Soft And Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

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These soft and chewy peanut butter cookies give me life. They’re extra soft and chewy, soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges. Cut them into slices and enjoy one with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I just LOVE Peanut Butter Cookies! I’m sure you do too. Why? Because, who doesn’t LOVE Peanut Butter Cookies?? They are so easy to make and most importantly, they’re SOFT and CHEWY!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Bake up a batch of wonderfully soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with this easy recipe! Peanut butter lovers will be smitten as soon as they sink their teeth into the tender, nutty goodness.

These Easy Cookies are Pure Peanut Butter Perfection

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of people – those who like peanut butter and those who are full-blown obsessed with it. No matter which category you fall under, you’re going to adore these easy homemade cookies. They have the most amazing soft & chewy texture and no shortage of peanut butter.

In fact, they’re packed with a whole half cup of it! So you can rest assured that your cookies won’t fall victim to lackluster flavor. You can also count on them to stay fresh for days if you follow the proper storage guidelines. But considering how mouthwatering these cookies are, there likely won’t be any left to store at all.

What You’ll Need

These classic cookies call for a small collection of kitchen must-haves. Before you start on your dough, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post where the amounts are included.

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These leavening agents work together to create the most soft and chewy peanut butter cookies.
  • Salt: To enhance the flavor and lock in moisture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Bring this to room temperature.
  • Peanut Butter: Any brand of your choice will do, I just don’t recommend a “natural” peanut butter.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar: Packed into your measuring cup, for extra flavor.
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract

How to Make Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

There’s only one part of this recipe you may struggle with – being patient while the dough chills in the fridge! I find it helpful to remind myself that this step ensures tender and chewy cookies. You definitely don’t want to skip it!

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set the dry ingredient mixture aside.
  2. Cream Butter, Peanut Butter & Sugars: Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Egg & Vanilla: Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients: Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is just well combined. Do not over-mix.
  5. Chill Dough: Wrap the cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour.
  6. Prep for Baking: After you chill the dough, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  7. Form Cookies: Let the cookie dough soften enough to work with it, then form balls of 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough. Use a long-pronged fork to press down and flatten the cookies, then turn the fork 90 degrees and press down once more to create the criss-cross pattern.
  8. Bake: Bake your cookies for 7-10 minutes.
  9. Let Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Twenty peanut butter cookies lined up on a countertop with chopped peanuts sprinkled about

Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! I find that the cookies come out even thicker and chewier when I refrigerate the dough overnight. It seems to make them stay fresher for longer as well!

The tightly-wrapped cookie dough should be used within 3 days if it’s chilling in the fridge. If you freeze it instead, it will stay good for up to 1 month (wrap it in a second layer of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn). Thaw out frozen cookie dough in the fridge before you let it soften at room temperature and form the cookies.

Tips for the Best Results

We’ve gone over the importance of chilling the dough – now let’s talk about some other key takeaways. Your cookies are going to be divine!

  • Measure the Flour Correctly: Weighing your flour with a food scale is the best way to achieve a precise measurement. If you don’t own a food scale, be sure to fill your measuring cup by the spoonful to avoid packing the flour in too tightly. Fluff up the flour before you pick up each spoonful and use a butter knife to level it off at the rim of the measuring cup.
  • Cream the Butters & Sugars Well: Continue to beat your butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until the mixture becomes light in color and fluffy in texture. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
  • Do Not Over-Mix the Dough: If you over-mix the cookie dough, your peanut butter cookies may not develop that beautifully soft and chewy texture. Once everything is just combined, you’re good to go.
  • Stick With the Size in the Recipe: Don’t make larger balls of cookie dough and expect to get the same results. Bigger dough balls will spread more in the oven and leave you with thinner, crispier cookies.
Classic peanut butter cookies piled onto a kitchen countertop

Mix-In Ideas

Want to add something extra to these cookies? Feel free! Here are some especially yummy options:

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Chopped Peanuts
  • Oreo Cookie Pieces
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • M&Ms
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Pretzel Pieces

How to Store Extra Cookies

These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 5 days. After that, they’ll start to lose some moisture and become less soft & chewy. Let’s face it – every last cookie is bound to get devoured before then anyway!

Do These Freeze Well?

They do indeed. Simply place your cooled cookies into an airtight container and freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw them out in the fridge before you dig in.

Peanut Butter Cookie

The easiest recipe for soft and chewy, Classic Peanut Butter Cookies topped with a sprinkle of sea salt! These kid-friendly cookies come together in about 30 minutes. They’re full of peanut butter flavor and downright irresistible!

Classic Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the best recipe for classic peanut butter cookies! Easy to make and even better to snack on, this is a great cookie recipe to get the kids involved. The cookie dough comes together in minutes (zero chilling required!) and the end result is the most tender, soft and chewy cookies full of peanut-y goodness. 

These homemade cookies are even topped with a sprinkle of sea salt to really make the flavor pop. A fresh batch of sweet and salted peanut butter cookies is hard to resist – I dare you to eat just one!

What You’ll Need

  • Peanut Butter – Creamy peanut butter that’s shelf-stable will give the best outcome with these cookies. See below for more advice on the best peanut butter to use!
  • Sugar – A combination of brown sugar and regular white sugar, for the perfect chewy cookie texture!
  • Butter – One stick of unsalted butter, softened.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract will always have the most authentic flavor!
  • Flour – I use unbleached flour for the slightly denser texture it brings to these cookies.
  • Egg
  • Baking Soda and Powder
  • Sea Salt – Optional, but highly recommended for the crunch factor (and boost of flavor)!

What Kind of Peanut Butter is Best?

As mentioned, regular creamy peanut butter (think Jif or Skippy) works best for these chewy cookies. 

Chunky peanut butter will also work if you’re after the extra texture and crunch. Just make sure you add in about a ¼ cup extra to compensate for the dry chunks of peanuts.

However, natural butters tend to separate and can lead to mixed results, particularly cookies that are dry and crumbly. For this reason, stick to the shelf-stable options!

How to Make Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

In three quick steps you can have this easy, no-chill cookie dough ready to bake!

Combine the ingredients. Soften the butter in the microwave. Add in the peanut butter and sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla, and finally the flour, baking powder and soda to form the dough.

Scoop out the dough. Drop even-sized scoops of cookie dough onto a lined cookie sheet. Using a fork, gently press vertical lines into the tops of the cookies, to give them that classic look. Give the dough a sprinkle of sea salt.

Bake. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven, and then allow them to cool.

Can I Make the Dough in Advance?

You can make this peanut butter cookie dough up to 3 days in advance. The dough will need to return to room temperature before you plan to scoop it onto the baking trays, so remember to take it out of the fridge approximately half an hour before you plan on baking it!

Tips for Success

  • Use real butter where possible. These cookies turn out the best when they’re made with real butter, and not shortening or imitation butters.
  • Don’t forget the fork marks! Since peanut butter cookie dough won’t spread as naturally when baking, gently pressing down the cookie tops with a fork helps the cookies bake more evenly. 
  • Use a kitchen scale to measure. For the most accurate results, a kitchen scale is always the first choice! If you don’t have one, a handy trick is to measure ingredients like flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, and then levelling it off.
  • Add chocolate. Get creative with dipping your cookies in chocolate, giving them a chocolate drizzle, or even adding in a handful of chocolate chips! Chocolate and peanut butter = winning combo!

Storage Instructions

Store these cookies airtight at room temperature, in a cool and dry location.

Do These Freeze Well?

The baked cookies can be stored frozen for up to 3 months! Place the cookies in a freezer-safe container or bag, with parchment paper between layers to keep them from sticking. Thaw the cookies at room temperature and enjoy!

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies that taste like roasted peanuts and have slightly crunchy exterior thanks to being rolled in sugar before baking. Easy cookies that will quickly become your favorite!

Side close up shot of peanut butter cookies stacked up on each other.

It’s all the cookies in our house recently! I think I’ve made several different kinds last weekend and even shared some with our new neighbors! I have my list of cookies I will make for Christmas and these Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies are on top of the list. These cookies taste like roasted peanuts and literally melt in your mouth! They have a slightly crunchy exterior, thanks to being rolled in sugar just before baking. The center is gooey and chewy and so delicious!

Ingredients:

  • unsalted butter
  • smooth peanut butter
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
  • bleached all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • salt

Instructions:

  • Start by creaming softened butter and peanut butter together with a hand mixer. Mix for 30 seconds. Add both sugars and beat for 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix just until combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter and sugar mixture in 3 additions, mixing just until combined. If desired, you can add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the cookie dough.
  • Cover the bowl with dough and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Scoop 1.5 tablespoon size balls of dough, roll in your hands in balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet, about 2″ apart, and bake for 8 to 9 minutes.
Close up shot of peanut butter cookie dough ball rolled in sugar, placed on baking sheet.

Chilling the dough:

I highly recommend chilling the dough before baking. Cover the bowl with cookie dough with saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can also make the dough the day before and keep it in the fridge. The cookies will be thick, soft and chewy.

How to shape the dough?

You can scoop the cookie dough with a medium cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoon size), roll in sugar and bake. The cookies will puff up during baking and be thick. For slightly flatter cookies, you can press each dough ball down with a bottom of a glass.

Side shot of four peanut butter cookies on white plate.

Bleached vs. unbleached flour:

I tested a few of my cookie recipes with both flours and there was a big difference in the final results. Unbleached flour will cause the cookies to spread and have crispy edges, sometimes once the cookies cooled they were too hard. Bleached flour works the best here. The cookies will be thick, soft and chewy.

Peanut butter type:

I used smooth peanut butter and did not test the recipe with crunchy peanut butter. I am not sure how it will affect the creaming step of making the cookie dough. If you have experience making cookies with crunchy peanut butter, feel free to try it and don’t forget to share your results with the rest of us!

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