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Gemma’s Best-Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

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The peanut butter flavor you love, in a perfectly soft cookie — this my Best-Ever Peanut Butter Cookies recipe!


Hi Bold Bakers!

My Best-Ever recipes are all about taking the most classic sweets and making them Bigger, Bolder and the best they can be! Considering how many cookie recipes I’ve created, even I can’t believe this one didn’t come sooner. So, without any further ado, THIS is my BEST EVER PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES recipe! Packed with that sweet and salty peanut flavor, a crunchy sugar dusted outside, and buttery-soft inside, this cookie is sure to become one of your go-to favorites!

If you’re looking for more cookies, be sure to check out my Cookie Recipes page for 50+ cookie recipes — both classic and new — from Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies to Chocolate Brownie Cookies!

What Kind of Peanut Butter is Best for Peanut Butter Cookies?

The star of the show is the peanut butter! This recipe includes a whole cup of peanut butter, which might have you wondering what kind of peanut butter to use. The truth is — you can use a natural, more runny, peanut butter or good old Skippy and Jif. Both work really well, but a more natural nut butter may provide a softer cookie as those peanut butters can tend to be runnier.

What is important here is that you use a smooth butter to create the right melt in your mouth texture!

Why Are My Peanut Butter Cookies Too Crumbly?

If you find your peanut butter cookies to be on the more dry or crumbly side it can be for a few reasons. The temperature of the ingredients counts! Starting with room temperature eggs and butter, and then creaming the butter with the sugar really well will ensure the cookie dough is nice and smooth, making for a softer cookie!

How Do I Make the Cross Marks in the Cookie?

One of my favorite things about these cookies is the way they look. We all know and love the cross-hatch pattern on the top of a classic peanut butter cookie. To get this look you use a plain dinner fork!

After rolling your cookies into balls and tossing them in sugar, use the fork to press the cookies down into a disc. Then, press the fork across the cooking in the other direction, making an X shape. This not only looks super enticing but creates a texture on the top of the cookie making for the crispy parts and soft parts that I love.

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Do I Need to Chill My Peanut Butter Cookie Dough?

Since this dough is super thick and rich it does not spread as much as a chocolate chip cookie. This means you do not have to chill the dough — but it never hurts! As a rule of thumb, I actually chill all my cookie doughs for at least a few hours to overnight.

How Do I Store Peanut Butter Cookies?

My Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies will keep for 3-4 days covered and stored them in an airtight container at room temperature.  These cookies are as good warm as they are cool. They stay crunchy on the outside and nice and soft in the middle making them a great bake ahead cookie or edible gift!

Tips and Tricks to Making Gemma’s Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • When making cookies, always start with room temperature butter
  • Should you want a lot of texture to your cookie you can use crunchy peanut butter
  • If you’re allergic to peanuts you can use another nut or seed butter
  • If you don’t eat eggs they can be replaced with a flax egg
  • Instead of using brown & white sugar you can use coconut sugar
  • After the cookies are baked dip 1/2 if them in chocolate for a chocolate peanut butter cookie
  • Use these cookies for ice cream cookie sandwiches!
  • Grind these cookies into a fine crumb and use like Graham Cracker crumbs in a pie or cheesecake crust
  • You can keep the unbaked dough in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • Freeze scooped dough for up to 8 weeks. Defrost and bake off fresh!

Get More Cookies!

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4.2 from 72 votes
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Gemma's Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
36 mins
 

The peanut butter flavor you love, in a perfectly soft cookie — this my Best-Ever Peanut Butter Cookies recipe!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 32 Cookies
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2oz/213g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (4 ½oz/128g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. First, pre-heat to 350°F (180°C), then butter and line 2 large cookie sheets. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars together. 

  4. Once the peanut butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla extract. 

  5. After the egg and vanilla are fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients. Whisk just until the flour mixture is combined and a thick dough is formed (If chilling the dough, do so at this point for a minimum of 30 minutes). 

  6. Scoop the dough into heaped tablespoon sized balls. Roll each ball in sugar then place on your prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. 

  7. Using a fork,  flatten the cookies and press down creating an x shape and that classic cross-hatch pattern across the top of each cookie. 

  8. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. 

  9. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool and enjoy!

  10. Once the cookies are fully cooled they can be covered and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

Watch the Recipe Video!

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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43 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Renee Batezat on September 15, 2019 at 1:39 am

    This is a great recipe! Just tried it…. came out beautiful. It has kind of a melt in your mouth texture but not too soft. I LOVE IT!!! Thank you Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 15, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Thank you for the kinds words, Renee.

  2. Trinnia Harrison on September 2, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Could I add chocolate chips to this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2019 at 1:29 am

      Hi there,
      sure you can, but this is a thin enough cookie so do not overdo it. You will know by sight when enough is enough, and then it will be delicious!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. WhatsCookin on August 9, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Altered it by adding oats and cutting back on the butter, also substituted an egg for low fat yogurt. Great snack with a glass of milk! Yum! Thanks Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      Glad to hear it 🙂

      Gemma.

  4. cdg on July 29, 2019 at 4:39 am

    I just baked this in the airfryer.

    Had to dial down the temperature a bit.

    Also, I added about 15 chopped up dates to this and it was really good.

    You might have to reduce the sugar then cos the dates are already sweet.

    But ones without me freestyling was really good as well. 🙂

    And thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that! Thanks for trying this out and letting me know.

      I never thought of the air fryer 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Chai C Ang on July 29, 2019 at 8:15 pm

        I think cos it’s super fan forced, I used 160 C for 14 minutes and it seemed fine.

  5. Linda Schulze on July 22, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I just made these delicious cookies and they are scrumptious. I have made so many of your recipes and they are all good. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Linda! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  6. Annabella Jackson on July 19, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Hi Gemma! I tried the recipe, and it was awesome! I loved the flavour and crunchiness. Also the cross-hatch design. You recipes are so easy and yummy. Also, do you have a recipe for chocolate-chip cookies?

    Regards,
    Annabella😃

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Annabella,

      Thanks so much! I’m delighted you like this recipe.

      You bet I have an awesome Chocolate chip cookie recipe:

      Happy Baking,
      Gemma.

  7. Leah on July 5, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Hi Gemma! I made these and brought them into work and everyone went crazy for them! Definitely a keeper. I keep a jar of store-brand peanut butter on hand for baking and it worked great. Rolling the balls in sugar is a nice touch- I usually don’t do this unless I’m making peanut butter blossom cookies for Christmas, so it felt fancy!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 6, 2019 at 4:16 am

      Haha! Leah, I love fancy! that is my expression too, but it is right for these for sure. I am delighted with this lovely review of this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Shannon Senn on July 4, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Just made these with my 2 girls. They are still in the oven but the dough tasted so good. I can’t wait to eat them!!!! Thanks Gemma for This awesome recipe.

    Shannon, Chelsea(13), and Lila(4) in Texas

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      YUM! Well done all of you! Gemma 😊

  9. Lori L Noble on July 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Gemma I have six different cookie recipes, double and triple batches, to bake up for a celebration of life event. I can’t bake all of them the day before so I’ll be freezing them after baking. I know most cookies freeze great. What I am questioning are the gluten free 3 ingredient peanut butter ones. Do they freeze well once baked or must I make them a day ahead? 5 of the 6 recipes are yours!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 3, 2019 at 2:28 am

      Hi Lori,
      I have not frozen this little cookie, so I cannot be sure but I can’t see why it would not work for you. I think the fat and sugar content is high enough to make this work for the freezer, but my best suggestion is to run a sample bake, perhaps 1/4 of the recipe to be sure.
      This sounds like a marathon bake, and I have been there! I hope you enjoy the process and the event. When the work is all done it should be fun!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Lori L Noble on July 3, 2019 at 10:22 am

        Thank you Gemma, great idea to try it out first. I’ll post again after I try it out. I’m starting to run short on freezer space with many yet to make and bake. I might have to freeze the dough and bake it closer to the date. I know to portion out the dough and freeze as individual cookies, not one big bowl. But when baking frozen dough do you thaw it or just add extra time baking? I saw one recipe that just added a couple of minutes.

        • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 2:35 am

          Hi Lori,
          I have found that frozen dough does not stay frozen for long! I usually do it in a sausage/log shape, well wrapped. This is then sliced and baked.
          You can also shape the cookies into balls, then open freeze them on a tray in the freezer for about an hour. When they are hard you can bag them and continue to freeze them. This works well for some cookies.
          I hope this helps, it sounds like a marathon,
          Gemma 🙂

  10. Michelle Delacroux on June 23, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Hi Gemma I’m writing from Lima, Perú, can I replace flour with something else, for celiacs?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2019 at 3:11 am

      Hello to you in Lima, good that you are here with us.
      It depends on what you have available to you. There are good quality brands making gluten-free blends. These tend to be a blend of a number of GF grains/nuts/legumes etc. Where you live you need to discover what is available. Take a look at the recipes here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/category/recipes/dietary-preferences/gluten-free/) this will give you the idea.
      I hope this will help, do ask in your local market/food store,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Michelle Delacroux on July 22, 2019 at 6:25 pm

        Thank you Gemma I Will try with almond flour

  11. Radha Warris on June 2, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Gemma,
    Love your recipes. Can I add chocolate chips to this recipe? If so, how much?

    Best regards from Trinidad, Caribbean
    Radha

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Hi there Radah,
      I think that is perfectly possible. My mum would say ‘throw in a handful’ lol, nowe this is not a measure, but about 2ozs I think would be good. You may need to make the cookies a bit larger if you are using regular chips. Try it! It will be good,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Liesl on May 14, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Tnx Jemma, we just made your cookies. The kids ate them hot off the press. I had to hide some for my husband otherwise he’d not have gotten. ☺️ Liesl

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Hi Liesl,
      Haha! that is what it is all about! kids will remember these things. Poor husbands, they have to put up with a lot! lol,
      Gemma <3

      • Lies on May 15, 2019 at 8:46 am

        Yup so true.
        I forgot to mention, I had some leftover cinnamon sugar mix, so I rolled the cookie balls in this cinnamon mix. Turned out very nice.

        • Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2019 at 9:01 am

          Hi Liesl,
          that sounds delicious, love that extra crunch too, well done,
          Gemma 🙂

  13. Katinka Lombard on May 12, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Once again… perfect texture, shape, taste.
    And couldn’t be easier!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 13, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      Yay!!!! I love to hear that, Katinka.

      Great job!
      Gemma.

  14. Carol Silberfein on May 6, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Hi Gemma,
    This recipe sounds delicious!! If I make them 3 days before baking, should I chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before scooping the cookies and rolling them in sugar or should I scoop and dip them in sugar and then refrigerate the cookies? Also, once the cookies are on trays what should I cover them with while they are refrigerated for 3 days? Thanks for your help! I want to make theses in cookies for Mother’s Day.
    Best,
    Carol

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2019 at 2:49 am

      Hi Carol,
      You can roll these in sugar before you chill them, the sugar will stick better that way, but it will work after too.
      You may be better to chill the dough, then cut them to size before you bake them, it will be easier to cover and store them that way. I make a sausage of the dough and wrap it tightly in foil or cling wrap. Cut into the number of cookies you wish to make, roll in your palms than in the sugar and bake!
      If you have them on a tray you can slip the whole tray into a bag, or cover down with foil. Lots of ways to do the same thing.
      I hope these work well for you for mothers day!
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Maansi on May 5, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Hi

    If I want to make half the quantity, do I just divide all the ingredients by half?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Hi there,
      yes! do write out the recipe first to make sure you divide every ingredient as closely as possible in 1/2. Let us see the results too!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Donna on May 5, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Can I use some mini chocolate chips and how much should I use
    Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2019 at 5:21 am

      Hi Donna,
      sure you can. An ounce or so should do it, it depends on your taste really. The mini chocolate chips will stay reasonable whole in the bake as they are designed to do so, you will know when to stop adding them. I suggest a tablespoon at a time, you will see them in the batter so it will be easy to judge.
      I hope you like this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Helen Slater on May 3, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Can I use Splenda instead of regular sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Helen,

      If you use splenda then you will will need to add apple sauce or something else to make up the weigh of the sugar. You can also sub coconut sugar or lakanto sugar 1:1 which might be easier.

      Here’s my sugar chart

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  18. Jacqueline Chipchase on May 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Love your recipes, thanks for your inspiration, Jackie

  19. Grace Chin on May 2, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Hi Gemma,

    First time writing to you & we love your easy peasy recipes.
    Can I substitute with gluten free grain (buckwheat, quinoa, maize) flour? My son is gluten intolerant.
    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Grace,

      I’m thrilled to hear that! Yes you can sub but just note that with those flours you mentioned they would not be 1:1. If you wanted to sub 1:1 then gluten free all purpose flour would work really well. You can use the other flours but you might be different results than I did.

      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe :).

      Best,
      Gemma.

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