Big Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

Chewy and Soft Peanut Butter Cookies — These soft peanut butter cookies are the peanut butter version of a molasses crinkle. They’re soft, supremely chewy, and have an old-fashioned peanut butter cookie flavor!

stack of Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Super Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

I love crinkle cookies. When I see those big crevices, my eyes light up and I know I’m in for a chewy treat. I love molasses crinkles, but peanut butter crinkles sounded so good. These simple peanut butter cookies are soft, supremely chewy, and have an old-fashioned peanut butter cookie flavor.

I have 20+ peanut butter cookie recipes on my site and another 10+ in my cookbook, but none quite like these. Most of my cookies are thicker, puffier, and on the softer rather than chewier side. And none have big valleys and canyons running through them.

These soft peanut butter cookies are large in diameter, but not very thick. They’ll disappear quickly since it’s a small batch recipe, making just 1 dozen cookies.

stack of chewy and Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

The difference between this dough and most other cookie dough is that for the amount of butter and peanut butter used, adding more flour would be expected. However, more flour isn’t added, so the dough is very soft and limp. Extra flour would firm up the dough and would cause the cookies to bake thicker with smoother rounded tops.

By keeping the dough on the wetter and softer side, the cookies spread more, bake thinner, and as they rise and then fall in the oven, crinkles develop.

It’s a very easy peanut butter cookie recipe to memorize because it starts out with 1/2 cup each of butter, peanut butter, granulated and brown sugars, along with an egg and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking soda, and using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form 12 equal-sized mounds of dough.

When I eat cookies, I’m a breaker, not a biter, and these cookies break apart so nicely at the crinkles. Half the fun is them breaking apart. I told myself, oh just break off that little piece there. And then that other little piece over there came off so effortlessly, too.

And then breaking off another section. And another crinkly seam. So good.

easy peanut butter cookies on white countertop with bowl of peanut butter

What’s in Soft Peanut Butter Cookies?

To make these ultra soft and chewy peanut butter cookies, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

stack of soft and chewy peanut butter cookies

How to Make Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

When I say these are easy peanut butter cookies, I mean it! To make the dough, simply beat together the wet ingredients, then mix in the dry. Scoop the cookie dough into balls, then chill them for at least 2 hours. 

Before baking, I roll the dough through granulated sugar because I like my crinkle cookies with the ever-so-slight crunch of a sugary coating. It’s very minimal, but a nice touch.

I baked these chewy and soft peanut butter cookies for 12 minutes. If you’re an oven door watcher, the cookies begin crinkling about 9 minutes into baking, and the longer the bake, the more they crinkle, and continue to do so as they cool. 

soft peanut butter cookies on wood countertop

Can I Make Smaller Cookies? 

I haven’t tried the recipe making smaller cookies, but if you do, you’ll need to reduce baking time, but by how much, I don’t know. Part of the appeal is their softball-like size.

Can I Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies? 

Yes, baked cookies will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

stack of soft peanut butter cookies in front of small bowl of creamy peanut butter

What Type of Peanut Butter Should I Use? 

You want to use a creamy peanut butter from a brand like Jif or Skippy. Don’t use natural or homemade peanut butter in these cookies, as both are too runny for this recipe. 

Can I Make These Soft Peanut Butter Cookies Gluten-Free? 

I haven’t made these simple peanut butter cookies using gluten-free flour, so I can’t say for sure. But I’ve had readers report success using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour, so it’s worth a shot!  

Big Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies - Super chewy, packed with PB flavor & just made for breaking apart at the crinkly seams!

Tips for Making Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Make sure your butter has been softened to room temperature before adding it to the dough. If the butter is too cold, it won’t cream nicely together with the sugars and egg. 

You must chill the dough. If you don’t, the already soft and spread-prone dough will spread to epic levels and you’ll have one giant paper-thin cookie that baked together on the baking sheet. Not good, so chill it.

Also note that you should bake your cookies until they’re done and watch your cookies, not the clock, when evaluating doneness since oven, dough, and preferences vary.

Big Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies - Super chewy, packed with PB flavor & just made for breaking apart at the crinkly seams!

Chewy and Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy and Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

These soft peanut butter cookies are the peanut butter version of a molasses crinkle. They’re soft, supremely chewy, and have an old-fashioned peanut butter cookie flavor!

Yield: 12 cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural or homemade, too runny)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

    1. To the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl with electric mixer), combine egg, peanut butter, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamed, about 4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    2. Add the flour, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just incorporated, about 1 minute.
    3. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, divide dough into 12 equal-sized mounds. Roll the mounds into balls, and flatten just slightly. Dough is very soft, limp, and mushy so be gentle with it.
    4. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake too thin, flat, and will spread far too much.
    5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray; set aside.
    6. Dredge each mound dough through granulated sugar, coating liberally.
    7. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. I bake 8 cookies per sheet; do not crowd because the cookies spread considerably.
    8. Bake for about 12 minutes (start checking at 10 minutes), or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake because cookies firm up as they cool. If you’re an oven door watcher, the cookies begin crinkling about 9 minutes into baking, and the longer the bake, the more they crinkle and continue to do so as they cool.
    9. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.

Notes

  • Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 176mg Carbohydrates: 20g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g

More Peanut Butter Cookie Recipes: 

Peanut Butter Comfort – My cookbook, featuring over 100 Peanut Butter Recipes! 

Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Candies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America's Favorite Spread by Averie Sunshine averiecooks.com

Easy 4-Ingredient Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies — These 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies are made with a secret ingredient…and lots of peanut butter, of course! These are so easy and fast to make!

Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies — Peanut butter and chocolate is an unbeatable combination and these were gobbled up in no time! 

The Best Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies — One bowl, no mixer, and a few ingredients is all you need for these easy peanut butter cookies.

Triple Peanut Butter Cookies — These peanut butter cookies are for true peanut butter lovers because they incorporate peanut butter three ways – peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips, and peanut butter dough.

Toffee and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies — These soft and chewy cookies have no butter, no flour, and no white sugar. Because there’s no butter or flour to dilute the flavor, they’re intensely peanut buttery.

Peanut Butter Cowboy Cookies — Almost everything but the kitchen sink is included in these cookies, and it’s the type of recipe that it’s easy to make substitutions and swaps with the add-ins used.

Peanut Butter Blossoms — The cookies are perfectly soft yet have enough chewiness to satisfy without being crunchy or crumbly and stay soft for days.

143 comments on “Big Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies”

  1. Hi Averie! I made these last night! They were SOOOOoooo easy and fun to make! They came out great. They didn’t crinkle as much as yours, but that is okay! I baked them in 2 batches. My first batch, I left in a bit too long. My second batch, I followed your instructions and took them out before I THOUGHT they were done, and they were really yummy. Thanks for such a massively user-friendly recipe!

  2. Just made these – what a wonderful cookie! I used a standard cookie scoop, made a double batch and got 48 cookies. Baked for 10 minutes on a metal cookie sheet, then let them cool on the pan before removing to wire rack. Using these to make ice cream sandwiches!! Perfection!

    • They would be PERFECT ice cream sandwich cookies because they’re a flatter cookie that spreads a little larger, I can see them working out great for that! I’m impressed you got 48 out of the batch. I almost never get more than about 18 or so – after that I get too impatient and just start making all the dough balls bigger :)

      • I got 48 from a double batch & used a smaller cookie scoop. I was looking for a chewy peanut butter cookie for ice cream sandwiches – a family reunion tradition – but usually I use only an oatmeal/chocolate chip cookie for the sandwiches. This will be a nice addition to the treats! Also, I chilled my dough first, then made the scoops when I was ready to bake – worked well & I never had to mess with the soft dough.

  3. Hello! I baked these cookies recently and they are delicious! I had to save the batter for 5 days because I was preparing other desserts for my cookout, and these came out perfect! I chose not to make them too big, and I still loved the look. I am excited to bake these again soon! (Even just for myself haha)

    • Thanks for trying them and glad they worked out perfectly (and you can even freeze the dough balls for up to about 4-6 months and then just bake 1 or 2 at a time later on as you want them!)

  4. I made these today to *test* them for the new moms I’m bringing them to later this week. :-) Yum, yum.

  5. Okay so I have a question : I have completely fallen in love with your peanut butter crinkle cookies …. So I was wondering if there is anyway I could make a sugar cookie version? How would I do it?

  6. Hey!
    Christmas Eve! We just made these cookies according to the recipe – Wow!
    This is the perfect traditional peanut butter cookie – beautiful to look at – even better to munch on.
    I think Santa is going to be very pleased. : )
    Thanks, The Martins

  7. Ok. I am an avid baker. I bake a lot of cookies, however PB cookies are just not something I bake often. I usually find them too dry and crumbly. I am a chewy cookie lover. I was in a cookie mood yesterday and didn’t have much on hand to go by. Then my big jar of peanut butter was staring me in the face. I hummed and hawed a little bit and then I went over to the computer and Googled: Chewy peanut butter cookie. I knew by the picture, yours was the one I was going to make. Usually, I look at the comments or the rating before I try a recipe, but those crinkles had me at hello! I just went with it and made them. And OMG! To die for. These are the best PB cookie I have ever had in my whole life. My husband came home the next morning from work and at 3! He agreed that they were the best PB cookie, if not the best cookie ever! I’ve just whipped up a double batch. So good. Thank you so much for this recipe. If I were there, I would kiss you and the peanut butter ground you walk on. (First time on your blog and will not be my last!)

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you based on what you had on hand and that they’re the best PB cookies and possibly the best cookies you’ve ever had in your life! Wonderful to hear!

      I guess after writing a cookbook about peanut butter and having at least 50+ different recipes for PB cookies, I’ve learned a thing or two about PB cookies :) LMK what other recipes of mine you try!

  8. Hi there! 

    I came across your blog and these are the first cookies I made from your collection. I am an avid baker but these cookies didn’t turn out for me! Instead of spreading to a thin, chewy texture, they rose as they baked :(

    Could you please give me any pointers? I followed the instructions to a Tee!

    Thanks in advance! 

    Best, 
    Tonia

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and one reason cookies tend to stay puffy is accidental over-flouring of the dough. Make sure you’re using a very light hand as too much flour makes the dough stiffer. If you don’t think you over-measured, then I would use slightly less flour than I called for; a few tbsp just to ‘thin out’ the dough. And don’t chill the dough, that’s another thing that leads to flat cookies in general. I’m sure they tasted great and with those tweaks they’ll likely flatten more.

  9. Hi Averie,

    Just to check, was the measurement for the flour 1 and 1/4 cups of flour? Could you please give me a weight for the flour that seems to work for you? I usually weigh all my ingredients when I bake and rarely measure by volume. Also, are you saying that I shouldn’t chill the dough and just bake the cookies straight away?

    Thanks in advance! 

    • I don’t have a weighted measurement for flour. I used measuring cups.

      And based on your previous comment and using some educated guesses, I gave you suggestions for what I think may help you. You’ll have to experiment in your own kitchen based on what you think works best. Good luck.

  10. About to make these delicious looking cookies, but isn’t a 1/2 cup butter 2 sticks?

  11. These are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had! And my family loves them as well. I’m on my third batch in two days! (But one is for church in the morning!)

  12. WOW! These are amazing! I made these for my family (halved the batch- made 15 small cookies) and my mom ate one and said “it’s like eating the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.” I’ll say that’s a win! So tender and soft with a perfect peanut butter flavor – and they came out nice and crinkly! I’ll be making these again! Thanks! 

  13. I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe but I do not have an electric mixer and was wondering if doing these by hand will make too much difference? I’ve made brownies and cakes by hand but not yet biscuits/ Cookies. Thank you :)

  14. FYI, this is my go-to peanut butter cookie. I am currently making a batch with white chocolate peanut butter, and I’ll add butterscotch chips to it. (Ha, just realized that the last time I commented I was also making a white chocolate peanut butter version. It’s because I don’t like white chocolate, and I can eat a TON of peanut butter cookies otherwise.) Aldi sells white and dark chocolate peanut butter twice a year or so, and I think it adds some oomph. This batch is for a ladies craft night, my debaters, and to say thank you to a coworker of my husband’s who has relieved him at 7 a couple times this week so he could come home “on time.” 
    So, THANKS! :-)

  15. I have made these three times in the past week, and they have been a huge hit with my roommate and my fiancé!

  16. Ok, so I never make peanut butter cookies because I hate that they’re always crunchy. Crunchy cookies are my nemesis. So I was super excited, but apprehensive, to try this recipe, because chewy cookies are my life. I am happy to report that these are everything I hoped they would be! My husband wasn’t excited for these because he doesn’t like peanut butter cookies, but when I took him a piece of one after I finished baking them, he followed me back to the kitchen saying, “Ok, I take it back, THAT is a good peanut butter cookie. I need another one.” Yay! They were so easy and turned out perfectly. Everything is right in the world.

    • Awesome comment and story-telling! Crunchy cookies are also my nemesis and no cookie recipe on my site will ever turn out crunchy for you (provided they’re not overbaked). Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

  17. Oh! And I forgot to ask. I’m a cookie dough freezer, and I was wondering with these, do I coat them with sugar before freezing? Or will the frozen dough balls pick up the sugar just fine if I coat them after pulling them out of the freezer? (And by the way, these cookies are still crazy soft and chewy on day 2! And they’re just covered in plastic wrap, not even air tight. But now the problem is I can’t stop eating them. Sigh.)

    • Or will the frozen dough balls pick up the sugar just fine if I coat them after pulling them out of the freezer? <--- Yes do it that way, sugar sticks great to semi-frozen things b/c of the condensation on it so that's how I'd do it. Glad the cookies are still super soft!

  18. I am no fan of peanut butter cookies, but they are my partner’s favorite cookies.  For his sake, I’ve been on a quest to bake the perfect peanut butter cookie.  I’ve tried at least 6 different recipes; then tried tweaks on those I thought had potential.  None produced all the characteristics I wanted in a peanut butter cookie.  Then I tried your recipe.

    I did make a few revisions before baking, but none to significantly alter the cookie recipe (converted the recipe to metric measurements for accuracy and consistency; substituted vanilla paste for extract; increased amount of vanilla; decreased baking soda; substituted crunchy peanut butter and increased amount of peanut butter).  This cookie gave me all the characteristics I wanted: nutty flavor; sweet but not overly so; slight crunch, with a moist chewy texture.  And the cookie is beautiful. I’m as much about aesthetics as I am about flavor and texture. 

    Many thanks for this delicious peanut butter cookie.

  19. Hi Averie,

    These cookies look great! I can’t wait to try them. Do you have any high altitude baking instructions for these?

  20. I have made these cookies so many times with fantastic results! Love this recipe!!

  21. These have become a staple for me! They’re by far the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had, plus I love how easy they are to put together, so they’re great for when I want to impress friends but don’t feel like putting in a ton of effort! Something interesting though is that I’ve found they turn out slightly different depending on where I make them…the first time I made them I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and they turned out just as wonderfully crinkly as yours. Since moving back home near Toronto, Canada, I’ve made them quite a few more times, but they’ve never turned out quite as flat and crinkly as they were in Scotland (though of course still very delicious). I don’t know if it’s my oven (it does seem to do weird things with baking times and such) or the abundant moisture in the Scottish air or what! I’ll have to experiment with flour ratios and chilling times and such. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it’s your favorite PB cookie recipe!

      That’s interesting about making them in different countries. I have a few recipes that I have cooked while traveling internationally and they come out close, but not quite the same. Not in a bad way, just slightly different and I attribute it to climate, oven variance, as well as ingredients, especially flour. Flours around the world have different gluten contents and that could definitely be the issue with the crinkling. LMK if you figure it out!

  22. Any recommendations for peanut butter.. I’m looking at a jar of jif natural and Skippy natural with honey. I don’t want to waste my time. Just tried two recipes earlier that didn’t work out well. Thanks.

  23. Thank you!!!!!! I am always looking for a better recipe and this was PERFECT! My boyfriend tends to be super picky and he DEVOURED them while I was at work. He made sure to save me one! ;-)

  24. Dear Averie,

    I would like to ask if I should cream until light and fluffy like most cookie recipes call for, or if not, what should I be looking out for? Also, Could i replace about 2tbsp of the sugar with honey (I’m all out of sugar *gasp*) Thank you for your help!!

  25. Hi :)! This recipe seems perfect and all the comments I have read seem to be 99.9% positive! I was just wondering, do you think peanut butter with the little peanut pieces would work? We don’t have smooth peanut butter. I would love to make them, because in Australia (or at least in the part that I live in) PB cookies aren’t that popular so I would love to try them! I love peanut butter, and I love cookies, so they should be delicious

    Stella :)

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