If you’re looking for the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe, you’ve come to the right place! My Soft Peanut Butter Cookies are the epitome of classic comfort food. They’re deliciously chewy, filled with the rich flavors of peanut butter, and have a lovely criss-cross pattern that gives them a delightful texture.
These cookies are a beloved classic and for a good reason. They are easy to bake, using common ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. This old-fashioned recipe makes the best soft and chewy peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had.
This is my mom’s soft peanut butter cookie recipe and is one of our favorite cookies to make all year long. I like to make peanut butter blossoms with them when I’m in the mood for chocolate, or they’re great on their own! Not only are they delicious but they’re pretty simple to make with a few easy ingredients.
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Why I Love This Recipe
Easy to make: This soft peanut butter cookie recipe is straightforward and simple to follow. With common ingredients like granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, it’s a breeze to whip up.
Quick: No need to wait for hours to satisfy your sweet tooth. Once your oven is preheated to the right temperature, these cookies only need to bake for about twelve minutes. Just remember to keep an eye on them to maintain that perfect, chewy texture!
Crowd pleaser: Soft, chewy, and packed with flavor, these cookies are a surefire hit at any gathering. Whether it’s a family dinner, a holiday party, or a casual get-together, these cookies will disappear from the cookie tray in no time.
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All-purpose flour: This forms the structure of your cookies. It absorbs the wet ingredients, giving your cookies their body and substance.
Baking powder: This is our leavening agent. It helps the cookies puff up in the oven, giving them a light, airy texture.
Salt: A pinch of salt enhances all the flavors. It makes the sweet taste sweeter and the peanut butter flavor more pronounced.
Ground cinnamon: This adds a hint of warm spice to the cookies. It pairs wonderfully with the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Shortening: This gives the cookies a tender, crumbly texture. It also helps them hold their shape while baking.
Butter: The butter adds richness and a subtle creamy flavor. It also helps create a soft and chewy texture when combined with the brown and granulated sugars.
Granulated sugar: This sweetens the cookies and helps them spread in the oven. It also gives them a beautiful golden color.
Light brown sugar: This adds a deep, caramel-like sweetness to the cookies. It also contributes to their soft and chewy texture.
Eggs: These bind the ingredients together. They also add moisture, helping to create a soft, chewy cookie. Remember to have them at room temperature for easy mixing.
Peanut butter: This is the star ingredient of the recipe. It gives the cookies their classic peanut butter flavor and makes them wonderfully moist and chewy. Use natural peanut butter for the best results.
Vanilla extract: A dash of vanilla enhances all the other flavors. It adds a subtle depth to the cookies that can’t be beaten.
Oven – Essential for baking these delicious peanut butter cookies. Preheat it to the specified temperature for the best results.
Electric or stand mixer – While you can definitely use a hand whisk, an electric mixer or stand mixer will make the process a lot quicker.
Cookie Scoop – This tool is perfect for getting uniform-sized cookies. It helps to scoop the right amount of cookie dough and makes the process less messy.
Cookie Sheet – An un-greased cookie sheet is needed to place the cookie dough balls on before they go into the oven. It helps to bake the cookies evenly.
Fork – A simple fork is used to create the classic criss-cross pattern on the peanut butter cookies, which also helps to flatten them to the correct thickness.
How to Make Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
Before you dive into the peanut butter cookie recipe, get your oven preheated to a temperature of about 350˚ F. This will ensure your oven is ready to bake when your cookie dough is, reducing wait time.
Step 1 – Combine Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir them together until they’re well mixed, and set your bowl aside for later.
Step 2 – Mix Wet Ingredients
Now, grab a separate mixing bowl. This is where you’ll cream together your shortening, butter, and both types of sugar – granulated and brown. Once your mixture is smooth and creamy, add your beaten egg, peanut butter, and a bit of vanilla extract into the bowl. Mix these ingredients until they’re well incorporated.
Step 3 – Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
Once your wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, it’s time to blend them with your dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the wet one, stirring until everything is nicely incorporated. You’re looking for a classic cookie dough texture: soft, slightly sticky, but firm enough to hold its shape.
Step 4 – Shape the Cookies
With your cookie dough ready, use a cookie scoop to portion out your cookies. Roll each scoop of dough between your hands to form a ball, then roll that ball in a bowl of granulated sugar. Arrange your sugared cookie dough balls on an un-greased cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart. Then, using the back of a fork, press a criss-cross pattern onto each cookie, flattening them to approximately a quarter of an inch thick.
Step 5 – Bake the Cookies
Now it’s time for the magic to happen. Slide your cookie sheet into your preheated oven and bake for about twelve to thirteen minutes. You’ll know your soft peanut butter cookies are done when the edges just start to show a hint of browning. Allow them to cool on a wire rack before serving.
And there you have it – a simple, delicious, soft peanut butter cookie recipe that’s sure to be a hit with friends and family alike.
Use a Cookie Scoop: For uniform cookies, use a cookie scoop to remove the dough. It helps in making evenly sized cookies, which ensures they all bake at the same rate in the oven.
Create a Criss-cross Pattern: Don’t forget to use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on each peanut butter cookie ball. This not only gives your cookies a classic look but also helps them bake evenly by flattening them to approximately a quarter of an inch.
Monitor Your Bake Time: To achieve a soft and chewy texture, bake the cookies for just the right amount of time. Around twelve to thirteen minutes or until the edges just start to show a hint of browning is ideal. Remember not to overbake these cookies!
Test Your Oven: Ovens can vary, so it’s a good idea to test one cookie first to determine the ideal baking time for your oven. This ensures you won’t lose the desirable soft and chewy texture.
Add some nuts: If you’re a fan of nuts, this variation is for you. Simply add a cup of chopped peanuts to the dough for an extra crunch. This will also enhance the peanut butter flavor in your cookies.
Make it Chocolatey: For chocolate lovers, this variation is a must-try. Mix a cup of chocolate chips into your cookie dough. The melted chocolate adds a delicious texture and enhances the flavor of the peanut butter cookies.
Freeze it: If you want to save some dough for later, this variation is for you. Simply portion your cookie dough into balls and freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Whenever you’re ready for fresh cookies, just bake the frozen dough balls as directed, adding a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.
What to Serve With
- Looking for a midday pick-me-up? Enjoy these chewy peanut butter cookies with a cold glass of milk. The creamy texture of the milk enhances the rich peanut butter flavor.
- For an unexpected dessert twist, sandwich a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two peanut butter cookies. The cold, creamy ice cream contrasts wonderfully with the chewy, warm cookies.
- Hosting a tea party? Serve these soft peanut butter cookies with a selection of your favorite teas. The delicate flavors of the tea balance out the richness of the cookies.
If you find your cookies crispy and not soft, you’ve baked them too long. To test the timing in your oven, bake one cookie and see how it turns out. Every oven is different, and you’ll need to watch the oven to make sure the cookies do not over or under-bake.
No! This recipe does not require chilled dough. You can make the cookies as soon as you’re ready to.
Keep the fully-cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can add a slice of bread to the container with the cookies to help the cookies keep their moisture longer.
If you want an even cooking, you must flatten the peanut butter cookies. However, these cookies will bake fine without flattening them, but the baking time will be longer. I prefer to flatten them.
Storing and Reheating
Freeze: To extend the life of your chewy peanut butter cookies, you can freeze them. Once your cookies have cooled to room temperature, place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to three months.
Thawing Instructions: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen cookies, simply remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature. They’ll regain their soft texture as they thaw.
Refrigerate: If you plan on eating your cookies within a week, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This helps maintain their classic peanut butter flavor and chewy texture.
Reheating Instructions: If you prefer warm cookies, you can gently reheat them in the oven. Just set the oven to a low temperature and heat for a few minutes, keeping a close eye to avoid over-baking and losing that soft and chewy texture.
What to Expect: This recipe makes around thirty-six soft peanut butter cookies. Use a cookie scoop to make sure they’re even in size.
How to Scale: If you desire to make more than thirty-six cookies, you can double the recipe and follow the instructions as directed. Use a larger bowl to mix the ingredients easily.
Soft Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup shortening
- 1/2 Cup butter softened
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1 Cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugars together. Add your beaten eggs, peanut butter and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Mix in your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop, remove the cookie dough and roll between your hands to form a ball. Roll the dough into a bowl of sugar. Place the peanut butter cookie dough balls evenly spaced on an un-greased cookie sheet. Using a fork, make a criss cross pattern on each peanut butter cookie ball to flatten them to approximately 1/4 an inch.
- Bake in a 350˚ F for 12 to 13 minutes or until the edges just barely start to show a little browning.