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Peanut Butter Cookies

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  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 2 hr 35 min
  • Servings 30
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Is there anything more recognizable than the classic crosshatch on the top of a homemade peanut butter cookie? It’s been the “mark” of this classic treat for more than eighty years, and for good reason: by flattening this dense cookie dough, it ensures that each cookie bakes evenly.

Our kitchen-tested recipe is a classic. In fact, home cooks from all over have said these are the best peanut butter cookies they’ve ever made! The cookies have a nice, smooth peanut butter taste and bake up surprisingly tender and light—never dry or crumbly. Thanks to the shortening, they have the consistency of a molasses cookie: slightly chewy, but with a satisfyingly snappy bite. And there’s just the right amount of salt to bring out all that peanutty richness and balance out the sweetness.

This easy peanut butter cookie recipe is convenient and travels well: Bring them to your next potluck or party—at the end of the night, we guarantee you’ll go home with an empty cookie plate. Pack them in your picnic basket or tuck them in your kids’ lunchboxes. Or, bring them to your holiday cookie exchange. You just can’t go wrong with a classic!

Updated Oct 4, 2023
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Prep your peanut butter cookie dough ahead

Got a bunch of kids coming over? Prep your Peanut Butter Cookie recipe up to 24 hours in advance, cover it and refrigerate it so you are ready to bake at a moment’s notice. The kids can even help you scoop, roll and flatten the cookies.

If the dough is too firm to scoop, let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

How to decorate peanut butter cookies

Crisscrosses are the classic way to decorate peanut butter cookies, but you can also use a decorative cookie stamp or rolling pin.

If you want to add a little sparkle, try rolling your cookies in coarse sparkling sugar just before baking.

Make peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwich

For a special treat, sandwich two cookies together with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. Feeling decadent? Roll the edges in chopped candy bars or nuts.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1

    Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl.

    If you’re wondering why we use both butter and shortening, it’s because each plays an important role in the cookie. Butter adds a rich, wonderful flavor, of course. Shortening has less flavor, but a higher melting point, so it gives peanut butter cookies more structure, ensuring they spread less and have a great texture.

  • 2

    Stir in remaining ingredients.

    The best way to accurately measure flour is to give it a quick stir and then spoon it into the measuring cup. You’ll want to fill it to heaping and then sweep the excess off the top with the flat edge of a butter knife.

    Be careful not to overmix here — you want the dough to stay light and fluffy, and overmixing can result in a tough cookie.

  • 3

    Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

    Refrigerating the dough will give it more structure so the cookies spread less and hold their fork marks through baking. Cooling the dough also ensures that all of the ingredients are the same temperature: they’ll bake more evenly and the flavors will meld beautifully.

  • 4
    Heat oven to 375°F.
  • 5

    Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

    You can also line cookie sheets with parchment paper, which will make cleanup super easy after your baking project.

  • 6
    Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
  • 7
    Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • 8

    Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

    Once cookies are completely cooled, store them in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 5 days.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    There is nothing better than a fresh from the oven peanut butter cookie served with a glass of cold milk. Treat yourself today!
  • tip 2
    Let your cookie sheets cool between batches. Adding cookie dough to a hot cookie sheet can cause the cookies to spread too much.
  • tip 3
    Be sure to measure the flour carefully. Too much flour will make what should be a light, chewy cookie denser and more cake-like. Too little flour and your cookies will turn out more flat and crispy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use crunchy peanut butter to make peanut butter cookies?

Yes, you can! And it will add all kinds of crunchy-fun texture to your peanut butter cookies. Just make sure you use one that doesn’t need to be stirred before measuring. If the oil isn’t fully integrated with the peanut butter, it could impact the texture of your cookies.


110 Calories, 6 g Total Fat, 2 g Protein, 12 g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
6 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
5 mg
100 mg
50 mg
Total Carbohydrate
12 g
Dietary Fiber
2 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 1 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • The fork-tined hash mark gives homemade peanut butter cookies their distinctive look. How did this baking tradition come to be? The first instructions for making the mark on the top of peanut butter cookies was in a recipe from a 1936 Pillsbury cookbook. There was no reason given for the marking, but some bakers and food experts suggest that it serves a very practical purpose by helping the cookies bake more evenly. That’s important because the addition of peanut butter makes the dough denser and more difficult to bake thoroughly. By putting the fork-tine marks in cookie dough balls, they’re being flattened for more even baking. The result is a cookie that’s soft and chewy, with contrasting crispy edges where the marks have been formed. Get more handy tips for peanut butter cookie recipes in the How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies guide and find creative variations on the basic in Betty's best peanut butter cookies collection.
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