Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies


These peanut butter cookies are our simplest ever.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Bake Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
30 cookies

These easy peanut butter cookies take less than 20 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to bake, so you can have homemade peanut butter cookies in an easy 35 minutes.

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

What Are the Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cookies?

Rather than being built on a structure of butter, sugar, and flour, this quick cookie dough solely depends on peanut butter, sugar, and egg for its shape. The oil in the peanut butter and the proteins in the egg blend together with the sugar to make a cookie with a soft texture.

ingredients for peanut butter cookies

Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

In addition to being fast to make, these easy peanut butter cookies are conveniently gluten-free and dairy-free, so you can make them for a get together with friends or for a party away from home without the worry of gluten and dairy allergies.

Why Do You Put Fork Lines in Peanut Butter Cookies?

Great question! This is a query with many answers—or different answers depending on who you ask! But our Test Kitchen experts tell us the fork lines are there to help peanut butter cookies cook more evenly.

Peanut butter cookies tend to be a bit more dense, so if you left them in ball form, they may remain thick and compact while baking, unlikely to spread out the way chocolate chip cookies do. But pressing the tines of a fork in an alternating cross pattern helps press the cookies out a bit.

It also creates small peaks at the top of the cookie that develop into crispy bits of goodness. That may be our favorite part about all peanut butter cookies.

Do You Have to Put Eggs in Peanut Butter Cookies?

In these easy peanut butter cookies, you'll need the egg for structure. The egg acts as a glue to keep everything together.

There are plenty of egg-free versions, but you shouldn't leave it out of this recipe and expect the cookies to come out OK. They'll likely crumble.

peanut butter cookies

Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

How To Make Peanut Butter Cookies Better

Classic peanut butter cookies are delicious on their own—rich, dense, nearly fudgy. But you can add some things to them to make them better.

Prefer the dynamic duo of chocolate and peanut butter, these Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies shouldn't be skipped. Or get the kids involved, and make these adorable Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies.

Drizzle with chocolate for a stylist upgrade to the old-fashioned cookie. Or turn the single cookies into a sandwich cookie by putting a layer of buttercream frosting between two.

Variations: Evenly press 1 cup of your desired addition, such as chocolate morsels, chocolate-coated toffee bits, or chopped peanuts, onto the top of prepared cookie dough on baking sheets; bake as directed.


  • 1 cup peanut butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Combine ingredients:

    Stir together peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until combined.

    peanut butter cookie ingredients in a bowl

    Hannah Zimerman / Southern Living

    Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets, and flatten gently with tines of a fork.

    pressing fork into peanut butter cookies

    Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

    Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

    peanut butter cookies

    Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

    Timing Tip

    Bake time is per batch.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the basic ingredients for peanut butter cookies?

    These peanut butter cookies are made with just three ingredients: peanut butter, an egg, and sugar.

  • Why are my peanut butter cookies falling apart?

    There are three possibilities here: You've not let the cookies cool enough. You used an all-natural peanut butter—a classic peanut butter is needed so all the oil is mixed into the spread. You didn't cook them all the way; underdone cookies are prone to fall apart.

  • What type of peanut butter is best for cookies?

    The best peanut butter for cookies is the processed creamy peanut butter, like JIF or Peter Pan. All-natural peanut butters may not have enough fat mixed into the spread to keep the cookies together.

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