Buttery soft Peanut Butter Cookies! These are a classic cookie, but I’d bet that this recipe is a little different from the classic you’re used to.
This recipe uses all butter and no shortening for the softest, best-tasting peanut butter cookie. I’ve also included a video so you can see exactly how I make them in my own kitchen.
Somehow, when I was planning out my posting schedule, it completely escaped me that I would be sharing two peanut butter recipes (these peanut butter cookies and last week’s peanut butter frosting) within a week of each other.
I thought about shuffling things around, but in fact, most of my prepared recipes involve peanut butter in one way or another! Evidently once I open a jar of peanut butter, I can’t stop baking with it until it’s gone. This begs the question: how many peanut butter recipes are too many peanut butter recipes?
Hopefully you guys can handle two in a week (I have a feeling you’re up to the challenge)?
The base for these peanut butter cookies is very similar to my well-loved peanut butter blossoms and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and it’s a recipe I’ll be making forever because of a few key ingredients and tips that make these cookies the softest, butteriest peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted.
This recipe uses all butter and no shortening for a rich buttery taste. I knew when I first developed this recipe that I wanted to do away with the shortening that so many peanut butter cookie recipes call for.
In the past I believed that using shortening was acceptable because so much of our cookie taste comes from the peanut butter that we can afford to lose some of the butter flavor, but once you try this all-butter recipe I think you’ll see how much more flavorful they are when made with just butter.
Because butter contains water that shortening does not, it actually has the potential to make your cookies drier, so I couldn’t simply swap out the shortening for butter without making any other changes. To combat this I made additional alterations to the recipe including more brown sugar than white (which also makes the flavor so much better!) and adding corn starch.
What is the Purpose of Corn Starch in Cookie Dough?
Cornstarch in this peanut butter cookie dough helps make the cookies extra soft (without making them cakey!) and chewy. Don’t leave it out!
I also roll the cookie dough in sugar before squishing it down with the tines of a fork, and I’m convinced this sugar coating helps keep the exteriors ever-so-slightly crisp while keeping the centers insanely soft and chewy (which is incidentally just how I like my cookies).
Tips for Making Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
- I recommend using creamy peanut butter, but chunky peanut butter will also work well if you want a little extra texture! However, I do not recommend using a natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates onto the top and it needs to be stirred).
- As with many of my recipes, this recipe uses unsalted butter and then we add 3/4 teaspoon of salt. If you only have salted butter on hand you can use that and reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon. Here’s more information on why I use unsalted butter and then add salt, if you’re interested.
- The peanut butter cookie dough will need to be chilled. Cover the dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes. That’s usually enough chilling for my cookie dough, but if yours is still too sticky, return it to the fridge and chill another 15 minutes or so. This dough can also be made a day or two in advance, just make sure you cover it well while it is chilling.
- Rolling your peanut butter cookie dough balls in sugar is optional, but I think it gives these cookies a nice slightly crisp exterior and super soft and chewy interiors. Plus, what’s an extra teaspoon of sugar? 😉
- Do not over-bake these cookies, that’s the surest way to get dry cookies. The centers should actually seem just slightly under-baked when they come out of the oven and they will finish baking as they cool on the cookie sheet (let them cool completely on the cookie sheet).
Today I’m on my way to Salt Lake City for a conference (with a small stash of peanut butter cookies packed away in my duffel bag) and I won’t be back until Sunday, so you guys probably won’t hear from me again this week.
See you Monday (and I promise I’m giving the peanut butter recipes a break for a bit)!
P.S. Are you participating in May’s Recipe of the Month? I’ve already received a bunch of entries from those of you who have tried my Strawberry Shortcake, and if you haven’t already I hope you’ll consider participating for the chance to win an Amazon gift card!
How to Make the BEST Peanut Butter Cookies
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Peanut Butter Cookies
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature 141g
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar tightly packed 135g
- ¼ cup sugar 50g
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 140g
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 188g
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling
Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you may use a large bowl and an electric mixer) and beat until well combined (about 1 minute).
Add peanut butter and stir well.
Add egg and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually add flour mixture into the peanut butter batter, pausing occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl so that all ingredients are well-combined.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to one hour (start with 30 minutes, if the dough is too sticky or your cookies are coming out of the oven too flat, chill for an additional half an hour. This dough may be chilled overnight if needed).
Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Once dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator and scoop into heaping 1 1/2 Tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the cookie dough between your palms until smooth and then roll completely in sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet, spacing cookiesat least 2" apart.
Use the tines of a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the surface of each cookie by slightly pressing down.
Bake on 375F (190C) for 8-11 minutes. Edges should be just turning golden brown but the cookie centers should appear slightly under-baked, allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets and the centers will finish baking (but remain chewy) as they cool on the cookie sheet.