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Great Grandma’s Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

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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!

peanut butter cookies for fork hashmark next to glass of milk

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.  

mixer bowl filled with peanut butter cookie dough and mixer paddle

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!

cooling rack filled with soft peanut butter cookies with fork marks on them

     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!

hand holding classic peanut butter cookie with waffle pattern on top

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 waffle pattern while also pushing the dough down. You can also use the bottom of a glass or a cookie stamp if you prefer.

cookie tray with small cookie scoop, balls of dough, and fork putting cross hash in peanut butter cookie dough balls

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!

stack of classic peanut butter cookies next to glass of milk

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.

stack of peanut butter cookies ready to eat

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.

This recipe was originally shared in 2016 and has been updated with more tips, new pictures and a video.

Yield: 60 Cookies

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

stack of classic peanut butter cookies next to glass of milk

Delightful peanut butter cookie goodness. This recipe is straight out of grandma’s recipe box and can be baked with a chewy or crisp texture. Pour a glass of milk and dive in!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs and peanut butter and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop or roll a Tablespoon of dough into a ball.  Smoosh with a cup or fork and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until puffed and VERY lightly golden. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

60

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.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

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Delightful peanut butter cookie goodness.  This recipe is straight out of grandma’s recipe box and can be baked with a chewy or crisp texture. Pour a glass of milk and dive in!

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