Basic Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

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My favorite dough in this basic cookie dough series has to be this basic peanut butter cookie dough. It’s so easy and makes the most delectable soft, chewy, cracked top peanut butter cookies. You don’t even need to add anything to these cookies, but you sure could, if you wanted to.

A bowl of cookie dough with an antique spoon.

The basics are the best

Now that we’ve covered my basic sugar cookie dough and my regular basic cookie dough; it seems appropriate that we add my basic peanut butter cookie dough into the mix too, don’t you think?

This peanut butter cookie dough recipe is so super-duper simple and like all of my other basic doughs, it’s pretty much no-fail and uses only a handful of common ingredients. #winnerwinnerchickendinner

A bowl of cookie dough with a small bowl of peanut butter next to it.

How to make this basic peanut butter cookie dough

  1. Make sure you have a stick of room temperature butter to start with. Then, in a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing for another minute.
  3. Fold in the peanut butter and mix until smooth.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing with the electric mixer for a minute or so. Then with a rubber spatula, continue mixing until the flour is mostly incorporated. Avoid over-mixing the dough.
  6. Once the dough is made, you can make the cookies as noted below, or freeze it for baking at a later time (see the freezing directions below).
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A bowl of cookie dough with a spoon in it.

Special instructions for you

  • For the highest success rate with this recipe, I recommend weighing the dry ingredients with a digital food scale. I know it’s kind of annoying, but it really helps – trust me. Using the correct amount of each ingredient will ensure you get the same results every time.
  • Using an electric mixer will not only speed up the process, but it will ensure the butter and sugars are properly creamed prior to baking, which is important. You’ll want to cream the butter and sugars for 2 minutes. At first, the mixture will become crumbly; keep going. After a minute or so, it’ll start to smooth out and become smoother, light colored, and fluffy looking.
  • You can use whatever size cookie scoop you want with this dough. It’s very stable and consistent. I often use a 1.5 TBS scoop to make smaller cookies, but my personal favorite is a 3 TBS scoop. For 3 TBS scoop size cookies, you’ll need to increase the baking time by a minute or so (to 10-ish minutes).
  • This basic peanut butter cookie dough is a light and fluffy dough, so it’s not the best for handling or rolling into a ball. It’s more for just scooping, dropping, and baking. If you’re looking for a dense peanut butter dough you can roll for something like Hershey’s kiss cookies, this is the recipe you’ll want to use.
A bowl of cookie dough with a cookie scoop on top.

Questions about this recipe

Prepare the dough as directed, then place it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to use the dough, let it thaw out in the refrigerator the night before and then let it come up to room temperature before baking the cookies.

You can also freeze the fully baked and cooled cookies. They’ll stay almost as fresh as the day you baked them.

I recommend using an electric mixer. It’s a lot of work to cream butter and sugar by hand and it takes a long time. If you’re looking for a peanut butter cookie that doesn’t require a mixer, you’ll love this recipe or this one.

Yes! This is a great way to add more texture and crunch to the cookies. Just use equal parts of each, and bake as directed.

These cookies crack open, bubble, and brown ever so slightly on top. When they’re near the end of the baking time, are puffed up, and are slightly brown, they’re done. Allow them to sit on the baking pan for a minute or two after you pull them out of the oven. During cooling, the tops will fall and crack perfectly.

A bowl of cookie dough with a cookie scoop on top.

Basic Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

A basic peanut butter cookie dough that makes flavorful, cracked top, chewy peanut butter cookies. This recipe is simple and reliable.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin
Course: Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 26 cookies
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Kristine
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • Beat in egg and vanilla and mix for an additional minute.
    1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fold in peanut butter and stir.
    1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, and sea salt together in a separate bowl.
    1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Add flour, half at a time, mixing with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  • Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sugar.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  • Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Notes
Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 cookie | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Did you make this recipe? We want to see!Mention @kristineinbetween or tag #kristineinbetween!

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Kristine Underwood standing in her kitchen with her dog.

About Kristine

Kristine is a self-taught cookie baker and photographer. She's passionate about finding time for everything and making baking, crafting and homemaking simple. More...

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10 Comments

  1. I’m a sucker for peanut butter. It’s one of my favorite things ever. Made your recipe, and of course, I ate all of it. LOL

    1. Haha, I can totally relate to this Maggie. I always save some dough for eating. Sometimes it’s a little, sometimes it’s a lot. 🤭

  2. I’ve been looking for a good peanut butter cookie dough recipe. This was really easy and the cookies were insanely good!

    1. Thanks so much, Shadi. I’m really glad to hear you loved this recipe too! Happy baking!

  3. These cookies have such great texture: soft and chewy, with just the right crunch on the outside. Thank you!

  4. Peanut butter cookies are my favorite. I really like this easy to make basic dough recipe. It’s perfect!

    1. Mine too. In fact, I was just telling a friend today that I think these cookies are in my top three favorites of all time. Thank you so much, Andrea!

  5. This cooler Fall weather has me and my kids in full on baking mode! We made these peanut butter cookies and they were a huge hit! We added some chocolate chips in half the batch and those were good too!

    1. Us too, Emily! That’s a genius idea – I love anything chocolate and peanut butter. Thank you so much for stopping by.