Three peanut butter cookies on white plate.
Cookies,  Recipes

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

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Craving a taste of pure nostalgia? These old-fashioned peanut butter cookies are the answer. Made with pantry staples you probably have, they’re simple to make and even easier to eat.

Peanut butter cookies on white plate.

This recipe uses a combination of shortening and peanut butter for a rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture. With just the right amount of chew and peanut butter flavor, these cookies are sure to become a new favorite.

Ingredients You Will Need

Ingredients for peanut butter cookies on wooden board.

Flour: This forms the base of the cookie dough, providing structure and holding everything together.

Baking Soda: Acts as a leavening agent, creating carbon dioxide gas that expands during baking, making the cookies rise and turn out fluffy.

Salt: Enhances the of the cookies by balancing the sweetness and bringing out the rich peanut butter taste.

Sugar: Granulated sugar adds sweetness and helps create a slightly crisp texture around the edges of the cookies.

Brown Sugar: Provides a deeper sweetness and contributes moisture to the dough, resulting in a chewier texture.

Shortening: Adds richness and tenderness to the cookies. Unlike butter, shortening has a higher melting point, which helps the cookies hold their shape and prevents them from spreading too much.

Peanut Butter: The star ingredient! It provides the signature peanut butter flavor.

Egg: Binds the dry ingredients together and adds moisture, contributing to the overall texture of the cookies.

Why You’ll Love Making Peanut Butter Cookies

Simple and Familiar: The recipe uses common pantry staples, so there’s no need for a special shopping trip. This makes them perfect for satisfying a sudden craving or whipping up a batch for unexpected guests.

Easy to Make: With an easy mixing process and very few steps, these cookies are ideal for beginner bakers or those short on time. Even kids can get involved in making the dough.

Nostalgic Appeal: The classic flavor and texture evoke feelings of childhood and home-baked goodness. These cookies offer a comforting taste of familiarity.

Peanut butter cookie dough batter in silver bowl.
Batter before adding flour mixture.
Peanut butter cookie dough in silver bowl.
Cookie dough after adding all ingredients. Mine was a bit crumbly, so I added a little bit of milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my cookies too dry/crumbly? This could be due to a few reasons:

  • Over-baking: Keep an eye on your cookies and take them out when the edges are golden brown but the centers are still slightly soft. They’ll continue to firm up as they cool.
  • Not enough moisture: Did you accidentally add less egg or shortening than the recipe called for? Double-check the measurements and try adding a tablespoon or two of milk if needed.

Why are my cookies too hard/crispy?

  • Over-baking is the culprit here again. See above.
  • Using too much flour: Carefully measure your flour and avoid over-mixing the dough, which can develop the gluten and make the cookies tough.

Can I use natural peanut butter? Yes, you can! However, natural peanut butter tends to be drier than regular peanut butter. You might need to add a tablespoon or two of milk to compensate for the lack of moisture.

How can I make my cookies chewier?

  • Use more brown sugar than granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds moisture and chewiness.
  • Take the cookies out of the oven a minute or two before they look completely done. They’ll firm up as they cool.

What’s the deal with the fork marks on top? Those aren’t just for decoration! Peanut butter is dense, and the fork marks help the cookies spread slightly and create cracks for even baking.

How can I store these cookies? Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. They can also be frozen for longer storage.

Peanut butter cookie dough balls on silver cookie sheet.
Balls of dough before pressing with fork.

Substitutes and Variations

Shortening: You can swap shortening with butter in a 1:1 ratio. However, cookies made with butter may spread more and have a slightly different texture.

Salty-Sweet: Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse sea salt before baking for a delightful sweet and salty contrast.

Chocolate Dipped: Dip half of the cooled cookies in melted chocolate for an extra decadent treat.

Frosting: Top the cooled cookies with a simple powdered sugar icing for a more decorated touch.

Peanut butter cookie dough with fork marks on silver cookie sheet.
Cookie dough after being pressed with fork.

What to Serve with Peanut Butter Cookies

Cold Milk: A classic pairing! The coolness of the milk complements the warmth and sweetness of the cookies, and it helps cut through the richness of the peanut butter.

Ice Cream: Create an ice cream sandwich! This is a fun and delicious option, especially for kids.

Chocolate Sauce: Drizzle some chocolate sauce over the cookies for a rich flavor combination.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

If you like these Peanut Butter Cookies, you might also like my Corn Flake Cookies or my Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies are also delicious.

Final Thoughts

Peanut Butter Cookies are truly a classic and I always enjoy making them. The problem is, it’s hard to eat only one! If you make these, be sure you have people to share them with or you may end up eating the whole batch yourself!

Three peanut butter cookies on white plate.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Heidi Bruaw
Craving some peanut butter? These Peanut Butter Cookies are ridiculously easy to make with stuff you probably already have on hand. They're soft, chewy, and perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24


  • Cup Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • Cup Shortening
  • ½ Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg


  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, shortening, peanut butter, and egg on low speed.
  • Once blended, beat on higher speed until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add in flour mixture by hand. Stir until well mixed.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Use a fork and make an indent in the top of the cookies in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Bake at 375℉ for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool on wire cooling rack.
Keyword Peanut Butter Cookies
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