Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

These old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, made with sugar, flour, peanut butter, and eggs, are like the cookies you grew up with, crispy, chewy, and peanut buttery.

A stack of five old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, with crosshatch marks on top

Adapted from Moira Sanders | Lori Elstone | The Harrow Fair Cookbook | Whitecap, 2010

According to the authors of the cookbook in which we found this recipe, these yummy peanut butter cookies come from Mila Klomp, who won 1st prize in the 9- to 12-year-old category at a local fair. While don’t know Mila, it’s abundantly clear to us that she certainly knows her peanut butter cookies. Er, let us rephrase that. For someone so young, she certainly knows her old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. Crisp at the edges, chewy on the inside, and peanutty through and through. [Editor’s Note: If you have a thing for peanut butter cookies that are crisp throughout, fear not, we can appease that craving with a recipe, too.] Pass the milk, please.–Renee Schettler

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

A stack of five old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, with crosshatch marks on top
These old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, made with sugar, flour, peanut butter, and eggs, are like the cookies you grew up with, crispy, chewy, and peanut buttery.
Moira Sanders & Lori Elstone

Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 1 hr
Dessert
American
48 cookies
131 kcal
4.95 / 18 votes
Print RecipeBuy the The Harrow Fair Cookbook cookbook

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar preferably light
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda*
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Directions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the granulated and brown sugars and butter on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, reduce the speed to medium, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and salt to the peanut butter mixture and blend thoroughly. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and hot water and add it to the cookie dough, mixing until just combined.
  • Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the parchment. Gently press a fork into each cookie, first vertically, then horizontally, to create the classic peanut butter cookie crisscross. (If an extra sparkly, extra crunchy cookie is desired, dip your fork in a little granulated sugar prior to pressing it into the dough.)
  • Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have barely begun to turn golden at the edges.
  • Let the cookies cool for a minute or more on the baking sheet, then move them to a wire rack to cool at least a little. (The cookies will get crisper the longer they cool.) Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Print RecipeBuy the The Harrow Fair Cookbook cookbook

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Notes

*Why do you dissolve baking soda in hot water for baking cookies?

First off, you use baking soda to help keep those peanut butter cookies from spreading too much (and becoming one giant cookie, as good as that sounds). But why mix it with hot water? Have you ever gotten a taste of pure baking soda? Yes? That’s why. Dissolving it a little bit, at the end of the recipe, and then combining it with all the other ingredients ensures that it’s evenly distributed within the mixture.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 131kcal (7%)Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mg (6%)Sodium: 99mg (4%)Potassium: 54mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 9g (10%)Vitamin A: 129IU (3%)Calcium: 10mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is a perfect old-fashioned peanut butter cookie. The recipe is as simple as a cookie can be: cream together the butter and sugars, add the dry ingredients, scoop, and bake.

The yield really was 5 dozen and the cookies baked in exactly 8 minutes to achieve a perfect crunchy edge and chewy center.

This will definitely be my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe.

I wasn’t a big fan of peanut butter cookies, but this recipe made one out of me. This is an amazingly moist and chewy cookie that can be made in a cinch. Just lovely.

The time of 8 minutes was bang on.


Originally published September 7, 2012

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Comments

  1. I’ve baked these peanut butter cookies at least a half dozen times now, and they
    turned out fantastic every time! In fact, it’s the first cookie recipe baked tonight to break in my brand new Samsung oven! (I put the oven rack on the 4th rung).
    As far as salted vs unsalted butter goes, I just use 2 sticks of I Can’t Believe It’s
    Not Butter, and the cookies always turn out delicious! Anyway, thank you Culinaria
    for in my opinion, is the best peanut butter cookie recipe ever! Baker’s Blessings to you, Mary K.😄

    1. Thank you, Mary K. We are so pleased that love this recipe and that they are the first baked goods in your oven. What a delightful way to start! Please do let us know what you make next.

  2. I’ve tested and posted my findings on many other recipes here on Leite’s Culinaria, all with happy results. Unfortunately I cannot say the same this time around. I made these, and they are much too salty. I used Jif’s creamy for the peanut butter. They are salty enough that I still have a salt aftertaste after having had a cookie five minutes ago. No bueno.

    If I were to try making these again I would ditch the extra salt, and use unsalted butter, and see how that goes.

    1. Julien, I am sorry these turned out too salty for you. The recipe does call for unsalted butter, so with that change you should have more successful results.

      1. Sorry I should have fixed my original comment, I did use unsalted butter when I tried it. So maybe the problem is the salt + salt content extant in the peanut butter?

        1. Julien, it could be. Different PBs do have different salt content. Also, did you use sea salt or regular or kosher salt? Due to crystal size, some salts pack twice as much salt in the same volume.

          1. Julien, it’s hard to know. One teaspoon of the pink salt has 1,840 mg of sodium while 1 teaspoon of Diamond Kosher Salt has 1,120 mg. But I think we’re splitting hairs here. It might be that it was simply too salty for your tastes. And I’m sorry that it was unpleasant. It always pains me when a reader takes time to make a dish that we have tested and they aren’t happy.

  3. 5 stars
    So glad to have found this peanut butter cookie recipe!! Just made these cookies for my husband who’s a tough critic, and he was totally won over! This recipe is a definite winner!!

  4. 5 stars
    I double the salt (tested 4 different ratios and that was the best) and chill the dough as my only variations, but otherwise these cookies are absolutely perfect! The texture is amazing, and the peanut butter flavor is appropriately pronounced.

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