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Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s a bold move, to claim that my Peanut Butter Cookies are perfect.

I mean, perfection is sort of an unattainable goal for the baker, right? But in the case of these cookies, they’re about as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever baked. And they turn out beautifully every single time. (Hey, I’ve even deliberately tried to mess them up, but couldn’t!)

Practically Perfect in Every Way

Light, fluffy, loaded with peanut butter. . .these cookies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. And, for the true peanut connoisseurs, they’re like fluffy clouds of peanut butter heaven, soft pillows of nutty delight. (How’s that for a tasty description?)

Do I Have Your Attention Yet?

Great! What sets these cookies apart from many others is their lightness. Usually you think of brown sugar-based cookies as chewy. And with the addition of all of that gooey peanut butter you’d think they would be heavy. But not this recipe!

Want to Know my Secret?

Lean in close! See, the original recipe called for butter. But I’ve learned from my years in the kitchen that if I want to lighten things up, I should switch from butter to shortening. So, I decided (on a whim) to substitute half of the butter for Crisco. That one move made all the difference.

I don’t mind a chunky, chewy oatmeal-craisin cookie. But when it comes to peanut butter? Y’all, if they’re not light and airy, you can toss ’em in the trash! I need mine to be billowy! And that’s exactly what this recipe results in. And it’s all because of the shortening.

As we established in my Snickerdoodle post, shortening “shortens” the gluten strands. In short, shortening enables cookies to be taller. (How’s that for a short tale?)

So, without Further Ado. . .

Let’s start baking those peanut butter cookies, y’all!

Here’s What You’ll Need to Make my Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies:

These are simple ingredients! You probably have most of them in your pantry and refrigerator even now. You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour

How to Make Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies:

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes, and that’s partly because they’re so easy to make! I can whip up a batch in no time and so can you.

Criss-Cross Action Happening Here!
  • Cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy. I used a stand mixer with paddle attachment but you can use an electric hand mixer if you like.
  • Add sugars and continue to beat until light in color. Mix in the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until light and airy.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Slowly work the dry ingredients into the wet until you have the perfect consistency. Start with 2 1/2 cups of flour and only add more if the dough isn’t firm enough.
  • Scoop into balls and roll in granulated sugar.
  • Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Use fork to make criss-cross indentations.
  • Bake on parchment paper covered cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool. These cookies are fragile when hot so don’t attempt to move them until they’ve cooled down.
  • When the cookies are fresh from the oven, I like to sprinkle more sugar on them. 

NOTE: These cookies are delicious straight from the oven. (I mean, don’t burn your mouth or anything, but do enjoy a warm, light cookie!)

Variations on Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies:

These quick peanut butter cookies are amazing. But there are always ways to mix things up! Here are a few suggestions to add variety to this tasty recipe.

  • Peanut Butter Blossoms: Roll peanut butter dough into balls and bake, then add a chocolate kiss as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Peanut Butter Chips: Add a cup for more flavor! You won’t be able to criss-cross them once chips are added, though.
  • Quick Oats: Add some oats to give the cookie more texture.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips: Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips for more sweetness.
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies: Use crunchy peanut butter for a little more “bite” to your cookie!
  • Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites: Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pretzel twists, along with 1 cup mini chocolate chips. Press a broken pretzel on top of the cookie before baking. (Y’all, this combination of pretzels, chocolate, and peanut butter. . .it’s an amazing salty and sweet combo!)
  • Cookie Butter Cookies: For something completely different, substitute Cookie Butter (Speculoos Cookie Butter Spread) in place of peanut butter. Y’all. . .there are no words.
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies: Sandwich two of these together with Nutella between them. Yum.

What Others are Baking/Making with Peanut Butter:

Y’all! Check out what Miz Helen is making with Peanut Butter! I can’t wait to try her Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich Bites!

My friend over at Southern Home Express has posted an easy-breezy recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge Bars. Don’t they look dreamy?

My Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies have a salty element with the addition of chopped pretzel bits. They’re truly delicious!

If you really want to mix things up, try my Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies. They start with a simple white cake mix!

My Peanut Butter Ranger Cookies are simply out of this world! Peanut butter, corn flakes, oatmeal. . .and more!

If you’re still in the mood to bake cookies when you’re done with these, try my holiday sugar cookie recipe. They’re yummy and fun to paint with royal icing.

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

Light, fluffy, peanut-buttery! These cookies are absolute perfection!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugars and continue to beat until light in color.
  3. Mix in the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until light and airy.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the baking soda, salt, and flour.
  5. Slowly work the dry ingredients into the wet until you have the perfect consistency. Start with 2 1/2 cups of flour and only add more if the dough isn't firm enough.
  6. Scoop into balls and roll in granulated sugar.
  7. Use fork to make criss-cross indentations.
  8. Bake on parchment paper covered cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. 
  9. When the cookies are fresh from the oven, I like to sprinkle more sugar on them. 

Notes

These cookies are perfect, warm from the oven!

Questions Folks Are Asking About Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • QUESTION: Are peanut butter cookies healthier than other cookies?
  • ANSWER: Probably not, but if it makes you feel better to believe that, then. . .sure! They’re super-duper healthy! (I’m totally lying right now, y’all.)
  • QUESTION: Can I use natural peanut butter in my cookies?
  • ANSWER: Yes, but it will likely change the texture of the cookie, making it heavier. Also, if you’ve chosen a natural peanut butter that is unsalted, you’ll have to add a bit more salt.
  • QUESTION: Can I add chopped peanuts to my recipe?
  • ANSWER: Sure! They might dry out the cookie a little. (And if they’re salted nuts you’ll want to trim back on the salt in the recipe.)
  • QUESTION: Can I make peanut butter blossom?
  • ANSWER: Sure! Just add a Hershey’s kiss after they come out of the oven (or about halfway into the bake).
  • QUESTION: Can I make crunchy peanut butter cookies
  • ANSWER: Yes, just add a cup of chopped peanuts or use crunchy peanut butter.

Let me know your thoughts on my perfect peanut butter cookies! I know that some of you have to avoid them because you’ve got peanut allergies. (My condolences!) But for those who are able to eat nuts, let me know how yours turn out!

One more thing! Check out Weekend Potluck, y’all!

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Saturday 19th of November 2022

[…] Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies: I mean, perfection is sort of an unattainable goal for the baker, right? But in the case of these cookies, they’re about as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever baked. And they turn out beautifully every single time. (Hey, I’ve even deliberately tried to mess them up, but couldn’t!) […]

Janetta

Saturday 29th of October 2022

One of my favorite cookies. Brings back lits of memories. Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the other peanut butter goodies.

booksbyjanice

Saturday 29th of October 2022

You're so welcome!

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