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Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

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These Soft Peanut Butter Cookies are crispy on the outer edges and chewy inside with a strong peanut butter flavor.

soft peanut butter cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies make me reminiscing my childhood. I have always loved these cookies for as long as I can remember and they will always be one of my favorites. The cookies in my memory were crunchy, sweet, and savory. However, this recipe calls for soft and chewy cookies with slightly crispy around the outer edge. The simple combination of sweet and savory peanut butter incorporated into a buttery dough really distinguishes the Soft Peanut Butter Cookies from other cookies. Dunking the cookies into cold milk is one classic combo to make them taste even better.

Tips on Making Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

1. Choose the peanut butter texture

Peanut Butter Cookies is a type of cookie that is distinguished for having peanut butter as its main ingredient. You can either use smooth or chunky peanut butter for this recipe. The difference is when you use chunky peanut butter, peanut fragments in the cookies will add a nice crunch.

2. How to make flatter and crispy cookies

Yes, you can use brown sugar and white sugar interchangeably. If you do wish to substitute brown sugar with white sugar, there are a few things to consider. Substituting brown sugar for white sugar or vice versa will not affect the cookies’ sweetness, but the texture and color will be affected.

Brown sugar contains more moisture than white sugar because of the molasses content. Therefore, substituting brown sugar with white sugar will result in baked goods that are relatively flatter, crispier, and lighter-colored cookies. While using brown sugar will result in denser, moister, and chewier cookies.

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3. Chill the dough

Chilling the cookie dough is the most important step in this recipe. If you do not chill the dough, the cookies will spread all over your baking sheet excessively. As the result, the cookies spread too much, stick together, and become thinner than you would like. Chilling the cookie dough reduces the spread by cooling down the fat, making the fat more solid, and minimizing the spread when the fat heats up during baking. I really recommend chilling the dough for at least one hour and up to overnight. The longer you chill the cookie dough, the better it is as the cookies become more flavorful and chewy.

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4. Dip the fork in sugar

Peanut Butter Cookies have a crosshatch fork mark signature look which you can always tell them apart from other cookies. The early peanut butter cookies were either rolled thin and cut into shapes, or they were dropped and made into balls. They did not have a crosshatch pattern.

Below are some theories on how Peanut Butter Cookies have the crosshatch fork marks;

  1. These fork marks are instructed to be placed in a recipe from a 1936 Pillsbury cookbook. There was no explanation why, but most people made them continually and those grid patterns became the tradition.
  2. The most common reason is probably the crosshatch pattern on the top of the cookies helps them cook more evenly. When the cookies bake, they should come out soft with crispy edges where the crosshatch patterns have been formed.
  3. Another reason why the fork marks exist on the Peanut Butter Cookies is to warn people who have peanut allergies so that they know which cookies to say away from.

To shape the dough, you can either use an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into an-inch balls. To help keep the fork from sticking when you make the crosshatch patterns on the cookies, dip the fork in granulated sugar in between. The sugar on top adds a little crunch to the cookies.

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5. How to bake Peanut Butter Cookies

To make Peanut Butter Cookies soft and chewy center and crispy on the outside, I suggest only baking them for about 10-15 minutes. I know when you touch the cookies after baking, they are still very soft. As they cool on the baking sheet, the cookies will firm up, but still stay soft on the inside. If you prefer your cookies firmer and crunchy, just bake them longer for a few more minutes. After the cookies have been cooled down on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, transfer them to the cooling rack to cool completely.

soft peanut butter cookies
peanut butter cookies

More Soft Cookie Recipes

While you are here, don’t forget to check out these soft cookie recipes!

soft peanut butter cookies
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Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

These Soft Peanut Butter Cookies are crispy on the outer edges and chewy inside with a strong peanut butter flavor.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Additional Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (225 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 gr) peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, toss all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover the dough tightly and chill for at least 1 hour. 
  • Preheat oven to 375F/190°C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Drop the dough with an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Press fork into the tops to create the crosshatch pattern. Dip the fork with granulated sugar in between so that it does not stick to the dough.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the tops are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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