Timeless, old-fashioned cookies.
This classic, easy cookie recipe makes a big batch of soft, old-fashioned peanut butter cookies — a recipe complete with the crisscross fork marks, just as nature intended.
Why I Love These Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
There is something uniquely impressive and dreamy about deluxe, fancy desserts. But I tend to love homey, old-fashioned baking best. I’ll take a classic apple pie over just about anything.
And my favorite cookie of all? The humble, old-fashioned pb cookie.
Peanut butter cookies may not look particularly beautiful, with their brown, squat appearance. A hatch mark made from fork tines is about as elegant as it gets for these classic cookies.
But that’s exactly why I love them. There’s no snobbiness, no fuss. Peanut butter cookies are just an unpretentious little treat that tastes buttery but not too sweet, and restores my belief in simple pleasures.
This particular peanut butter cookie recipe yields a big batch of soft cookies. The sweetness of the brown sugar is offset by a hint of salt, a whole jar of peanut butter gives these true peanut butter flavor (not to mention ease of measuring).
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies Taste Better
The best peanut butter cookie recipes (such as this one) are a perfect balance of a couple of ingredients. First, brown sugar is a must. Brown sugar has a round, caramel, slightly molasses flavor that adds depth to the sweetness.
Second, a good peanut butter cookie has enough salt. Salt enhances the flavor of peanut butter; plus (pastry chef tip!) salt brings out sweetness.
Third, consider using chunky peanut butter for a little extra texture, though this is just a matter of preference.
How to Make These Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
These soft and chewy peanut butter cookies are very easy to make. Here are the steps:
- First, melt the butter. The melted butter and brown sugar make the cookies soft.
- Combine the melted butter with the sugars, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla.
- Add the baking soda, salt, and flour. Stir just to combine.
- Roll into balls. You can roll them in sugar if you like.
- Place the balls on a lined baking sheet. Press fork times in a crisscross pattern into each cookie, or use a cookie press to create marks.
- Bake for about 12 minutes.
- Cool (or not — I love a warm peanut butter cookie!) and serve with a tall glass of cold milk.
How Many PB Cookies in This Recipe?
This recipe makes about five dozen old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. You can also add a bag of chocolate chips, or place a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each to make them into peanut butter blossom cookies.
Have fun, and enjoy the soft, simple pleasures of this best, soft peanut butter cookie recipe.
Love classic peanut butter cookies? You’ll also love:
- Fudgy Double Chocolate Cookies
- Soft Molasses Ginger Cookies
- Snowballs (Mexican Wedding Cookies)
- Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cups peanut butter (one 16-ounce jar), not natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 bag chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line or grease two half-sheet pans. (You will do more batches than this, but two will get you started.)
- Mix together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add the jar of peanut butter and mix until fully combined. Do not overmix. Scrape the bowl to ensure that everything is fully incorporated.
- Add the baking soda and flour and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls. If you like, you can roll the balls in sugar.
- Place the peanut butter cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet, leaving about 1 to 1/2" of space between each. Score each cookie with the tines of a fork, pressing the cookies down slightly and making a crisscross pattern. (You can also use cookie stamps like these, though the cookies do spread a bit so you'll lose some of the effect.)
- Bake for about 12 minutes, until the bottoms are light golden brown and the tops look dry.
- Let cool for a couple minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Serve with a big glass of cold milk. Note: These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I ate SEVERAL of these warm right from the oven and couldn’t stop. haha. I like that they are sweet but a little salty, too. Devoured.
Do I use unsalted butter?
Hi, Sharon! I always bake with unsalted butter, but either will work. The note of salt will really complement the peanut butter.
1 tablespoon of salt sounds like a lot. Maybe a typo? I have been making peanut butter cookies since 1971 and never used that much salt.
I made these and the tablespoon of salt was definitely to much.
It does sound like a lot! But that is a correct quantity. The recipe is fairly large, with a whole jar of PB, and this amount of salt gives a good flavor note beyond just sweetness. That said, you are welcome to reduce the quantity if you like! And I use Diamond Crystal brand; I find Morton’s kosher salt far too salty. Hope this helps.
Soft and just the right flavor. I really feel like I now have my ideal peanut butter cookie recipe! I made with chunky peanut butter.
This is how peanut butter cookies *should* taste, and is now the only peanut butter cookie recipe in my possession. All the others have been discarded.
This makes me so happy and I am very glad that you enjoyed them! They really are so good, aren’t they? Thanks for this lovely comment.
This recipe brought me back to my childhood. We ate too many!
This makes a lot of cookies and I am glad because they are so, so good. I used dark brown sugar and salted butter along with the salt stated in the recipe and they tasted fantastic. They are a good, soft cookie.