Soft Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Frosting {No Rolling or Cutting Out}

These soft peanut butter sugar cookies with fluffy chocolate frosting are incredible! And easy, too! No rolling or cutting out. Fast & yummy!

peanut butter sugar cookie on wire rack

Did someone say soft peanut butter sugar cookies? Um, hello! The ONE cookie I didn’t know I needed until it was staring me in the face slathered in fluffy chocolate frosting. 

These cookies are unreal. All the beauty of a sugar cookie (peanut butter flavored!) without any rolling or cutting out. 

Modeled after the beloved swig sugar cookie (which also has a few amazing cousins already: the lemon version and the ultra chocolate version), this peanut butter chocolate version is absolutely fantastic. 

Don’t tell anyone, but I think they are my favorite of all the “swiggy” type cookies on my site.

broken soft peanut butter cookie in half and stacked on each other

The Peanut Butter Texture

If you’ve ever added peanut butter to cookie dough, you know it does this thing where the texture takes on a softer, buttery texture with a slightly sandy quality that screams peanut butter.

The trick is to get enough peanut butter in there to know “I am def eating peanut butter here” without choking on dry crumbs. “Too (cough) much (cough) peanut but(cough)er!”

I had to experiment quite a few times to get the ratio just right. But it’s here. And it’s amazing. These are different than a classic peanut butter cookie. Slightly less in your face peanut butter flavor in order to retain the traditional sugar cookie vibe that’s equally as important.

rolling, pressing and baking sugar crusted soft peanut butter sugar cookies

Once you make a sugar cookie like this, it’s hard to go back to the thankless work of traditional sugar cookies

These cookies are pressed instead of rolled and cut out. The dough balls go on the cookie sheet and then a sugar-bottomed glass (yes, it’s a thing) presses the dough into little round discs with ruffled edges. 

The Only Thing You Need to Know

Here’s my biggest piece of advice about these cookies:

For all that is good and righteous and wonderful in the world, DO NOT OVER BAKE THEM. In fact, under baking is the key to success. 

I don’t want to stress you out, but there is this very fine line between perfectly and slightly under baked (you’ll love them) and over baked (you’ll hate me). Don’t mess this up. Now is NOT the time to start paining toenails or walls. Watch the cookies. 

bowl of chocolate frosting

The Chocolate Frosting

As with most good matchups, the soft peanut butter cookie on its own is nothing without the fluffy chocolate frosting. 

Well, that’s not true. I actually think the plain little peanut butter sugar cookies are quite amazing, if I’m being honest. Maybe I’m biased, but man, I love a good sugar cookie with or without frosting.

I still haven’t fessed up to the humans living in my house how more than three but less than six of the naked cookies went missing from the cooling rack the last time I made a batch. 

Once they had a couple frosted cookies in their grubby hands, they forgot to point fingers. 

spreading chocolate frosting on soft peanut butter sugar cookie

But for most normal cookie consumers, the soft peanut butter cookie with chocolate frosting is a hard combination to beat. 

The chocolate frosting is incredible. Soft and thick and fluffy and creamy. It would make a great go-to chocolate frosting for a lot of things, not just these cookies.

It stays soft, so these cookies aren’t a great candidate for being stacked and transported that way, but it’s worth it. Soft creamy frosting over crunchy frosting any day (royal frosting, I’m looking at you). 

top down view of peanut butter sugar cookie on wire rack

Freeze-Worthy

The cookies freeze great once they are baked. And guess what? They freeze really well once they are frosted, too. 

I like to freeze them in a single layer until they are fully frozen, and then they can be stacked in a container between layers of parchment paper. 

Also, these peanut butter cookies with chocolate frosting are phenomenal chilled. I wouldn’t turn one down at room temperature, but man, a little time in the refrigerator? Turns them completely upside down amazing.

(In the interest of full disclosure, not all the family members that belong to me agree with that – some of them like them super soft at room temp, but I’m a chilled fan all the way.)

peanut butter sugar cookie with chocolate frosting with bite taken out on white napkin

Soft Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 36-40 cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
peanut butter sugar cookie with chocolate frosting on white napkin

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons, 8 ounces) butter, softened (I use salted)
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter (see note)
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, avocado, etc)
  • 1 1/4 cups (9.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/4 cups (26.25 ounces) all-purpose flour (see updated note!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for dipping

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons, 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F for convection bake) and line several half sheet pans with parchment paper.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl using a handheld electric mixer), add the butter, peanut butter, oil, granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Sprinkle the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt across the top of the sugars. Mix until well-combined and super creamy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    3. Add the sour cream, eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined, 1-2 minutes, again scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    4. Add the flour (see note below) and mix until no dry streaks remain and the mixture is evenly combined; don't overmix.
    5. Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon size balls (I use a #40 cookie scoop; you can make them smaller or larger) and roll into balls.
    6. Place the cookies several inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly spray the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass with cooking spray and dip into granulated sugar. Press each cookie to about 1/4-inch thick. (Repeat dipping the bottom of the glass into sugar as needed.)
    7. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes until just set. DO NOT OVER BAKE. In fact, under baking these cookie by just a bit is key.
    8. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    9. For the frosting, in a medium bowl (can use a handheld or stand mixer) combine the butter, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until thick and smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cream, and mix until well-combined and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add additional cream, if needed, to adjust the consistency of the frosting so it is thick but still soft and spreadable.
    10. Frost the cooled cookies and decorate with chocolate sprinkles, if desired.

Notes

Peanut Butter: I haven't tried these cookies with natural peanut butter (I've only ever used Skippy or Jif).

Cocoa Powder + Powdered Sugar: I like to measure and then sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder through a mesh strainer into the frosting to prevent lumps.

Flour: adding peanut butter to cookie dough has a tendency to dry out the texture of the dough. This cookie dough may seem a little dry after mixing but it should press together in a ball just fine (and bakes up great). However, the amount of flour is also really important. If you live at high elevation, are in a super dry climate, or tend to pack more flour into a measuring cup, you might consider dropping the flour down to 5 cups (if you aren't weighing the ingredients using a kitchen scale, measure with a light hand).

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe