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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

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.

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.