If you look in the comments, you’ll see that many people say these are the best peanut butter cookies they’ve ever had. They have the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture, with crisp edges and a creamy, rich middle. They are quick and only take 20 minutes to make!

Peanut Butter Cookies On a White Dish with 4 Pieces

These aren’t your average fork-pressed peanut butter cookie, and that’s a good thing.

In my opinion, peanut butter “cookies” made from peanut butter, sugar, and egg aren’t very cookie-like. You simply cannot get the typical texture that you’d expect from a cookie with 3 ingredients. To me, those “cookies” are excessively crumbly and lack a pleasing chewiness. They don’t have the texture that you typically find in Chocolate Chip Cookies or Monster Cookies. Fortunately, this recipe does give you that wonderful bite.

Why This Recipe Is The Best:

Heavenly texture that’s fluffy and creamy in the middle, while crisp on the outside – This recipe gives you tons of nut butter flavor and richness, and ALSO an incredible texture when you bite into it. It’s slightly crisp on the edges, but soft, chewy, moist, and almost fluffy. You can see its feathered texture and ridges on top.

The best flavor – These have a really gourmet flavor and are very aromatic. A little vanilla extract enhances the peanut flavor just like a little coffee does for enhancing chocolate. These are buttery and peanut buttery, with a balanced amount of sweetness.

Quick and NO chilling required – 20 minutes is all you need to make these cookies from start to finish, and you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry.

They hold up well – These cookies are phenomenal when enjoyed fresh out of the oven, but they are still decent after they’ve cooled too. For this reason, they are one of my go-to cookies for bringing to parties or gatherings.

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Presented on White Dish with milk in background

Important Ingredients

The ingredients list is pretty standard, requiring all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and peanut butter. But I want to highlight a few important ingredients that make the end result extra great:

Brown sugar/granulated sugar mix – We’ll use a 50:50 split of brown sugar to granulated sugar here, which is part of the magic of giving these cookies a way better texture than the typical rendition.

Vanilla extract – Yes, this cookie is all about the peanut butter flavor, but much like a little coffee helps enhance the flavor of chocolate, a little vanilla here does the same.

Creamy peanut butter – While some commenters below have reported happy results using a natural peanut butter, I far prefer using the creamy variety for the best texture. When I tested with natural, the cookies were more crumbly and dry, with an inferior texture. Brands like Skippy, Jif, etc. make the creamy and spreadable nut butter you’ll want, and I personally use the organic Whole Foods Brand (the ingredients are peanuts, palm oil, and salt).

Step by Step Photos:

For the dry ingredients, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl:

Flour, Salt, and Leavener in Mixing Bowl

Whisk together, then set aside.

To get the wet ingredients going, combine softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar:

Butter, Sugar, and Brown Sugar in Glass Bowl

Using a combination of granulated and brown sugar gives the cookie the perfect chewiness and bite.

Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy, then add an egg and vanilla extract:

Adding Vanilla Extract and Egg to Creamed Butter and Sugar

Whip those in, then mix in some creamy peanut butter, until you get a smooth mixture that looks like this:

Creamed Butter and Sugar with Egg in Mixing Bowl

To finish the dough, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until the flour just disappears:

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Made from Scratch in Glass Bowl with Beaters

Use a medium cookie scoop (affiliate) to portion out scoops of dough directly onto a baking sheet:

Scoops of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough on Sheet Pan

Do Not Roll the Scoops Into Balls

It’s the scooping of the dough that gives it those incredible ridges and “feathering” on top that melts in your mouth when you take a bite!

I have tested rolling these into smooth balls before baking, and the texture is not as good. I have found this to be true for many other cookie recipes like The Very Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brown Butter Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just scooping is enough.

How Long to Bake Them

Bake the cookies at 350F for 13 minutes, until they’re golden brown on the bottom and the edges, but still soft in the middle.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies on a Sheet Pan Freshly Baked

Keep in mind that there will be a little bit of carryover cooking, and the cookies will firm up as they cool, so you want to err on the side of underbaking. 

These are best enjoyed while warm, with a glass of milk. They’re so rich!

FAQ and Expert Tips:

How do you freeze peanut butter cookies?

For Completely Baked Cookies: Complete the recipe start to finish, then let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To enjoy, thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
For Unbaked Dough: You can also freeze these unbaked. I recommend scooping the dough onto a baking sheet, then freezing completely. Then you can remove the frozen dough balls from the tray and place in a bag to save space. For this recipe, I recommend thawing the dough back to room temperature before baking, which should take about an hour. I once tested baking straight from frozen, but I found that they don’t bake quite as evenly.

Can you use natural peanut butter?

I discuss this in the post, but I don’t recommend it, as the cookies will turn out with an inferior texture that’s more crumbly and dry. Use a super smooth processed “creamy version.” Brands like Skippy, Jif, etc. prepare their products like this. I personally use the organic Whole Foods Brand.

How do you store peanut butter cookies?

Make sure to store these in an airtight container, or they will dry out. These cookies will last about two days at room temperature before losing too much flavor and freshness. Technically they will keep longer than this, but I think the taste is too inferior, and at that point you’d be better off freezing them. See the freezing instructions above.

Can you make this ahead of time?

Absolutely, and the dough can be kept in the fridge or freezer. The instructions for freezing unbaked dough are above. To keep in the fridge, I recommend fully making the dough and scooping it while it’s room temperature, THEN keeping those dough scoops in the fridge on a sheet pan. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring the dough to room temperature in order to scoop again. Make ahead up to 2 days in advance.

How do you ensure the best texture and a moist center?

Do not overbake these. Keep in mind that when you take the cookies out of the oven, they should seem excessively soft. There will be a little bit of carryover cooking, and the cookies will firm up as they cool, so you want to err on the side of underbaking. 
Also, if you don’t have an independent oven thermometer (affiliate), they are an inexpensive purchase and very useful for verifying temperature accuracy. Many ovens are not accurate to the temperature they claim. If the cookies turn out dry, simply put, they were overbaked. They should be moist and gooey on the inside.

More Favorite Baked Recipes:

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

Four Peanut Butter Cookies On A Plate

Peanut Butter Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cookies have the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture, with crisp edges and a creamy, rich center.
102
reviews

Leave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 7.5 ounces by weight all purpose flour (1.5 cups measured)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter**

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In another medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar, for about 60 seconds, until fluffy and light.
  • Mix in the egg and vanilla extract for about 30 seconds, until combined.
  • Mix in the peanut butter for an additional 30 seconds, until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then mix just until the flour is incorporated. Take care not to overmix.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out scoops of dough directly onto a baking sheet. You should get about 24 scoops of dough total (split them between two baking sheets).
  • Bake for 13 minutes, until the edges are golden, but the middle is still soft. Let them cool for a couple minutes before eating. They are especially fantastic enjoyed warm out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

*I’ve used both light and dark brown sugar and each works well. Use whichever you have.
**While some commenters have reported happy results using a natural peanut butter, I far prefer using the creamy variety for the best texture. When I tested natural, the cookies were more crumbly and dry, with an inferior texture. Brands like Skippy, Jif, etc. make versions you’ll want that are very creamy and spreadable. I personally use the organic Whole Foods Brand (the ingredients are peanuts, palm oil, and salt).
Freezing:
  • Completely Baked Cookies: Complete the recipe start to finish, then let the cookies cool completely. Place the cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To enjoy, let them thaw at room temperature, for about 30 minutes.
  • Unbaked Dough: You can also freeze these unbaked. I recommend scooping the dough onto a baking sheet, then freezing completely. Then you can remove the frozen dough balls from the tray and place in a bag to save space. For this recipe, I recommend thawing the dough back to room temperature before baking, which should take about an hour. I once tested baking straight from frozen, but I found that they don’t bake quite as evenly.
Storage: Make sure to store these in an airtight container, or they will dry out. These cookies will last about two days at room temperature before losing too much flavor and freshness. Technically they will keep longer than this, but I think the taste is too inferior, and at that point you’d be better off freezing them. See the freezing instructions above.
 
Make-ahead instructions: After making the dough, scoop it while it’s still at room temperature, then keep those dough scoops in the fridge on a sheet pan. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring the dough to room temperature in order to scoop again. Make ahead up to 2 days in advance. 
 
Do not overbake these. Keep in mind that when you take the cookies out of the oven, they should seem excessively soft. There will be a little bit of carryover cooking, and the cookies will firm up as they cool, so you want to err on the side of underbaking. Also, if you don’t have an independent oven thermometer (affiliate), they are an inexpensive purchase and very useful for verifying temperature accuracy. Many ovens are not accurate to the temperature they claim. If the cookies turn out dry, simply put, they were overbaked. They should be moist and gooey on the inside.
 
Double-batch: You can absolutely double or triple this recipe with no problem.

Nutrition

Calories: 166.09kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.6g, Protein: 3.89g, Fat: 9.51g, Saturated Fat: 3.63g, Cholesterol: 16.99mg, Sodium: 172.33mg, Potassium: 96.29mg, Fiber: 0.88g, Sugar: 9.65g, Vitamin A: 128.08IU, Calcium: 15.53mg, Iron: 0.68mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in August 2020. Originally published in January 2012.