Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 2 to 3 dozen

Difficulty Level: Easy

The best peanut butter cookies are chewy in the center and crisp at the edge, with a pronounced peanut flavor — and the very best are made from scratch. This simple recipe will help you achieve the classic cookie with the crisscross design.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tips

Use a grocery-store peanut butter brand here rather than an all-natural peanut butter. Cookies made with all-natural peanut butter turn out dry and sandy. You may use either crunchy or creamy peanut butter as you prefer; creamy peanut butter results in a slightly softer, finer-textured cookie while crunchy peanut butter has a stronger peanut flavor.

Step 1: Preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Prepare the baking sheets.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Step 4: Cream.

Using either a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer, cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.

Step 5: Add the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, stirring or mixing on low until just combined.

Step 6: Drop the cookies.

Form the cookies on the baking sheet by dropping a tablespoonful of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet; leave about 3 inches between each ball of dough.

Step 7: Form the cookies.

Using a fork, press down gently on the spoonfuls of dough until they flatten into a disc and are marked with shallow lines from the fork tines. Press the fork into the dough again at a 90-degree angle to form a crisscross pattern.

Step 8: Bake.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. They should be lightly browned. Remove them from the cookie sheet and let cook on a wire rack.

Tips

It is better to underbake these cookies than to overbake them.

Instead of forming the crisscross pattern, you can flatten the discs with a spatula and place half a salted, roasted peanut in the center of each cookie. Or place a peanut butter cup candy in the center.

Stir 3/4 cup of chocolate chips into the dough after adding the egg. Or add 3/4 cup of candy-covered chocolates.

Substitute 1/4 cup honey for the brown sugar.

Tips

These cookies store well in an airtight container for several days.