Old fashioned peanut butter cookies are chewy, soft, and flavorful! The crisscross pattern signifies this a classic homemade dessert recipe.
CLASSIC HOMEMADE HOLIDAY TREATS
There’s something about cookies that I love all year long. There’s never a wrong time to make or serve them!
For starters, they are the perfect homemade holiday treat for a cookie exchange, but there are plenty of other opportunities to bake a batch of homemade cookies
They’re easy to make, store, and transport, and they bring a genuine smile to any recipient.
The flavor combinations are endless. If you want something that is sure to signify a happy holiday, make Soft Gingerbread Cookies with Chocolate.
When your favorite delivery person or mail carrier needs a special thank you, give them a plate of warm Andes Mint Cookies.
Snickerdoodles are the perfect gift to make for a friend, and of course, 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 bring a batch of these easy peanut butter cookies. Or, rum balls make a fantastic homemade food gift for any host or hostess.
Old Fashioned peanut butter cookies
INGREDIENT NOTES + SUBSTITUTIONS
- All-purpose flour – The protein in this flour comes from gluten, and it gives the cookies a nice chewy texture. If you need to accommodate a gluten intolerance, you can substitute with an all-purpose gluten free flour.
- Baking soda – Be sure to test baking soda to ensure that it’s still fresh. Place 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a cup and add 2 teaspoons vinegar. If it bubbles up in the cup, it’s good to use.
- Baking powder – To test baking powder for freshness, follow the same process as baking soda, except use hot tap water instead of vinegar.
- Unsalted butter – To avoid overly salty cookies, I recommend using unsalted butter. This is because the amount of salt in salted butters varies a lot from brand to brand.
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Peanut butter – If you need to avoid peanut products, this recipe also works well with any other nut butter.
Easy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Notes
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 variety. They tend to have a more buttery consistency, whereas natural nut 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 have not tested these with my homemade cashew butter or almond butter, but 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).
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 for a beautiful presentation.
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.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions
What if I have a peanut allergy?
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 I freeze old fashioned peanut butter cookies?
Yes, baked cookies can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
If you aren’t planning to freeze them, place the cookies in an airtight container. They will remain fresh, soft, and chewy at room temperature for about 5 days.
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.
After you make this easy peanut butter cookie recipe, be sure to check out my full archive of cookie recipes!
Old Fashioned 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!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
Jennifer Blake says
There is nothing better than a soft chewy peanut butter cookie! I have a house full of peanut butter lovers. These do not last long here!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
One of my favorite cookies!!
Dave R says
From first-hand knowledge—the cashew butter version is beyond delicious. And it is quite the Herculean task to stop at just one!
I’m with you Jennifer-peanut butter cookies all year!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
My peanut butter loving family loves these!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
ahhh these are flawless!
I got great reviews on these cookies. I opted for smooth peanut butter and also made them slightly larger at 1 1/2 tablespoons. The advice on dipping the fork in sugar is genius. Thanks for the recipe!
Jennifer Farley says
Hi Ana, I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review :)
Renee Goerger says
I’ve made these with peanut butter and cashew butter. They’re both winners!!
Denay DeGuzman says
Peanut butter cookies are an all-time favorite here in our house! I love that yours are picture perfect! I want to reach through my screen and snag one!