Maybe you thought I gave all my cookie magic away in holiday cookie tins tied with glittery bows last month, but NOPE! There is literally ALWAYS cookie dough balls in my freezer so every season is cookie season. These sweet and salty peanut butter cookies are some of best and easiest. They come together with just four ingredients and happen to be secretly gluten free – making them the best peanut butter cookie recipe I have to offer. These are one of those classics you add to your baking arsenal and never stray from – well as long as you like perfectly crisp cookies.
Four ingredients. No mixer. No flour. No butter. Just peanut butter. I’ve been making these cookies since I spotted them in the Gourmet Cookbook in 2009 (and if you’ve been reading this ol’ blog since then, maybe you’ve been making them that long too).
Here’s what you’ll need to bake this peanut butter cookie recipe:
• peanut butter, obviously. I prefer a creamy peanut butter like smooth Jif of Skippy (something with peanuts and oil in it) though you can absolutely use natural peanut butter if you prefer. A Jif or Skippy peanut butter will keep the cookies moist and crisp while a natural peanut butter make make for a more dry cookie.
• a large egg (here’s why we use large eggs in baking)
• a teaspoon of baking soda
• granulated sugar and brown sugar.
• Optional: a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla extract, or chocolate candy like chopped peanut butter cups or chocolate chunks.
• That’s it! No need for all-purpose flour, or unsalted butter. These cookies break the rules.
Grab a bowl and we’ll quick assemble the cookie dough. No stand mixer required. I used electric hand beaters for extra ease but a bowl and wooden spoon work just as well.
In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter and two sugars.
Whip in a room temperature egg and baking soda until smooth and well incorporated.
It’s natural for the dough to be a little crumbly, just not dry. It’ll be easy to press and shape the dough into small walnut-sized balls.
Line a rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or, in a pinch, lightly grease the pan with butter just to ensure the cookies don’t stick
For the classic peanut butter cookie look, press on the center of each cookie with the tines of a fork. Criss-cross.
Can this peanut butter cookie recipe be frozen?
Yes absolutely! Shape cookie dough into balls and criss-cross the centers. Freeze the dough balls side-by-side on a baking sheet until frozen through then store in a freezer bag. Bake from frozen for 2-3 minutes longer.
Cookie dough can also be refrigerated for up to three days before baking.
Can these peanut butter cookies be made without the egg?
Yes! I prefer the binding power of an egg in these cookies since the cookie dough has so few ingredients but if eggs aren’t your jam, try a flax egg for these cookies! Stir together 1 tablespoon of finely ground golden flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before incorporating into the cookie dough.
Bake in the upper third of the oven until just golden around the edges and split in pleasing cracks across the top. The cookies will seem soft coming out of the oven but crisp up as they cool.
Transfer the warm cookies to a wire rack to cool though mine never seem to make it that far. I’m always snacking as they cool.
The peanut butter flavor is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I mean… the cookies are essentially just peanut butter and sugar so what could go wrong? These gems are right up there with my Dad’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll be gone before morning which is a high compliment.Print
Easy 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
A perfectly sweet, salty, and crisp peanut butter cookie that is secretly gluten-free!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
- Total Time: 20-22 minutes
- Yield: about 24 cookies 1x
- Category: dessert, cookies
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (you can use natural though I prefer a Skippy or Jiffy for this recipe)
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar (1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or very lightly grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with electric hand beaters, combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Roll into small walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or directly into your mouth. Cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Photos with my dear Jon Melendez.