They’re called The Best Chewy Café-Style Peanut Butter Cookies for a reason– these giant, irresistibly soft and chewy cookies are better than any peanut butter cookie recipe you’ve ever tried before. Their just-barely-crisped edges and ultra-creamy interior make them a peanut butter lover’s dream.
“So I see that there’s a Google search tab for ‘cookie-induced psychosis’ open on your computer,” James said the other morning. “Exactly how many more cookies are you planning to make this week?”
If anyone had any doubts about these truly being THE BEST peanut butter cookies, please let that be Exhibit A. When you are so dedicated to cookie perfection that the resulting sugar rushes lead you to temporarily question your sanity, you don’t cut any corners. You don’t settle. You make batch after batch of cookies, meticulously tasting and testing and tweaking the recipe until they’re so good that you’re in utter disbelief that you made them yourself.
I missed deadlines for these cookies. I cancelled longstanding plans with friends I hadn’t seen in months. I lost sleep and I gained weight for these cookies.
And they were absolutely, 100% worth it.
Allow me to present Exhibit B:
Don’t those look like they’d be “The Best Chewy Café-Style Peanut Butter Cookies”? Well they taste even better.
I decided that I’d make these cookies a month ago, when a follower on reddit told me that they loved my recipe for The Best Chewy Café-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies and requested that I make a peanut butter version. You guys, if you ever have recipe requests or suggestions, hit me with them. This became such a fun challenge (you know, despite the whole crazy obsession part)!
Not to mention, now I have a brand new must-make recipe for cookie exchanges, ugly sweater parties, birthday celebrations, and satisfying my general peanut butter cookie cravings. So that’s great, too. 👍
SO WHAT MAKES THESE THE BEST?
They’re super soft and chewy. Not like the fluffy, cakey kind of soft, but the kind of soft where the cookie bends instead of crumbling apart, and almost seems undercooked because it’s still got that cookie-dough-like quality to it even when it’s fully baked. To get them this way, I used a lot of the same tricks that I discovered when coming up with my chocolate chip cookie recipe: melting the butter before mixing it in, using more brown sugar than white sugar, and adding cornstarch to the cookies.
Not only is the texture awesome, but they’ve got the perfect amount of sweetness and peanut butter flavor, plus that slight background toasted toffee sort of taste that you crave in a really great cookie.
And because I knew you’d love them so much, I made them huge so that you can get more bang for your buck. (Check out how big they are compared to James’ hand!) Small cookies just aren’t as satisfying, you know? As much as I love the classic cookies, I’ll take one giant chewy cookie over a dozen of the tiny, criss-cross pattern kind any day.
BUT CAN I MAKE THESE WITH THE CRISS-CROSS PATTERN IF I WANT?
I like the crackly tops, but don’t worry, if you’re craving the nostalgic criss-cross tops, this peanut butter cookie recipe will turn out perfectly that way, too. All you have to do is press the dough down with the back of a fork to create an x-pattern on top before baking instead of pressing with your palm!
You can also make them smaller, if you’d like. Many of the people who have made these and replied back on reddit have made them in all sorts of shapes, patterns, and sizes with great results.
HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Regardless of what size you choose to make them or how you decide to decorate the top, there are a few simple steps you need to take before popping that dough in the oven!
- Start by lining your baking sheets with parchment paper. I know, it doesn’t seem like an important step, but lining the sheets with parchment paper prevents the cookies from overly browning on the bottom, sticking to the pan, or spreading too quickly. You can also use a silpat if you’d like. Definitely do not use foil!
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. This step ensures that the dry ingredients get well-combined without forcing you to overmix after the wet ingredients come into play.
- Mix together the cooled melted butter and the sugars. You want to make sure the sugars mostly dissolve in the butter, which leads to better incorporation in the final dough. Don’t overdo it, though– unlike many cookie recipes, this recipe relies on a lower amount of air being incorporated into the dough so that the final result is still dense, chewy, and rich. (A bit of air can give your cookies some thickness, but a lot of air results in cakey cookies!)
- Add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Now the eggs, creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract come into play. Adding the wet ingredients all in before mixing with the dry ingredients will give the cookies a better texture.
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. And now the magic happens– the dough finally forms in your mixing bowl (or stand mixer). Again, don’t overmix. You want the ingredients to just come together.
- Roll the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Rolling your peanut butter cookies in extra sugar is an optional step, but I love the result! It ensures that tiny granules of sweetness are the first things to hit your tongue, and it gives a slightly crunchy, crisp exterior to the cookies without throwing off the ultra-soft interior. This is also when you should flatten your cookies, whether you’re using your palm or a fork.
- Let it chill. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes, which is just enough time for the butter to slightly solidify. As the cookies bake, dough that has been chilled takes longer for the butter to melt, which prevents them from spreading too much.
BAKING THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
The key to really getting perfect cookies is NOT overbaking them. You only want to bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, around which time the edges should be just beginning to firm up and turn light brown, while the centers will be puffy and clearly underbaked. Don’t worry though, as long as you let the cookies cool fully on the baking sheet, the cookies will fall and crack and you’ll wind up with beautiful, not-puffy cookies!
HOW LONG WILL THESE COOKIES LAST?
The peanut butter cookies of course taste best within the first couple of days of baking, but you’d be surprised how long they stay soft and chewy! Stored in an airtight container, these cookies will keep well for up to a week. You can also freeze them in a zip-loc storage bag for up to 2 months before thawing to eat.
Honestly, I feel like we all need to think ahead and make “cookies for the future” so we have them in stock all the time, waiting for a craving to hit. The world would be such a better place…
I don’t know what else to say about these peanut butter cookies, except for that our mouths should be full of them. I guess you just can’t know how truly perfect they are until you try them yourself. Trust me, they’re worth going nuts over.
Or should I say “peanuts” over?
No, probably not. But really, everyone’s going to go crazy over these, so make sure you make plenty!Print
The Best Chewy Café-Style Peanut Butter Cookies
- Total Time: 57 minutes
- Yield: 12-16 cookies 1x
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar for the dough, plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the cooled melted butter, the brown sugar, and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar until fully combined and just slightly fluffy. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and mix until just evenly combined. Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and quickly mix until no clumps of flour remain. Make sure not to over-mix or your cookies will be puffy.
- Roll the dough into 1/4 cup balls and roll them in the remaining granulated sugar. Place 6 cookie dough balls on each baking sheet, evenly spaced, and then gently press down on the tops with your palm to flatten slightly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Uncover and bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until just set around the edges but very soft and puffy in the middle. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet fully without disturbing them to finish setting. Repeat with any remaining dough.
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
It’d be great if you could put your recipies up using weights/volume instead of cups/teaspoons. Cups & Teaspoons have different measures depending on the country you’re in (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablespoon#Variants).
Also, doing things by weight is more consistent than cups as you may pack more into your cup one day compared to another.
That would be too confusing for me , putting the recipe in weights o don’t have anything to weigh things with and even if I had , still have to guess how much to pour until I got it right .
I’m an American, but I began baking in metric after a stint living in the UK. Indeed, weights give recipes universality, and yield consistency and uniformity in their end product. The metric measures I used are as follows:
300g all-purpose flour
4g baking powder
6g baking soda
198g brown sugar
150g granulated sugar, plus 100g for rolling
240g peanut butter
2 large eggs (1 large egg [with shell] is roughly 56g)
5ml vanilla extract
I used 50g of dough per cookie for a yield of (24) large and lovely cookies. The baking temperature is 350F / 177C / Gas mark 4. Happy baking fellow metric bakers!
Thank you so much Allison!
Gibson V says
I’m American & baking with weights are crucial. A good cheap digital scale can be as cheap as $12. I usually have to convert to weights myself, so I appreciate you doing it for me.
Thanks Allison. Now I font need the conversion. I’ve been posting equivalents to as many recipes as I can as well.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, I remember when my school started using metric system here in the late 70’s. Now a full, fledged baker (business) I only use metric. Oddly enough I understood metric before US. Thanks for posting this.. saves me time. I don’t have to use my brain to convert. 🙂
Awesome! Thank you!
Thank you for this! I like to make small batches as a single person so grams is much easier to convert.
THANK YOU!!! I was just thinking, “This recipe sounds awesome! I wish it had metric weights. Is it amazing enough to go through the conversion process?” I’m so glad I began reading comments!
Just made this recipe last night. Came out absolutely amazing! Add this to the list of the 50+ Morgan recipes we make at our house regularly. 🙂
Super delicious! The directions are easy to follow and the cookies turn out great! Made them for a cookie party this past weekend, at first people were hesitant to grab one because of the size, but after a couple decided to split one, the rest flew off the tray. Definitely will be making these again!
Recipe sounds amazing! Do I understand correctly that we aren’t to use regular pnb, but the kind where you have to stir in the separated oil into the pnb?
Just took these out of the oven! Can hardly wait to try them!
Has anyone tried these without rolling them in sugar? Does it make a significant difference? I’m just lazy and looking to cut corners!!! Thank you!
Suzanne Brookey says
This is a perfect recipe! I made smaller cookies measured 1/4 cup dough and divided that to make 3 cookies – so the full recipe made about 52 cookies. I rolled dough into balls, chilled for firmness, then took a water bottle cap to make “thumbprints” and filled with raspberry jelly/jam -before baking – they flattened perfectly (so they don’t look like thumbprint cookies, but seriously – BEST – COOKIE – EVER
I don’t do Instagram but can email you a photo if you’d like
Nancy Perine says
Hi there! I had fun cruising around your website/blog. Your recipe for Chewy Cafe-Style Peanut Butter Cookies caught my eye. I had everything on hand, so it was a natural. I let them cool on the sheet, as you suggested. Yes, they were very chewy, and yummy! Thanks for sharing!
What brand of natural peanut butter did you use in this recipe.
I can’t remember the brand I used the first couple of times, but I’ve used Skippy Natural PB when I made them most recently with great results 🙂
How delicious these cookies look! I felt their aroma right through the screen. Be sure to cook tonight and enjoy them with a huge cup of herbal tea. How long and under what conditions can these cookies be stored? I ask just in case, because in fact it is unlikely that these cookies will stay in my house for a long time :))) Yummy!
These are sooooo delicious! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I also love the lemon cookies.
I have a couple of quick questions.
1. Mine don’t have the cracked finish on the top. What might I be missing?
2. Since my husband is crazy for peanut butter oatmeal cookies, could I substitute 1cup oats for 1 cup flour?
Danielle in WA says
It’s in the oven….very curious
I baked these cookies for my family, they came out so delicious! Melting the butter, rolling the dough in sugar, and refrigerating the dough sure does make a big difference.
I was a little skeptical seeing that everyone said that these cookies are amazing and just had to try for myself, these cookies are absolutely amazing, there’s no overbearing peanut butter taste, they’re just so good. The only thing I’d recommend is not to make the cookies in 1/4 cup balls, other than that these cookies are really good. Five stars!!! 10/10 would bake again!!
I was a bit skeptical when I read that everyone said these cookies are amazing, I thought “Look at these bots.” but they really are delicious. They are immaculate. 5 stars!!! 10/10 would bake again!! They really the best peanut butter cookies. What I especially like is that they don’t have an overbearing peanut butter taste.
Important: I’d recommend not making them 1/4 cup balls because that is entirely too big.
These really are phenomenal cookies. I get rave reviews every time I make them.
Believe the hype: these are very good PB cookies. I’m normally a PB cookie skeptic, however, these won me over. I made a few slight alterations: I swapped a fraction of the butter for the oil layer atop the PB (I rarely incorporate the oil back in, a quirk of mine); I also doubled the vanilla extract; lastly, I used turbinado sugar for rolling. FYI, this recipe makes exactly (2) dozen satisfyingly-big-but-not-gargantuan cookies at 50g of dough per cookie. Oh, and don’t skip the chilling step — I baked (3) cookies immediately (cravings got the better of me), then the rest after an overnight chill. The difference in texture is remarkable. Though, I will note that my cookies didn’t gracefully crackle as pictured, but alas, none of my cookies ever do.
My cookies came out puffy!!
I love love love this recipe! I put pb and chocolate chips in them.. I was skeptical about the size but they baked beautifully! Not too puffy, not too thin. Perfect. I will be making again and give out as gifts. Thank you!
Tq tq tq! My 1st try and it was amazing. I was using convection, so while the temp is the same, mine took 4min longer than 12min (not sure if it’s related). But I followed your queue to bake them just until the edge is brown. I made half of the portion which gave me 8 pieces. Can u share if there’s a way I can make it less sweet while maintaining the texture?
Found this recipe looking for large peanut butter cookies, and it is delicious! I added mini peanut butter cups and peanuts to soup them up, and they are one of my favorite cookies I’ve ever made!
Made your sugar, cc, and pb cookies yesterday… You know your stuff!!! Wonderful recipes, ty!!!!
Made this recipe, chilled over night. Made smaller cookies and cooked in breville smart oven. But I can’t get the chewy factor. I have the soft and moist, but not chewy. Plz help. Novice baker. I really like the costco pb cookies, chewy, soft & moist, but they stopped making them due to covid. So I’m resorting to amateur baking to get my fix. Hoping someone can help
I liked these BUT I felt that they were not salty enough. My natural peanut butter has no salt in it but I know some brands do. Since mine had no salt and the butter is also unsalted, it resulted in a cookie that was missing the salt to balance out the sweetness. Just something to consider – check your natural peanut butter and if it doesn’t have salt, switch to a different brand or substitute salted butter for the unsalted butter.
Hi Andi, I’m glad you liked them and thank you for the feedback regarding the salt in natural peanut butter! Did you include the added teaspoon of salt in the recipe? I am sure that if there’s no salt in the peanut butter that makes a difference, but I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a case of missing a step! 🙂
I definitely followed the recipe exactly as written, including the salt. I sprinkled some salt on the cookies before baking and that seems to correct the balance of sweet to salty. I made six different cookies to give as gifts and this one was the one that got the most votes for being the favorite!
I made these cookies with my grandsons today. This was after a failed peanut butter cookie recipe a couple of weeks ago. They were afraid to taste them. These are delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe. My husband still likes the Pillsbury Reeses peanut butter ready to bake cookie dough cookies. Those are good but way too sweet. These are perfect.
Has anyone made this with browned butter (not just melted butter)? I really love the depth of flavor that browned butter delivers, but want to make sure it doesn’t change the structure of the cookie too much before making this alteration…
I followed the weight measurements of one of the other commenters (checked a few to make sure they were correct and I got the same weights). And I was making these for a vegan wedding that ordered 150 vegan cookies, after finding no recipe that was listed as vegan that was what I was going for – not a health food, just vegan, I decided to use this recipe as a base. I substituted flax eggs for the eggs (1 TBS of flax +3 TBS water and let sit for 20 minutes) and vegan country crock ‘butter’ sticks. They turned out PERFECT. Many people have told me they are the best vegan or non vegan cookie they have tasted. I did get the crackled tops using the vegan ingredients. =) Will be using this recipe again for all vegan and non-vegan peanut butter cookie orders!
Do you have to use the natural type of peanut butter for these cookies? I have a couple jars of Jif in the pantry to use, but no natural! Thank you.
Regular peanut butter will work, they’ll just be sweeter!
I made exactly as the recipe states. I doubled the recipe.
I was disappointed on the bitter aftertaste. Too much of something. Why baking powder baking soda AND cornstarch I ask now.
Hi Tammy! I’m so sorry to hear that! I wonder if your baking powder is not aluminum-free? Sometimes baking powders containing aluminum can cause a tinny aftertaste in baked goods. I will update with a note in the recipe so people know to check to avoid any future issues!
These cookies are the bomb!! My entire family loves them. I bake them for 14 mins, and turn halfway. I also add 1 cup of chips to them, a mix of semi sweet, white choc, and butterscotch. Its delicious and the best cookies I make now.
When everyone is asking for the cookies, I know the recipe is good. Thank you! Ive been making pnut butter cookies for 40+ years and this is the best recipe I have found to date.
These are soooooo good, chewy, peanut buttery, just everything you could want in a peanut butter cookie. What I forgot to do was smash down the cookies before I baked so about half way I used a been masher to put them down, and it gave them that iconic pattern that peanut butter cookies have 🙂 10/10 really loved these!
As I write this review, I’m baking these cookies right now. The kitchen smells great. I refrigerated them overnight. I just took the first batch out of the oven, made three smaller cookies out of the quarter cup single cookie. The only reason is so that I can share some smaller cookies because I am greedy. I will be eating the large cookies, after I have test tastes these.
Cooling now, and making coffee. Well I couldn’t wait for them to completely cool… the delicious cookie crumbled. COOL COMPLETELY! Or else you will need to stand over the cookie sheet looking like Cookie Monster. Omg! These are amazing.
I did a small few with a strawberry preserves thumbprint. Can’t wait to share these. The local cookie shop sells cookies that aren’t as near as good as these.
Do yourself a favor and bake some of these up.
*I used organic sugar and brown sugar, they didn’t cream up with the browned butter I used. But when I added the egg everything fluffed up great. I also got the crackle on top. That never happens for me. Yay!