This classic peanut butter cookie recipe is straight out of great-grandma’s recipe box and can be baked with a chewy or crisp texture. Pour a glass of milk and dive in!
There is something about classic peanut butter cookies. They are simple but oh so delicious.
Great grandma’s recipe makes the perfect cookie. They are sweet but not too sweet and can be baked soft or crunchy. What are you waiting for?
This cookie recipe was passed down from my great-grandma. After she was no longer able to make them, the boys of the family took them over.
Now my grandpa makes them each Christmas, so there is always a tin on the holiday table. They are a holiday must have.
If you follow along regularly, you know that my husband has some funny food quirks. He really is not at all picky, but he does have some interesting food “rules” and opinions. This is just a small example of one.
He never eats peanut butter. I’ve never seen him eat a peanut butter sandwich.
He never dips and apple in peanut butter. He doesn’t even really like peanut chicken, though he’ll eat it if that’s what is available.
In fact, if you catch him on the right day he might even list peanut butter as one of his dislikes along with olives and nuts (which are ALWAYS on the list.)
But ask him what his favorite ice cream is and he is sure to say chocolate with peanut butter swirl.
His favorite candy? Peanut butter cups (or more specifically peanut butter eggs, because somehow those really are just better!)
His favorite cookies? Soft peanut butter cookies.
You see, he’s an odd one sometimes!
This is actually the first time I baked my great-grandma’s recipe. So, I was anxious to see what he thought. After a bite of cookie, he went ahead and grabbed a few more.
That is a sure sign I have a winner on my hands, because he can usually take or leave sweets. So I made sure to leave him plenty of cookies, but then took a big tray of them to work as well.
They were a hit there too! Everyone kept telling me they were the best peanut butter cookies they’ve had!!
I think maybe because people expect a crunchier peanut butter cookie, the soft texture really won them over. No matter what the difference is, this is definitely my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe now!
Why do peanut butter cookies have fork marks?
The cookie dough is dense. If it is not pressed down you will get a mounded cookie that is not baked evenly, not the flatter cookie you are used to.
Forks make a fun criss-cross pattern while also pushing the dough down. You can also use the bottom of a glass or a cookie stamp if you prefer.
To sugar or not to sugar, that is the question!
This recipe does not specify rolling the balls of peanut butter cookie dough in granulated sugar before baking. We like the soft chewy texture you get by leaving it off.
However, you can certainly roll the dough in sugar if that is what you are used too. The sugar coating also helps to keep the dough from sticking between the fork tines.
Whether you choose to use the sugar or not, the cookies are sure to be delicious. The outer texture and overall sweetness will be the only thing changed.
If you can’t decide, do half with and half without to see which way you like best!
Baking the Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
There are a few things you can do to ensure you get the perfect cookies every time. The first is to make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
Don’t overmix the dough. Once you add the flour, any extra mixing helps to develop the gluten which will result in a tougher cookie. Stir until the dough is just combined and then quit.
These cookies are great baked soft, just pull them out when the edges are barely golden. The centers should look puffy but set.
For crisper cookies, add a minute or two to the bake them. When they have a nice golden color, pull them.
Cool your cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes to let them set up, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
How long can I store peanut butter cookies?
Peanut butter cookies store really well on the counter. Put them in an airtight container and they will be fine for a week or two, though they will be at their freshest in the first few days.
For longer storage, put your cookies in the freezer for up to three months.
As a general rule, cookies should not be refrigerated unless they contain a filling that requires it. Storing cookies in the refrigerator can actually make them go stale faster and dry them out.
Can I use other nut butters in this recipe?
Yes! Feel free to substitute almond butter, sun butter or your favorite nut butter in these cookies. However, I would not recommend using a natural peanut butter that needs to be stirred before it is used.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
This old-fashioned recipe uses simple ingredients to make cookies with big peanut butter flavor. We like to bake them as directed for a nice soft cookie, but you can add a minute or two to the bake time for a crunchy peanut butter cookie. Either way, this easy recipe for homemade peanut butter cookies is sure to become one of your favorite cookie recipes.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and peanut butter and beat until incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop or roll a Tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Smoosh with a cup or use the tines of a fork to make a crisscross pattern.
- Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until puffed and VERY lightly golden.
- Allow baked cookies to cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Or you can place in a freezer bag and freeze for a long time. Cookie dough also freezes well to be baked later.
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Serving Size:1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.
This recipe was originally shared in 2016 and has been updated with more tips, new pictures and a video.
Monday 24th of October 2022
I would like the recipe
Monday 24th of October 2022
If you scroll up a bit, there is a printable recipe card with the full instructions.
Wednesday 12th of October 2022
Is that PACKED brown sugar in the recipe?
Saturday 15th of October 2022
@Carlee, thank you!
Thursday 13th of October 2022
Yes, thanks for asking. I will clarify that in the recipe card.
Sunday 14th of February 2021
Love the new look at Cooking with Carlee! Very Nice! The recipes are always fabulous too.
Friday 12th of February 2021
These nothing like a good classic peanut butter cookie with the fork dents. These look so delicious. Happy Weekend of Love!
Friday 12th of February 2021
Sunday 11th of December 2016
These sound absolutely delicious. But I am a pounds and ounces girl, so how much is a cup in the old imperial measurements. I would just love to try making them. Thank you for sharing.
Monday 12th of December 2016
A cup is 8 ounces by volume. I hope that helps, I'm afraid I don't know much about the old imperial measurements. Now I am curious though, so I'll have to do a search and learn more!