Quick and easy peanut butter cookies made with only 5 pantry ingredients and no flour or butter! So simple and effortless, you can whip up this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe anytime. Soft, nutty, with a hint of delicious toffee flavor!
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Classic. Old fashioned. Timeless. Foolproof. That’s what these peanut butter cookies are. They were the first cookie (and probably one of the first desserts) I ever learned to make on my own. Perfectly suited to the college student and novice baker because they are ridiculously easy, only requiring 4 ingredients, plus a bit of vanilla for added flavor.
Once we discovered our kids had peanut allergies, I had to start making them with sunflower butter instead (different, but also good!) But nothing beats the original I’m sharing with you today.
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
This peanut butter cookie recipe is so easy and tastes so good, I can’t imagine why anyone would make them more complicated.
All you need is granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. No flour or butter! Crazy. And honestly, you could omit the vanilla and just use all granulated sugar or all brown sugar, making them 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies. But, I really like the two-sugar combo and a touch of vanilla, which takes the flavor up a level.
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
There are only 4 really simple steps to make these cookies! Here’s a brief summary (scroll down for the detailed, complete printable recipe.)
- Make the dough: Beat all the ingredients until combined, smooth, and thick.
- Form the cookies: Form the dough into balls. Press down with the back of a fork and then press again from the opposite direction, to form a criss-cross pattern on top.
- Bake: Bake until the tops are lightly brown and they are about 3 inches wide (all ovens run differently.) They will still be slightly soft if you press on them hot from the oven, but they firm up as they cool.
- Rest: Let cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Store
Let the cookies cool completely, then store them in an airtight container.
How long do peanut butter cookies last? Stored properly, they will last on the countertop for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze peanut butter cookies? If you want to freeze these, I recommend forming the dough balls and freezing those. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake as directed. The dough can be frozen up to 2 months.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- The type of peanut butter matters: Use a commercial creamy peanut butter like Jiff or Skippy. Natural peanut butters don’t really work for this recipe.
- Different sugar will affect the taste and texture: I’ve made these cookies with all granulated sugar, all brown sugar, and a mix of both. My preference is a 50/50 ratio of both, but they are all good! Brown sugar creates a softer cookie with a slightly deeper flavor and a hint of toffee. It’s personal preference.
- Use a cookie scoop: Using a cookie scoop is best for ease and uniformity, so they all cook the same.
- Take them up a notch: Roll the raw cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before they bake for an even sweeter touch.
- Why do Peanut Butter Cookies have fork marks? Peanut butter cookie dough is dense. By pressing the cross-hatch pattern on the dough balls, it flattens them and allows for more even baking. They will cook unevenly if you skip this step. Plus, they look neat!
- Keep the fork from sticking to the peanut butter cookies: To help keep the fork from sticking when you make the criss-cross pattern, dip the tines in a little granulated sugar between cookies.
- How do these stay together without flour? The egg binds the sugar and peanut butter together.
- Why did my cookies fall apart? If your cookies are crumbly, you probably cooked them a tad too long. Next time, take them out of the oven as soon they no longer look wet. They will finish cooking on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven.
These easy peanut butter cookies are an ideal recipe for a novice baker or if you’ve got little kids at home and want to introduce them to baking. Truly a no fuss cookie with only a few ingredients and they come together in minutes!
Peanut Butter Cookies Video
Other Easy Cookies We Love!
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup creamy full-fat peanut butter (*see note)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, blend together all the ingredients until combined, smooth, and thick, 2-3 minutes.
- Using a heaping tablespoon cookie scoop, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls with the palms of your hands.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Press down with the back of a fork and then press again from the opposite direction, to form a criss-cross pattern on top.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops are lightly brown and they are about 3 inches wide (all ovens run differently.) They will still be slightly soft if you press on them hot from the oven.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and firm up.
- Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk!