Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

These cookies turned out so puffy that they caught me by surprise.

 And they’re so vanilla-ey, but that was by design because I’m a vanilla fiend.

They are a little bit peanut buttery even though I didn’t add peanut butter to the actual cookie dough.

Instead, I used peanut butter chips and they gave a subtle peanut butter flavor yet not so much that the vanilla flavor was lost.

I was going to add white chocolate chips, too, but I know not everyone is as crazy about white chocolate as I am, so I refrained.

I did add something to them that I almost never bake with. Good ole Lard. Good ole Crisco.

I read cookie making guides and online websites devoted to The Perfect Cookie and never tire of the epic food science quest in finding what makes cookies puffy, flat, chewy, crispy, you name it.

Many people swear by some lard to keep things moist and puffy. Scientifically, that makes sense.

And boy, puffy is what happened.

That would be pufffffyyyy.

Especially the second cookie down from the top. That was my favorite cookie of the batch and I made some glorious teeth marks in that little tophat.

Not using butter is a smidge of a sacrifice in the flavor department because there is nothing that can replace the flavor of butter in baking.

However, in terms of puffiness, chewiness, and softness, these babies were perfectly puffalicious and right on point.



Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen small-to-medium sized cookies (I made 22 cookies)

1/2 cup Crisco (or vegetable shortening)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt, optional

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup peanut butter chips (or butterscotch, white chocolate, chocolate chips if preferred)

Preheat oven to 375F and line two cookie sheets with Silpat liners, parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, beat together Crisco, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla, until batter is creamy. Add the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, flour and mix until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips by hand. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 if you’re rushed. Do not skip chilling the dough if you want puffy cookies because cold dough results in puffier cookies.

Using a cookie scoop, form 1 inch balls (or roll balls by hand) and place on prepared cookie sheets, allowing for adequate spacing (these cookies do not spread much, but like all cookies, they spread some; and the colder the dough, the less they will spread). Bake for 8-10 minutes or until barely brown. Remove cookies from oven when they look slightly under-baked and allow cookies to cool and firm up on cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling racks. Store cookies in an airtight container on the countertop or freeze for up to 3 months.


 I like vanilla-flavored foods. Actually, I am passionately in love with vanilla-flavored most anything, and I usually use twice the recommended amount of vanilla extract in any recipe.

The way I wrote the above recipe, you don’t need to do that, but if you’re really wanting to go nuts with vanilla flavor because you’re obsessed like I am, you could possibly add one more teaspoon or perhaps some vanilla bean paste to knock your vanilla socks right off.

I hate dry baked goods with a passion and these are anything but.

And puffy.

Related cookie recipes:

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies

Mango and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

White Chocolate Recipes

Peanut Butter Recipes

Do you have success with cookies turning out the way you want them to? Puffy or thinner, chewy or crispy, when you want them to be?  Or is it all pretty random?

There are times I think I have it all figured out and then, I’ll get flatter cookies like these (fruit used) or these (rum used) no matter what I tried to counteract it.

They taste great and are soft and super chewy, except their appearance is flatter. Baking with fruit or booze tends to throw scientific baking principles for a loop.

Do you bake with Crisco or shortening vs. butter? Thoughts?

Shortening = higher, puffier, lighter cookies but that telltale butter flavor (which I love) is absent

Butter = better flavor but it has a lower melting point so the cookies spread faster and stay flatter

In the end, all that really matters is that you have cookies to eat. And cookies are good. Period.

Thanks for the Practically Raw Vegan Cookbook Giveaway entries

158 comments on “Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies”

  1. Those look yummy. I love puffy cookies so I always use Butter Crisco in place of butter. Can’t wait to try these.

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  7. Hi, I did not read any of the many comments, so if this is redundant, forgive me. If you want to try a great alternative to the hydrogenated fat in crisco and still avoid lard and butter, try coconut oil. I have been using it in cooking and baking since the summer and it is awesome. And so healthy (we never knew!).

    • Thanks and I love coconut oil. This is the one and only post on my site, well other than a buttercream frosting that uses Crisco, in nearly 4 years of blogging and thousands of posts and I can say with certainty, it will be my last :) I love either real butter or coconut oil – yes indeed!

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  10. I’ve made these cookies twice in one week…They are a big hit in our house! Such a quick, simple, yummy recipe. I made the first batch following the exact recipe and they turned out great. Since I prefer using butter over shortening, I made the second batch using 1/2 shortening & 1/2 butter, they were just slightly less puffy (still a nice puff) and the flavor was great. Either way this recipe was a great success! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thanks for the feedback and field report, Jill! I love comments like this because you trialed the recipe almost side by side – and I have to remake them using half butter/half shortening OR… try the butter-flavored shortening that people tell me I have to try. Good to know that there’s only slightly less puff with the butter/shortening combo but that it sounds like an additional flavor boost. Love that! Thanks for the comment and trying the recipe…twice :)

  11. In process of making these for a cookie exchange. I followed recipe to a T and refrigerated both for 30 min and over night. Although they are not crispy, I am not getting any puffiness. However, it doesn’t matter as they are delicious!

    • Glad you think they’re delicious! Don’t know what to tell you about the puffiness. I’ve had lots of people make them with success but maybe check your baking soda to make sure it’s fresh and/or use slightly more flour in your next batch. More flour will add more structure and increase the puff!

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  13. I made these today and they’re absolutely fantastic! Thank you :)

  14. You had me until the Crisco ;) I will substitute butter or coconut oil to avoid the trans fats :) I love your vanilla extract recipe and have my own batch brewing now.

  15. Made these today and they were great! I used the butter flavored Crisco to keep that buttery flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. My mom uses Crisco butter in her cookies and they are the best cookies every.

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  18. If you are worried about losing the butter flavor, I have a recipe that divides the butter and shortening in half, which I think makes a perfect cookie. These combinations of flavors look amazing!

  19. The raw dough is delicious (and I know unhealthy/”deadly” because of the raw egg, so I was excited for the finished product. For unknown reasons, they burned horribly! For my third batch, I lowered the oven to 350*, and they still burned! Finally on the fourth batch, with the oven set to 300*, VICTORY! PS, I’m going to a cookie swap tomorrow, so yes I am obsessed with getting them perfect. Now I’m trying them with toffee instead of PB. *fingers crossed!*

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