Whoever invented peanut butter cookies deserves a gold star. I mean, what’s not to love about a soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, salty, sweet peanut buttery cookie? Drool. You guys know I’m a chocolate chip cookie girl through and through, but I’ll never say no to a really good chewy peanut butter cookie. Give me a batch made in just 20 minutes from start to finish? Yes, please!
These easy peasy chewy peanut butter cookies really should be called “Too Good To Be True Peanut Butter Cookies.” Not only are they super easy to make, but these classic cookies are freezer friendly and perfect for sharing with a crowd. They have all the qualities that I look for in a classic peanut butter cookie….slightly crispy edges with soft, chewy centers and plenty of nutty, buttery flavor. Oh, and those crinkled crackly tops are my fave!
You can make these cookies in just 20 minutes using simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Here’s what you”ll need:
- Peanut butter
- Baking soda
Which peanut butter is best for chewy cookies?
You know that super healthy, all natural peanut butter that you love to spread on your morning toast or add to your favorite banana smoothie? Yeah, that’s not the kind you want to use in this recipe. Take it from me, for the best taste and texture, reach for a simple creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. Natural peanut butters made without stabilizers have a lot of oil that will completely alter the texture of the cookies. I’m team creamy peanut butter all the way, but crunchy peanut butter works too!
How to make chewy peanut butter cookies
These cookies are a cinch to make for last minute cookie cravings or unexpected houseguests. I like to use my stand mixer but you can also use a hand mixer. Follow the step-by-step guide below and check the recipe card for a list of ingredients and detailed instructions.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes, until light and creamy.
Step 3: Add the egg, followed by the egg yolk. Mix well after each addition.
Step 4: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla.
Step 5: Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Step 6: Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix for just 15 seconds or until a few streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix.
Step 7: Scoop the dough into balls using a large cookie scoop. Use your hands to roll into uniform balls and then roll each ball in a small bowl of granulated sugar. Place 2 to 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. GENTLY press down on the top of each cookie dough ball to create a mound of dough. Do not flatten it completely.
Step 8: Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are puffy and cracked. The cookies will still look slightly pale and not fully baked in the center. Do not overbake.
Step 9: Remove the cookies from the oven and sprinkle with more sugar if desired. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack. Add a sprinkle of flakey sea salt before serving if desired.
Tips for the best cookies
Use room temperature ingredients. The beauty of these cookies is that they come together in just minutes but you will need to set the butter, peanut butter and eggs out long enough to reach room temperature. I suggest sticking with unsalted butter for this recipe but if you are using salted butter, reduce the added kosher salt from 1/4 teaspoon to a pinch.
Do not over mix. For the softest, chewiest cookies, do not over mix the dough. Once you add in the dry ingredients, mix only until a few tiny streaks of flour remain. Speaking of flour, be sure to measure the flour correctly. Too much flour will create a dry cookie. For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure the flour.
Do not over bake. Peanut butter cookies should be soft and moist, not dry and crumbly. Keep an eye on your oven and remove the cookies when the tops are cracked and puffy. They should still look pale in color. The cookies will deflate as they cool.
For extra crunch, sprinkle with sugar. Or salt! If you love that added crunch on the outside of your cookies, sprinkle a little extra granulated sugar over the tops when the cookies come out of the oven. I also love a salty cookie so a dusting of flakey sea salt makes them extra delicious!
How to store cookies
To keep the cookies soft for days after baking, store them tightly covered in an airtight container. Add a piece of sliced white bread to maximize freshness. They make a delicious after school treat for the kids and I’ve never met a better midnight snack. You can also freeze the cookie dough before baking by scooping the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freezing for one hour. Then transfer the frozen dough balls to a large plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Just bake off a few cookies at a time straight from the freezer whenever the craving strikes. Don’t forget to add a couple of minutes to the baking time if using frozen dough.
Yes! You can mix up the dough up to three days in advance and store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. Once you are ready to bake the cookies, simply let the cookie dough rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before scooping the dough into balls. Fresh out of the fridge the dough will be too cold and stiff to scoop properly so it just needs a little time to soften up on the kitchen counter. Once the dough is scooped, bake the cookies as you normally would.
Absolutely. Simply substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten free flour blend. Keep in mind that the taste and texture of the cookies will be slightly different if using a gluten free flour. I love this one from King Arthur Baking.
There are several reasons why your cookies may have baked up dry and crumbly. First, be sure that you measured the flour correctly. Second, be careful not to over mix the dough. Just give it a few seconds of mixing once the flour has been added. Finally, do not overbake the cookies. Always err on the side of under baking cookies as the residual heat from the baking sheet continues to bake the cookies even after they are removed from the oven.
Sounds delicious! Feel free to add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of chopped peanuts or chocolate chips to the dough after you’ve added the dry ingredients.
I just know you are going to love these cookies as much as I do. Bake a batch today or bookmark this recipe for your next cookie craving.