Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Unlike most peanut butter cookies, which tend to be soft, these cookies are crisp and melt in your mouth with a shortbread-like texture. If you can, freshly grind your own peanut butter with a coarse setting, leaving a few big peanut pieces for extra crunch. We use a meat mallet to cross-hatch our cookies.–Meg Ray

LC Not Your Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies Note

Meg says it like it is. These little lovelies are unexpectedly crisp for a peanut butter cookie. They’re essentially shortbread-like, melt-in-your-mouth, crumbly goodness. Not like Mom’s classic peanut butter cookies. Actually, not like any other peanut butter cookie you’ve had. And not likely to last very long once you’ve had a taste.

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes about two dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy or chunky peanut butter

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, beat together the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy, something like 4 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the peanut butter and mix until everything is smooth and uniform. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix again a few times by hand.
  • 4. To make small cookies, roll scant teaspoon-sized portions of dough into 3/4-inch balls. To make larger cookies, roll 1 1/2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly and imprint the traditional cross-hatch marks using the back of a fork or meat mallet. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in batches until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Judy O.

Sep 09, 2011

I love the products Miette offers at its San Francisco Ferry Building location, so I had to try this recipe. (Plus, I just bought the book!). The peanut butter cookies were perfect. Enough said. All of my coworkers loved the taste and texture. I made mine a bit larger (about two inches in diameter) so the recipe yielded 50 cookies. I would actually make them smaller to yield 100 cookies as the recipe indicates; I think this would be such a perfect size. I loved the idea of using a meat mallet to make the cross hatching…another great touch!

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Sep 09, 2011

These cookies definitely lived up to being “crisp and melt in your mouth with a shortbread-like texture.” I’ve always made soft peanut butter cookies, but the shortbread texture was delicious. I made the cookie balls from 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough, and the 10-minute cooking time seemed perfect for being lightly browned. I rolled my cookie balls in granulated sugar before baking; I like that better than sprinkling with granulated sugar, because that sometimes causes the sugar to burn on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. It’s also just a personal preference, because my family loves the “sugar crunch” all over the cookie. I’ll definitely keep this recipe close by!

Testers Choice
Lydia Brimage

Sep 09, 2011

This recipe was easy to follow and quick to do. The cookies turned out as the author described: crisp on the outside and shortbread-like in the middle. My larger-sized cookies cooked in the 10 minutes given in the recipe, although they were quite pale, so I let them go a little longer to achieve a more golden color. I thought the author’s suggestion of using a meat mallet to cross-mark the cookies was good, as the fork I used did not give a completely symmetrical pattern. I will be making these cookies again.

Testers Choice
Jyoti D.

Sep 09, 2011

These were delicious peanut butter cookies. Crisp exterior, soft chewy interior. I did buy freshly ground, slightly crunchy peanut butter for this recipe, and it was well worth it. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and baked the cookies for 12 minutes.

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Sep 09, 2011

I’ve now made these more than once, the first time with the idea that they’d be not only popular but also easily adaptable for a snack at a presentation I was giving, which had a sustainable, green theme. All the ingredients were available in either organic or natural versions, and the cookies were a hit: they disappeared even before the brownies someone else had baked! The second time, I made them for a bake sale, knowing from their first outing that they’d be a big seller, and they were indeed! I liked the idea of crunchy or chunky peanut butter, which made them seem extra peanut-y, but I’m sure the suggestion to make them with creamy peanut butter would work just fine. I also think the suggestion of making the chocolate chip variation would be great, though I’ve liked the cookies enough in this version to not try it out just yet. I have to confess that although the ingredients list clearly prohibits “natural” peanut butter, I did use natural the first time. I didn’t have any troubles with the cookies. They’re easy to make, with no steps to hold up having cookies ready quickly: just mix together, scoop and roll, crosshatch with a fork, bake, and eat! The directions are exquisitely correct. Both the timing and the number of cookies were accurate as written. As with many successful desserts that could be stored, these never last long enough to prove it to be true! Nor have they ever lasted long enough to make sandwiches with ice cream spread between them. Someday I’ll make a special batch of them, just to make the sandwiches. When I do, I’ll make mini-sandwiches with a variety of ice cream flavors — vanilla, chocolate (regular or dark), peanut butter chocolate chip, and strawberry all come readily to mind.

Testers Choice
Dawn E.

Sep 09, 2011

This is a fantastic crisp peanut butter cookie recipe. I was browsing the site and saw this recipe and I am so glad I found it. I love recipes that require ingredients that I already have on hand. What a quick and easy cookie to make and a perfect treat to take to a gathering. My cookies took exactly 10 minutes to bake. I used a cookie scoop and placed the 1 tablespoon scoop of dough on a plate of sugar first to dip the tops in sugar. I then placed the balls of dough on the baking sheet and flattened them slightly with the tines of a fork (I do not have a mallet) to make the iconic crisscross pattern.

Comments
Comments
  1. Gary S. says:

    David,

    I read all these recipes and your blog daily. Today I must tell you that the easiest and quickest peanut btter cookie is the one I make. Sooooooo easy:

    1 cup peabut better ( Not the chi chi but plain old cheapest)
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg

    Mix then drop by the teaspoon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 375° for 10 minutes.

    THAT’s it No flour. Let me kow what you think!

    • David Leite says:

      Gary, first, thank you for being such a loyal LCer. We appreciate it. I”ll try your cookies soon. And all you other LCers, have at it!

    • terry says:

      I love the no flour cookies, they’ve been my peanut butter cookie of choice for years.

  2. Susan says:

    Thank you for featuring this recipe. Do you know how difficult it is to find a recipe that deliberately produces a crisp peanut butter cookie? They are rare! I do like a little bit of gritty texture to mine so I roll them in sugar as another respondent mentions, but also dab the top with a water dampened finger to produce a sugar-crackled top. Can’t wait to try this version.

  3. Yes! “We use a meat mallet to cross-hatch our cookies.” I’ve been doing this for years, and I keep a little bit of sugar on a plastic lid to dip the mallet in if it picks up any dough.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Brilliant, Terri K. Actually, that nifty little trick is what drew us to this recipe. Well, let’s just say it’s one of many things that drew us to this recipe. We appreciate your tip on dipping the mallet in some sugar… feel free as you’re perusing other recipes on the site to weigh in with more tips…!

  4. JanetinMaine says:

    I, too, like the idea of using the mallet for a different look to the cookies. I traditionally use a fork. I also roll the dough balls in white sugar first and then smash them with the fork. I also dip my fork in white sugar between marking the cookies to stop the cookies from sticking to the fork. I am going to try the mallet, though, and dipping it into sugar between marking the cookies.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Let us know how it goes, Janet. Like you, I swoon to the extra crunchiness of the sugar dip–why even bother to make peanut butter cookies unless you include this component?–so I’m curious to hear what you think of dappling the mallet…

  5. Laurie says:

    These cookies turned out great. How come I never thought of using the mallet before? Brilliant and highly entertaining. The cookies were just as described, crisp on the outside and shortbread-like on the inside. Mine baked for about 11 or 12 minutes. I used whole-wheat white flour, they turned out great.

    Peanut Butter Cookies

  6. Ray says:

    Lovely and “biscuit like.” We used white spelt flour due to allergies. We found that 15 mins was just right, I guess the spelt takes longer to cook.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Ray, how lovely to hear that this worked just as well with spelt flour. So appreciate you letting us know…

  7. Daryl Cox says:

    Did and sliced a pint of Snickers peanut butter ice cream and turned these into ice cream sandwiches…stellar!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Ooooooh, Daryl, I just went a little wobbly in the knees at that suggestion. Love it! I bet even sliced Snickers in vanilla ice cream would be quite terrific! Damn. I think I have to run out to the store now….

  8. christian says:

    absolute perfection. crispy, crumbly, melt in your mouth perfection. thank you for sharing.

  9. Beth says:

    One of your testers’ comments indicates that he or she used natural peanut butter, despite the ingredient list specifically instructing not to, but the ingredient list I see simply says peanut butter, smooth or chunky. I would love to make these, but would only want to use natural peanut butter. Your thoughts and guidance on this would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Beth, we left the caution to not use natural peanut butter in the recipe because the original recipe included it since natural peanut butter can sometimes lend a slightly gritty consistency to certain baked goods. Also, some natural peanut butters tend to have separation issues between the oil and the peanut butter, and the lack of emulsion can create textural problems. But like you, I prefer natural peanut butter, and I see no reason not to use it in this recipe, especially since one of our testers tried it and was quite pleased. We simply wanted to err on the safe side in terms of the way the cookies turn out. Just consider yourself forewarned in terms of the potential for ever-so-slight textural issues. Would love to know what you think after you bake these…

  10. Tammy says:

    Love this and can’t wait to see how they come out. My hubby loves a hard crisp cookie, so I’m hoping this is it for him. Thank you.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Our fingers are crossed, Tammy! Everyone we know who likes their cookies like that adored these. Let us know, please, how it goes…

  11. Nikki says:

    Wow. I’ve searched so many recipes to find this one. Other cookie recipes were too hard and crunchy or cake-like. Thank you for a truly perfect peanut butter cookie! It’s exactly as you described with a fine light crumb. I remember this kind of cookie from grade school lunches when they made cookies from scratch. I used Skippys and finely ground whole wheat flour. Baking time was 11 min and I left them to cool on the pan because they were crumbly and needed time to set.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Wonderful, Nikki! And you’re very welcome. I know those cookies you’ve been searching for very well because it’s the exact same one I’d been seeking for seemingly ever until I came across this recipe. Am so glad this recipe found you!

  12. nichole durant says:

    I just tried these cookies and they were great. Would have loved a more pronounced peanut butter taste because I LOVE peanut butter. Also, I like a more sandy texture. But these were pretty darn close. I will make them again with minor adjustments. Great recipe!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, nichole! Thanks for taking the time to drop us a note. I’ve found that some of the peanut butter-iness has to do with the peanut butter you use. May I ask what kind you chose? Is it the kind you always use in peanut butter cookies? And again, thank you!

  13. Gloira says:

    I can’t wait to try these cookies. I would love to add peanuts to the recipe, but not sure how much would I add. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Gloira, I love the way you’re thinking! However, I’m a little concerned that since these cookies bake up so crisp and shortbread-like that chunks of peanuts may cause the cookies to break or crumble. Also the nubbins of peanuts that stick out from the dough during baking may get scorched. You may first wish to see if using chunky peanut butter in the recipe satisfies your desire. If not, and you decide to try adding peanuts, I’d mix no more than a small handful of coarsely chopped unsalted or salted peanuts in with the dough at the end of step three when you finish mixing by hand, which is to say, with a spoon. If it was me, I’d actually take a small portion of the cookie dough and add just a very small handful of peanuts and shape maybe 3 cookies and bake those first and see how it goes before adding peanuts to the entire batch of cookie dough. And I can’t emphasize enough that I worry that by adding a lot of chopped peanuts it’s only going to increase the likelihood of the cookies crumbling due to more little spots where the dough is being disrupted. Good luck and kindly let us know how it goes!

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