Peanut Butter Cookies ~ The Perfect Back to School Treat


My mom wasn’t keen on her girls buying school hot lunches when I was a child and preferred instead to pack my sisters and my lunch herself. Sunday roast made good sandwiches and there was always a full cookie jar on the counter and a bowl of seasonal fruit on the table so making a nutritious lunch she knew we would eat was easy.  I can see myself sitting in the school cafeteria opening the little wax paper sandwich bag  to find freshly baked cookies inside. No zip lock bags in those old days…LOL.  I’ve used mom’s recipe my whole adult life and hadn’t even thought of trying another until I found this cookie recipe in David Lebovitz’s book, Ready for Dessert. I was surprised to find this plain little recipe among so many fancy, more elaborate ones so thought, what the heck! I’ll give it a try.  Believe me…the recipe is in the book for a reason. The cookies have a rich, buttery, nutty flavor and practically melt in your mouth.  I shared with family and friends and everyone gave them a enthusiastic thumbs up. So if you are thinking about make a special treat for your back-to-schoolers this is a recipe to keep in mind. Is there anybody out there who doesn’t like a peanut butter cookie?


5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1-1/4 cups (175g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (4oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, plus more for coating cookies
  • ½ cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (260g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the four, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter, granulated and brown sugars and peanut butter on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the egg.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. If necessary knead the dough with your hands until smooth.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl.
  6. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place them 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. When you have filled the sheets flatten and make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie by pressing down on the ball with the back of the tines of a fork.
  7. Bake, rotating baking sheets midway through baking until the cookies begin to brown around the edges but the centers still look somewhat uncooked, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven before they look done so they stay chewy once cooked.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
The dough is a bit crumbly so carefully press it into little balls. Be sure to let the cookies cool on the pan for 10-12 minutes before moving to a wire rack. They are difficult to handle when hot. I baked mine an extra minute or two until slightly browned around the edges because we like our peanut butter cookies crisp.
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  1. Kris says

    Makes me think of my childhood Cathy. Although I was always the cookie maker in my family. I loved to make homemade peanut butter cookies. I made chocolate chip cookies the other day, another favorite.
    Oh, and about your fig pizza…oh la la! My next door neighbor has a lovely fig tree that has been overly abundant this year. Lucky me!! I make a fig and goat cheese pizza that is to die for. Similar to your fig pizza. I use homemade pesto for sauce, and cook it with the fig and cheese, then when out of oven, like you do, top it with heaps of arugula and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. YUMMY!!!! She brought a huge bowl of them yesterday. I think I know what’s for dinner!!!

  2. Erin @ Making Memories says

    We love peanut butter cookies! These look wonderful!
    Erin @ Making Memories recently posted..Back to School Teacher GiftMy Profile

  3. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    I haven’t had peanut butter cookies in a while Cathy, think I’ll add these to the ‘just gotta make it’ list! Have a great Labor Day Weekend:@)

  4. My Carolina Kitchen says

    Sounds delicious Cathy, even for those who haven’t been in school in a long time (smile). Hope you have a wonderful long weekend.
    My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Dinner at the Inn on Biltmore Estate & a Tour of the Antler Hill FarmMy Profile

  5. Bonnie says

    I feel like pouring myself a glass of ice cold mild and taking a couple of these cookies off the plate. Peanut butter cookies were staple growing up and for my own children. There’s nothing better and I’m going to try this recipe. There’s still a lot of kid in me when it comes to cookies!!

    Bonnie recently posted..Skate WingMy Profile

  6. Lynn says

    Cathy, the title of your post took me right back to my childhood! Peanut Butter cookies were one of my favorites. My mom always had the cookie jar full of homebaked cookies when we were little and one of those was peanut butter. I can smell them baking right now! lol I haven’t had peanut butter cookies for a long time, might need to make some soon!!

  7. Life of a Foodie and Her Family says

    Oh I love peanut butter cookies! We started using our Peanut Butter & Co varieties when we make PB cookies.
    Life of a Foodie and Her Family recently posted..Lunch 9/2My Profile

  8. velva says

    As soon I started to read your post, it took me immediately back to the school cafeteria. My lunch can’t compare to what your mom was packing-delicious. I was part of the peanut butter jelly crowd, with Oreo cookies (laugh).

    Love, love peanut butter cookies. David’s recipe looks really good.

    velva recently posted..Chicken Biscuits & Sausage GravyMy Profile

  9. Larry says

    I’ve always loved peanut butter cookies, but haven’t had them in years – these make me want some right now.
    Larry recently posted..Some Things I Haven’t Given Up OnMy Profile

  10. Inspired by says

    all these back to school recipes… I lived about 2 blocks from my grade school. I missed out on F Troop (Steven Filarski had one of those) lunchboxes and trading sandwiches for these peanut butter cookies as I always went home for lunch…

    My mom had soup… sigh
    Inspired by recently posted..Ultimate (Walking Tacos) Stuffed Peppers ala My Bizzy KitchenMy Profile

  11. black eyed susans kitchen says

    These cookies bring me way back Cathy. My friends mother used to make them for an after school treat once upon a time….they were a favorite!
    black eyed susans kitchen recently posted..WE WERE HUFFED AND PUFFED AND POURED UPONMy Profile

  12. bj says

    These look sooo pretty, Kathy. I am going to use your recipe soon.
    Hope sometime you will try the 3 ingredient ones, too. :)
    bj recently posted..MARY MARY, QUITE CONTRAY…My Profile

  13. Rettabug says

    Hey Cathy! I made your chocolate chip cookies that you posted from his book & they are WONDERFUL! In fact, I just photographed the last few before DH & the grandkidlets gobbled them all up.
    Now I’ll HAVE to try these next. Thanks! ~~BIG SMILE~~ :-D
    Rettabug recently posted..My Tea Swap items for Lavender CottageMy Profile

  14. Monique says

    Yours are gorgeous..I recently made a very easy version and have a post prepared..

    Yours look more delicious:)
    Monique recently posted..La Magie De Fifi~ Romantic Prairie Style~My Profile

  15. JG says

    Peanut Butter Cookies! This looks like a wonderful recipe and the photo is great! Yummy!
    JG recently posted..Grilling the SwordfishMy Profile

  16. Dzoli says

    Love love love peanut cookies.If my daughter would go to school(still too young) she wouldn’t be allowed anything with peanuts or peanut butter in her lunch box,She is not alergic to peanuts ,but other kids might be.
    Never mind we make them and eat them at home;)

  17. CiaochowLinda says

    Bringing back memories of when my kids were little. I haven’t made these in ages, but you’re giving me the yen to rediscover the joy in peanut butter cookies.
    CiaochowLinda recently posted..Upside Down Hurricane Irene Peach Cake and a GiveawayMy Profile

  18. Foodiewife says

    I didn’t think I was a fan of peanut butter desserts (until I made those decaded PB and Chocolate cupcakes). My husband LOVES PB cookies. I’m always looking for the ultimate recipe. You can’t go wrong with David Lebovitz. LOVE that closeup shot. The sugar looks like it packs a wonderful crunch, and the cookies look amazing!
    Foodiewife recently posted..San Francisco Garlic Fries – Made Lite (Bon Appétit )My Profile

  19. Barb says

    This post brought memories also… Mom would always put the crosshatch pattern on her PB cookies… this recipe looks good, will gie it a try!
    Barb recently posted..Leftovers of the Season ….My Profile

  20. Heather @girlichef says

    Peanut Butter cookies have ALWAYS been one of my favorites. These look perfect, Cathy! :D
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Mazapanes de Cacahuate {Peanut Marzipans}My Profile

  21. Marilyn says

    Peanut butter cookies is one of my top 5 favorite cookies. Your cookies look wonderful and amazing!
    Marilyn recently posted..Fort Clatsop, OregonMy Profile

  22. teresa says

    oh my goodness, i could eat a dozen of these, i’ll have to make some soon!
    teresa recently posted..Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime CremaMy Profile

  23. Betty @ scrambled henfruit says

    My hubby does not like peanut butter cookies. How could that be? I DO love them- these look like they’d be perfect with a cold glass of milk. :)
    Betty @ scrambled henfruit recently posted..Peach Confetti Salsa, and a Shake, Rattle and Roll!My Profile

  24. Lea Ann says

    Those peanut butter cookies looks perfect and so professional! And now you’ve got me craving roast beef sandwiches. :)
    Lea Ann recently posted..Braised Chicken with Lemon, Potatoes and OlivesMy Profile

  25. Mrs. Tuna says

    Shoot I got all disoriented and left a comment for you on a post from last year for Pete’s sake. My mom taught me how to make peanut butter cookies a zillion years ago.
    Mrs. Tuna recently posted..The Cool Girl’s TableMy Profile

  26. Raina says

    Great story about your mom and about you finding the peanutbutter cookies. That must have really brightened your day. I know it would brighten mine. My family and I love peanutbutter cookies, and I will definitely try these. They sounds so yummy. I really wish I had one now with my tea:)
    Raina recently posted..Steakhouse Style Sirloin TipsMy Profile

  27. Pam says

    My kids prefer sack lunches..These cookies look so delicious! I forget how much I love peanut butter cookies – thanks for the reminder!
    Pam recently posted..Baked Eggs with Bacon, Tomatoes, and Sharp Cheddar AND Giveaway Winner!My Profile

  28. Magic of Spice says

    Well my mom never packed my lunch, but she did make cookies :) These look great!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s on the side? Baked Asparagus FriesMy Profile

  29. Kathleen says

    We always brought our lunch too! I don’t think my mom baled cookies though!

    Those look delicious, every little nook and cranny!
    My gkids have never had a peanut butter sandwich! They don’t eat nuts, don’t know that they are allergic, dil is afraid to find out! LOL Her 2 sisters are. They have to carry the epi pen.
    Kathleen recently posted..Blue Skies, Thank the Lord!My Profile

  30. Becki@Becki's Whole Life says

    Love Peanut Butter cookies and I am sure David has perfected them so definitely will have to try these! Definitely a good thing to pack in the girls’ lunches — they would be more than happy to find these:-)
    Becki@Becki’s Whole Life recently posted..Organizing Your Workday – High School StyleMy Profile

  31. theUngourmet says

    Hi Cathy- I always remember coming home from school to a full cookie jar too. I also loved making PB cookies with my mom and sister…making those fork marks was always the best part…next to eating them of course. :) I love that first photo with the school supplies and cookies. Hope your holiday weekend was full of fun and relaxation.

    theUngourmet recently posted..Taking a BreakMy Profile

  32. Liz says

    Oh, Cathy, your pb cookies look perfect!!! I will make this recipe next time I get a request :)

    PS…thanks for the herb storage hints, too~
    Liz recently posted..Chocolate Lava Cakes~My Profile


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