Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies, made with just the right proportion of granulated and brown sugars, are crisp, shortbread-like, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness just like what you find at San Francisco’s Miette Bakery.

A parchment covered counter with lines of raw peanut butter cookies and a meat-tenderizing mallet.

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. We use a meat mallet to cross-hatch our cookies.–Renee Schettler


Ohhh… we like the way you think. Now, these cookies are a special level of delicious so you don’t need to go messing around with them. But, if you’re like some of us, you’re crazy about the combo of chocolate and peanut butter. So yes, you can do it. Our recommendation is to use chopped chocolate, rather than chips or chunks, especially if you’re aiming to make smaller cookies.

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

A parchment covered counter with lines of raw peanut butter cookies and a meat-tenderizing mallet.
These peanut butter cookies, made with just the right proportion of granulated and brown sugars, are crisp, shortbread-like, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness just like what you find at San Francisco’s Miette Bakery.

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 40 minutes
24 cookies
128 kcal
4.72 / 14 votes
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  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) 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


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • 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.
  • To make small peanut butter 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 make the nifty indentations you see in the photo by using a 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. 
Print RecipeBuy the Miette cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 128kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 15g (5%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mg (6%)Sodium: 99mg (4%)Potassium: 52mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 8g (9%)Vitamin A: 129IU (3%)Calcium: 9mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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’d 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!

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!

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 didn’t give a completely symmetrical pattern. I will be making these cookies again.

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.

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 trouble 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.

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 don’t have a mallet) to make the iconic crisscross pattern.

Originally published September 9, 2011


#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. 5 stars
    I just made it for my son’s birthday! Lovely crispy cookies!! Perfect proportions!!
    I’m saving this to make again and again and again…..
    I have finally found the peanut cookie recipe of my dreams! 🙂

    1. Magnificent, AM! That’s exactly what we love to hear! And that’s exactly why we test our recipes. So that only the best recipes make it onto the site so that we inspire reactions like yours. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know!

  2. 4 stars
    I just baked these today in hopes that I’ve found the best peanut butter cookie recipe. I followed your recipe exactly; although it is good it’s not what I was hoping for. So my quest continues for that elusive truly crunchy and melt in your mouth peanut butter goodness.

      1. 4 stars
        Hi David. Thank you so much for your reply. I will definitely try the recipe in the link you sent. It does sound like what I’ve been looking for! I will report back and with fingers crossed it’s the ONE!

        Thanks again!

  3. Flour in grams would be helpful. I scooped the flour with a spoon into the measuring cups and leveled off with a knife, as I was taught to do with baking, but the dough came out very light and gooey. No way they could be rolled into balls. I’m guessing my flour content was off.

    1. It’s possible it was the flour, Holly. And yes, we have begun to include weights for ingredients on all recipes beginning in 2016, and we’re slowly going back and retesting all the recipes prior to that and including weights. We so appreciate your patience as we undertake this rather exhaustive process!

  4. 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.

    1. 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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