The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

I know. Like you really need another peanut butter cookie recipe to try. I thought the same thing a mere two weeks ago. In fact, if I’m being completely honest, straight up classic peanut butter cookies rank pretty low on my list of cookies that speak to me in my dreams. I like peanut butter in cookies (these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, for instance, or this oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip version) but just plain ol’ peanut butter cookies haven’t ever been my thing.

Until now.

These peanut butter cookies are incredible. And I’d love to tell you why (stick with me here).

Even though peanut butter cookies may not be my all-time fave, others of you probably adore them (hence the fact that I get a lot of requests for a classic version) so I decided to set out and figure out what my favorite version would be if I lived in a peanut butter cookie loving world. I tried almost all the recipes that come up when you google “best peanut butter cookies in the history of ever” and they were either too greasy, too crispy, too thin…too many things I didn’t want.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

In the end, I ended kind of where I started. With this delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe. Because I wanted soft and chewy and maybe slightly cakey, and because I was also after the perfect, creamy texture with slightly less sweetness, I decreased the sugar, omitted the milk, and played around with a few other ingredients in that recipe.

My inner rebel knew from the start I would not be pressing cookies before they baked like many classic peanut butter cookies call for. I’m not really sure why – my rebelliousness exerts itself at the weirdest times. The problem is that after my variations, the cookies didn’t flatten by themselves very well in the oven – but when I messed with the ingredients (less flour, more butter, adding the milk back in), I didn’t get that amazingly soft and creamy peanut butter cookie I wanted. So, since I like to live life on the edge, when I pulled the next cookie sheet out of the oven and noticed the puffy cute little cookies, I decided I would give them a teeny little press with a flat-bottomed glass after baking to get a perfectly even thickness.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

I can’t explain the exact science between the what and why and how, but it made all the difference and totally converted me into a peanut butter cookie lover, as well as creating a completely different cookie in a really, really good way. These babies are dense and soft and thick…and perfect. I promise. They’re perfect. And if you want to know another promise – try one straight from the freezer. I promise you’ll either love me or hate me.

Now that you’ve endured the longest schpeel ever dedicated to the best peanut butter cookie, you probably deserve a dozen of them. If you were my neighbor, I’d be there for you. But now it’s up to you get on in there in the kitchen and test them out for yourself. I know you have a favorite peanut butter cookie already – it’s time to see how these compare!

One Year Ago: Light and Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: Layered Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Puddings
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The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

I haven't tested the recipe using natural peanut butter - I've only used traditional creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy). The trick to this recipe is instead of pressing the cookies flat before baking, give them a light press after they are done baking. It makes all the difference in the world for soft, dense peanut butter cookies.


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Scoop the dough and roll into 1- or 2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or silpat-lined (or lightly greased) large, rimmed baking sheets, placing them a couple inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10-11 minutes until puffed. Don't overbake.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately press each cookie to flatten slightly with the bottom of a flat drinking glass. Don't flatten the cookies to smithereens, just press the puffed part down until the cookies are an even thickness.
  9. Scoop onto a cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies freeze great (and actually taste amazing straight from the freezer).

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, adapted from this chocolate chip version

85 Responses to My Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. Helen says:

    Made these last night for several friends returning to school from spring break. Everyone loved them!!!

  2. Jeff says:

    By far the best peanut butter cookie I have ever eaten. The slightly crunchy outside and a wounderful chewwy inside make the cookie so good. I like that thay are not too sweet yet have lots of peanut butter flavor. I love to make cookies for friends and family and these are the most liked. Its easy to be selfish with these cookies.

  3. Kim says:

    I know these are supposed to be plain pb cookies, but I just couldn’t resist adding some reese’s pieces I had leftover from a turkey pretzel project back around Thanksgiving. Oh my oh my! What deliciousness! You win again, Mel!

  4. Amanda W. says:

    We all LOVE these PB cookies and the PB ones you added Chocolate Chips to also;) My question is comparing these to your Peanut Blossom cookies. I haven’t made your blossom ones; I have compared the recipe. My question is why wouldn’t these make a good blossom cookie? We just love these so much I am questioning making the blossom ones when I could just try to add a Kiss to these?! Thanks Mel for all the work you do for us!!!!

  5. Becky says:

    I made these today. I left out a half cup of flour because I wanted them to be extra peanut buttery and I always feel like peanut butter cookies taste too much like flour. I smashed them down with a mason jar, which was the perfect size. This yielded 6 dozen cookies for me, but they’re the perfect size in my opinion (just about the same size as a chips ahoy cookie). These are definitely, 100%, without a doubt the BEST peanut butter cookies freaking EVER. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. mark says:

    those are by far the bestest pb cookies i’ve ever had. tops even my sweet grandmas cookies from the 1800’s WORLDS BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Melissa says:

    Mel, thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! I tried them out and they were, like you said, the softest, most DELICIOUS peanut butter cookie I have ever tasted. I told my family about them and my sister made them too. I just made them again today and am so pleased. I’m excited to look around your site more! Thanks!!

  8. Kate says:

    Yes, please, forever. These are so satiny and delicious. Thanks for the fab recipe, Mel!

  9. Lucia says:

    Best peanut butter cookies ever! Works wonderfully with natural peanut butter. They will be very tender and fragile for a day or so. These get better the longer they are stored. Tested several for 2+ weeks in fridge and room temp (well sealed of course). Won’t try another. A true keeper. Thank you for all of the bench work on this.

  10. Heather says:

    Hi Mel!
    Did you use salted or unsalted butter?
    Thank you ☺️

  11. Amanda W. says:

    So would these be good still if I just added Chocolate Chips to them? OR do I need to use your PB CCC recipie if I want to add CC’s? I see the slight variations from each recipe….but these look so dang good I am tempted to add CC’s to these?!
    Thanks Mel! I LOVE your site:)

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, shockingly I’ve never added chocolate chips to these. I think you could – the texture of the dough is a little different than the drop-style cookies of the other recipe but I say go for it!

  12. Matthew says:

    I just tried this and either I pushed them down too much, which I don’t think so, or there is a bit of an issue because as they spread, they make a new perimeter that isn’t browned up and seems to fall away from the rest of the cookie. I’m going to bake 7 mins. flatten, then bake another 4 mins. to correct this.

  13. Matthew Corn says:

    Good day, Mel! Working my way through your recipes, and it’s been amazingly delicious and rewarding. Can chunky pb be subbed in without adjustment? Do you know, or do I need to do some experimentation? I feel like it might make them dry, and require a bit extra to make up for the oils trapped in chunk form…

    • Mel says:

      Hey Matthew – great question. To be honest, I don’t know since I haven’t tried it so it probably will require some experimenting. Good luck if you try!

  14. Hana says:

    I’ve made a lot of peanut butter cookies and I can honestly say that these are the winners! The consistency is PERFECT — gave a tap on the counter hot out of the oven and flattened gently…SO GOOD. Threw some mini chocolate chips into half the batter because, well, chocolate. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  15. Meili says:

    These cookies are amazingly delicious!

  16. Kelly says:

    I made these last night for a party today and my husband had to force himself to stay out of the kitchen so he didn’t eat them all! I love your recipes! You have no idea how much you have improved my cooking! I just wanted to say thank you.

  17. Shel says:

    I’m going to try these for the old man’s birthday and see what happens — he loves PB cookies but not the dry, crumbly ones. I want to try using white whole-wheat flour (Trader Joe’s brand, specifically). Do you think that would work and still make them chewy? Thank you!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shel – it’s worth a try although the cookies may be slightly more dense. Take care not to overmeasure the flour (especially since it’s whole wheat). You might try half white whole wheat and half all-purpose for a starting point. Good luck!

  18. Leann says:

    I didn’t want to believe you, but I put your recipe to the test, side by side with my favorite peanut butter cookie. And you were right. Again. How do you do it? They were amazingly soft and peanut buttery, without being greasy. And you were right about eating them frozen. I do love you and hate you every time I go back for another. πŸ™‚

  19. Kris says:

    What if you roll into balls and freeze.
    Should you thaw before baking?
    Or can you bake longer right out of freezer?
    Please advise! Thanks!

  20. Rose Geib says:

    Ok, so here is another peanut butter cookie recipe. I don’t have a blog, but I have a big mouth and yes,I can spread the word about these great cookies. I have won (!) prizes with ‘another’ pb cookie recipe and for 27 years it has remained taped to the inside of my kitchen cabinets. But no more. You really brought to life Peanut Butter cookies. How good??? good enough to use as M O N E Y…yes, it is true. I had a tree removed from my yard and paid the clean up people in these cookies. Make them, right now. NOW, right now. Thanks and now maybe I can try something else from your kitchen. but only after I make another batch of these cookies…..

  21. Jessica says:

    What a fabulous recipe! I’ve made it dozens of times, and it just keeps getting better. I posted about it on my blog ( ) and linked to your recipe, you’re welcome to check it out. I should have warned my readers, though, that you can’t eat just one… πŸ™‚

  22. April Keithley says:

    My daughter and I made these cookies for Father’s Day. He loved the homemade treat and the giant hug that went with them. We followed the recipe without making any changes and they turned out great!!

  23. Valerie says:

    Froze the extras and later filled them with chocolate ice cream to make a peanut butter chocolate ice cream sandwich. Mmmmmm…

  24. Julianne says:

    I used natural peanut butter and they turned out great. So tasty!

  25. Sarah says:

    These are good but what makes them AMAZING is eating them cold out of the fridge! So yummy!

  26. Kat says:

    I made these last night for my brother and some of his friends. They were a huge hit, we all loved them! Even my husband, who doesn’t like peanut butter cookies, ate two and remarked several times how much he liked them. Winner dessert for us!

  27. jenny says:

    I made these and oh-my-word! You owe me bigger pants-haha! We made these on parchment paper and baked them bigger (ice cream scooper size) for 15 minutes. Then cooled a bit before sliding the parchment onto the counter to finish cooling. Then I took a bag of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips and about 1-2 T of coconut oil and melted them and spread them on the cooled cookies. Reese Peanut Butter cookies/grown up peanut butter blossoms! And if you freeze them you will NOT be able to only eat one. So like I said…you owe me bigger pants πŸ˜‰

  28. Jacinta. De Souza says:

    Hi Mel,
    Stumbled on you blog and love your blog sooooooo much. All the recipes looks very yummy.just baked your peanut cookies and I must say they are total delight. My daughter absolutely loves it.They are so irresistible.

  29. Ellen says:

    oh man. what did I do? I went and made these cookies using COOKIE BUTTER instead of pb. unreal! the texture was perfect, although not quite as thick. the flavor? beyond! if you have a jar of cookie butter laying about, try it!

  30. Kana says:

    We made these for our family night treat and they were great! My three year old helped roll them out, and said, “YUMMY!” when she got to eat one. Even my 18 month old ate some, and she is not a cookie eater! Question about freezing the cookies–do you just pop them into a freezer ziploc bag and put it into the freezer?

  31. I’m totally gonna start using that post baking cookie press technique!

  32. vicki says:

    These turned out great (according to my hubby since i dont like pb cookies). Instead of flattening w a cup, i used a dark chocolate kiss… worked out perfectly. Residual heat softened the chocolate.

  33. Chelsey says:

    These are amazing!!! You are so great at what you do, Mel! My family loves your recipes. Last Thanksgiving my sister and I showed up and realized all of our recipes came from your blog; we didn’t even plan it- we just know anything of yours will surely be delicious!!

  34. Helen says:

    As some one who never … I mean ever … Makes plain peanut butter cookies, because although I love peanut butter, I have seriously always had an actual dislike for PB (smashed with a fork before baking) cookies .. Like I almost can’t think about how much I dislike them .. Well because I trust you soooooooo much I made these last nigh for our FHE treat and let me tell you I was nothing less than completely happy with how good these were. I’m sure I will still always love and make some sort of chocolate chip cookie the best .. But I think I can safely say I now will add peanut butter cookies to my cookie making … I think it made everyone happy … πŸ™‚

  35. Katie says:

    Shoot – I made these and was not a fan…now I know why thanks to not adding enough flour

  36. TaLaisa says:

    I made these with our favorite (treenut and peanut free) almond butter, my son is allergic to peanuts but recently passed a food challenge that cleared almonds. They were amazing! My son loves them! And if I didn’t know that they were almonds I’d totally love and accept them as peanut butter cookies. I seriously can’t tell the difference. I loved the technique of flattening slightly after baking. Thanks for sharing your baking genius!

    • Mel says:

      I love this so much, TaLaisa! Thanks for letting me know the cookies worked so well with almond butter!

    • Lynn says:

      TaLaisa, I’m curious about your brand of almond butter – we have a peanut allergy in our house too. I use the natural nut butter, though I saw someone post that their cookies were crumbly with the natural PB. Was your AB natural, or a no-stir creamy “standard” kind?

  37. Jessica says:

    I accidentally made these cookies instead of dinner last night. Oops! On my final pan, I tried the above suggested “bang on the counter” trick to compare methods. For the sake of science, I tried a cookie from each pan πŸ™‚ Though the bang did take the air out, pressing the cookies after baking made them MUCH more chewy. I’m happy to report that these are in fact the best peanut butter cookies, ever!

  38. Jamie says:

    I saw these on your instagram last night before bed and I seriously lay in bed thinking about them and craving them! Maybe it was the rebellious no criss-crossed fork pattern that had me intrigued, but I’m pretty it was the pictures πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to try them!

  39. Sue says:

    You say to make the cookies 1 or 2 inch balls and to bake for 10-11 minutes. Is that baking time for 1 inch size or 2 inch size ?

  40. Nicki says:

    These look delicious, and I’m not much of a peanut-butter cookie girl. All the ones I’ve ever had have been too dry (and I always ask my self “WHY???” as I’m doing the fork-smashing thing). I love the tip about smashing them after they cook – I think I might try that on some of my other cookies, too. I definitely prefer my cookies thick and dense.

  41. Kayla says:

    My son won’t touch anything with chocolate chips! He has been requesting peanut butter cookies lately but I haven’t made any since I don’t have a recipe that I love. Until yesterday! I made these and added some peanut butter chips. They are the best peanut butter cookies I have had. Definently a keeper. I will be making these again. Thank you for always having great recipes to share. I’ve made lots from your site and I’m never disappointed!

  42. Tanya says:

    I tried these today with organic all natural Peanut butter from BJ’s and they came out really dry and crumbly. Like they won’t even stay together. Not your fault! You warned us but it was all I had and these looked so delicious.

  43. Blayre says:

    Which way are they best frozen? Rolled but unbaked or baked?

  44. A perfect peanut butter cookie? Oh yes!

  45. Sheila says:

    These are delicious! Pulled them out of the oven and we ate them warm so now I’ll going to have to make another batch to verify they are just as good right from the freezer. πŸ™‚ I was a bit skeptical about decreased sugar but I am now a believer! Glass idea was so much quicker than using a fork. The Mel original created recipes are always a big hit around here. Such talent! My nut bags, jars, and plastics lids have all arrived now. I am beyond excited to make the homemade yogurt on Saturday. You make life so much more exciting and fun around here!

  46. Natalie says:

    PB cookies are my husband’s favorite. Can’t wait to try these. Wish I would’ve had this yeaterday. I made some PB cookies yesterday and popped the last of our Cadbury minis in the middle of each one right as I pulled them out of the oven — kinda looks like a nest. Big hit at ward choir practice πŸ˜‰

  47. Mel says:

    Hey everyone – thanks to Karen for pointing out the flour issue – the weight measurement is correct (12 1/2 ounces) but I had put 1 1/2 cups for the measurement instead of 2 1/2 cups. Sorry about that. It’s fixed now. 2 1/2 cups or 12 1/2 ounces flour.

  48. Charlotte Moore says:

    These do look tasty. I am not a pb person at all. I do like a thick chewy cookie no matter what kind it is. I have terrible luck with cookies spreading and being too thin. No matter if the recipe says they are thick. The best cookies I can make are with whole wheat flour that I grind and oatmeal. I know everyone doesn’t like that kind of combination. I keep trying to find a good choc. chip recipe but so far no luck.

  49. These look amazing! Moist and crispy and not dry. I definitely have to try these, since I haven’t ever been impressed with the peanut butter cookie recipes out there either.

  50. Sherry A. says:

    Your PB chocolate chip cookies are well-loved in my neighborhood. I’m a fan of traditional PB cookies, so these will be fun to try.

    One question: When you say “in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment”, are you talking about your Bosch? I’m a KitchenAid girl who’s thinking of converting to Bosch, but I’ve read mixed reviews on how Bosch handles non-ginormous batches of cookies. I’ve also read mixed reviews on the cookie paddles, with some people saying their paddle attachments have broken after light use. I know you have the paddles listed under your favorite things. Have you ever had any problems with them? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    When I read in a post from last week that you had had a discouraging blogging week, it broke my heart! If only you new how many people in the world sit down to your recipes daily and even talk to you in their heads while they’re cooking (I know I’m not the only one)! We love you, Mel! Hope this week goes better.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Sherry – your last little note in your comment almost made me get teary-eyed. Thank you for your support; it’s invaluable.

      About the Bosch, yes, that’s what I use to make cookies and breads (I don’t use it for recipes like cakes or quick breads – it has a hard time with the really thin batters unless the recipe is doubled or tripled). I’ve never had my cookie paddles break but I’m careful about the consistency of the dough. For very thick cookie batters I pulse the mixer to combine the ingredients instead of just turning it full throttle. Then, once the batter is mostly combined, I use speed 1 to mix it gently. I use the cookie paddles for all my frostings too (since I HAVE had the whisks break on me when I made the mistake of using them to mix a thick frosting). I’m definitely in the Bosch-lover camp. I can’t say enough good about it and there aren’t many cons in my opinion. Let me know if you have other questions!

      • Sherry A. says:

        Thanks for the tips, Mel. I’ve been thinking about the Bosch for awhile and thought I’d check with you since, well, everything I would be making is coming from you.

  51. Lin says:

    Dang, girl! You have convinced me! You are my baking project next weekend. πŸ™‚ And I am a peanut butter cookie lover! I have the big (actually HUGE) ole crockery bowl my mom brought home from the Ozarks when I was about 10 (can we say 1961?), and that was what I always made my peanut butter cookies in. By hand. Using a BIG wooden spoon to mix. It was my specialty! Thank you for letting me stroll down memory lane!

  52. Laurel says:

    Peanut butter cookies without fork marks? You wild woman! I love peanut butter cookies with or with out marks πŸ˜‰ I would make them right now if I hadn’t just made a double batch of your lemon cookies yesterday. Yum!

  53. Mrs Petri says:

    I’m not impressed with traditional pb cookies. These sound much better. I will have to try them.

  54. Karen says:

    (1 1/2 cups flour = 12 1/2oz doesn’t make sense to me… I thought you’d said 1 cup was 5oz)

  55. Angela says:

    It’s funny I just made your peanut butter chocolate chip cookies last night and had one for (part of) breakfast just now before checking your blog for the next best recipe. They are pretty good. I can always count on your recipes to taste good.

  56. Jill says:

    These look delicious Mel, and perfect timing too. I just had surgery and can’t have caffeine (including chocolate) for 6 weeks. These look perfect for when I need something sweet without chocolate. Now just to find someone to make them for me…

  57. Jen T says:

    My mom passed onto me the secret that after you take the cookies out of the oven you bang the pan on the edge of your counter–that takes the air out of them and makes them extra chewy. I do that with all my cookies. I wonder if you could do that with these instead of using the glass to flatten them after baking. I will try and let you know. Love your peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and we made your oatmeal coconut chewies last night–yum!

    • Mel says:

      My friend swears by that, too! She does it with all her cookies. Let me know if that works on these babies!

      • Judy says:

        Yes, it does work on these cookies I bang all my cookies when I take them out of the oven. These peanut butter cookies are the BEST, thank you for sharing. xo

        • JJ says:

          When i worked in the food service area of a popular retail store that baked and served Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies, this is a listed step called the Spunkmeyer drop. Every time I make cookies I do this as well. It helps them come out more uniform and I also think it helps if any are slightly stuck to the pan.

  58. Desiree says:

    These look yummy, Mel! perfect for dipping in a cold glass of milk!! Happy Monday πŸ™‚

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