Peanut Butter Cookies
The peanut butter cookie gets its surface texture by flattening with the tines of a fork. Photo by Curt Pickens | IST.





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June 2010

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cookies, Cake & Pastry

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Crisp Golden Cookies


Peanut Butter Cookie Overview

Peanut butter cookies are rolled cookies: The dough is rolled into a ball and then flattened with the tins of a fork to create an attractive pattern. (See the different types of cookies.)

If it weren’t for the great scientist George Washington Carver (1864-1943), who developed hundreds of uses for the peanut, we might not have peanut butter cookies. Among his hundreds of uses were “105 Ways of Preparing [Peanuts] for Human Consumption.” This document includes three recipes for peanut cookies, using crushed or chopped peanuts as an ingredient.

But it took a while longer for peanut cookies to turn into peanut butter cookies.

Peanuts have been around for a long time. Originating in Peru, they were known as early as circa 950 B.C.E. The ancient Incas consumed peanuts and made a paste-like substance from them. But it wasn’t “peanut butter.”

The inventor of modern-day peanut butter is not known for certain, but it is believed to be a St. Louis physician, Dr. Ambrose Straub, who created it in 1880 as a high-protein food for his patients who couldn’t chew. The product gained popularity later that year at the Chicago World’s Fair. (See the history of peanut butter.)

This recipe contains flour. For a flourless cookie that can accommodate those with gluten sensitivity, see this delicious recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies from San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti.


Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

For a superior flavor, use organic peanut butter (or an artisan brand) and top-quality peanuts.


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened,
    plus more to grease cookie sheets
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Whole peanuts are chopped and added for flavor and texture. Photo by Krzysztof Kutzmann | SXC.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter two large cookie sheets (12 x 18 inches); alternatively, line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, peanut butter and brown sugar on medium speed for two minutes or until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla, increase the speed and beat for another two minutes or so until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, powdered sugar, salt and baking soda; break up any lumps. Add this dry mix and the chopped peanuts all at once to the mixer and incorporate on slow speed for 20 seconds. Finish blending the dough by hand with a large rubber spatula, ensuring that the nuts are well distributed.
  4. Using a small (1-ounce) ice cream scoop or a measuring tablespoon—dipped in water to prevent sticking—scoop out the dough to form even mounds, each about two tablespoons. Space the mounds three inches or more apart on the cookie sheet, with no more than a dozen cookies per sheet. With moistened fingers or fork tines, flatten each mound into a two-inch disk. (Tines create an attractive pattern on the top of the cookies.)
  5. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 20 to 22 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown. If you want to bake two trays at once, rotate the trays back-to-front and bottom-to-top halfway through the baking time, and bake longer if necessary.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the sheet until crisp. Store in an airtight container.


Find More Cookie Recipes


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