should be mixed on medium, and then the dry ingredients and peanut butter chips (and peanuts if you’re using them) should be mixed on low. Hope you enjoy the cookies!
What is the oven temperature?
Hi Sue, the cookies should be baked at 325°F. Hope you enjoy!
I made these and they are very, very, good…they are not the best peanut butter cookie I have ever made, but pretty close. Mine did not get browned, but I did only bake for the suggested 12 minutes. they are delicate, but not so that they disintegrate when you touch them. The nuts and the chips give them nice texture. I also rolled mine in granulated sugar prior to baking. I can’t eat just one. They were easy to mix and bake.
These are great cookies, but I wouldn’t skip chilling the dough. Also, they are more crumbly/fragile after they are baked and cooled than other peanut butter recipes, so I took off a star for that reason. The chips and peanuts are a great bonus!
Agreed with the previous review that said the dough is extremely crumbly, but the cookies do come out very tasty; also, agreed that it makes much more sense to make and chill the dough first, then preheat the oven shortly before baking.
Clarification question: should the dough be chilled in the refrigerator or the freezer?
Hi Kelly, The dough should be chilled in the fridge but please see the note I added to the recipe. It is actually not necessary to chill the dough if you have a cookie scooper, or if you can handle it right away. I found that it was too sticky to roll unless chilled.
These are so delicious! I didn’t have peanuts or peanut butter chips, so I used chocolate chips instead! They turned out great! The texture of these cookies are really what make them great!
Best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had. Wouldn’t change anything about the ingredients. Only tweak to the recipe itself would be to preheat the oven after the “Chill for 1 hour” step.
These were delicious! I used natural peanut butter and they were perfectly sweet and salty. I did not chill the dough for an hour and I found the batter quite crumbly (not sure if there’s a connection), but I did my best to form them into balls with my hands and then I hoped for the best, and they turned out well in the end. As promised, they came together perfectly as they cooled. I would definitely make these again!
My cookies were also crumbly and not sticky. I added 6min to the recommended time. Felt like they were a little under done but very tasty. I can’t think of what I could to make them sticky.
I was just reading this recipe and thinking I would make them but I am always nervous about US cups versus Australian when to my absolute delight I saw the little button at the top to change to Metric!! Did I miss that before or is it new? Anyway, it is wonderful, because I do like your recipes and they will be even easier now.
Hi Anita, I’m slowly but surely converting recipes so that they have both cup and metric measures. (All of the new ones have both.) If there are any specific recipes that you’d like converted, please let me know!
I made these today and they were super-peanut-buttery delicious! Great sandy, moist texture. Our favorite peanut butter cookie, ever! Baked off a small sheet, and will freeze the rest of the unbaked cookie dough balls. (No will power.)Thanks for another great recipe, Jenn!!
These look delicious but I haven’t made them yet. . . . I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the metric button! I have only had great success from your recipes but metric will make things much easier for me.
I am looking forward to your next selection of deliciousness already!
So glad I came across you. Thanks Jenn.
My daughter and I are making your peanut butter cookies just now. We live in London.
We don’t think we have the right quantities of ingredients because our dough doesn’t look creamy like yours and its very very sweet.
I have used conversion of your 1 cup to our 250g.
Is that correct?
If not can you tell me the quantities of everything in grams and we will try again next weekend.
Hi Lesley, 1 cup of peanut butter is 270 grams. You can convert the entire recipe to metric on the site — in the top right corner of the recipe, you’ll find a button where you can toggle between metric and cup measures. Hope that helps!
These cookies are delicious! I had to put most of them in the freezer or I would eat them all. Thank you Jenn!
My children and I made these last night. Great recipe! I always trust your recipes.
Love your site and your recipes. I have recently become vegetarian and have been making a lot of meat and dairy free dinners. I would love to see more of these on your site (I think many people are trying to reduce meat consumption too).
If you prefer not to use peanut butter chips does 1 cup of creamy peanut butter replace the 1 cup of chips?
Hi Leanne, Just omit the chips without making any other adjustments — you can also use chunky peanut butter in place of creamy.
If you want extra crunch or texture on top of the peanuts, you could also add some rice krispie cereal.. YUM! 🙂
In my opinion peanut butter chips taste awful. Adding them instead of real peanut butter makes cookies taste like cheaply made commercial cookies.
I would normally agree, Helen, but we tried them both ways and we all loved the version with the chips best. 🙂
This recipe sounds awesome! You are so graceful in the face of criticism. I’ll make these exactly to the recipe and come back to comment. ?
Could you do 1 cup of chocolate chips instead? Or would you need less to avoid being too sweet?
Hi Diana, I’ve tried these with chocolate chips (1 cup) and they are delicious; they just have a less intense peanut butter flavor.
I’m allergic to peanuts, but not to almonds. Could this work with almond Butter/chopped almonds as substitutes?
I think it would, Laura. Please let me know how they turn out!
I like peanuts in cookies. Do they really need to be chopped (finely or otherwise)?
Hi Brian, You can leave them whole if you’d like — enjoy!
Cool. I was afraid it would affect the consistency of the cookies. I’m thinking splitting Planters Cocktail Peanuts in half (taking out that bitter lil bit) is gonna be pretty damn good