Soft, chewy, homemade Peanut Butter Cookies can’t be beat! They are a favorite Christmas cookie and are perfect for an after-school snack!
This easy peanut butter cookie recipe is a holiday classic, along with our other favorite cookie recipes, such as sugar cookies, molasses cookies, and snickerdoodles.
There’s nothing like a freshly baked, still-warm cookie with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee! These cookies bring me back to my childhood when my mom would make them for us.
Here’s Everything You Need To Make Peanut Butter Cookies
The ingredients needed to make cookies are pantry staples! Stock up on flour, sugar, and vanilla for the pantry so that you are ready for all of the holiday baking. Here are the ingredients we used and what each of them does for the cookies.
- Fats: This recipe calls for a combination of shortening and butter. Shortening helps the cookies rise more and gives them a light texture. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much. On the other hand, butter brings flavor and helps make the cookies crispy.
- Peanut Butter: We used Jif creamy peanut butter to make these cookies but Skippy works too. You can also use crunchy peanut butter if you want nuts in the cookies. Natural peanut butter does not work in this recipe.
- Sugars: This recipe uses a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar for the best combination of flavor and texture.
- Eggs: The eggs add fat and moisture to these cookies as well as provides structure and leavening.
- Vanilla: You only need to add a little vanilla extract to make a big difference in your baked goods and be sure to use pure vanilla extract for the best results.
- Flour: All-purpose flour provides the structure for the cookies and gives them shape and texture.
- Leaveners: Both baking soda and baking powder are used as leaveners in this recipe.
- Salt: Even though the peanut butter contains salt, we added a little extra for even more flavor.
How To Make Peanut Butter Cookies
Making homemade peanut butter cookies is very similar to making your other favorite cookies. The main differences are that peanut butter is used for part of the fat in the dough and the cookies are flattened with a fork.
- Cream the Fats and Sugars: Creaming the butter, shortening, and peanut butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar means that you are beating them together at a medium-high speed to form a well-combined creamy mixture that is light in color and fluffy in texture.
- Beat in the Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until combined.
- Stir in the Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl before stirring them into the batter. This will help ensure that the leavening agents and salt are evenly dispersed throughout the cookie dough.
- Scoop the Dough Onto Baking Sheets: I always use a cookie dough scoop to form the cookie dough balls because it gives you even amounts of dough each time. This will help the cookies finish baking at the same time. Use a fork to flatten the cookies.
- Bake the Cookies: After baking the cookies, allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
We love classic peanut butter cookies but sometimes it’s fun to change things and make other variations! Sometimes we use crunchy peanut butter for added texture in the cookies. Or you can also stir other kinds of chopped nuts into the cookie dough such as walnuts or pecans. If you want to add chocolate chips, you can use the bottom of a glass or your palm to flatten the cookies.
Another variation is to make the cookies smaller and turn them into sandwich cookies with frosting in the middle. If you love chocolate, drizzled melted chocolate chips over the baked cookies. Or press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of the cookies while they are still warm.
Storage and Make Head
Peanut Butter Cookie Storage
Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them. Store peanut butter cookies in an airtight container or ziptop bag at room temperature for 3-4 days.
How To Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies
For longer storage, place cooled cookies in airtight freezer bags and store them in the freezer for 3-4 weeks. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.
If you want to prepare the dough ahead of time and bake the cookies later, you can freeze the cookie dough balls. Form the dough balls using a dough scoop and place them in the freezer in a single layer on a pan or a plate for 30-60 minutes to partially freeze them. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough balls and let them thaw on a baking sheet at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar, add vanilla and a little salt, and use brand-name peanut butter in the batter. You can also stir baking chips, M&M’s, or chopped nuts into the cookie dough. For already baked cookies, you can top them with buttercream frosting, drizzle them with melted chocolate, or make sandwich cookies with frosting between the layers.
Peanut butter cookie dough is dense and doesn’t flatten the way a chocolate chip cookie does during baking. The fork marks flatten the cookies so that they bake evenly. You can also flatten them with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar as you would when making sugar cookies.
The best peanut butter for cookies is the traditional, creamy Jif brand or Skippy brand. You can also use the crunchy version if you want nuts in your cookies. Natural peanut butter does not give the same results.
Want more cookie recipes? Try these next:
Admit it…chewy, gooey, Chocolate Chip Cookies are the BEST! This is our favorite cookie recipe!
Peanut Butter Blossoms have the combo of peanut butter and chocolate and they are a must during the holidays!
These adorable Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups are filled with decadent chocolate ganache, and have a pretzel handle with mini marshmallows on top!
These Red Velvet Cookies with white chocolate chips have pretty crinkle tops and are easy to make.
eat good 4 life says
I love everything about this. Peanut butter is my favorite and as a cookie form even more! Thanks for all of these gift ideas.
Andi @ The Weary Chef says
This is a great idea! Homemade cookies as gifts are the best! Baked with love! Thanks for sharing this!
Erin @ Texanerin Baking says
You’re awfully nice to bake for friends who don’t bake. If I said that I don’t do dishes, it’d be cool if someone came and did that for me. 😀 And these look great! I love homemade gifts like this.
Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
I love the idea of using glass jars to show off the cookies. I have a bunch of quart sized mason jars that I could use 🙂
Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates says
Baking and giving away treat plates (and jars) is one of my favorite things to do this time of year! These peanut butter cookies would be a perfect addition to any cookie tray!
I love those packages! I often give baked goods as gifts and I usually use tins, but these look so much cuter!