Just like the delicious peanut butter cookies you got in school back in the day! These vintage favorites have crisp edges and are chewy and amazing in the center.
While my school lunches were not always the best, I could always count on being able to buy a delicious peanut butter cookie from the lunch lady that would be the perfect afternoon pick-me-up after a morning of algebra and history class!
The texture of cookies made with this peanut butter cookie recipe is absolutely perfect. Chewy centers, crispy edges, and the criss-cross tops are all exactly how they should be. These chewy peanut butter cookies will bring you back to simpler times, and you’ll be thrilled at how easy they are to make.
Want to know the secret to making the best lunch lady peanut butter cookies? It’s simple: More Peanut Butter! This recipe has more peanut butter than other peanut butter cookie recipes, and that’s what makes it so good.
Can’t get enough peanut butter? You will love these peanut butter cookie recipes: Buckeye Brownie Cookies, No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies, and Oatmeal Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips.
Why You’ll Love This Cookie Recipe
- A Classic Favorite: Peanut Butter Cookies are one of the most basic cookie recipes, and an overall favorite for many, many people. Give these as gifts, take them to work, or make them for a friend. Everyone will be thrilled to eat your homemade peanut butter cookies.
- Salty and Sweet: Aside from the nostalgia factor of enjoying a treat from your youth, the perfect flavor combination might be what makes these cookies irresistible!
- Simple Ingredients: You probably have everything you need already in your pantry! You can be enjoying these soft peanut butter cookies right away.
- Customisable: We aren’t adding anything extra to this peanut butter cookie recipe because honestly, we don’t need to. But you certainly CAN add things if you want to! Chocolate chips are an obvious choice or try chopped nuts.
- Fun for Kids: Your little ones will enjoy helping to stamp the crisscrosses on the tops of these cookies with a fork. It’s a great recipe for getting kids involved in the kitchen.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Peanut Butter – Creamy Peanut Butter is my first choice for making peanut butter cookies, but you can also use crunchy if that’s what you have. Regular commercial-style peanut butter works better in baking these than natural-style peanut butter does.
- Butter – Salted butter makes peanut butter cookies perfect. It might seem strange that I’m using salted butter as most of the other cookie recipes here use unsalted, but with peanut butter, the extra salt really enhances the flavor.
- Light Brown Sugar – Packed brown sugar is our first sweetener. Be sure to press it into the measuring cup before leveling it, as brown sugar won’t be measured correctly if it’s not packed in.
- White Sugar – the combination of both types of sugar gives us the perfect blend of crispiness and softness.
- Eggs – Room temperature eggs will make the smoothest cookie dough.
- Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract adds the right amount of warm flavor, and will make your house smell amazing while these cookies are baking.
- Flour and Baking Soda – These are our dry ingredients. Stir them together before mixing them in to avoid any bitter bites of just baking soda in the cookies!
How To Make Peanut Butter Cookies
It’s easy to make peanut butter cookies just like the lunch ladies made in the school cafeteria!
- Get Ready: Line cookie sheet trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C while you make the dough.
- Cream butter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and peanut butter and mix until smooth.
- Add Sugars: Add the white sugar and brown sugar, and mix until incorporated.
- Add Eggs: One at a time, add the eggs to the bowl, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Mix the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl with a whisk, then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well until there are no dry spots, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Shape Cookies: Use a medium cookie scoop to place balls of dough 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. The balls should be firmly packed, and you can smooth them with your hands if you want smooth edges on the cookies. Use a fork to make a cross hatch pattern in the top of each cookie, gently pressing down.
- Bake: Bake peanut butter cookies in a preheated oven for 12-13 minutes. When done the cookies will be golden brown on the edges and no longer shiny on top.
- Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet tray for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying.
- For Perfectly Round Cookies: Roll the dough into smooth balls with your hands before pressing with a fork. You can skip this if you don’t mind a bit of a rugged edge on your peanut butter cookies.
- If Your Fork is Sticking: Dip it in granulated sugar. The sugar will stick to the top of the cookies, but the fork won’t.
- Use Room Temperature Ingredients: If all of the ingredients are at room temperature, the dough will mix up more smoothly and easily.
- Make them Festive: Colored sugar sprinkles can make your peanut butter cookies a fit for any occasion!
- Switch to a Spoon: If you’re making the dough for this recipe with a hand mixer, you may get to a point when adding the flour that it seems too heavy for your mixer to get through. Switch to a heavy spoon to finish mixing.
- Mix-ins: Chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reeses Pieces, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or chopped peanuts are all delicious mixed in to this cookie dough.
Storing Peanut Butter Cookies
Store baked peanut butter cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I actually think that these get better after sitting for a few days!
You can freeze peanut butter cookies for up to three months. This is true for baked cookies, or for balls of unbaked peanut butter cookie dough.
More Cookie Recipes To Try
You don’t need to chill the dough for this recipe. If you are baking on a particularly hot day I might suggest putting the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes or so just to get it back to room temperature before you start.
I haven’t tried it yet myself, but from what I understand, sunflower seed butter is generally an excellent 1 to 1 replacement for peanut butter in baking recipes. Come back and let me know how it worked for you if you try it please!
We might never know exactly why, but I think that school peanut butter cookies are so good because they are made with extra love and extra peanut butter! 🥰
These cookies are really going to take you back! Enjoy making and eating these amazing peanut butter cookies. Don’t forget to pour yourself a cold glass of milk to go with them.