Peanut Butter Cookies: Soft and Chewy

There’s a foolproof way to bake soft and chewy peanut butter cookies. Under bake them slightly. That’s it. Baking a batch of peanut butter cookies until they “look” done is deceiving and creates a crunchy result. I’ve had this recipe in my binder since my kids were little, and my oldest is 18. (Thanks to a commenter below, the mystery is not solved, these are from Crisco! added 10/8/10) Whenever my father in law visits, he asks for these cookies. My husband loves them, the kids love them, everyone loves them. They never make it off the cooling rack and into a container, they are always devoured too fast!

Smooth or Rustic?
As you can see from the picture, you can make your cookies nice and neat or give them a more rustic look, either way they taste great. For neat as a pin cookies, scoop the dough out with a cookie scoop and roll the dough lightly in the palms of your hands. For rustic, just release from the scooper and leave as is.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Homemade Angel Food Cake

Shortening vs Butter
There is shortening in this recipe. I have used both plain vegetable shortening and butter flavored shortening, however I have never tried substituting butter. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” ;) If you would like to try with butter, I’d love to hear your results.

Baking Notes
When you bake these, start with a small batch and check them after 7 minutes. Mine are always perfect at 8 minutes. They will look a little underdone and puffy. Once you remove them from the oven and let them cool a bit, they will relax and settle.

If you would like to try my tweaked Nutella version of these, click over to Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies. They are fab! Or maybe you prefer a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie!

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
from the back of the Crisco container
printable version

1/2 cup shortening (or butter flavored shortening)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Toffee & Cherry Craisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls (using a cookie scoop works great) 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to racks to cool completely.

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  1. Sue Sparks says

    These are a classic, and a favorite! They look so good! I just made some PB sandwich cookies:)

  2. Whitney says

    They look amazing! I bake peanut butter cookies at my restaurant, and we use butter, not shortening. The result will be much flatter and wider as opposed to fluffy! (think the kind you'd find at a coffee shop, etc.)

    If you want to try it, you can always do 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening. You might like the result!

  3. Grumpy and HoneyB says

    My all time favorite recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies calls for shortening too. They are delicious!

  4. Ingrid says

    I like 'em rustic and right off the cooling rack! :) The only thing better would be sandwiching some vanilla ice cream between two cookies.

  5. Katrina says

    Is this the same recipe you use for those soft pb/Nutella cookies? I've made those with all butter. GREAT cookies.

  6. Memória says

    I've been craving peanut butter cookies and then you made this!! ARGH! hahaha They look incredible.

  7. Barbara @ moderncomfortfood says

    A classic peanut butter cookie such as yours served with a glass of milk in the afternoon just seem to make all right in the world. The crossed fork marks on the top, a must, always make me feel happy, no matter what kind of day I've had. Thanks for sharing, and I love the Nutella idea too!

  8. Barbara Bakes says

    I haven't made PB cookies for so long. Yours look perfect. I'm off to checkout the Nutella ones. I'm in love with it.

  9. LDH says

    I love peanut butter every way and my oldest grandson loves peanut butter cookies. We will have to try your recipe. An 18 year old recipe has to be a really good one :)

  10. Bridgett says

    I always seem to over bake peanut butter cookies so I am going to take your advice. These look so tasty!

  11. The Cooking Photographer says

    Just bake them less? That makes sense to me! I'm going to try this thank-you!!


  12. Kathy@theshebearofeleven says

    So that's the secret. I will definitely be trying this recipe and setting the timer for 8 minutes.

  13. Culinary Cory says

    Cookies have become a great way of getting things done at my work. If I'm about to ask for someone to do a huge project, it immediately follows with a "I'll bake you cookies." It works every time. I'm going to have to bookmark these.

  14. Anonymous says

    I made these cookies yesterday, and they were just how I wanted them to be – soft and delicious. BUT I didn't believe you when you said a tablespoon of vanilla, so I halved that. But, yeah – they could have used a tablespoon. Still yummy with half, though.

  15. Amanda says

    Cory – wish I worked with you LOL!

    Anonymous – Yes, a tablespoon probably sounds like a lot, hadn't though to make a note about that. Good point! Glad you loved them, I know we do here! :)

  16. Amanda says

    OMG! Right you are! I have a can of butter flavored Crisco here and I'll be danged if it isn't on the back of the container. I have had this recipe written in my binder for so many years I forgot where I got it :0) Thanks Anon, I will credit it right now :)

  17. Anonymous says

    I don't care where this recipe came from – it's great. What I really needed from this was the baking time. Mine were perfect at 7 minutes. I really appreciate the tip because I've been looking for a good chewy peanut butter cookie recipe forever. Thanks so much.

  18. Kathy says

    I used butter, and WOW!!!!! What awesome cookies…and a touch more peanut butter….I’ve made peanut butter cookies for ages, (Not a much as Chocolate Chip cookies my all time favorite!!!!) But this recipe is the best by far, and I am a cookie maker…Sugar, Snickerdoodles (two of my adult sons’favorites) I’ve two son’s in the service and I make cookies and send them to them, and I tell them they have to share, and what stories I hear….there going to love these peanut butter cookies….Thanks……

    • Amanda Formaro says

      So glad you enjoyed them as much as we do! While I certainly can’t claim stake on the recipe, I’m glad I was able to share them with everyone :)

  19. Kandy says

    So, I lost my peanut butter cookie recipe and have been trying all the recipes under the sun to get my perfect cookie back. These peanut butter cookies are beast! They are so good, from texture to taste, it’s amazing. I was skeptical simply because of so many failed recipes claiming their amazing and then turning into flat hard blobs…but these truly are just that, amazing. They are soft, tasty, and just perfect. I rolled my cookies and marked them with a fork and they are unimaginably good. Even the fork markings take perfectly to these cookies…they are simply perfect peanut butter cookies.

      • Kandy says

        Well, thank you for the recipe! I am going to try to make them with chocolate chips. I do not think I will change anything for the recipe just add them in the batter, or maybe on top. Do you think the batter should be adjusted at all?

  20. says

    Ha! Hi! So I found this blog looking for a good peanut butter cookie recipe for my mom (because her baking holiday cookies and not baking PB cookies is just wrong. She would always bake those when me and my brothers were growing up, b/c they were her favorites, but she lost her recipe years ago), and I must say I have fallen in love. With your blog. It’s simply gorgeous, and all the recipes I’v flipped through so far look and sound delicious and fun to make. Definitely going to have to try some out, myself.

    Now following. Just so you know I’ll be back. :D

  21. Nelle Meers says

    I made these cookies last weekend and they were THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!! this shall always be my go to recipe. I topped mine with some left over xmas chocolate truffles and it made them even more incredible. These cookies have also increased my popularity amongst my friend and family ;-). Thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Katie t says

    I love soft pb cookies unfortunately my husband is not much of a fan. However, we found a family pleaser in pbs cookies that use same recipe buy cooked in muffins pan then 2mins before its done peanut butter cups placed in each. The result is soft chewy cookie with creamy peanut butter cup. Just a humble suggestion from a pb cookie lover

  23. Love to Bake says

    I just made these cookies and they are so fabulous I had to comment. Even though I always strive to get chewy cookies vs. crispy ones, I usually end up with crispy. I followed this recipe exactly and baked them for 7 minutes. I made them a little larger than a heaping teaspoon, probably more like a semi heaping tablespoon, and they came out perfect. They look just like the pictures above and are CHEWY!! Thanks for a terrific recipe.

  24. Merita Arnold says

    I did try the cookies with the butter instead of crisco and they were wonderful. Can’t stop eating them…. I just had to try it just to see how they would turn out and they were GREAT!!!!!

  25. Jessi says

    I got this recipe off a container of Jiff peanut butter a few years ago and have always used butter instead of shortening without any problems. They are my favorite PB cookies and I’m going to try the chocolate variant this afternoon.

  26. Heather says

    Love Love Love these cookies. Made a batch this morning and looks like Im going to have to make another batch soon. My cookie monsters LOVED them. Thank you sooo much for posting such awesome recipies

  27. Rita says

    OMG! I was looking for a good recipe that I could add peanut butter morsels to and just found it. My son said they are heavenly and I have to agree with him. So soft and moist. Will definitely be making again!

  28. Katie says

    Ah-may-ZING! This will be the only PB cookie recipe I use. Super moist and chewy. And I used 1/2c butter instead of shortening. They were wonderful. Thank you!!

  29. April says

    These pb cookies are simply the best! I’ll never have the need to search for another pb
    cookie recipe. I made two batches, one for the kids and my husband and one I secretly hid away for myself…………….afterall, I can’t let em know I’ve cheated on my diet, now can I? ;)

  30. Donna Chelette says

    The peanut butter cookies had a great taste my family love it. But mine were very flat. How can I make it a lil thick

    • says

      Hi Donna! Without knowing all the steps you took to make yours I can’t really say for sure, but in my experience flat cookies are usually the result of butter being too soft, or worse, melted when it’s added to the dough. Did you use shortening or did you substitute with butter? Also, if you flatten them too hard with your fork before baking that can make them come out too flat as well.

  31. says

    I just tried these. I made the Nutella version, but since I didn’t have Nutella, I used chocolate spread instead.
    They. Are. So. Good. OMG, I love them. Thanks so much for posting the recipe, these are going in my recipe book for many future uses.

  32. Amy Alusa says

    I’ve used this recipe from the Crisco can for years….and have never found one that even compares. This recipe is THE VERY BEST!


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