The Best Peanut Butter cookies of your life!
These Peanut Butter Cookies are Irresistibly soft and chewy with the option to create SANDWICH Peanut Butter Cookies stuffed with melt in your mouth creamy peanut butter filling – because two cookies are better than one! These Peanut Butter cookies are easy to make without any dough chilling required and they’re make ahead and freezer friendly too (instructions included)!
Peanut Butter Cookies
I LOVE peanut butter. I love it in sweets, I love it in savory dishes, I love it on a spoon by itself, I love it on a spoon covered with chocolate chips. And please don’t leave me with a box of Do-si-dos® if you expect to come home to any. And I beg you not to leave me with a batch of these soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies and expect me to stop at just 3, but I do beg you to leave me with them…
Peanut butter truly is my biggest foodie weakness. It leaves me weak at the knees and more weak in will power, so naturally, I needed to create a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with 3 layers of peanut butter.
I used the same Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that I used in my Sea Salt Oreo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies (insane if you haven’t tried them!) because the cookies are so soft and chewy and just scrumptious and then proceeded to layer the cookies with dreamy peanut butter cream.
The luscious Peanut Butter Cream Filling is not overly sweet as to not overpower the two sandwiching peanut butter cookies but sweet enough you will be licking the bowl, leaving you with a cookie that is somewhat of a cross pollination of Do-si-dos® and Nutter Butters but even more delicious because the cookies are soft and chewy!
Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches. So you can have your peanut butter and your cookies too.
WHERE DO PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES COME FROM?
Before we dive into this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, I thought it would be fun to explore where Peanut Butter Cookies came from. Of course, it all started with peanut butter which we can thank the Aztecs for. It is believed they invented peanut butter way back in the 14th century but it took us several hundred more years to transform their delectable discovery into a cookie.
One of my favorite historical figures is behind the invention of the Peanut Butter Cookie – George Washington Carver. If you do not know who he is seriously, go read about him.
He was an agricultural scientist and teacher trying to help his town and the south recover from the devastating effects of the civil war decades earlier as well as an infestation of the boll weevil that was ruining the cotton crops. His solution: find a stable crop like peanuts and promote it like crazy. He succeeded in making the peanut an important commodity in the south so the farmers weren’t solely dependent on cotton.
George Washington Carver facilitated hundreds of experiments and invented over 300 hundreds uses of the peanut such as dyes, plastics, paints, nitroglycerin and gasoline. He also created more than 100 recipes for peanuts for human consumption, three of which are cookies. Have you ever had peanut soup in the south? You should!
One George Washington Carvers cookie recipes was the now famous Peanut Butter Cookie. The original version of the cookie calls for crushed/chopped peanuts and in the 1920’s it evolved to peanut butter instead. How rad is a person that can invent cookies, soup and gasoline from the same ingredient? I say super rad.
WHAT KIND OF PEANUT BUTTER IS BEST?’
These soft Peanut Butter Cookies are ALL about the peanut butter, so it is important to use the right kind.
Use brand name peanut butters: The general rule is to use spoonable peanut butter, meaning peanut butter you can spoon right out of the jar without having to mix the oil back in. Brand name peanut butter such as Skippy or Jif are perfect for Peanut Butter Cookies.
Avoid natural peanut butters. Natural peanut butter is great for eating but not for baking as they will cause your Peanut Butter Cookies to spread out due to their high ratio of oil. Peanut Butter Cookies also bake up crispier, grittier and more brittle – the opposite of the perfect soft and chewy texture we want.
Use creamy or crunchy peanut butter. As far as creamy or crunchy peanut butter, I prefer the creamy because this creates a soft and chewy cookie. If you are looking for an extra crunch however, then go crunchy. This recipe was made with creamy peanut butter, so you will need to add an additional ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter to make up for the creaminess lost in volume to the nuts.
INGREDIENTS FOR EASY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE
This chewy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe only requires a handful of pantry friendly ingredients. To make this easy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, you will need:
- Peanut butter. As previously discussed, used brand name, no-stir peanut butter and avoid natural peanut butter for the BEST results.
- Butter: Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature at room temperature so it’s not too soft. Also, take care it is unsalted so we can control the amount of salt because the peanut butter already has salt in it. I don’t recommend shortening because the butter adds a sublime buttery flavor and creates a softer, lighter texture.
- All-purpose flour: I have not experimented with other types of flour but I suspect gluten free baking flour or white whole wheat flour would also work.
- Baking powder and baking soda: This recipe uses both in equal parts, please don’t substitute one for the other. Always make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh (within 6-12 months) so they do their job.
- Brown sugar: promotes a soft and chewier cookie with more flavor.
- Granulated sugar: adds that cookie sweetness.
- Eggs: you will need 2 large eggs.
HOW TO MAKE SOFT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies are easy to make, much like your typical cookie recipe except there is no chilling time required and at the end you’ll flatten our cookie with a cross hatch pattern. To make Peanut Butter Cookies:
- Preheat oven and line baking sheets. You can line your baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick mats.
- Cream butters and sugar together. In a stand or electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter together until very smooth. Add sugars and continue to beat until very creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture just until combined – don’t overmix! You never want to overmix once wet and dry ingredients combine because over developed gluten can result in tough, dry, dense cookies.
- Form dough balls. Roll dough into 1 tablespoon balls and place 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Press down with fork to make a criss-cross pattern. You can dip your fork in sugar before making the hatch pattern to prevent it from sticking.
- Bake cookies. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. If you like crispier cookies, simply bake longer.
How do you know when peanut butter cookies are done?
Your soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies should bake 10-12 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. My cookies took exactly 11 minutes. If you want even chewier cookies, you can reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake a little longer.
It is important to not overbake Peanut Butter Cookies for them to remain soft and chewy. Peanut Butter cookies are done when the middle looks set and the edges turn golden. The cookies will continue to cook as they cool which will firm up the centers. If you overbake them initially, you will have hard cookies – sad, sad day.
Why do you Add Hatch Marks to Peanut Butter cookies?
You can spot a Peanut Butter Cookie out of a line up due to their characteristic cross-hatch marks. Are they purely decorative? Why do we add them?
The criss-cross pattern on peanut butter cookies helps flatten the cookie so they bake evenly, otherwise, they’ll stay more or less in ball shape. I guess you could flatten them slightly with a glass – but where’s the fun in that?!
WHY ARE MY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES FALLING APART?
I have never experienced the problem of crumbly Peanut Butter Cookies, but if you’re experiencing this problem, let’s troubleshoot. It can be one of three baking problems: butter, flour or overbaking.
- Butter: You must use the full amount of butter in this recipe and NO butter substitutes. Butter substitutes have a higher percentage of water instead of fat and therefore do not have the necessary fat to binds the ingredients together.
- Flour: If you used butter then, then the dough was likely over mixed or too much flour was added. Make sure you always scoop flour into the measuring scoop and don’t scoop flour using the measuring scoop as this compacts the flour and results in more flour than the recipe calls for. This peanut butter cookie dough should look wet, please do not be tempted to add just a bit more flour.
- Overbaking: These Peanut Butter Cookies should be baked just until the edges are golden, they will continue to set as they cool. If you overbake them, then they can crumble.
Why did my peanut butter cookies go flat?
There are two culprits, either the butter was too soft, or natural peanut butter was used.
- Butter: Take care you don’t microwave your butter to soften it. It should soften at room temperature just until barely soft. If it’s too soft, then refrigerate until it firms up a bit or refrigerate your peanut butter cookie dough.
- Natural peanut butter: As previously discussed, natural peanut butter contains more oil which will cause the cookies to spread in the oven.
Should I refrigerate peanut butter cookie dough?
You do not need to refrigerate your Peanut Butter Cookie Dough before baking. You can, however, choose to refrigerate your cookie dough if you want to prep the dough in advance and bake later. Just make sure your cookie dough is securely wrapped in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. You can store cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to five days.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE VARIATIONS
There are SO MANY possibilities when it comes to this easy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe! You can make the cookies without the filling for simple soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies and/or dress them up with:
- Chips: Add in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel chips, Reese’s peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips.
- Candy: Add chopped candy such as Twix, Butterfinger, KitKat, Snickers, Skor, toffee bits or Reese’s. You can also add whole Rollos or America’s favorite – a Hersey kiss on top!
- Nuts: chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even peanuts.
- Sweet and salty: try adding chopped pretzels or crushed potato chips for a sweet and salty treat.
Non-cookie uses for peanut butter cookies:
- Crumble on top of ice cream or chocolate pie
- Use dough as a pie crust
- Mix into brownie batter
Did you know June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day? I mean, seriously, the cookie has its own day! Therefore, I think I know what I will be enjoying on June 12th. I just need to figure out which delectable variation I’ll be making; ). I’d love to hear your favorite way to enjoy Peanut Butter Cookies!
How do I Store Peanut Butter Cookies?
Plain Peanut Butter Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 5-7 days. Peanut Butter Cookies with cream filling should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days then refrigerated after that.
HOW TO FREEZE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH:
- Roll balls per instructions and flatten with the criss-cross pattern.
- Fit as many dough balls as you can on a parchment/nonstick lined baking sheet without touching.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the balls until outsides are hard (about 1-2 hours).
- Transfer to a freezer size plastic bag and freeze.
- Peanut Butter Cookie dough should freeze well for up to 3 months.
- To BAKE: Place frozen cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet and bake according to instructions, adding a couple extra minutes to cook time.
HOW TO FREEZE BAKED PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES:
- Fit as many COOLED baked Peanut Butter Cookies on a parchment/nonstick mat lined baking sheet without touching.
- Place the baking sheet(s) in the freezer and freeze until solid (about 1 hour).
- Transfer to a freezer size plastic bag and freeze.
- To EAT: When you want to enjoy a Peanut Butter Cookie, take it out and let it sit at room temperature, warm in the microwave at 10 second intervals or warm it in the oven for a few minutes.
Looking for more Cookie Recipes?
- Nutella Cookies
- Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- S’more Cookies
- Turtle Cookies
- Carrot Cake Cake Cookies
- Caramel Brown Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cookies
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