Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

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No refrigeration needed, quick and easy old fashioned peanut butter cookies. Just like you remember from childhood.

Table of Contents
  1. About these cookies:
  2. Why do you press a fork into peanut butter cookies?
  3. What peanut butter is best?
  4. How to Keep Peanut Butter Cookies Soft
  5. Storage Instructions
  6. Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

I’ve had several requests over the past few months for a traditional peanut butter cookie like the kind grandma used to make.

We have our fair share of cookies with peanut butter. 4 ingredient peanut butter cookies, my favorite peanut butter sugar cookies, and even peanut butter cut outs.

And I’ll be honest. I don’t love peanut butter cookies. There. I said it. And that is why I loved our soft sugar cookie style peanut butter cookies so much. They weren’t dry. They were soft and not overpowering with peanut butter flavor. But for as many of you who loved those cookies with me, many wanted more peanut butter flavor.

These old fashioned peanut butter cookies are the answer. Peanut butter cookies are the second most popular cookie in America, next to chocolate chip cookies, of course. (And oatmeal cookies are third.) Here’s a new peanut butter cookie recipe to love.

peanut butter cookies in a tray with coarse sugar on top

About these cookies:

  • Flavor: Sweet peanut butter flavor with a hint of vanilla is what these cookies are all about.
  • Texture: I like soft cookies, so that’s what I strive for when baking. If you like a crisper cookie, it all comes in the baking time. Bake them about 2 minutes longer for a crispy cookie.
  • Method: These bake in the oven and it’s not necessary to refrigerate the dough. That makes them quick and easy!

How are these different than our other soft peanut butter cookies? These have more peanut butter and less flour. They also have less eggs and both granulated and brown sugar. This all gives them more peanut butter flavor and more of a traditional peanut butter cookie texture.

Dogs love peanut butter, but make your pups some homemade dog biscuits while you’re making these cookies!

You may also love our Spanish peanut cookies.

Why do you press a fork into peanut butter cookies?

You can almost always decipher which cookies on a cookie plate are peanut butter cookies because of that traditional criss-cross pattern fork press in the top of the cookie. Home bakers have done this for decades. But why?

The simple answer, besides tradition, is that if you don’t flatten the peanut butter cookie dough ball, the cookie will not flatten while it bakes and therefore bake a little unevenly. Flattening the cookie dough ball helps level the dough, helping it to bake evenly.

pressing fork onto peanut butter cookies

What peanut butter is best?

Creamy peanut butter makes the best peanut butter cookies. I use store brand many times and have bought Aldi as well, but Jif peanut butter is my go-to for brand name.

  • Can I use natural peanut butter? I don’t recommend it, but it may work. Because natural peanut butter often doesn’t have sugar or salt, it can affect the flavor of your cookies. It can also be hard to get the oils properly mixed together.
  • Can I use chunky peanut butter? In theory, yes, but again, I don’t recommend it. I love chunky peanut butter, but those peanut pieces may cause your peanut butter cookies to seem dry and crumbly. For the softest cookies, use creamy peanut butter.
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How to Keep Peanut Butter Cookies Soft

There are two keys to soft and even chewy peanut butter cookies.

  1. Room temperature butter. Don’t melt the butter at all to mix it in. It shouldn’t be too soft. This will ensure the butter creams properly leading to a soft cookie.
  2. Measure the flour correctly. I provide the grams in the recipe below for accurate measuring. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it with a knife. Don’t pack the flour into the cup!
  3. Brown sugar. Some cookie recipes only call for granulated white sugar, but brown sugar actually makes cookies softer because it has more moisture content.
  4. Don’t overbake. As with just about any cookie, if you want them soft, don’t overbake them. In fact, bake them maybe 1 minute under the time. For this cookie, they baked for 9 minutes. If your oven tends to run hot, start them at 8 minutes and see how they look. “Golden brown” is usually a good thing, but not with cookies. 😊

Storage Instructions

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

The dough freezes well before baking. Allow the dough to fully thaw before baking.

The cookies freeze well after baking. I prefer to double wrap them before placing in the freezer to prevent them from drying out.

Try our sitting pretty cookies next!

a pile of old fashioned peanut butter cookies
a pile of old fashioned peanut butter cookies

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

4.75 from 24 votes
No refrigeration needed, quick and easy old fashioned peanut butter cookies. Just like you remember from childhood.
Servings 36
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

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  • coarse sugar for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or with a hand mixer and large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth.
  • Add in the sugars and mix again until well combined.
  • Then add in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix just until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Use a cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough into 36 dough balls and roll each until smooth.
  • Place the dough balls on the cookie sheet 2" apart. Use a fork to press a criss cross in the top of the cookie dough ball, pressing down slightly to flatten the balls. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar if desired.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes. If you like soft cookies, bake for 9 minutes and don't let the cookies get browned. If you like crispy cookies, bake for closer to 11 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack. Then store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 36 cookies, with 1 serving being 1 cookie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 212
Keyword easy cookie recipes, old fashioned recipe, peanut butter
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Glenda Harfis
1 year ago

5 stars
A step was left out to add the eggs and vanilla before the dry ingredients. I have baked a lot of cookies, so I knew to.do this step before the dry ingredients were added.

1 year ago

Hi. How about the eggs? They should be put in the butter mixture before adding the flour, right? Thanks!