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Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

These chewy peanut butter cookies are off-the-charts yummy! With a soft, chewy center and golden brown exterior, this recipe offers all the nutty and buttery bliss you crave.

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soft peanut butter cookies on a rack

These are the most delicious soft peanut butter cookies ever. As in delicious enough that you’ll never want to bake another peanut butter cookie recipe again!

And I have the trick to getting your cookie extra soft, and it lies in the sugar. Use brown sugar for extra moisture in the cookie, creating a soft, chewy, and perfectly golden brown cookie every time.

These cookies are so easy that if you have a jar of peanut butter in the house, I can bet you have the rest of the ingredients already too.

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post: 

  • All the ingredients you need to make these divinely soft peanut butter cookies. 
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to create these irresistible peanut butter treats.
  • Expert tips and creative add-in ideas to help you make out-of-this-world soft and chewy peanut butter cookies every time.

To prepare yourself for peanut butter cookie bliss, you only need a few simple ingredients and 15 minutes. Let’s do this!

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Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies Ingredients

  • Butter – unsalted and softened
  • Brown Sugar – lightly packed
  • Peanut Butter – creamy
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Salt
ingredients to make chewy peanut butter cookies

How to Make Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350 ℉ and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

STEP TWO: Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and add the softened butter and light brown sugar to the mixing bowl. Beat for about one minute on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

STEP THREE: Add in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

STEP FOUR: Combine the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt in a separate small bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed. Beat just until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

chewy peanut butter cookie dough in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and place at least two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. If desired, you can roll dough into a ball, roll in granulated sugar, and then gently press down with a fork to make a disc. This is how you accomplish that iconic “peanut butter cookie” look.

peanut butter cookie batter on a baking sheet

STEP SIX: Bake until the edges start to turn brown, about 10-12 minutes. We want these cookies to be chewy, so be sure not to overbake!

STEP SEVEN: Leave cookies on tray to cool and set completely before transferring them to an airtight container. These cookies will stay fresh at room temperature for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

ready to serve peanut butter cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Tips

There are a few things to consider to achieve the softest and chewiest cookies possible. 

  • Be sure to use high-quality, unsalted, and fully softened butter. This way, it incorporates fully and produces the chewiness we all love. 
  • Opt for light brown sugar over granulated sugar. The moisture content of brown sugar is ideal for soft and chewy peanut butter cookies.
  • Baking soda helps the cookies rise and is essential for a light and fluffy cookie. 
  • One expert baking tip is to let the prepared dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour. This reduces moisture while increasing sugar content which results in chewy delightfulness every time.
  • Kosher salt is super important. It is far superior to table salt, balances out the sweetness, and enhances this recipe’s rich peanut butter flavor like nothing else.
  • Choose the highest quality vanilla extract available to you. We tend to forget what a powerful flavor enhancer this magical ingredient truly is. 
  • For this chewy peanut butter cookies recipe, it is best to avoid natural nut butters that separate since this may add unwanted moisture to your dough. For the sake of softness, chewiness, and smoothness, go with classic creamy peanut butter. Your cookies and your family will thank you!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Add-Ins

This chewy peanut butter cookie recipe is absolutely perfect as-is, but that is no reason to limit your creativity. This recipe can easily handle up to 1 cup of add-ins, which you’ll want to fold in before scooping out the dough.

Here are some great ideas to get you started:

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies Storage

Allow soft peanut butter cookies to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container.

The cookies will stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature, 2 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

If freezing them, thaw the peanut butter cookies for about 20 minutes on the countertop before serving again. If needed, heat the cookies in the microwave for a few seconds.

You can also make the dough ahead of time and freeze it uncooked for up to 3 months. Scoop out cookie-sized balls, flash-freeze them on a baking sheet, and then transfer them to a Ziploc bag for storage.

Whenever you are ready to bake a batch, pop the frozen dough balls onto a baking sheet and into the oven as is!

wire rack with several peanut butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Soft FAQs

Why Do My Soft Peanut Butter Cookies Fall Apart?

If your cookies are falling apart (AKA dry and crumbly), there are a few places we can troubleshoot.
The most likely culprit is overbaking. Peanut butter cookies are notorious for looking like they need more time in the oven.
Keep a close eye on your cookies and remove them from the oven according to the recipe, even if they don’t look how you think they should. 
Trying to transfer the cookies too quickly is also a mistake that can cause cookies to fall apart. They will continue to cook and set while cooling, so patience is key.
Another common mistake is using too much flour, which leads to dryness. I always recommend using the spoon and level method for maximum accuracy.

Why do my peanut butter cookies get hard?

To keep this peanut butter cookie recipe soft, it is super important not to over bake. Avoid hard cookies by promptly taking the cookie sheet out of the oven at 10-12 minutes, remembering that the cookies will continue to bake slightly as they cool.
Use the freshest ingredients possible, measure accurately, and follow the recipe without substitutions. Remember, I developed this soft peanut butter cookie recipe through much trial and error.
Almost every ingredient on the list helps keep these scrumptious cookies as soft as possible!

Should you refrigerate peanut butter cookie dough before baking?

Refrigerating cookie dough before baking hardens fats, which can slow down baking time and leave you with softer, chewier peanut butter cookies.
While this step is not required with this chewy peanut butter cookie recipe, I often do!
It’s also perfectly okay to make and refrigerate the dough for 2-4 days before baking.

Why do you put fork marks on peanut butter cookies?

The cross-hatched pattern on top of peanut butter cookies serves a dual purpose.
On the surface, it makes them easily distinguishable from similar-looking cookies like sugar or shortbread cookies.
But more importantly, since peanut butter cookie dough is so dense, the flattening action helps ensure the cookies bake evenly and stay soft.

chewy peanut butter cookies on a wire rack

More like this Soft Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

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Yield: 20 servings

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe (Soft & Chewy!)

soft peanut butter cookies on a rack

Crave-worthy chewy peanut butter cookies are soft, golden brown, and utterly delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Add the softened butter and light brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy– about 1 minute. 
  3. Next add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix to combine and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, just until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. 
  6. Scoop out 1 tablespoon sized portions and place them at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. 
  7. (Optional) For that classic “peanut butter cookie” shape, roll the dough into smooth balls and then roll them in granulated sugar. Place them on the baking sheet and use a fork to gently press them down into a disc. 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. We want these cookies to be chewy so make sure not to overbake them! 
  9. Allow the cookies to set completely on the tray before transferring them to airtight storage. These cookies will keep at room temperature for up to five days. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

2 thoughts on “Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies”

  1. Hi Samantha. Do you put cookies on a wire cooling rack before putting into a container. I see one pictured but not mentioned in directions. Thanks

    Reply

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