Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

These soft peanut butter cookies are crispy on the edges with a soft center and a rich peanut butter flavor.

A white bowl filled with soft peanut butter cookies.

We’ll demolish almost any version of peanut butter cookies. But these, with their slightly crisp edges and oh-so-soft, melt-in-your-mouth center, are among the best we’ve ever experienced. Think of them as having the texture of a spritz cookie but the taste of a peanut butter cookie.Angie Zoobkoff

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

A white bowl filled with soft peanut butter cookies.
These soft peanut butter cookies are crispy on the edges with a soft center and a rich peanut butter flavor.

Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
30 cookies
116 kcal
4.67 / 3 votes
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  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (4-ounce) stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or substitute vanilla extract) or more, to taste
  • M&Ms (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until light in color and very smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the egg, milk, and vanilla and almond extracts and mix until incorporated.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
  • Scoop the dough into ping-pong size balls and arrange them on the baking sheets, flattening each cookie slightly using the flat bottom of a glass dipped in water or the tines of a fork.

    TESTER TIP: The cookies don’t spread hardly at all during baking so there’s no need to leave a lot of space between them.

  • Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets once halfway, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • If using M&Ms, place a few on each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Let the cookies cool before devouring.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 116kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mg (2%)Sodium: 141mg (6%)Potassium: 81mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 12IUCalcium: 15mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I had all the pantry ingredients for these cookies, so wanted to give them a try. Never have to twist my arm for a good peanut butter cookie! And these tasty cookies will definitely not disappoint you! They have a really nice peanut butter flavor with a lightly crisp exterior and a soft interior that simply melts in your mouth. I ate 2 of them right off the cooling rack and had to push myself away!

These cookies were very quick and easy to whip together. I didn’t have whole milk so I used 2% milk and used 1 tablespoon vanilla extract rather than the combination of both vanilla and almond extracts. I ended up with 30 cookies using a 3/4 ounce (#40) cookie scoop. I love the striations that the scoop leaves on the dough balls, so I didn’t flatten them before baking.

It took 10 minutes for the cookies to become golden on the top and around the edges but still soft in the middle. They firmed up on the cooling rack. They didn’t spread much on the cookie sheet, even without chilling the dough. That makes them even quicker! Win-win!!

I love a peanut butter cookie recipe. This is the first time I added almond extract to the dough. Loved the flavor it contributed! It was a little extra nuttiness.

The cookies did need a couple extra minutes in my oven. I added peanut butter M&Ms to the tops after baking. These were very well received.

This is a really yummy peanut butter cookie recipe for kids and grownups alike. Chewy cookies are our favorites and these were very pillowy in texture. I love any recipe that uses ordinary pantry ingredients and yields impressive results!

I did use both 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. We really enjoyed the distinct almond flavor that the touch of almond extract added to this cookie, that and we loved how soft the finished products were.

Since it’s suggested to add almond extract to these tasty treats, I wonder if substituting almond butter for the peanut butter would be a good alternative if that is the nut butter you had on hand?

It would be a great recipe to make with kids; I did not add M&Ms but that would be the perfect task for the little ones helping out in the kitchen. I wonder, too, if Reese’s Pieces would be another topping option? Maybe even a Hershey’s Kiss or a Peanut Butter cup?

“Top notch.” That’s what my husband declared after his first bite. These really are a lovely cookie. Soft, chewy, and peanut buttery. Delicious. Perfect for an afternoon snack or to tuck into a lunch.

The cookie dough was super easy to mix up, quick, and scooped out nicely. I haven’t made peanut butter cookies in years and this recipe made up for all of that. Wow! This will be our new go-to recipe for peanut butter cookies and I will be making this again and again.

The texture of these peanut butter cookies was exactly how I like my peanut butter cookies—soft!

I used Jif brand peanut butter and soy milk (Silk brand). I doubled the vanilla extract and omitted the almond extract.

It has been a while since I played ping pong so my balls were larger. Flattened them with the back of a fork.

The cookies have a very nice taste, they could be a little more peanut buttery and a little less salty. If I were to make these again, I’d likely increase the amount of peanut butter (Jif is not our usual brand) AND decrease the amount of salt.

Originally published May 22, 2020


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 4 stars
    This recipe was easy to make with ingredients on hand. I used half the amount of sea salt and chocolate chips in the batter. Since it was a Halloween gift, I also pushed on some M&Ms after the cookies came out of the oven. This keeps the color of the M&Ms bright (no leaking color into the cookies or dull finish). Also, note that you can reduce the amount of brown sugar safely, too.

    The family, extended family, and gift recipient really liked the cookies and the M&Ms definitely made the cookies festive. While this recipe turned out well, I also made a different recipe a few days later and used the same M&Ms technique. That recipe was slightly better (which is why I rated this 4/5 stars). One big hint is to just bake until a little bit solid on the sides and don’t over cook because they will no longer be soft.

  2. 5 stars
    I made many peanut butter cookie recipes, but this is the best one I’ve tried. I made these cookies last week and gave them to my best friend. She told me she couldn’t help eating it, and she gave them to her parents too. I was so happy. Thanks for the recipe!

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