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Peanut butter lovers everywhere — have I got a treat for you! This is the yummiest Soft Peanut Butter Cookies recipe, and it is so easy, too!

soft peanut butter cookies piled on a plate.

Bursting with peanut butter flavor, it is tops in my recipe book! Salty sweet recipes are some of my favorite desserts. The saltiness of peanuts blends so well with the golden sugars — it is a fluffy delight in your mouth!

I am so very honored to be a part of this Sweetest Season Cookies for Kids Cancer event. Sure, I want you to enjoy these dreamy peanut butter cookies.

But please take a moment to look at the ways you can help in the fight against pediatric cancers and share the recipe with everyone you know!

Then, once you have shared it, find more salty-sweet peanut butter ideas to crave! Head over to easy recipes like my Microwave Peanut Brittle or this recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Sandwich Cookies or Peanut Butter Toffee Turtle Cookies.

ingredients for chewy peanut butter cookies on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for the best Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

  • Unsalted butter | A whole stick of softened butter goes into this chewy, thick cookie recipe.
  • Light brown sugar | Pack in the sweet, rich flavor of light brown sugar
  • Large egg | Set out one large egg and get it to room temperature
  • Vanilla extract | Vanilla and baking go hand in hand, don’t you think?
  • Peanut butter | Creamy peanut butter keeps these cookies light, fluffy, and full of peanuty flavor. You can choose crunchy if you would rather.
  • All-purpose flour | Just one cup of flour is all you need for this recipe.
  • Baking soda | Put the fluffy in these fluffy peanut butter cookies with a bit of baking soda.
  • Cornstarch | This surprising addition to my recipe makes the golden-brown cookies lighter and fluffier than other recipes.
  • Kosher salt | Salt balances sugar in baking!
  • Granulated sugar | Use sugar for the ultimate crunchy sweet topping.

Equipment needed

How to make Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

Mix up a batch of creamy peanut butter cookies, pour a glass of ice-cold milk, and sit back and enjoy a well-deserved treat this holiday season.

STEP 1 | Dry ingredients

As with many recipes, start by combining the dry ingredients — flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Sift them all together in a medium bowl, so you have no clumps of soda or salt to be found.

process steps for making peanut butter cookie dough: cream butter and sugar; mix vanilla into egg; beat in peanut butter; stir in flour.

STEP 2 | Mix the dough Base

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until nice and fluffy. You can use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.

Then take out a small bowl and crack the egg, measure the vanilla, and whisk them together or use a fork. Pour the egg mixture into the sugar mixture, mixing until combined.

Step 3 | Add the peanutty goodness

Now for the best part, add the peanut butter to the dough and continue beating until incorporated.

Step 4 | Now, the flour mixture

Stir in the dry ingredients a bit at a time with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until no flour is visible. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes — it’s important that the dough is nice and firm.

tips

  • Chill the dough for best results and a clean and clear cross-hatch marking on your cookies.
  • After you press the cookies with the fork, use your fingertips to gently reshape the edges to perfection!
  • Be sure to let the cookies cool before you try to plate them. They are so soft; they may just fall apart on you!

rolling peanut butter cookie dough balls in sugar; pressing pattern into dough with a fork.

Step 5 | Get ready to bake

Before baking your soft and thick peanut cookies, ensure the oven is preheated and ready to bake those cookies to perfection.

Then, line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, so the bottoms of the cookies come out just right.

Step 6 | Form the Cookies

Alright, let’s roll — literally. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and take the dough from the fridge. Using a cookie scoop, portion the dough into 2-inch balls.

Then roll each dough ball in the bowl of sugar and place the ball 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets, so they have room to spread.

Step 7 | Mark the Cookies

For that classic look, and so they spread correctly, grab a fork and mark one way and then the other, pressing gently into the sugar-coated cookie dough balls.

Then into the warm oven, they go until the edges just start to turn a light golden brown.

When finished cooking, remove the cookie tray from the oven, leaving the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frequently asked questions

Is this a good make-ahead recipe?

It sure is! And you can stop the process at any point in the recipe. For example, mix the dough and store it in the freezer or in the fridge. When ready to scoop, thaw and make into balls.

Or, make the batter, then roll the balls. Place each on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen solid, place all the cookie dough balls in a zippered bag and place that in the freezer. Thaw until just chilled on a baking sheet, and then proceed as above.

Freeze cooked and cooled cookies in an airtight container and add a layer of foil or plastic wrap to insulate them well. Thaw when ready to dig in!

Can I use natural peanut butter in this Peanut Butter Cookies recipe?

Any brand of peanut butter will do just fine by me! However, the consistency will differ depending on the type you use.

soft peanut cookies tied up with a string sitting on a table with another box of cookies in the background..

Listen, the truth is, everyone will love this peanut butter cookie recipe so much that they will be asking for the recipe.

But that is the perfect opportunity to share the post with friends and tie the cookies up with string for a gift that keeps on giving!

Serving suggestions

There are plenty of ways to enjoy cookies, am I right? Here are my top suggestions:

  • Drizzle with chocolate.
  • Dip into a bowl of homemade whipped cream.
  • Serve with a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla ice cream.
  • Enjoy with a steaming cup of hot chocolate or mocha coffee.

YOU can help fight Kids’ Cancer!

The National Cancer Institute’s budget for childhood cancer is less than 4%. It’s such a small number and that’s why I got involved. And with the ongoing pandemic, children are still being diagnosed with cancer.

I’m proud to join fellow food bloggers in the Sweetest Season Cookies for Kids’ Cancer event, a joint effort to raise money and awareness about pediatric cancer, by sharing today’s cookie recipe.

We are doing this because we want to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. Cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S. There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a match window with their friends at OXO, who will be matching every dollar raised through the end of the year, up to $100,000. So whatever money we raise will automatically double!

Will you help us with a donation today? Every little bit helps! Donate here.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

soft peanut butter cookies piled on a plate.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter lovers everywhere — have I got a treat for you! This is the yummiest Soft Peanut Butter Cookies recipe, and it is so easy, too!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Sweets
Cuisine American
Servings 28 cookies
Calories 133 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Break the egg into a small bowl and add the vanilla. Beat together with a fork, then add to the sugar mixture, mixing until combined.
  • Add the peanut butter to the dough and continue beating until incorporated.
  • Then, stir in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until no flour is visible. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes — 1 hour is better — until the dough is firm.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and use a cookie scoop to portion the dough into 2-inch balls.
  • Roll the balls in the bowl of sugar and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 – 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Chill the dough for best results and a clean and clear cross-hatch marking on your cookies.
  • After you press the cookies with the fork, use your fingertips to gently reshape the edges to perfection!
  • Be sure to let the cookies cool before you try to plate them. They are so soft; they may just fall apart on you!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 111IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword baking, cookies, easy recipe, peanut butter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a great and easy recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies, thank you! They are so delicious, chewy and soft, perfect — next time I’m making it with crunchy peanut butter.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my yum!! I can’t wait to make a batch of these, peanut butter is my favorite flavored cookie and I love how yours are so soft!

  3. YUM! I love a soft peanut butter cookie like this one. And since I’m the only person in my household who loves a PB cookie, these will all be miiiiiine! (Unless, of course, I choose to share them with friends, ha!)

    Thanks, again, for participating in The Sweetest Season!

  4. 5 stars
    These peanut butter cookies are my new favorite! They are so delicious and have so much flavor. Will be making again!

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