The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies (2023)

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Buttery soft Peanut Butter Cookies! These are a classic cookie, but I’d bet that this recipe is a little different from the versions you’re used to. This recipe usesall butterandno shorteningfor the softest, best-tasting peanut butter cookie. I’ve also included a video so you can see exactly how I make them in my own kitchen.

Peanut butter cookies are one of my all-time favorites, right up there with other classics like my Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickerdoodles, and Oatmeal Cookies!

The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies (1)

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Say hello to the softest, butteriest,bestpeanut butter cookies you’ve ever tried.

I’m not even exaggerating. With their slightly crisp, sugar-coated exteriors that give way to chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, peanut butter-y centers… I’m basically obsessed with them.

The dough freezes well, too, which I can attest to because I have (or, had, rather) a full bag of peanut butter cookie dough balls in my freezer that I’ve been baking my way through all too rapidly. As I’m writing this the oven is currently preheating so I can make myself even more. I’m not sure if it’s because these peanut butter cookies have become one of my top pregnancy cravings or just because they’re that good.

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Key Ingredients for the Softest Peanut Butter Cookies

You’ll recognize most of the ingredients above as being pretty standard for peanut butter cookies, but there are a few key points I’d like to make about the following:

  • Butter. As I mentioned, many,manypeanut butter cookies (including my favorite version growing up) use shortening, or a blend of butter and shortening. I developed this cookie recipe specifically to use butter, and only butter. The result is a cookie that’s soft and chewy with a tender, buttery crumb and a flavor like no other.
  • Sugar. We’re using a blend of light brown and granulated sugar. The brown sugar imparts moisture and a touch of extra flavor into the cookies.
  • Cornstarch. Ilove using cornstarch in my cookie recipes. The cornstarch acts in much the same way flour does and helps keep the cookies from spreading too much without making them cakey or dry (the way flour might). It’s key for the soft texture of these peanut butter cookies.

Once Baby Boy is born the first thing I’m doing is diving head-first into a bowl of peanut butter cookie dough. Avoiding raw dough and batter has been one of the toughest things about this pregnancy (thank goodness for edible cookie dough!)!

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What’s With the Fork Marks?

Peanut butter cookie dough is typically quite dense and traditionally the dough needs to be pressed down to encourage the cookies to spread properly and bake evenly. Typically this is done with the tines of a fork. With my recipe, the fork marks are largely unnecessary as these cookies spread pretty well on their own, but a peanut butter cookie without the grid-design on top just doesn’t seem like a peanut butter cookie to me, so we keep it classic here!

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Tips for Making Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

  • I recommend using creamy peanut butter, but chunky peanut butter will also work well if you want a little extra texture! However, I donot recommend using a natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates and it needs to be stirred).
  • As with many of my recipes, this recipe uses unsalted butter and then we add ¾ teaspoon of salt. If you only have salted butter on hand you can use that and reduce the salt in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon. Here’s more information on why I use unsalted butter and then add salt, if you’re interested.
  • The peanut butter cookie doughwill need to be chilled. Cover the dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes. That’s usually enough chilling for my cookie dough, but if yours is still too sticky, return it to the fridge and chill another 15 minutes or so. This dough can also be made a day or two in advance, just make sure you cover it well while it is chilling.
  • Rolling your peanut butter cookie dough balls in sugar is optional, but I think it gives these cookies a nice slightly crisp exterior and super soft and chewy interiors. Plus, what’s an extra teaspoon of sugar? 😉
  • Donot over-bake these cookies, that’s the surest way to get dry cookies. The centers should actually seem justslightly under-baked when they come out of the oven. they will finish baking as they cool on the cookie sheet (let them cool completely on the cookie sheet).

I’m so obsessed with how soft and buttery and chewy these cookies are that I’ve used this same base for my peanut butter blossoms!

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More Classic Cookies to Try:

  • Sugar Cookies
  • Thumbprint Cookies
  • No-Bake Cookies
  • Snowball Cookies

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Buttery soft Peanut Butter Cookies! These are a classic cookie, but I’d bet that this recipe is a little different from the classic you’re used to... this recipe usesall butterandno shortening!

4.93 from 38 votes

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Chilling Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 56 minutes

Servings: 18 large cookies

Calories: 184kcal

Author: Sam Merritt

(Video) How to Make the Best Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies


  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (141g)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter¹ (140g)
  • cup light brown sugar, tightly packed (135g)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (188g)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar for rolling

Recommended Equipment


  • Combine butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy and well combined.

  • Add egg and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.

  • Gradually stir the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture. Make sure to pause periodically to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well-combined.

  • Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place peanut butter cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to one hour (start with 30 minutes, if the dough is too sticky or your cookies are coming out of the oven too flat, chill for an additional half an hour. This dough may be chilled overnight if you'd like).

  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Once dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator and scoop into heaping 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized balls.

  • Roll the cookie dough between your palms until smooth and then roll thoroughly in additional granulated sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet, spacing cookies at least 2" apart.

  • Use the tines of a fork to gently make a criss-cross pattern on the surface of each cookie by slightly pressing down.

  • Bake on 350F (175C) for 9-12 minutes. Edges should be just turning golden brown but the cookie centers should appear slightly under-baked, allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets and the centers will finish baking (but remain soft and chewy) as they cool on the cookie sheet. Don't over-bake or the cookies will be dry.

  • Allow peanut butter cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.


¹I do not recommend using a natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates that you have to stir)

Please note that the recipevideostates to bake the cookie dough on 375F for 8-11 minutes. This will work, but recently I've found that baking on a slightly lower temperature (350F) for a minute longer makes the cookies even softer and so that is now what I recommend.

This cookie dough freezes well. Chill the dough as instructed then scoop and roll through sugar before freezing in an airtight container. Cookie dough will still need to bake on 375F but may need an additional minute or so in the oven.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.

Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @SugarSpun_Sam or tag #sugarspunrun!

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This recipe was originally published 05/09/2018. The recipe remains the same but more notes, photos and information have been added to the post with the hope to make it as helpful as possible!

« Palmiers

Butter Cookies »

(Video) Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Reader Interactions


  1. Mary

    The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies (9)


  2. jim hynes

    Hi Sam
    These did not spread for me. They remained almost the same size as when they went into the oven?

    Not sure what i did wrong.


    • jim hynes

      I discovered what i did wrong when i lifted a dish towel and found the egg that was supposed to go into the cookie dough. So, I made “egg less”
      peanut butter cookies. They taste fine, just did not spread. Off to make them correctly.

      Happy Easter to you and yours.

      Jim Hynes


      • Sam

        O no! I’m glad you caught the mistake! 🙂

      • Ryan McIntire

        Would adding Chocolate chips or Chocolate Flakes change anything about the texture of these. I sometimes buy a Chocolate bar and grate it with my cheese grater for decoration. I do this on my peanut butter pies because it is more economical than buying a Bag of Mini reese’s and looks better I think. Anyway would it change anything about these besides making them peanut butter Chocolate cookies?

        (Video) How to Make the Best Peanut Butter Cookies |

      • Sam

        Hi Ryan! You would just be adding the texture of the chocolate into the cookies, but that would be really the only difference here. 🙂

  3. Bee

    The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies (10)
    Absolutely the best peanut butter cookie I’ve ever made. So good! Not dry at all. I got 25 cookies and I baked mine for 8 minutes and they were perfect once cooled. I was worried I pulled them out a bit early but you were right, the trick was to pull them out early!


    • Sam

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Bee! 🙂


  4. Tammy L. Murphy

    I have never been a peanut butter cookie fan, but these are the absolute best peanut butter cookies I have ever had, and many have told me they are the best! I love your recipes, Sam! You have done an outstanding job creating them! PS: I am now a peanut butter cookie fan! 🙂


    • Sam

      Thank you so much, Tammy! I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much! 🙂


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