The Best Peanut Butter Cookies You’ll Ever Have

Peanut butter cookies with a glass of milk. Can’t you conjure up exactly what it tastes like? One of life’s great pleasures. Here, Jennifer from Bake or Break shares her recipe for the most mouthwatering version ever (which would be perfect to take to a dinner party!)…

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies You’ll Ever Have
By Jennifer from Bake or Break

Peanut butter cookies are a simple pleasure. The flavor is hardly complex and is a comforting one for most of us. Some will laugh and some will merely nod in understanding when I confess that a jar of peanut butter and a spoon was a frequent treat in my childhood.

Of course, now that I’m firmly entrenched in my adult years, I am more likely to whip up a batch of cookies than go the jar-and-spoon route. That does not, in any way, rule out helping myself to a little spoonful during the baking process.

While there are many variations circulating out there with nuts or chocolate or some other addition, I still pick these every time. These are peanut butter cookies, plain and simple and awesome.

Recipe: Best Peanut Butter Cookies You’ll Ever Have
Makes about 40 cookies

You’ll need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar + more for sprinkling tops of cookies
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Using a handheld mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar just until smooth. (You may be tempted to use your stand mixer. Don’t. You’ll be less likely to overmix with the handheld mixer.) Add peanut butter and mix just until blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix just until blended.

Gradually add flour mixture, mixing (you guessed it) just until blended.

Using a cookie scoop or your hands, place tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared pans. Using a fork, lightly make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie. Be careful not to over-flatten the cookies. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with sugar. (I like to use sanding sugar to give them a little extra sparkle.)

Bake cookies, one pan at a time, 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. (Refrigerate the remainder of dough until ready to bake.) Cool on pan on wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

P.S. More best recipes, including chocolate ice cream and chocolate-chunk cookies.

(Photos by Jennifer from Bake or Break. Thanks to Shoko for her help with this series.)

  1. Anne says...

    I’ve made several batches of these ‘yummerlies’ now….the last one, made last Saturday, were the best of all! I use the same ingredients, but this time I used peanut butter from Peanut Butter Company & Co….their “time to crunch” variety, which has pieces of nuts blended in. It’s a stiffer consistency than the smooth type and, to me, is much better than smooth PB. Hence the batter is stiffer, but there’s a much better
    ‘peanut-y’ taste than with the smooth. This batch turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. I got about 31 regular sized cookies out of the batch. I also used parchment paper – it can be re-used for the second/third batch and isn’t messy at all, and is less prone to cookies burning on the bottom. Out of 31 made last Saturday, there are just THREE left! I did take some to a small gathering on Sunday, and they disappeared like greased lightning. My husband and I are watching them go down & eyeing each other with suspicion! I can definitely say that these really ARE the best peanut butter cookies you’ll ever have! Happy baking!

  2. I make a version of these all the time. To send them over the top add 1cup honey roasted peanuts. Delish! And to make them more chewy add 2Tbls honey or 1tbls molasses which ever you prefer.

  3. I made these and I got to say they were the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever eaten.


  4. Made your Peanut Butter Cookies and donated to a Charity raising money for a Basketball Court. They are very good Thanks for sharing, as I shared your link on my blog as well.

  5. I mixed these up this morning (all by hand) and there are some baking in my oven even as I type. I just tasted the first one. They definitely have the BEST peanut butter flavor of any recipe I’ve tried. I do wish they had a chewier interior texture, but they are nice and soft. Definitely a winner and I’ll be adding this recipe to my repetoire! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lulu says...

    These were VERY crisp when baked for the full 14 minutes and honestly, not the best PB cookie I’ve ever had. I halved the cooking time and they were better (chewier in the center), but getting them off the sheet was incredibly difficult (think flat metal spatula) and some crumbled away to nothing even when cooled. I did use peanut butter (not peanut spread) so that may have had an impact, but my first impression wasn’t the strongest with these cookies.

  7. you are 100000% right that these are the best ever. i made these and added in mini chocolate chips. they’re even good out of the freezer :) thank you for sharing! got this via pinterest.

  8. just made these! delicious!

  9. I made these the day you posted the recipe and they were delicious!

  10. Been loving the recent food series. Bookmarked most of them to try out at home :) Do keep ’em coming.

  11. These look SO good! I’ll be sure to try my hand at making them :)

  12. I just made a batch! They are a bit crumbly when hot, but fine when cooled. Be careful when removing them from the pan. They have a great peanut butter flavor, light and they just melt in your mouth. I’m saving the recipe!

  13. How did I not know about Bake or Break until now?! And how much longer will I have to run every day now that I do! Thank you? Everything looks amazing…

  14. Confession: I actually used to dip my spoon into the peanut butter as well, but then, I did one better by immediately dipping same-spoon into the jelly jar so that I could have a bite o’ pbj without the hassle of making a sandwich. Not my finest moments – but I sure did love doing it. Now that I’m older, I’ve stopped digging into that jar with my spoon, but, won’t stop me from being PB-crazy. All this to say, I’ll be making these cookies.

  15. You posted this recipe right on time!
    I quite recently have been craving peanut butter cookies and these look delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  16. I want a cookie like that!!!!! i will try cooking one of that!!!

  17. Virginai says...

    Just pulled them out of the oven!! They’re definitely the crispy/crumbly kind. Mine were way too crumbly at first, but came together after cooling. Delicious! Bringing them to work so we can’t eat the whole batch

  18. my hubs’ll scream with happiness if i make these for him.

  19. Yum! I just had a peanut butter cookie yesterday, but now I’m really craving more!

  20. Oh no, not this again! I’ve put on e pounds sice you started these series!

  21. Yum, this looks like a great simple recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    And to Anonymous (that said you use a lot of superlatives) – This is a series. “The best fill-in-the-blank you’ll ever have”. That’s why. There’s no need to say your recipe is better, although I’m sure it’s great.

    Anyway, I love this series and I’m excited for all future posts.

  22. Anonymous says...

    You use a lot of superlatives… I guess it’s all tongue in cheek? This is not “a very good peanut butter cookie recipe you should try,” but the BEST peanut butter cookies you’ll ever have, and the most mouth-watering version ever. I beg to differ because my recipe is pretty darned good! :-)

    Peanut butter cookies are by far my favorite variety of cookie! I would probably change this recipe just a bit to use Teddie Super Chunky Unsalted natural peanut butter. Teddie is made in Massachusetts and not available in every state, but it has fairly wide distribution, and is New England’s favorite brand. I don’t go out of my way to eat natural foods, but I grew up with this stuff. You can get it in smooth or “super chunky,” and salted or unsalted. The unsalted has ONLY dry roasted peanuts. A lot of people don’t like natural peanut butter because it is oily and the oil separates easily. You can stir to incorporate it and then store the PB in the fridge, but then it is dry and hard to spread. I used to buy natural peanut butter in bulk from the health food store, and it was like that, and Smucker’s natural peanut butter is also like that. Amazingly, Teddie does not have that much excess oil, and after you stir to incorporate, it tends to stay incorporated even when the PB is stored in the cupboard. Every peanut butter which isn’t “natural” includes extra ingredients like sugar and palm oil. Many popular varieties people call “peanut butter,” are actually technically “peanut butter spreads” – they don’t include a high enough percentage of peanuts for the government to allow them to be called peanut butter!

  23. joanna, i love that you post these “best ever” recipes. i tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe with amaranth flour and muscovado sugar. i was a little—i don’t know—perplexed that the flours were so odd. the cookie ended up kind of grainy. did i do it wrong?have you tried them?

    • Seriously? You used two COMPLETELY different ingredients and wonder why they didn’t turn out right? Really?
      Try the recipe AS WRITTEN and they will turn out right.

  24. Peanut butter cookies are DEFinitely a favorite, but my daughter is allergic to peanut butter. Maybe I’ll have to try these with cashew butter instead!

  25. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks Jennifer and Joanna!

  26. These look entirely toooo delicious!

  27. Peanut butter cookies! So good so dangerous. :-)

  28. Peanut butter cookies were my absolute favorite growing up!! I’d looooove to make these!! :)

  29. These look amazing! But we don’t use cup measurements in England. Wish the recipe was available in grams or ounces. Maybe I’ll look for a conversion chart online (does anyone know of a good one?)

    Love this series though Jo!

  30. My husband’s stomach is thanking you already :) Can’t wait to whip up a batch

  31. My friends here in the Netherlands go absolutely MAD for peanut butter cookies — the taste is a complete novelty to them.

  32. I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who ate peanut butter on a spoon straight from the jar as a kid. :D Still one of life’s simple pleasures, even to this day.

  33. These look so good and I love soft peanut butter cookies! I might just have to make them tonight!

  34. The exact same recipe my mom always made. I agree totally. It’s almost a muscle memory at this point. The smell of them…the taste of them…eating them before bed while wearing that pair of green and white pajamas I wore for years and then my sister after that…

  35. Are these soft peanut butter cookies, or are they crispy?

    Soft is definitely my favorite. :)

  36. I will never forget my late grandmother’s special peanut butter cookies even though I haven’t had them in 10 years. I am going to try this recipe asap :)

  37. I am overcome by a supersonic craving for peanut butter cookies now. Like, must eat immediately. But of course I have to ask, will these be chewy or will they be crispy? I’m a chewy-favoring girl myself, so I would need to know before I put in the effort. Have you tried them?

  38. I’ve always liked your best recipes!!! This looks like a MUST try..:>