Moist Peanut Butter Cookies

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This recipe for moist peanut butter cookies is one of my favorites. I make them from time to time and everyone loves them. The recipe makes soft and puffy cookies that are bursting with peanut butter goodness. They’re also super easy to make. These cookies truly live up to their name. Using all butter makes them soft, and the cream cheese gives them just the right amount of sweetness.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies – these easy peanut butter cookies are the BEST! The cookies are super soft and filled with peanut butter flavor. These will be your new favorite peanut butter cookies!

Peanut Butter Cookies on plate served with glass of milk

Chewy and Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

I bake a lot of cookies. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! I love creating new cookie recipes, but I also love baking the classics. Last weekend, I was in the mood for good old-fashioned peanut butter cookies so I made my favorite Soft Peanut Butter Cookies.

I’ve been making these peanut butter cookies for years and every time I make them I fall in love all over again. They are seriously the best peanut butter cookies. They are super soft, chewy, and have the perfect peanut butter flavor. If you are a peanut butter cookie fan, you will love this recipe for peanut butter cookies!

Stack of soft peanut butter cookies on plate

Peanut Butter Love

The recipe for these soft peanut butter cookies is simple and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now. Unless you polished off your jar of peanut butter late last night like I did. I got carried away with the pretzels and peanut butter. It’s one of my favorite late night snacks and I have a hard time stopping once I start. Just like I can’t stop eating these peanut butter cookies once I start! They are so soft and chewy and practically melt in your mouth. I can never stop at one…or ten:) They are the BEST peanut butter cookies!

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • I use creamy peanut butter for these peanut butter cookies.
  • Make sure your butter is soft, but not melted. If your butter is too warm the cookies will be flat.
  • Make sure you really cream together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. This will take about 2-3 minutes using a stand mixer on medium speed.
  • Roll the cookies in sugar before baking to make them extra pretty!
  • Don’t overbake the peanut butter cookies. Remove from the oven when they are set around the edges but still soft in the center, about 9-10 minutes. The cookies will finish baking as they cool on the baking sheet. You want the cookies to be soft!
  • Store the peanut butter cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days. To keep the cookies soft, place a piece of bread in the container. The bread will get hard but the cookies will stay soft. It is magic!

SOFT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

This is the best peanut butter cookie recipe you’ll ever make or eat! These classic, soft peanut butter cookies are easy to make, loaded with peanut butter, and will definitely become your new favorite peanut butter cookie recipe! Learn how to make peanut butter cookies by following our step-by-step instructions and watching the video! 

overhead view of 12 peanut butter cookies

If you’ve been searching for the best peanut butter cookie recipe, then look no further. Say hello to the most amazing peanut butter cookies ever. With twice the amount of peanut butter as butter, these soft peanut butter cookies have a rich peanut butter taste and irresistibly soft texture! 

If you know me at all then you know I take both my cookie and peanut butter consumption very seriously. I set out to create the absolute best peanut butter cookies 15 years ago, and today I’m sharing my recipe with you! 

Truth be told, due to the popularity of our famous Chocolate Chip Cookies, and the fact that peanut butter is my favorite food, I have had many requests for a classic peanut butter cookie recipe. These will not disappoint, they are soft, buttery sweet and salty cookie perfection. They’re easy to make and even easier to eat! Plus they have a secret ingredient (cinnamon) that sets them apart from the rest.

front view of 12 peanut butter cookies

Let’s start by chatting about the ingredients in this peanut butter cookie recipe! 

overhead view of the ingredients in this peanut butter cookie recipe
  • Butter. I use salted butter to make these peanut butter cookies. Unsalted butter also works well, you may just need to increase the amount of sea salt. 
  • Peanut Butter. I recommend using a variety of peanut butter that is solid at room temperature (Jif, Skippy, Skippy Natural, etc.). You can use natural peanut butter, but be aware that the cookies may spread more and be more on the crispy side than the soft side. Also, many natural peanut butters are unsalted, so you may need to increase the amount of salt int he recipe by ¼ tsp. 
  • Milk. Any type of milk works excellently in this recipe. I typically use whole milk because it’s what we buy. However 2%, whole, and half-and-half have all worked well for us!
  • Brown Sugar. I recommend light brown sugar for this peanut butter cookie recipe! However if you like a little bolder, molasses taste then you can try dark brown sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar. Organic cane sugar is my granulated sugar of choice, but regular granulated sugar works perfectly.
  • Cinnamon. Ok, I truly believe the touch of cinnamon sets these peanut butter cookies apart from the rest. I do not recommend leaving it out, as it greatly enhances the flavor.
  • Sea salt. I only ever bake with pure, fine sea salt. If you are using iodized salt I recommend decreasing the amount of salt by ½. 
front view of a hand holding a peanut butter cookie

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Now that we’ve chatted about the ingredients, let’s dive into how to make peanut butter cookies! Start by making sure the ingredients are room temperature! This ensures they are easy to mix together and the dough is the proper texture!

COMBINE BUTTER & PEANUT BUTTER 

Start by beating the softened butter and peanut butter together until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. This step is important to ensure there are no lumps of cold butter in the dough!

ADD WET INGREDIENTS

Next add milk, egg and vanilla and beat again until the mixture is light and fluffy and homogenous (uniform throughout).

two overhead photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies in a standing mixer

ADD SUGARS

Next, beat in the brown and granulated sugars until they dissolve and the mixture is light and fluffy. You may need to scrape down the sides 

MIX IN DRY INGREDIENTS

You can either mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before you begin the rest of the recipe – which I recommend to ensure even distribution, or just toss them into the mixer on top of the beaten wet ingredients. Either way, beat them in until they are just combined and the dough is uniform throughout. 

ADD MIX-INS (OPTIONAL)

If you want to add some mix-ins, now is the time to do it! Toss about 1 cup of mix-ins into the dough and stir to combine. Here are some suggestions:

  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter chips
  • cinnamon chips
  • chopped peanuts
  • mini peanut butter cups
  • Reese’s pieces 
two overhead photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies in a standing mixer

CHILL!

tried making a peanut butter cookie recipe that didn’t require chilling, I really did. However I found that in order to achieve the best peanut butter flavor and texture, chilling is necessary. 

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the dough to an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes (or overnight). 

MEASURE OUT DOUGH

Use a 1 ½ to 2 TBS cookie scoop and measure out the dough. I recommend using a cookie scoop because it ensures all the peanut butter cookies are the same size and bake evenly! Roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball and place them evenly spaced on a large cookie sheet. 

two overhead photos showing how to make peanut butter cookies in a standing mixer

MAKE A CRISS CROSS PATTERN ON TOP

Use a fork to make a criss cross pattern on the top of each peanut butter cookie, gently pressing it down! 

two photos showing how to make criss cross fork pattern in peanut butter cookies

BAKE

Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

NOTE. ALL OVENS BAKE DIFFERENTLY.

I use a convection oven which uses a fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the oven. My convection oven in our new house bakes differently than my convection oven did in our old house. I had to learn it’s “baking personality” when we moved in and figure out the best way to use it. 

That being said, make sure you know your oven. Invest in a cheap oven thermometer to check the temperature and ensure the internal temperature is actually the temperature to which the oven is set. If your oven is baking too hot or too cold, then the cookies will not turn out well.

overhead view of 12 peanut butter cookies

COOL & ENJOY

For the best texture, let these soft peanut butter cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I find these are even better the second day, because they have had a chance to firm up. However, I am weak, and can never resist a warm peanut butter cookie fresh from the oven! 

STORE

Store these soft peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. You can also put them on a plate wrapped with plastic wrap to give to friends as a gift for the holidays! The beauty of these peanut butter cookies is that they actually still taste amazing on day 2-5 since they are so soft and chewy!

front view of a stack of 5 peanut butter cookies, the top has a bite taken out of it

TO FREEZE

Freeze the baked peanut butter cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer.

I prefer to freeze the peanut butter cookie dough, rather than baked cookies. To do this follow these instructions:

  1. Roll the peanut butter cookie dough into balls
  2. Place dough balls onto a cooking sheet
  3. Flash-freeze them in the freezer until hard. 
  4. transfer to an airtight, freezer-friendly container or ziplock back and store until ready to bake.
  5. To bake peanut butter cookie dough: remove cookie dough from freezer and let come to room temperature, then follow recipe instructions for the criss cross pattern and baking. 
front view of a hand dipping a peanut butter cookie into a glass of milk

RECIPE FAQS

Here are my answers to a few frequently ask questions about how to make peanut butter cookies!

Can you freeze peanut butter cookies? 

You can freeze the baked peanut butter cookies for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the freezer!

However, I prefer to freeze the peanut butter cookie dough, rather than baked cookies. To do this follow these instructions:

Roll the peanut butter cookie dough into balls
Place dough balls onto a cooking sheet
Flash-freeze them in the freezer until hard. 
transfer to an airtight, freezer-friendly container or ziplock back and store until ready to bake.
To bake peanut butter cookie dough: remove cookie dough from freezer and let come to room temperature, then follow recipe instructions for the criss cross pattern and baking. 

How do you store peanut butter cookies? 

Store these soft peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. You can also put them on a plate wrapped with plastic wrap to give to friends as a gift for the holidays! The beauty of these peanut butter cookies is that they actually still taste amazing on day 2-5 since they are so soft and chewy!

How do you tell if peanut butter cookies are done?

These soft peanut butter cookies are done with the edges look set, the cookies are slightly browned, the cookies have puffed up a little bit and begun to crack slightly.  

Can you use natural peanut butter in cookies?

Yes, but be aware that the cookies may spread more and be more on the crispy side than the soft side. Also, many natural peanut butters are unsalted, so you may need to increase the amount of salt int he recipe by ¼ tsp. 

Why do peanut butter cookies have fork marks?

This peanut butter cookie dough is denser than other cookie dough due to the fact that there is double the amount of peanut butter as there is butter.  This makes the peanut butter cookie dough a little harder to bake all the way through.
Pressing the cookie dough down with a fork while making a criss cross pattern flattens the cookie dough and makes them bake more evenly. 

Why should you refrigerate peanut butter cookie dough before baking?

Since there is double the amount of peanut butter as there is butter in this peanut butter cookie recipe, chilling helps solidify the fat (peanut butter and butter) and keeps the cookies from spreading too much when baking. It also makes for a chewier cookie that holds up better after it has cooled. 

BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Here’s a homemade cookie recipe that’s as good as any grandma’s. It’s the best peanut butter cookie recipe, hands down. Follow the directions closely, and you’ll have the best cookies on the planet; uniformly soft, with no dry crumbs, and no burnt edges.

A wire rack with peanut cookies.

WHY MAKE THESE COOKIES

  • They are a peanut butter lovers’ delight loaded with peanut butter flavor.
  • With just four ingredients, this has got to be the easiest cookie you will ever make. 
  • Also, these are gluten-free, soft and chewy, 
  • They are ready in no time. In fact, these cookies take 2 minutes to combine and 10 minutes to bake. 
  • And there are only four ingredients and they are all simple and easy to find. 
Cookies on a wire rack.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

  • Peanut butter – I love using the Skippy crunchy peanut butter, which has a few little bits of peanuts in it. But you can also use a creamy peanut butter, which gives a smoother texture for the cookies. 
  • Egg – Use a large egg of about 60 grams. And if the egg is too large, you may need to add a little more peanut butter to keep the cookies from spreading too much. 
  • Sugar – I like using white granulated sugar but brown sugar works just as well. 
  • Vanilla – I am using vanilla bean paste but you can also use vanilla extract, or replace some of the sugar for vanilla sugar.  
  • Optional ingredients – this is a very versatile cookie with so much more you can do.  
    • Flour – You can add 1 cup all-purpose flour with ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 extra egg. This reduces the peanut butter flavor and makes a more wholesome cookie with a criss cross pattern. 
    • Oats – You can also add ½ cup rolled oats to the mixture. 
    • Nuts – Or you can add ½ cup chopped nuts such as peanuts, pecans, or walnuts. 
    • Raisins & Cranberries – Try a little sourness from ¼ cup dried cranberries. 
    • Cinnamon – During the holidays, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon adds a nice warm flavor to the cookies. You can also use a pumpkin spice mix or gingerbread spice.
    • Chocolate chips – You can add ½ cup chocolate chips to the cookies just before baking.
Ingredients for making peanut butter cookies.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

  • Preheat oven at 325°F / 165°C / Gas Mark 3
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, or in a large bowl with a whisk, lightly whip the egg with vanilla extract, salt, and sugar.
Progress cookies making the cookie dough with peanut butter.
  • Next, add the peanut butter and combine well.
  • Use two spoons or a cookie scoop to drop cookie dough balls onto a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
    Pro tip – Since we do not use flour this is a soft cookie dough and does not need to be shaped with a criss-cross pattern.
Progress pictures baking the peanut butter cookies.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden around the edges.
    Pro tip – The cookies should get a slight color around the edges so they stay soft inside.
  • Cool on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before you transfer to a cookie jar.
A wire rack with peanut cookies.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use a smooth creamy peanut butter if you want smooth cookies or a chunky peanut butter for a little more texture in the cookies, as I have. 
  • Use a good brand of peanut butter such as Skippy, Jiff, or Peter Pan. 
  • Preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes before you bake the cookies. Putting cookie dough in a cold oven will cause the cookies to spread. 
  • Bake the cookies at the right temperature so they do not spread too much.

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