In this post: Learn how to make peanut butter cookies just like grandma used to make – crisscross fork marks and all! And they can be made gluten-free too!


These classic peanut butter cookies are just like the ones my grandma used to make! In fact, the recipe almost the exact same! Plus, this recipe is super easy to make so it’s perfect for new (or busy) bakers. Learn how to make peanut butter cookies for yourself with step-by-step instructions below.

Peanut butter cookies stacked on a plate with a glass of milk on the side.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This peanut butter cookie recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t require fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
  • is adaptable to the most common dietary restrictions and allergies (see below for ideas)

Peanut Butter Cookies Ingredients

  • Flour: provides structure for the cookies.
  • Baking soda: helps lighten the texture of the cookies.
  • Baking powder: adds volume and lightens.
  • Salt: balances the sweetness of the cookies.
  • Butter: softened (not melted!) so it can be creamed.
  • Creamy peanut butter: room temperature is best.
  • Brown sugar: makes the cookies dense and moist.
  • Granulated sugar: makes the cookies a little crispy around the edges.
  • Egg: binds the cookie dough together.
  • Vanilla extract: make sure to use pure vanilla extract and not vanilla flavoring.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Flour – you can use all purpose flour, 1-for-1 gluten-free flour, brown rice or white rice flour, almond flour, or coconut flour. Just remember that using different flours may change the texture of the cookies.
  • Peanut butter – if you’re allergic to or don’t like peanuts, you can use almond butter instead. If you can’t eat nuts at all, try using sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter.
  • Add-ins – you can add fun ingredients like chocolate chips, chopped peanuts, dried fruit, peanut butter chips, M&Ms, or butterscotch chips.

How to Make The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and no oil
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl until light and creamy.
  4. Add the brown and white sugars to the butter mixture and cream thoroughly.
  5. Beat the egg into the butter mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two or three portions, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  9. Measure level tablespoons of dough and shape them into balls. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Press each dough ball twice with a fork dipped in cold water.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown.
  12. Move the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack. Let cool.
  13. Serve and enjoy!
Peanut butter cookies stacked on a plate with a glass of milk on the side.

Serving Suggestions

Peanut butter cookies go perfectly with a big glass of milk (dairy milk, almond milk, or otherwise)! But in the fall and winter I also like to serve these cookies with delicious hot drinks like:

Recipe Tips

  • The cookies will continue to bake once out of the oven because they’ll still be hot, so you can remove them from the oven even if they’re a little soft in the middle.
  • Let the cookies cool on the pan for a couple minutes so they can solidify before moving them to cooling racks. If you move the cookies right away, they will fall apart.
  • Putting the criss-cross pattern in the cookies with the tines of a fork is super cute, and it actually helps them cook evenly!
  • Use a measuring spoon or cookie scoop to make your cookies the same size. Cookies roughly the same size are easier to bake to the same level of doneness.

Storing and Reheating

  • Room-temperature – store the cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing in direct sunlight.
  • Freezer – line the cookies up in a single-layer in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating – if frozen, thaw the cookies in the fridge before warming. Reheat in the oven or the microwave until warm to the touch.

Dietary Considerations

There are many ways to make this recipe more allergy-friendly!

  • Peanut-free: swap the peanut butter for almond butter.
  • Nut-free: instead of peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter.
  • Gluten-free: use gluten-free flour. Try rice flour, 1-for-1 gluten-free flour, or your favorite blend!
  • Dairy-free: swap the butter for a dairy-free substitute. I find stick butter replacement does best in baking.
  • Vegan: use vegan butter and an egg replacement like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, chia eggs, or flax eggs.
Peanut butter cookies stacked on a plate with a glass of milk on the side.

FAQs

Why do peanut butter cookies have fork marks?

The fork marks in peanut butter cookies may look fun and create a lot of nostalgia for you, but they serve another purpose! Pressing a fork into the cookies flattens them and helps them cook more evenly.

Do you have to chill the dough before baking?

Technically, you don’t HAVE to chill the dough before baking, but I always do. It makes the dough balls easier to form and helps the cookies bake without spreading all over the pan to create one giant monster cookie.

What’s the best peanut butter to use for these cookies?

I usually use 100% natural peanut butter made with only peanuts because that’s what we keep around the house. You could also use generic peanut butter brands, but they will make the cookies a little sweeter.

Can you freeze peanut butter cookies?

Absolutely! You should place your cookies in a single layer in a ziplock bag or store them in an airtight container with parchment paper separating each layer of cookies. Cookies thrown haphazardly into a ziplock bag or container will freeze together. 

Can you make peanut butter cookies without eggs?

Yes! There are many recipes online for vegan peanut butter cookies, BUT you can also make this recipe egg-free by using an egg replacer like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, chia eggs, or flax eggs.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 8-10 Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Fridge time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

These peanut butter cookies are just like the ones my grandma used to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, all purpose or white rice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and no oil. 
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter until light and creamy.
  4. Add the brown and white sugars to the butter mixture and cream thoroughly.
  5. Beat the egg into the butter mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. In two or three portions, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  9. Measure level tablespoons of dough and shape them into balls. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Press each dough ball twice with a fork dipped in cold water.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown.
  12. Move the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack.
  13. Let cool. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 6g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

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shannon photo and sig oct 2022