These soft and chewy peanut butter cookies practically melt in your mouth, and are so easy to make. Simple ingredients, no chilling needed, and that fork pattern brings back all the feel-good childhood memories!
This is one of my Cookie recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
These cookies are one of those nostalgic recipes that bring back childhood memories.
Remember sinking your teeth into a soft, warm, and chewy peanut butter cookie? That will erase the stress of a hectic day!
They’re so soft and chewy that they practically melt in your mouth, and are so full of bold peanut butter flavor.
Plus, there’s no need to chill the dough for these, so they’re incredibly easy to make. They’d make a great addition to your holiday cookie tray or cookie exchange!
How to make peanut butter cookies?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Cream the fats and sugars. This process is just beating the butter and shortening together with the sugars.
- Beat in wet ingredients. In this recipe, that’s the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla.
- Stir in dry ingredients. This is the flour, baking soda, and salt. I prefer to use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon for this so the dough doesn’t get overworked.
- Scoop dough. You’re looking for roughly 1 Tbsp of dough for each ball.
- Criss-cross. I find using a fork that has longer prongs made this much easier.
- Bake. The cookies will look soft and underdone, but they continue cooking on the baking sheet once you take them out.
Using a cookie scoop is the best way to make uniform looking cookies. I like to use this scoop, and it’s the perfect size for these cookies. Plus, you can use it to make meatballs, scoops of ice cream, and more!
Variations of this recipe
- Peanut butter – these cookies are usually made with creamy peanut butter, but you could use crunchy peanut butter if you’d prefer a little extra crunch.
- Shortening – the use of shortening in these cookies is to make the cookies nice and soft. Feel free to use butter flavored, or regular vegetable shortening.
- All butter – if you’d prefer, you can use all butter for these cookies. Increase the amount of butter to 1/2 cup, and omit the shortening. Bear in mind this can cause the cookies to spread a little more, and be a tad less soft.
- Chewier cookie – you can achieve a chewier cookie by increasing the amount of brown sugar. Use 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
- Rolled in sugar – to add extra sweetness and a crisper outside, try rolling the balls of cookie dough in granulated sugar before adding them to the baking sheet.
Nope, they’re decorative and nostalgic, but not necessary. If you don’t want to make the fork pattern, you may want to gently press on the scoops of dough, so the cookies are slightly flattened (like they would be if you used the fork), so they bake the same way.
I don’t recommend it. You want the old school peanut butter like Jif or Skippy for this recipe. Natural peanut butters generally contain more oil (sometimes there’s even a layer of oil on top of the peanut butter in the jar, which you have to stir in before using), which can lead to a dough that’s too thin, and the cookies can spread too much.
Making peanut butter cookies ahead of time
This cookie recipe can also be made ahead of time! I don’t recommend baking them ahead of time, but the dough can be made, covered and refrigerated for a day or so.
You can also, mix up the dough ahead of time and freeze it into individual scoops.
That way when the baking mood strikes, all you have to do it pull out the pre-made dough, thaw it in the refrigerator, and bake!
You can also freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months.
Leftover cookies should be kept in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoyed within 5 days.
Cookie scoops are the most versatile kitchen tool… you can use them for cookies, meatballs, ice cream, and more! This scoop is the exact size you’ll need for these peanut butter cookies!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
"Cream" the fat and sugar
- To a large mixing bowl, add the softened butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat on LOW for about 30 seconds (or until the ingredients are starting to stick together), then increase speed to MED and beat for about 1-2 minutes, or until everything is fully combined. **This process is called creaming the fat and sugar, but there is no cream in this recipe**
Beat wet ingredients
- To the same mixing bowl, add the peanut butter and beat on LOW until combined.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and beat again, on LOW, until combined.
Stir in the dry ingredients
- To the same mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir everything together until just combined, and no flour streaks remain when stirred.
- Use a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop (or just roll 1 Tbsp sized balls of dough) to scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2” of space between each cookie.
- Use a fork with long prongs to gently press a criss-cross pattern on the top of each ball of dough. This will slightly flatten the dough balls. **Use enough force to create a defined pattern, but not enough to completely mash the dough flat**
- Bake cookies, for best results bake one baking sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. They may seem very soft and a bit underdone, but that's how they're supposed to look when you take them out.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then gently transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. **Letting them sit on the baking sheet allows them to gently finish baking and will make sure they're not overcooked and crumbly**
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- This recipe makes about 2 dozen (24) cookies.
- I have not tested this recipe using peanut-free butters, such as almond butter, or nut-free butters such as sun butter, so I can’t say whether it would work or not. You’ll have to do some experimenting, or there are a lot of recipes out there for nut-free “peanut butter” cookies.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.