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.
If you like this recipe, here’s My Top 10 Peanut Butter Recipes to keep you on the kick.Print
Easy 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
- Total Time: 20-22 minutes
- Yield: about 24 cookies 1x
- Category: dessert, cookies
A perfectly sweet, salty, and crisp peanut butter cookie that is secretly gluten-free!
- 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.
I did the 1/2 sugar and 1/2 brown sugar blend. It was really easy and tasted excellent. Saving this recipe!
There is absolutely no need for the baking soda. Without out it they turn out fine, with it they spread like pancakes!
toni michelle carson
Made these with my daughter , she’s learning to cook, she’s only 4 and LOVES cooking , she did it by herself with me supervising of course , in the end she was so excited that everyone loved her cookies!
Samantha S Corrales
Can I make without the baking powder? Because I have none. LOL
TIMOTHY J LEGER
It calls for BAKING SODA !
You can do the 3 ingredient recipe !
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg !!
Have fun, & enjoy !!
Very good ….. quick easy and taste great!
I had made this and i loved the flavor but they were verry crunchy i pit them in for 10 min are they meant to be crunchy or did i over bake them?
I just made these & taste was really good BUT, per some of the comments about how crumbly they were, decided to increase the only wet ingredient which was an egg. So made the recipe but with 2 eggs. Wrong! Again, flavor was great but were very mushy even after adding 8 more minutes to the bake time. Will follow the recipe exactly next time…crumbly or not!
Can u use all brown sugar instead?
Joy the Baker
You sure can!
Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies ever.!
Soooo tasty and easy to make. We added some roughly chopped chocolate with sea salt on top of the rolled dough. Delicious!
Hun I believe it gave you the info for using brown sugar. In parenthesis. I am no baker but I’d assume that if ur going to use brown sugar you’d definitely use LESS than white sugar. Good Luck!
I made 2 dozen of these with all brown sugar at the temp and time in the recipe and they turned out a little dry
Well. You cut out hf the plain white Sugar and doubled the brown sugar which doubled the molasses. Molasses hardens after being cooked and cooled. Plain white sugar is actually considered a wet ingredient since it melts when heated. Sugar does harden but the temp for this recipe doesn’t get it to candy stage so it keeps the cookies moist.
These turned out fantastic. Taste and texture. I loved how chewy and flavorful these were. I added an extra egg and a tablespoon of almond flour, so I didn’t have any trouble with the normal crumbly dryness with most Gluten-free cookies.
I don’t like the way the ingredients are listed because I totally missed the part about using half brown sugar. Obviously that’s my fault for not reading carefully and just skimming the recipe. However, when they’re called “4 ingredient cookies” and then you sneak in the part about using half brown sugar in parentheses, they’re not really 4 ingredient cookies anymore. Maybe that’s why mine turned out super crumbly, kind of bland, and just an average tasting cookie. I just used 1 cup of regular sugar instead of using half brown.
I don’t have brown sugar is it a must have
I made these and the came out perfect! I hope they taste as good as they look.
I made this cookies today. I think they were too crumbly. .
Followed the recipe exactly and they were great! A little more crumbly than your average peanut butter cookie but fantastic!
Can you use crunchy peanut butter for this recipe?
Joy the Baker
You sure can!
Just made it cause I was looking for a quick after school snack for kids. SUPER QUICK EASY AND MY KIDS APPROVE??????
Just made it cause I was looking for a quick after school snack for kids. SUPER QUICK EASY AND MY KIDS APPROVE!!!!!!!!!
Can I use just use 1 cup of granulated sugar if I don’t have any brown sugar?
Joy the Baker
You sure can!
Better make a double batch! The best peanut butter cookie ever!
These tasted good, but were very flat and crumbly. If I make these again I will add a cup of AP flour, and sub baking powder for soda.
I might not know what walnut size is, but this made about 30 cookies for a double batch!
These were so good!! Had all the ingredients in the pantry and whipped these up quickly for the kids one evening. Will save and use this from on!!
Omg these turned out amazing! Super easy to mix and bake but so much flavor! My son loves peanut butter cookies so I will definitely be making these regularly!
Can I freeze before baking?
Joy the Baker
You sure can! I find these are best when thawed before baking.
These turned out great! Better than I hoped for. I used Adams crunchy PB and had no problem. I also sprinkled some salt on top before baking. Made them twice in the last week!
They turned out good but so fragile! Maybe it was because I used mini chocolate chips in my batch! !!
The cookies tasted delicious, perfect actually. My came out flatter. However, once o had finished cooking the first 4, the remaining dough was sitting on a pool of oil. I froze them overnight. This morning there was a ring of oil and they baked up greasy. Was it the peanut butter brand or not keeping the dough cold?
Must be the peanut butter. I made them this morning, no oily nothing. I used jiff.