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The Best Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies

Your final AK Cookie Week 2023 recipe will be your new go-to, easy dessert to share with loved ones. Promise. Peanut butter cookies are trickier to make from scratch than other cookie recipes because peanut butter tends to dry out when it’s baked. BUT you know ya girl perfected this recipe for you. No dry, boring peanut butter cookies with the little fork indents on top (those are cute too, but you know what I mean).

These are the best peanut butter cookies you’ll ever eat. They’re thick and chewy with perfectly crispy edges, and soft, tender middles, and are full of peanut butter flavor that makes them taste like they’re straight from the bakery.

I added a few special twists like chocolate chips because go big or go home, right? There are a few easy ways to customize them with different mix-ins and sizes, so read through the whole post to get all of my tips!

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Cookie Week 2023 is HERE! From 11/27 through 12/10:

  1. Make ANY Ambitious Kitchen cookie recipe from the blog
  2. Share a photo on Instagram (in-feed or stories) or in our Facebook Group with the hashtag #AKCookieWeek
  3. You’ll be entered to win this gorgeous Cuisinart 50th Anniversary Edition Food Processor!

*If your Instagram profile is private, please share your photo in the Facebook Group so that we can see it!

Everything you’ll need to make the best peanut butter cookies

There are a few special ingredients that give these peanut butter cookies the perfect texture and flavor (AKA truly make them the BEST). Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter: you already know we’re browning that butter to add extra rich, caramel-like flavor to these cookies. I always like to use salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter if you’d like.
  • Peanut butter: the key to these cookies? Creamy natural peanut butter, of course! I always use natural peanut butter instead of a regular kind like Skippy or Jif. I love Trader Joes, Smuckers, or Wild Friends peanut butter, and you can use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off Wild Friends!
  • Brown sugar: we’re using all brown sugar (instead of a mix of white and brown sugar) for extra molasses flavor.
  • Honey: you’ll also need a little honey, which also helps keep them soft.
  • Egg: you’ll need 1 egg + 1 egg yolk to help the cookies bake properly and to keep them tender and rich.
  • Flour: the base of the cookies is made with regular all-purpose flour.
  • Baking staples: don’t forget the baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Learn how to make your own vanilla here!
  • Extras: I like to add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter because who doesn’t love peanut butter + chocolate? I also love rolling the dough balls in granulated sugar to make them extra pretty, plus a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt on top.

peanut butter cookie dough with chocolate chips in a bowl

Make these peanut butter cookies your own

As I mentioned, I love adding chocolate chips to these cookies and rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar, but there are other fun ways you can customize them!

  • Swap the chocolate chips for chocolate chunks, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, or even peanut butter chips for double PB flavor
  • Dip or drizzle them in melted chocolate
  • Add a frosting like my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or my Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting — you could even make smaller cookies and sandwich the frosting in between (omg yum).

unbaked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet

Substitutions for dietary needs

  • Can I make then gluten free? I haven’t tested a version of these peanut butter cookies using a gluten free flour, so I can’t be sure how they’d turn out. Feel free to try my Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies instead!
  • Can I make them dairy free? Feel free to use a dairy free butter substitute, but note that you cannot brown dairy free butter. Be sure to also use dairy free chocolate chips.
  • Can I make them vegan? I haven’t tested these cookies using flax eggs, but let me know in the comments if you do! You’ll also need to use dairy free butter, chocolate chips, and maple syrup instead of honey.

classic peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips on a baking sheet

Can I use a different nut butter?

I wouldn’t recommend using a different nut butter in this recipe as the flavor will not turn out the same. They are true, classic peanut butter cookies!

Choose your cookie size

With this recipe, you can either make 9 to 10 large peanut butter cookies or 16 smaller cookies. It just depends on how big you like them and how many you want to serve! I’ve included baking times and sizes within the recipe itself.

the best peanut butter cookies on a wire rack

How to brown butter

Brown butter really takes the flavor of these cookies to the next level. Learn exactly how to brown butter with our tutorial here.

Don’t forget these cookie-baking tips

You’ll find all of my best tips & tricks for making perfect cookies in the Ultimate Guide to Cookie Baking e-book! A few key takeaways for these cookies:

  • Do not use substitutes. Please be sure to follow the recipe as written unless substitutes are noted in the blog post or the notes section of the recipe. Changing the flour will likely affect the texture of these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies as will leaving ingredients out.
  • Make sure your ingredients are room temp. After you brown your butter you’ll want to make sure that it is cool so that it doesn’t coagulate the eggs ingredients. Be sure your eggs are at room temperature as well so that it doesn’t coagulate with the butter. Simply run them under warm water for about a minute or place it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before adding it to your dough.
  • Use fresh baking soda. Make sure your baking soda is fresh to ensure that these cookies bake up properly.
  • Measure your ingredients correctly. Do you know the best way to measure flour without a scale? Get my tips & tricks in this video! Be sure to also pack the brown sugar.

chewy peanut butter cookie on a wire rack with a bite taken out

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: store these peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: you can actually freeze the cookie dough OR the freshly baked cookies to enjoy later! Get all of my tips and tricks for freezing cookies here.

classic peanut butter cookies on a wire rack

More cookie recipes you’ll love

Get all of my cookie recipes here!

I hope you love these bakery-style peanut butter cookies! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

The Best Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookie with a bite taken out

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 12 minutes

Total Time 42 minutes

Serves10 cookies

The BEST bakery-style peanut butter cookies you’ll ever eat! These classic chewy peanut butter cookies are deliciously thick with crispy edges and chocolate chips in every bite. This is seriously the only peanut butter cookie recipe you need!

Ingredients

  • Wet ingredients:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • ½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter (just peanuts + salt as ingredients)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1/2 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For rolling:
  • cup granulated sugar
  • Maldon sea salt, to finish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Brown your butter: add butter to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.

  • Mix together wet ingredients: Once brown butter has cooled, transfer to a large bowl. Add in the peanut butter, brown sugar, room temperature egg and egg yolk, honey and vanilla and whisk together until smooth, thick and well combined.

  • Stir in dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired.

  • Use a large cookie scoop or ¼ to grab dough and then use your hands roll into golf-sized balls. Roll balls in sugar then place at least 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet. (If you want to make medium sized cookies, use a medium cookie scoop and roll them into smaller dough balls about 2 tablespoons each.) Add 6-7 extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie (or 3-4 if making smaller cookies).

  • Bake large cookies for 12-16 minutes and smaller cookies for 8-10 minutes until edges begin to turn slightly golden brown and cookies are set. Do not overbake or cookies will dry out. Remove from oven and sprinkle cookies with sea salt, if desired. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes to help set up on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough. Makes about 9 to 10 large cookies or 16 smaller cookies.

Recipe Notes

See the full post for tips, tricks & freezing instructions!


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