Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Rich and chewy, you’d never guess these outrageously good peanut butter cookies are made from just 5 ingredients.

Rich, chewy, and flecked with sea salt, you’d never guess that these outrageously good peanut butter cookies from Ovenly are made with just five ingredients — and that they’re naturally gluten and dairy-free. As someone who has baked a lot of cookies, I honestly don’t know how the magic happens, but somehow the combination of peanut butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla bakes up into gorgeous, puffy cookies that taste like the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

What You’ll Need To Make Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookie ingredientsFor best results, use a smooth and creamy commercial peanut butter, like Skippy. (I do not recommend all-natural or chunky peanut butter.)

Step-By-Step Instructions

To begin, combine the light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Whisk until well combined.

Add the peanut butter.

Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined and the dough is very thick.

stirring peanut butter cookie batter

It will take about 3 minutes of stirring to get to the right consistency (it gets thicker as you continue to stir).

Using a #20 (3-tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop the dough into mounds onto the prepared baking sheets. (If you don’t have the right cookie scoop, form the dough into balls by hand; they should be the size of generous golf balls.)

If you often find yourself making cookies, you may want to invest in a few cookie dough scoops. Using a spoon will definitely work just fine, but the advantage to using a cookie scoop is that it makes each ball of dough exactly the same shape and size so that the cookies bake evenly.

Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with the sea salt. Slide the baking sheets into the freezer for 15 minutes, or into the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden and cracked on top. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

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Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Rich and chewy, you’d never guess these outrageously good peanut butter cookies are made from just 5 ingredients.

Servings: 16 to 18 cookies
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy (see note)
  • Coarse-grained sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line two 13x18-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add the peanut butter and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined and the dough is very thick. It will take about 3 minutes of stirring to get to the right consistency (it gets thicker as you continue to stir). (Note: Do not use an electric mixer for this process, as it can cause the peanut butter to separate.)
  3. Using a #20 (3-tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop the dough into mounds onto the prepared baking sheets. (If you don't have the right cookie scoop, form the dough into balls by hand; they should be the size of generous golf balls.)
  4. Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with the sea salt. Slide the baking sheets into the freezer for 15 minutes, or into the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Bake the first pan for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden and cracked on top. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
  6. Note: For best results, use a smooth and creamy commercial peanut butter, like Skippy. (I do not recommend all-natural or chunky peanut butter.)
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Scoop the dough into balls, sprinkle with salt (and press lightly so it adheres), 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

  • Per serving (17 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 253
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Sugar: 25 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 128 mg
  • Cholesterol: 22 mg

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.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Holy Smokes! These are fantastic! So easy to make and really delicious. Another winner from Chef Jenn.

    • — Susan on May 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • These cookies are the best! Easy to make using ingredients I am likely to have on hand. No need pull out the mixer. The texture is amazing, soft like cake, and the sea salt is the perfect finish to make these cookies special.

    • — Linda on May 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe for the third time yesterday and am still working on getting the right size, but it really doesn’t matter, ended up with 27 cookies, so smaller than recommended and cooking time is less, of course. Being home has resulted in a LOT more cooking, but still, I am down 23 lbs since January. These cookies are perfect for satisfying that “I want something sweet” feeling, just one is enough for me. I have shared the recipe several times and also recommend your emails, Jenn. Thanks very much for introducing me to this wonderful recipe, it really is excellent! May 13, 2020

    • — Sigrid Price on May 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like them! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jennifer,

    You and Your recipes ROCK!! they are the BEST!! I made those cookies and I had great success with them. They are very sweet though-anyway I can cut back on the sugar with the same results?

    Thank you Jen

    • — Janelle on May 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Thanks Janelle — so glad you like the recipes!! I think you could cut back on the sugar by about 1/4 cup. Any more than that and I’d be concerned that it will impact the texture. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • I baked these cookies for my grandchildren and they told me these are the BEST peanut butter cookies ever!! This is my new Peanut butter cookie recipe.
    My cookies were puffy when I took them out of the oven then they went flat. Is that normal?

    • — Wendy Lee Humphreys on May 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad they enjoyed them, Wendy! They should stay puffy; I’d leave them in the oven for another minute or two.

      • — Jenn on May 5, 2020
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  • AMAZING cookies!! Delicious! Salty and sweet. Light and soft in the middle, crispy on the edges. Super easy to make. New fav.

    • — Despina on May 2, 2020
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  • I don’t know happened to mine. I followed the recipe but they didn’t flatten at all when baking, they burnt on the bottom and were raw in the middle. I’m wondering if I could have over mixed the batter? I have to add that I love your recipes and this is the only time I’ve tried something that didn’t turn out.

    • — Sharron White on May 2, 2020
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    • I’m so sorry you had trouble, Sharron. Did the batter separate while you were mixing it? What type of peanut butter did you use?

      • — Jenn on May 2, 2020
      • Reply
      • I used Jif peanut butter & the batter didn’t separate. I just bought a thermometer to check my oven temperature, it’s about 25 degrees hotter than the setting so that may be the problem. On another note we’re having your Spinach Frittata for the second time, delicious.

        • — Sharron White on May 17, 2020
        • Reply
  • Jen, Thank you so much for sharing this perfect gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe. My arm was a bit tired after the hand stirring, but it was well worth it! This has now become my peanut butter cookie recipe and is my 86 year old gluten free mother’s constant request! Do you have any thoughts about putting together another cookbook?

    • — Kathy M on May 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you and your mom like these! I’m actually working on another cookbook – I just haven’t announced it yet (stay tuned for details)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • I do a lot of baking and these may be the best cookies I have ever made. They were perfect as is, but I decided to add some chocolate. When the cookies were cooled, I frosted the bottoms with melted milk chocolate and left them upside down until the chocolate hardened. Making another batch today to share with friends.

    • — Jacquie Rohricht on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yum!

      • — Jenn on May 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • I must be blind but I do not see how many cookies this makes. I see 9 on the cookie sheet in the photo…is that all it makes? Ty and cannot wait to make them.

    • — Jacqueline Murphy on April 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • 🙂 It makes 16 to 18 cookies. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • If heaven was a food, this is what it would taste like! My wife is absolutely raving about these cookies and continues to commit deliveries to all of our friends. One set of friends actually sent us a text with a picture of their last cookie ceremoniously cut up on a plate and lamented that there were no more!! Great friends so they get another batch!

    • — Michael Keith on April 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Love that, Michael! 😊

      • — Jenn on April 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello! Any chance of adding the original posting of this recipe where you talk about using a jar of skippy because one jar equals the amount you need and chilling the dough to get the little striations on the top? I loved your original little write up about this recipe! All those little tips and commentary were lovely! Please consider adding it as a link at the end like you have with others.

    • — Laura on April 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, I think you must’ve seen that information on another website/another version of the recipe as that was never included in mine. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • These are delicious! We are ALL home now – 2 college age kids and 2 in H.S. – so I made them slightly smaller and got almost 2 dozen. Baked them for 17 minutes and they are perfect. Your website and cookbook are amazing; recipes we make again and again. Thank you!

    • — Cathy on April 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jenn, these were fantastic! Forgot to mix the eggs and sugar first so it was too difficult to whisk the mixture, so I stirred it as well as I could. I rolled them into golf balls and hoped for the best, they really are delicious….

    Hope you and your family are keeping healthy and safe!

    • — Mary Smith on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • i tried this recipe for the first time today. the biscuits texture and consistency was excellent. I thought i did a good job with the baking but it was a bit burnt at the bottom. Probably because the oven was in Convection mode and not fan forced. But the recipe is excellent and a marvelous snack for the kids. Thank you immensely…..

    • — DINESH D'SA on April 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Dinesh, Glad you enjoyed! If using the convection setting, try reducing the temperature by 25°F.

      • — Jenn on April 26, 2020
      • Reply
    • Made these yesterday and they were a hit. I didn’t get your perfect shape even though I used the 3T scoop. Perhaps the peanut butter was too soft. Next time I will put in a freezer a bit first so I can scoop/roll, put back in the freezer and bake as per the recipe. The salt on these cookies is a must and adds such a nice zing. My aunt said they’re the best peanut butter cookies she’s ever had. Thanks again for another great recipe. Also made your pasta fagioli soup AND blueberry oatmeal yesterday. It was a Once Upon a Chef day for me. All recipes a hit.

      • — Lori on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • 🙂

        • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
        • Reply
  • It’s a dreary day in northern Canada and what better thing to do than bake cookies?! My husband and I decided to give these a try because, well, what else can you do while stuck at home? They turned out amazing, as most Jenn recipes do. My husband took a photo and posted it on Facebook. You cannot believe how many people have asked for your recipe within the last half hour. Thanks for sharing this delightful cookie recipe with us.

    • — Bella's on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • So I just made these and they cooked up all flat – not fat and fluffy like yours. What did I do wrong? They taste good though. I forgot the step where they went into the fridge. Could that be it?

    • — Sue Dufton on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, skipping the refrigerating step would’ve caused that problem. Glad they tasted good though! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious! They didn’t look like the photo and my batter separated (oh, what did I do wrong?), but they were still yummy.

    • — Debby on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Debby, Did you use an electric mixer? It can cause the peanut butter to separate.

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
    • I just did exactly the same thing! Same brand of peanut butter (Jif) and everything. Glad I am not alone. 😉 I was looking here to see if I could find out what I had done wrong. Wish I read these first but I thought how difficult can a 4-ingredient cookie be? Boy, was I wrong. This is the ONLY recipe of yours Jenn that hasn’t worked for me first time round and I have been an avid follower of yours for years. I cook at least one recipe of yours every week. I never knew that using a mixer would cause peanut butter to separate. You might want to add a note to the recipe for folks like me.

      • — AnneMarie on April 30, 2020
      • Reply
      • So sorry AnnMarie! I’ve added a note to the recipe so other people don’t make the same mistake. 🙁

        • — Jenn on April 30, 2020
        • Reply
  • Jenn- I’m confused – why do 1 3/4 cup measurements have different gram measurements ? I had enough peanut butter when I measured by my us cup but not when I measured by scale ? Then I checked and saw that 13/4 brown sugar was less in gram weight . What am I missing ?

    • — Lee Ann on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lee Ann, Grams are determined by the weight, or mass, of the ingredient, and is measured with a scale. Volume (cups) is the amount of space that an ingredient takes up. 1-3/4 cups of peanut butter weighs more than 1-3/4 cups of brown sugar. Hopefully that clarifies. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2020
      • Reply
      • It does but I’m not sure the density calculation is correct . I had 1 3/4 cup peanut butter but this was about 50 g lighter than stated . Anyway they turned out really fab – I don’t think they needed more peanut butter

        • — Lee Ann on April 26, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad they turned out well! There could be slight variations w/ weight depending on the brand of peanut butter, how it is measured, etc.

          • — Jenn on April 26, 2020
          • Reply
          • I used Skippy . Oh well – I’ll stick to cup measurements when making them . And you are so right – they taste like the inside of a Reeses cup . They lasted 1 day in our household – all eaten

            • — Lee Ann on April 27, 2020
  • Hi. I want to try this recipe but can’t find brown sugar anywhere!!! I purchased “golden yellow sugar”. Can I use that instead? By the way, I have tried so many of your recipes and they are always so great that I’ve made them multiple times and they’re in regular rotation at our place. Thank you!

    • — Sue Dufton on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Sue! The flavor of golden yellow sugar is a bit lighter, but it should work. Please LMK how they turn out if you try them with it!

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • These were absolutely delicious! Best peanut butter cookies I have ever made. My family couldn’t get enough of them.

    • — Becky Sicignano on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • I tried to make these using Jif creamy peanut butter. I could not get the dough to play dough consistency – the oil separated from the dough. I tried scooping and baking them anyway, and the cookies came out greasy and kind of tough, and they were swimming in oil on the cookie sheet. Do you have any idea what went wrong? I used a mixer, could that be the problem?

    • — Ruby on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ruby, So sorry you had trouble. Creamy Jif should be fine. I think the mixer is definitely the issue — if peanut butter is overmixed, it can separate.

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • I just finished making a batch of these yummy cookies. Perfect timing, as I’m all out of flour (used the last of it making your Blueberry Coffeecake AKA Boy Bait!), and can’t seem to find it anywhere. I’m also just using my pantry items and that meant chunky peanut butter. I would normally go out and get the creamy peanut butter, but this version was delicious too! All the men in the house gave them a big thumbs up! I look forward to making them “correctly” when I’m able to get all the right stuff. This is my 3rd recipe this week from you Jenn – love everything!
    Keep them coming, and stay safe!
    Nancy

    • — Nancy Labus on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Just took them out of the oven. Very, very good! Great consistency- little crunch on the outside, soft on the inside. The sea salt is a nice addition too. I used creamy Jif peanut butter with no problem.
      Thanks Jen – another super recipe! 😊

      • — Lisa on April 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • These were fantastic. Made them yesterday and they’ve all been eaten by today. Chewy sticky peanut butter cookies that are so easy and cheap to make! Love them, big fan of your website from the UK. Thanks Jenn x

    • — Katie Evison on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • I can’t make them again as I will eat them all… again. These are delicious and I’m not usually a peanut butter cookie person.

    • — Katie on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • 🙂 Glad you like them!

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • A success- just like all the recipes from your cookbook and site. Husband and neighbors alike loved them. Can’t wait to make them with the grandsons. Thank you – Jenn
    Stay safe

    • — Dana on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • These sound yummy. But…I don’t have sea salt flakes or otherwise! lol If my grocery store doesn’t have it, is there a substitute? I do have coarse salt. Thanks.

    • — Anne MacGregor on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, Kosher salt (or any coarse salt) will work.

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I have two scoops; one has no markings but the bowl is 2 1/4” diameter and the other is 1oz. Will either one be correct to use? Can’t wait to make these. Thanks Sharon

    • — Sharon Nasci on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • I’d use the 1 oz. scoop and load it so that it’s heaping. And I’d eye the first one or two to make sure they’re about the size of generous golf balls. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, first of all, I have to say that I have been using your recipes on and off for the past 2-yrs and EVERYTHING has been spectacular! Crab cakes, cakes, salads … thank you for the detailed instructions and the science too 🙂 And I really appreciate how you respond to all your readers! I just looked up your marble cake and know that I won’t go wrong with it! I wish to make peanut butter cookies that are crisp after they’ve baked up. Not a tough crisp cookie. Not necessarily thin cookies either, but just a deliciously soft crisp peanut buttery mouthfeel. I know these sound demanding requirements and I hope I am making sense. I don’t want the soft center; is there a recommendation you have? Any thoughts or input is appreciated!

    • — Faye on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jen,
    Am anxious to try these ASAP, but have a question: your photo shows natural peanut butter, but in the description, you recommend not using natural kinds. Do you mean we should use something like original Kraft with sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil?

    • — Ella on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sorry for any confusion. The one I use has “natural” on the label but that’s honestly just their marketing tactic. 🙂 What I use is not all-natural peanut butter which is just peanuts and salt. Mine has the standard ingredients (peanuts, sugar, salt, and oil).

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Have you tried adding small chocolate chips? Or maybe a chocolate chunk imbedded in the top?

    • — B.J. on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • I haven’t but I think you could – please LMK how they turn out if you try it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Will this recipe work using a Medium (1.5 TBS) cookie scoop? Should I reduce the baking time?

    • — Ruby on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ruby, yes, it will work. I’d start checking them at 12 to 15 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can’t wait to make these cookies! I’m curious about the scoop you recommended. Do you have a source for where I can purchase cookie scoops?
    Thanks!
    Jan

    • — Jan on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jan, They are very useful for baking cookies. You can find a set here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you, your responses are always so quick-much appreciated!
        🙂

        • — Jan on April 23, 2020
        • Reply
  • it’s 9:51am and I am pulling the ingredients out – thank you Jenn

    • — Dana on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • These look just delicious and easy, but I have a little problem: in my cupboard I have kosher salt that is coarse and also some fine sea salt. But, no coarse sea salt. I am assuming for sprinkling the coarse kosher salt would be the best one to use. But, would love to know what you think.

    Thank you!

    • — Elizabeth Nyland on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Kosher salt is totally fine here – hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
    • Can we use peanut butter from the health food store which is just peanuts

      • — Thomas Ryall on April 26, 2020
      • Reply
      • I don’t recommend it, Thomas – sorry!

        • — Jenn on April 26, 2020
        • Reply
    • Don’t have any brown sugar. Could I use Splenda brown sugar blend or Truvia brown sugar? Love your recipes. Thanks so much.

      • — Marcia Greenberg on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Marcia, So glad you like the recipes! I don’t have any experience with sugar substitutes so I can’t say confidently how using Swerve or Truvia would impact the cookies, but I worry that there are so few ingredients in these cookies, that it wouldn’t work. I’m sorry!

        • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Just made these tonight and they are delicious! I wasn’t expecting them to be so yummy, but they truly taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup. I am never disappointed in your recipes. Keep posting more! Thanks, Mitzi

    • — Mitzi Schuller on April 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • I really want to make this but my son has an allergy to hazelnut and peanut butter. What would a good substitute be? Almond butter perhaps?

      • — Sarah Sali on April 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Sarah, You can try it with almond butter but because the recipe contains so much peanut butter and almond butter is generally not as smooth as peanut butter, it’s worth a try (but hard to say if you’ll get the same soft, puffy cookies). I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try it!

        • — Jenn on April 23, 2020
        • Reply

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