Looking for yummy peanut butter cookies? These cookies it to the next level with one simple secret that my mother shared with me.

peanut butter cookies on plate with dishtowel

 

We made this recipe on repeat over the holidays. I couldn’t keep the cookies in the house. I’d make a batch and I’d go into the kitchen after playing a game and the cookie plate would be nothing but crumbs.

I made a batch again yesterday and took them over to my mother’s house for game night with my brother’s family. Everyone would eat one and then reach for another (usually with their mouth still full of cookie).

(total aside: my sister brought the game Wingspan to play over the holidays and we played more games than I can count. If you like Catan you will love Wingspan.)

I got this peanut butter cookie recipe from my mother-in-law and I’ve never tried it before because it has too many steps.

Please act surprised at that last statement. You know me and baking.

I have another peanut butter cookie recipe that I’ve made before that only has three ingredients in it and it tastes good. But this recipe? It’s SO MUCH BETTER if you like your peanut butter cookies full of flavor and peanut butter and a hint of caramel.

And the best part?

My mother gave me the BEST secret for making these (or any cookie) taste a little more gourmet.

It really works.

If you liked my mother-in-law’s snickerdoodle cookies? 

You will love these peanut butter cookies.

peanut butter cookies on plate

 

The secret to make any cookie taste a little more gourmet?

Are you ready?

It’s not exactly earth-shattering (well maybe for me a little since I didn’t even know it was a thing).

Drum roll, please.

Brown your butter.

I’d never tried browning butter before and it definitely is an extra step, but it upped the yumminess of these cookies by making them more favorable and rich with the slightest hint of caramel and even more “peanutty taste.”

If you brown your butter all the time, you can skip this next section. But if you are new to browning butter here are some tips I discovered along the way:

How to brown butter

  • Watch your butter. Do not walk away. (Please learn from my mistakes). There is such a short line between brown butter and butter that is burned. When the butter turns, it turns SO quickly and you’ll miss it if you are watching snowboarders on television.
  • I used a whisk to continually stir the butter over medium heat. Then I’d let it rest for 10 seconds and let it foam slightly and whisk it some more.
  • You want to make SURE to adjust the amount of butter in a recipe if you are browning it. Add 1 Tbsp. of butter for every stick that the recipe calls for (see how I adjusted it below).
  • You’ll know it’s about to brown when the foam reduces a little. One minute it will be yellow and then all of a sudden it turns the most lovely shade of brown.
  • You’ll also know it’s done by the smell. It smells like caramel with a hint of butterscotch. It’s the most lovely of smells.
  • I didn’t have a lighter pan to use when I browned the butter so the brown part was harder to see. I think it would be even easier to brown butter if you had a lighter pan.
  • Let me know if you have any other browning butter tips. I’m doing this from now on because it made the cookies taste so much better.

And now.

After our baking brown butter lesson?

Here’s the recipe.

 

The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter (if you are browning the butter it should be 1 cup and 2 Tbsps. of butter)
  • 2 cups of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup extra granulated sugar for rolling (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown butter.
  3. Cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar and white sugar. Do NOT overmix, just combine until creamy.
  4. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Sift flour and soda and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar/peanut butter mixture slowly and mix continuously until combined.
  6. Stir in chopped peanuts until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out dough, form it into balls, roll in granulated sugar (optional) and then press flat using a fork. Press the dough flat in a criss-cross pattern with the fork (the hallmark of good peanut butter cookies). I LOVE these copper cookie sheets. I’ve had them for years and nothing really ever sticks to them and it makes cleaning up so easy.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. I actually slightly underbaked them to make them a little softer. Check them at about 9 minutes and see how they are baking in your oven. The edges should be a tiny bit brown. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes and then let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

NOTE: You can leave out the nuts if you don’t like nuts in your cookies. If you use them, the roasted salted nuts give it such a good flavor. You can also choose not to roll the cookies in sugar if it’s too sugary for you.

peanut butter cookies

Can you believe what a difference a little thing like browning the butter makes? It’s amazing.

I know, right?

Who knew?

My mother, of course.

She knows everything. 🙂

And just in case you needed a testimonial?

Here’s the text I got last night after I sent them home with a tub of peanut butter cookies. 🙂

PS Do you have any tips for peanut butter cookies or variations you’ve made? I was thinking about adding chocolate chips, but I hadn’t tried it yet.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother shared this recipe with me. It's so good and the cookies are soft inside with a little bit of sugary crust on the outside.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 dozen

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter (1 cup and 2 Tbsps if you are browning the butter)
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup extra granulated sugar for rolling (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brown butter.
  • Cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar and white sugar. Do NOT overmix, just combine until creamy.
  • Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  • Sift flour and soda and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar/peanut butter mixture slowly and mix continuously until combined.
  • Stir in chopped peanuts until thoroughly mixed.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out dough, form it into balls, roll in granulated sugar (optional) and then press flat using a fork. Press the dough flat in a criss-cross pattern with the fork.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. I actually slightly underbaked them to make them a little softer. Check them at about 9 minutes and see how they are baking in your oven. The edges should be a tiny bit brown. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes and then let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
  • NOTE: You can leave out the nuts if you don't like nuts in your cookies. If you use them, the roasted salted nuts give it such a good flavor. You can also choose not to roll the cookies in sugar if it's too sugary for you.

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Comments

  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Ooh, yum! I love to bake and one of my favorite nerdy things to do is to look at recipes .... online, in old cookbooks, whatever, it's a fun activity for me. You cracked me up with your description of stepping away to watch snowboarding. Personal experience, perhaps???? Trust me, we've all been there ....

  2. Image for Julie Julie

    Friend, I love to bake and my trademark is adding chocolate to most everything baked.....and peanut butter cookies are no exception either! I favor mini size chocolate chips in pancakes and waffles too! An apple cake was made over the weekend and hubby asked if mini chocolate chips were being added - YES! and it was delish! =)

  3. Image for Kim Waldorf Kim Waldorf

    Yummy! I love a good peanut butter cookie. Let’s face it I just love cookies! I have never browned my butter but will definitely have to try it. Happy Monday!

  4. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Browned butter is the secret to everything, try it in your next batch of brownies or chocolate chip cookies, or cranberry streusel bars, or crumble topping, or mashed potatoes, pasta and more. I haven't made a peanut butter cookie in years, I will give your family recipe a try! Have a great day. One last thing, you are not the only one that has turned for a second and golden brown butter is black and charred.

  5. Image for sandi sandi

    Hey lady, You mentioned adding 1 Tbs. to each cup but the recipe says 2? Which is it? I do't bake cookies but thought someone else might also be confused. I make brown butter w/fresh sage (cut up & browned before adding butter for gluten free pasta w/walnuts & parmesan! It is so good & so simple I could almost drink the sauce! Wallmart carries the GF pasta in the GF dept. & Keto also has some recipes for keto noodles that are not hard to make.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      It's actually 1 Tbsp. per stick! There were two sticks in this recipe (1 cup) so I added 2 Tbsps. Does that make sense? KariAnne

      1. Image for Caryn Christensen Caryn Christensen

        I had the same question as Sandi--thank you for clarifying. 1 Tb. per stick--easy enough to remember! Thank you!!! Sounds so yummy. I haven't had peanut butter cookies in ages. :-)

  6. Image for Deb Deb

    When I was in high school many years ago our cafeteria ladies made the best food. People still talk about it. Anyways a neighbor of ours worked in the cafeteria and my Mom got the recipe for the peanut butter cookies the cafeteria made. They were huge and had the best flavor. I just checked that recipe to see if it had butter. No.....shortening. It also had boiled water but everything else was similar to yours. Maybe I should make a batch of each and do a comparison test at our next game night.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Do you know if there's a difference between shortening and butter? And do you know if you can brown shortening? KariAnne

      1. Image for Jeannie Jeannie

        This sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve been baking for many years but this is a new idea to me. I always substitute butter for shortening (but again, have not browned it). You cannot brown shortening. Thank you, Kari Ann!

  7. Image for Janice Byrd Janice Byrd

    There is a big difference between shortening and butter. One is vegetable fat and the other is dairy. All my peanut butter cookie recipes use shortening. I do have other cookie recipes that call for browning the butter. (You mentioned the caramel taste: to make homemade caramel, you brown butter with sugar.) I do have a peanut butter cookie recipe that does not cross-hatch the top with a fork. Instead, it adds a chocolate kiss immediately after the cookies come from the oven.

  8. Image for Jay Jay

    These sound worth the extra step. I’m baking for my my best friend who loves peanut butter. Should the light brown sugar be packed? Thank you for your delightful blog!

  9. Image for Jeanine Kesey Jeanine Kesey

    This may be a dumb question but would the brown butter work on cookies that call for softened butter since you will be adding the butter in melted? Has anyone tried this?

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Jeanine, I let the butter set up slightly so it wasn't completely melted! It was a little bit challenging because I had to brown the butter way before I made the cookies! Does this make sense? KariAnne

      1. Image for Allie Allie

        That was gonna be my question because in my experience too soft butter makes cookie spread too thin when cooking. Was curious if you let it set or refrigerated your dough before baking. Not that I wouldn’t eat wafer thin Cookies but didn’t want to mess up the final project 😉

        1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

          Allie, I let the butter set up slightly so it was softened and the cookies didn't spread! Hope this helps! happy day! KariAnne

  10. Image for Patricia Patricia

    My family and I play “boidies” too. A great non combative game. The artwork is beautiful and I love the cute little birdhouse that spews out the dice. I wish there were more of those Tiffany blue eggs because. My daughter and I both hoard them! I have been browning butter for my chocolate chip cookies ever since it was recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. It is a little tricky but the caramel like taste is so worth it.

  11. Image for Judi Watkins Judi Watkins

    These look delicious! Can't wait to try them! To answer your question about things to add, my kids really liked it when I added chocolate chips to peanut butter cookies, but they loved it when I added PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS instead. Or you could add both, 1 cup of each.

  12. Image for Jennifer Spring Jennifer Spring

    I love PB cookies, but I have an AMAZING recipe and the EASIEST ever!! I cup sugar, 1 cup Peanut butter and I egg, mix, roll and bake!! THAT IS IT!!! DELISH!!

  13. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Oh my goodness, browning butter for cookies. Who knew? Wow, I will need to give this recipe a try. I love all homemade cookies. Peanut Butter Cookies are so good!

  14. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I love peanut butter cookies! Never browned the butter but I will now. Thanks!!! Are you watching Celebrity Big Brother?

  15. Image for Penny Penny

    Oh my goodness! I made these cookies today and they are AH-MAZING! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. I love your blog and your home is beautiful.Yours is one of the few blogs I always read. I know you just had a recent post about home organizing, you should check out the Home Edit Collection at Wal-Mart and their netfilx show is addicting. Thanks for what you do, I so appreciate you!

Comments are closed.