These peanut butter cookies are chewy, soft, and bursting with flavor! It’s one of my favorite dessert recipes, and they’re perfect for parties. The crisscross shape is easy to achieve and creates a beautiful presentation. If you need to avoid peanut products, this peanut butter cookie recipe also works well with cashew butter.
There’s something about cookies that I love all year long. I know people mainly associate them with the holiday season, but in my opinion, that’s a waste of too many fabulous opportunities.
Let’s think about this. Cookies are easy to make, store, and transport. They’re pretty.
The flavor combinations are endless. They’re a perfectly portioned dessert (if you can eat just one, that is).
Many people bring wine when they visit someone’s home to avoid showing up empty handed. Me? I prefer to bring homemade cookies. These easy peanut butter cookies are exactly the kind of treat I like bringing along to show the host my appreciation.
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Peanut butter
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
These are so easy to make. You can use either smooth or crunchy peanut butter (I prefer using smooth), and you can swap in a different nut butter if you have a peanut allergy (more on that below).
However, for best results, you want to use a no-stir peanut butter, since those tend to have a more buttery consistency, whereas natural peanut butters, though wonderful, have a grittier texture. A gritty nut butter will result in a gritty cookie.
In one of my tests, I used cashew butter in place of the peanut butter, and the results were fantastic. The flavor was much more subtle yet more buttery, almost taking on a praline quality.
I found the cashew butter cookies to be even more addictive in some ways. I’m sure almond butter would be tasty as well.
I have not tested these with my homemade cashew butter or almond butter, and I will update here with the results if I do so. Homemade cashew butter isn’t gritty, but it does separate, so I’m not going to recommend it for now.
You definitely want to give the dough ample time to chill (you can always make it the day beforehand so you don’t need to factor in 3 hours of chill time).
Much like you would with my snickerdoodles, you’ll want to give each cookie a quick roll after scooping. Yes, you probably could skip this step, but it takes 2 seconds and makes the final peanut butter cookies more beautiful.
Use a fork to create a crisscross shape on the top of each cookie. Because the cookie dough is a bit sticky, you can keep a small bowl of sugar handy and dip the fork into the sugar each time.
This will help create a cleaner pattern.
Finally, leave plenty of space on the baking sheet between the cookies, about 3 inches. These will spread more than you expect while baking. Plan to bake the cookies in batches, and chill the unused dough until you need it.
What can I Substitute for Peanut Butter in Peanut Butter Cookies?
Can’t eat peanuts? No problem! Here are some alternatives to peanut butter:
- Cashew Butter or Almond Butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter
- Tahini (well-stirred)
Can peanut butter cookies be frozen?
Yes, baked cookies can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
How to Measure Flour
For baked goods (as well as desserts like custard and ice cream), I always recommend using a kitchen scale to measure flour by weight instead of volume. Weight (ounces, grams, etc) will always give an accurate measurement of dry goods; volume (cups) can create varied results.
A cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 3 1/2 to 5 ounces. That could make a big difference in your recipe! If you still want to use cups, there’s a proper technique to make sure you get the best results possible.
My post How to Measure Flour explains all of this in more detail.
More Cookie Recipes
Like these peanut butter cookies? Then you should definitely check out my Soft Gingerbread Cookies with Chocolate, my Andes Mint Cookies, and my Snickerdoodles! I also love these Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from A Classic Twist.
Also, be sure to check out my full archive of cookie recipes!
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (160 grams or approximately 1 1/4 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (112 grams)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (110 grams)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (130 grams)
- 1 large egg
- In a medium-sized bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric mixer), cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Add both sugars and cream for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, followed by the egg, until the ingredients are smooth. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed or stirring with a spatula until evenly combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic film, pressing against the dough to prevent a crust. Chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to shape the dough into balls, placing them 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet. (Note: these cookies spread out a lot; you’ll likely be baking in batches).
- Briefly roll the balls to smooth them out, then use a fork to flatten in a crisscross pattern. You can dip the fork in a bowl of sugar to help prevent sticking.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. After that, I recommend freezing them to preserve the texture and flavor.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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