Make Peanut Butter Cookies From Scratch With This Easy Recipe

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Fresh-from-the oven cookies are nearly impossible to beat, and homemade peanut butter cookies are an all-time classic that most people enjoy. This recipe can easily be adapted to incorporate any type of nut butter, including cashew, almond, or hazelnut to fit any dietary needs or palate preferences. One of the best parts about baking cookies at home is the dough can easily be refrigerated or frozen right up until you're ready to bake the cookies, ensuring your cookies are fresh-out-of-the-oven every time.

How to make peanut butter cookies
How to make peanut butter cookies (Image: Julia Mueller)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Tip

    • You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter, and also
      unsweetened or sweetened. Avoid using peanut butter that has a great deal of
      oil separation to avoid the need to stir the peanut butter.
    • For gluten-free cookies, use gluten-free all-purpose
      flour for this recipe.
    • If you don’t have brown sugar on hand, you can replace it
      with regular granulated cane sugar.
    • Replace the sugars with coconut sugar to make this recipe refined sugar-free.
    • Substitute 7 tablespoons of softened coconut oil for the butter in order to make this recipe dairy-free.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Collect the ingredients you need for the recipe, using any substitutions as noted above.

peanut butter cookies ingredients
peanut butter cookies ingredients (Image: Julia Mueller)

Step 2: Cream the Butter and Sugar

Add the softened butter and sugars to a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl. Beat until creamy.

mix the butter and sugar
mix the butter and sugar (Image: Julia Mueller)

Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined and creamy.

add the peanut butter
add the peanut butter (Image: Julia Mueller)
mix peanut butter into butter and sugar
mix peanut butter into butter and sugar (Image: Julia Mueller)

Add the egg and mix just until combined.

Add the egg and mix
Add the egg and mix (Image: Julia Mueller)

Step 3: Add the Dry Ingredients

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt and stir well so that the dry ingredients are well incorporated.

Combine the dry ingredients
Combine the dry ingredients (Image: Julia Mueller)

Pour half of the dry mixture into the mixer with the wet ingredients. Beat just until combined, then repeat for the remaining half of the dry ingredients.

Mix in the dry ingredients to complete the cookie dough.
Mix in the dry ingredients to complete the cookie dough. (Image: Julia Mueller)
dough should be thick yet moist
dough should be thick yet moist (Image: Julia Mueller)

Step 4: Refrigerate the Dough

Transfer the cookie dough to a sealable container. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 12 hours.

Refrigerate cookie dough for 3 hours
Refrigerate cookie dough for 3 hours (Image: Julia Mueller)

Step 5: Prepare the Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Form small balls out of the dough and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Roll cookie dough into balls
Roll cookie dough into balls (Image: Julia Mueller)

Using a fork, flatten the balls by scoring the dough with a fork twice with a crisscross pattern.

flatten the dough with a fork
flatten the dough with a fork (Image: Julia Mueller)
Flatten all of the balls of dough
Flatten all of the balls of dough (Image: Julia Mueller)

Step 6: Bake the Cookies

Place the tray of cookie dough on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until cookies reach desired level of crisp. For chewy cookies, bake 8 to 9 minutes.

Bake until cookies reach desired done-ness
Bake until cookies reach desired done-ness (Image: Julia Mueller)

Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to sit 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. Serve and enjoy.

Allow cookies to cool
Allow cookies to cool (Image: Julia Mueller)
Serve and enjoy!
Serve and enjoy! (Image: Julia Mueller)
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