How to make peanut butter cookies in any form: large batch, giant cookies, from the freezer and more! This is your all around guide to making the ultimate peanut butter cookies!
In what seems like another lifetime, I used to own a bakery in my small town. Our over-sized peanut butter cookies were one of the best sellers and I still will bump into random people in town who ask me about them! I had many customers tell me that they reminded them of their grandma’s peanut butter cookies which is just about the best compliment out there if you ask me!
I figured it was finally time to share the recipe for these soft and chewy peanut butter cookies!
How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies
Like with most baked goods, I think the key to an amazing final result is to make sure your butters and sugars are whipped really well (longer than you probably think) and that you don’t over-mix once you add the flour.
For a peanut butter cookie in particular, I find the best result by using both brown sugar and white sugar. The white sugar gives it that light fluffy taste while the brown sugar adds a more depth of flavor and helps caramelize it a little bit. I’m a huuuuge fan of brown sugar!
In a large stand mixer, cream 1 cup softened butter and 1 cup peanut butter until completely combined and smooth. This shouldn’t take too long, maybe 30 seconds to a minute.
Next add 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup light brown sugar (packed into the measuring cup). Start at low speed and work your way up to medium. Stop occasionally and scrape the sides of the bowl and the tops of the blender so you can make sure it all gets incorporated. I let it beat for a good 3-5 minutes until it’s really light and fluffy.
Next beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
Now it’s time for your dry ingredients. You can add them all at once if you want, but as soon as you turn your beater on, it will probably fly up and spray flour everywhere. You can get a stand mixer shield to combat this or just add your dry ingredients slowly.
I’ll be honest, I don’t mix my dry ingredients in a separate bowl like most recipes tell you to do. I’ve never found it necessary and I pretty much always end up with perfect desserts. I don’t really understand why this is the standard to mix dry ingredients separately and dirty a separate bowl.
This recipe calls for 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder. I add 1.5 cups of flour and then the baking powder and baking soda right on top of it. I use the teaspoon to gently stir them into the flour while it’s already in the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
Turn the blender on low until the flour is mostly incorporated. Then add your last cup of flour. Scrape the sides of your bowl and then turn it on low until the last bit of flour is blended in.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I use a small cookie scoop to make sure I have cookies that are all a consistent size (and therefore all take the same amount of time to make). You want about 1.5 tablespoon of peanut butter cookie dough at a time that you roll in a ball, then roll in extra granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a fork, make a criss-cross pattern on top of the dough ball to flatten it slightly.
Bake for about 8 minutes. It might look like it’s not done, but I remove it just before it’s done and then let it finish cooking on the cookie sheet. This results in soft and chewy peanut butter cookies that stay fresh longer!
How to Make Giant Peanut Butter Cookies
This is a super simple and easy peanut butter cookie recipe because you can adapt it in so many ways! If you want a giant, over-sized peanut butter cookie then this is the perfect recipe for you!
Just follow the recipe above to make the peanut butter cookie dough. Use a large cookie scoop (about 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup). You’ll still roll in sugar the same way and use a large fork to make the criss-cross pattern on top that you see on most old-fashioned peanut butter cookies.
Bake at 375 for about 13-15 minutes. I usually bake one cookie first so I can test out the time and temperature. This way if I need to adjust it, I didn’t waste a whole cookie sheet worth of cookies. I’ve made these in some ovens that run hot and I’ve had to turn it down to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The majority however, have worked perfectly at 375. Just pay attention to your own oven and adjust if you need to!
Tips and Substitutions for Classic Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- If you want a crunchy peanut butter cookie recipe you can absolutely use crunchy peanut butter! It’s as easy as that. If you reeeaally like that crunch, you can also add in a cup of chopped peanuts! Make sure you have a glass of milk handy to chase it with!
- You can also throw in a cup of chocolate chips if you want for a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie version.
- If I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 cup of vegetable shortening. Then I’ll dip half of the baked cookie into the melted chocolate at an angle.
- You don’t need to roll in sugar before baking so feel free to skip that step if you don’t want the extra hassle.
- I know this is a long-shot, but if you end up with extra peanut butter cookies and they’re going stale, don’t throw them away! Crumble them up and sprinkle over ice cream! It’s so good!
Can you Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies?
Heck, yes! Like most cookies, peanut butter cookies freeze beautifully!
There are 2 methods to freezing them so pick the one that works best with your schedule.
Can You Freeze an Unbaked Cookie?
This is my preferred method and I do it all the time. In fact, you could come to my house right now and check my freezer and you’ll find freezer bags filled with various kinds of cookie dough balls!
All you do is make your dough according to the recipe up until it’s time to put them in the oven. Instead, put your cookie sheet in the freezer and flash freeze the uncooked cookie dough. I usually leave it in for about 30 minutes. Then I transfer all the frozen cookie dough balls to a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer.
On the day you want to cook them, I remove as many cookies as I want that day and place them on a cookie sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then cook following the recipe instructions.
This is a great way to have a little portion control since not everyone needs to make dozens of cookies at a time! This way you can just make 2 or 3 until you’re craving them again!
Can You Freeze an Already Baked Cookie?
Sure! Just make sure they’re completely cooled before you transfer them to a freezer bag. When you want to eat them, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes first so you don’t break off a tooth.
I feel like you have a little bit of quality loss this way, but they’re still very good. And I completely understand that sometimes it just makes more sense to do it this way so you aren’t dealing with extra steps right before a party where you need to serve a cookie tray!
Peanut Butter Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large stand mixer, cream butter and peanut butter until smooth and combined.
- Add sugar and brown sugar to butter mixture and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Slowly add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Cream at a low speed just until everything is combined.
- Using a cookie scoop, roll about 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball. Roll the cookie dough ball in sugar and then place on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue rolling until all of your dough is gone.
- Bake for about 8 minutes. Let finish cooking on the cookie sheet and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.