Peanut Butter Cookies are full of yummy childhood nostalgia and easy to make so you can keep those happy memories going batch after batch!
Why We Love Peanut Butter Cookies
- Soft and chewy, these Peanut Butter Cookies are loaded with the sweet peanut butter flavor everyone loves.
- The ingredients needed are mostly pantry staples so it’s a snap to make these whenever you get a craving!
- The vanilla pudding is a bit of a secret ingredient- it makes these cookies so pillowy and soft but doesn’t make the cookies overly sweet.
- Peanut Butter Cookies were my dad’s favorite cookies. I can’t begin to count how many times I made these for him. When I was a Brownie in Girl Scouts, he would buy boxes and boxes of Peanut Butter Cookies, and thanks to him, I would sell the most boxes in my troop!
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
PANTRY ITEMS: For this recipe, you will need the usual all-purpose flour, baking soda, light brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. You will also need a box of vanilla-flavored instant pudding mix. If you’d like a little more sweetness you’ll need a bit of granulated sugar to roll the dough balls in before baking.
SHORTENING: These peanut butter cookies are made with butter-flavored shortening but you can substitute regular butter.
PEANUT BUTTER: Creamy peanut butter is needed for these cookies and any brand is fine. Natural peanut butter, however, will not work for this recipe.
REFRIGERATED ITEMS: You will need three eggs.
How to Make Peanut Butter CookiesJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a stand mixer or large bowl with beaters, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add the pudding powder, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
STEP 2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients 1/2 cup at a time until everything is well mixed.
STEP 3 Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out balls of dough and roll them with your hands. You can then roll them through sugar if you’d like. Place the cookies two inches apart on the cookie sheet and then gently press a fork flat against the top of the cookies, creating a crisscross pattern.
STEP 4 Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Tips & Tricks
- Butter-flavored shortening gives these cookies that hint of butter that is so delicious in these cookies, while also providing a firmer cookie that doesn’t spread much while baking, leaving you with a soft, thick cookie to bite into. If you would like to use butter instead, simply substitute the same amount as the shortening.
- Using processed creamy peanut butter will give your cookies a great smooth texture, unlike using natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter should not be used in this recipe. The cookies won’t come out right if you do.
- Do not prepare the vanilla pudding mix. The powdered mix itself is needed in the dough, not prepared pudding.
- You can make the dough ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator for two days. When you’re ready to make cookies, let the dough warm up a bit for easy rolling.
Peanut Butter Cookies FAQ
Why do you flatten peanut butter cookies with a fork?
The thickness of the peanut butter cookie dough can make it difficult for the cookie to cook evenly if left in a ball, especially because they do not spread like other cookies, such as chocolate chip cookies, for example. Using a fork to make the iconic crisscross pattern flattens the cookies enough so that they not only cook evenly but also have a slightly crispy edge and a tender, chewy middle, exactly how we like our peanut butter cookies!
How do you keep the fork from sticking to the cookies?
As the dough warms it will become more sticky, which can be a problem when flattening the cookies with a fork. If this happens, you can either pop your dough in the fridge to cool it down a bit or you can solve this problem easily by dipping your fork in granulated sugar between flattening each cookie! The sugar will end up sticking to the cookie instead of your fork, which is a pretty yummy solution.
Other Recipes You May Like
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
- Monster Sweetheart Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
- ½ cup butter-flavored shortening at room temperature (see note)
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix (1 box)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar for coating (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Beat the shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pudding mix, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients 1/2 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to portion the cookie dough. Roll the dough into balls between your palms. If you like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar – this is optional.
- Place the balls of dough on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to gently press the dough balls flat, making two indents with the fork tines in a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Then let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Do not use all-natural peanut butter in this recipe.
- Butter can be used in this recipe instead of shortening but I find that it makes them less chewy overall. The butter-flavored shortening gives the buttery flavor everyone loves and yields the best texture.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.