How to Make the Crunchiest Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

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Homemade peanut butter cookies are undeniably a classic, especially when made with the crosshatch pattern bakers have used since the 1930s to denote their flavor. As simple as these markings are to make, you can undoubtedly find dozens of techniques to achieve various other textures, too. 

Best of all, most peanut butter cookie recipes call for everyday ingredients that you likely keep in your kitchen or can easily purchase at any grocery store. 

While peanut butter cookies are easy to make, they’re just as easy to flub. However, a little patience and attentiveness go a long way, especially when measuring the ingredients.

In this article, we’ll share a recipe that creates soft yet crunchy peanut butter cookies with crispy edges, and we’ll answer some FAQs, too. 

But first, let’s run through some tips for making the perfect peanut butter cookies:

Some peanut butter cookie tips

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  • As with any cookie recipe, double-check your measurements, especially the flour. Too much flour will cause the cookies to become rigid.
  • Pull the cookies from the oven once they begin to brown. They will continue to cook internally once you do, which prevents overcooking.
  • Use a fork to create waffle-like hatchings on the top of the cookies. For perfect lines across the cookies, you can also make imprints with four skewers.
  • Let the cookies cool before eating them. When the cookies are warm, they’re soft and easy to break apart.
  • The cookies are freshest if eaten within two days of baking. However, you can store them on the counter in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Making the ultimate peanut butter cookies

This recipe makes 20 cookies, takes 15 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to cook, and a total time of 25 minutes.

Ingredients

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, not natural

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar for coating

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the two kinds of butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix the ingredients until they’re creamy, scraping down the bowl as you go. 
  4. Stir in the egg and vanilla until you no longer see streams of the egg.
  5. Add the salt, flour, and baking soda. Stir again until combined.
  6. Using a 1 oz. scoop, such as a small ice cream scoop, spoon the dough onto the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can chill the dough for an hour in the fridge and roll equal-sized balls.
  7. Add some moisture to a fork by tapping some of the leftover dough. Then dip the fork in granulated sugar and use it to create a crosshatch pattern on the top of each cookie. 
  8. Place the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
  9. Once out of the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.

Nutritional values per cookie

Calories: 382

Total fat: 20 grams

Saturated fat: 8 grams

Unsaturated fat: 11 grams

Cholesterol: 43 milligrams

Sodium: 294 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 45 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Sugar: 27 grams

Protein: 7 grams

Recipe slightly adapted from: Kendell Kreations

Some variations

Vegan peanut butter cookies recipe

This recipe yields the same amount of cookies and follows the same baking instructions:

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup coconut sugar

6 tablespoons almond milk, room temperature

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda 

A pinch of salt, if using unsalted peanut butter

Add the ingredients to a large bowl in order, stirring with your hands. Create small balls using a scoop, flatten them with a fork to create the hatching pattern.

Three ingredient peanut butter cookies recipe

To make 14-18 cookies, combine one cup of sugar, one cup of peanut butter, and one egg to create the dough. Roll 1-inch balls and flatten them to the lined baking sheet using a fork to create the crisscross pattern. Follow the baking directions of the main recipe, leaving them in the oven for the full 12 minutes and transferring to a wire rack to cool for one to two minutes.

No-flour peanut butter cookie recipe

If you’re looking for a flourless version, follow the above instructions for three-ingredient peanut butter cookies.

No butter peanut butter cookies recipe

You can replace the butter in this recipe with an equal amount of shortening, such as Crisco. 

Peanut butter cookies FAQs

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How long should I bake my peanut butter cookies?

Most peanut butter cookie recipes call for 10 minutes of baking, including this one. However, once the edges of your cookie start to brown, you can remove them from the oven, and they will continue to cook on the inside. The heat from the baking sheet will also help them bake longer. 

If you want to achieve crunchier cookies by baking them slightly longer, follow the original recipe, which calls for 12-14 minutes of baking time, and transfer them to a cooling rack right away.

How do you make peanut butter cookies better?

You can enhance your peanut butter cookies by drizzling them with semi-sweet or white chocolate. Or, for extra nuttiness, you can add peanut butter chips to the dough or sprinkle the tops with crushed peanuts. Additionally, you can press Hershey’s Kisses into the center of the cookies while they’re fresh out of the oven and still warm.

Should you refrigerate peanut butter cookie dough before baking?

If you want to roll the dough into balls, but it’s too soft, you can chill it in the fridge for an hour to make it firmer. Additionally, if your dough is too soft or the butter melts and you want to prevent your cookies from becoming too flat in the oven, you can chill it before dropping it onto the sheet.

Why do my peanut butter cookies not taste like peanut butter?

If you find your cookies aren’t tasting so peanut-buttery, it may be because the particular brand of peanut butter that you used contains too many additives. A peanut butter such as Jif is perfect for cookies, as peanuts and sugar make up 98 percent of its ingredients. Also, you’ll want to avoid reduced-fat peanut butter, as some manufacturers replace the fat with synthetic ingredients. Some reduced-fat peanut butters have as little as 60 percent peanuts. 

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to peanut butter cookies, it’s best to opt for a dollop of the spread on a piece of celery or apple. Or you can also enjoy this classic treat as is, but in smaller portions.

Peanut buttery goodness

Once you serve these peanut butter cookies, they’ll most likely disappear as quickly as it took to make them, if not sooner. Fortunately, you can order the ingredients from Gopuff in seconds and have them delivered to your door in a matter of minutes. For some inspiration on what to serve them with, check out these coffee drink ideas or this list of homemade ice creams.

Happy baking.

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