Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 11 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 86 mins
Servings: 20 to 24 servings
Yield: 20 to 24 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
10g Fat
22g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20 to 24
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 176mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 74mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These classic peanut butter cookies are always a hit with peanut butter lovers of all ages. They're nutty, sweet, and lightly salty with a delicate texture. A big bonus: they're super easy to make and only require a few ingredients.

Chill the dough for at least an hour so it's easier to roll into balls and won't spread too much. You can make the dough up to a day ahead of time and stash it in the fridge, or freeze it for longer storage so you can have cookies anytime.

Peanut butter cookies are a great addition to bake sales, pot lucks, kids' parties. They're easy enough to make simply because you're in the mood and make a nice afternoon snack with a glass of milk.

"Classic peanut butter cookies like these bring back fond memories of childhood, with their sweet and nutty flavor, crisp edges, and soft middles. They bake up nicely from frozen so you can have a freshly-baked cookie anytime. Next time I'll try sandwiching them with a thick jam." —Laurel Randolph

Classic peanut butter cookies
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Peanut Butter Cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. In another bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Gradually beat in the flour mixture just until combined.

    butter, peanut butter, and sugars in a bowl, dry ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour or overnight.

    cookie dough wrapped in plastic

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease 2 large baking sheets. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough with your hands and place about 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.

    cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Using a dinner fork dipped in flour, lightly press the cookies, flattening a bit and forming a criss-cross pattern on each cookie.

    cooke dough on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Bake until golden brown, about 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.

    unbaked peanut butter cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

    Classic Peanut Butter Cookies on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


  • Commercial salted peanut butter (not the natural, drippy kind) works best for this recipe but any kind will work. Use creamy or crunchy, depending on what texture you're looking for.
  • If you're using salted butter, eliminate the extra salt in the recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Fold in about 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts to the dough just before baking for a stronger peanutty flavor and a bit of crunch.
  • Add up to a cup of chocolate chips for a classic flavor combination.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
  • To freeze the dough, roll the balls and make the criss-cross pattern. Place on a lined baking sheet and freeze for at least an hour. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and store for up to two months. Bake from frozen, adding one minute to the bake time.
  • You can make the dough up to a day ahead of time. Leave it tightly wrapped in the fridge.

Why Do You Make a Criss-Cross Pattern on Peanut Butter Cookies?

Peanut butter cookies are recognizable for the criss-cross pattern on the top. This was likely originally done to make them distinguishable from other cookies. Pressing the dough with a fork helps the dough to spread a bit and creates more area for browning.

Why Do My Peanut Butter Cookies Not Taste Like Peanut Butter?

For a cookie with a stronger peanut butter flavor, be sure to use a peanut butter with a strong nutty flavor to begin with. Adding chopped peanuts or peanut butter chips can help enhance the flavor as well.

Why Are My Peanut Butter Cookies Dry?

If your cookies are dry, you may have added too much flour. Make sure you're measuring flour the correct way or you'll end up adding too much. It's also best not to over-cook peanut butter cookies.