Peanut Butter Cookies

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Who doesn’t love peanut butter cookies? This classic recipe deserves a spot in your rotation.

My kids are always clamoring for homemade cookies. I can’t say I blame them, because it’s hard to resist a warm-from-the-oven cookie.

Their vote is for chocolate chip cookies, but I prefer to mix it up and have non-chocolate options every once in a while.

The entire family loves peanut butter, so of course peanut butter cookies often end up in our cookie jar

peanut butter cookies with a glass jar of cookies behind

Only homemade, though. For some reason, the store-bought version just doesn’t have that soft, sweet, perfectly peanut buttery taste I need from a cookie.

I originally made these for the Austin Bakes for West fundraiser in 2013, and they’ve been my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe ever since.

While there is a tendency for food bloggers to get ultra-creative when it comes to bake sales and food swaps, I’ve come to realize that simple, classic items sell the best. 

To make them a little more special I’ve added a bit of orange zest, which I think helps enhance the peanut buttery goodness.

stack of peanut butter cookies on white wood backdrop

What is orange zest?

Orange zest is the outer portion of an orange peel. 

If you peel an orange, take a look at the peel. You’ll see the interior portion — the pith, which is white — and the outer orange layer, which is the zest.

The zest contains flavorful oils that brighten up dishes and drinks. You might be familiar with zest from your favorite cocktail!

To remove the zest from the orange, all you need is a fine grater such as a microplane. You can also use the smallest holes in a box grater.

One orange will give you 2-3 tablespoons of zest. This is more than you need for this recipe, so just zest what you need, and enjoy the orange as a snack!

Note that if you use dried orange peel (available from the spice section of your grocery store) you will only need 1/3 teaspoon.

stacked peanut butter cookies on white board

What can I add to peanut butter cookies?

One of the great things about cookies is how customizable they are. If you don’t like the orange flavor in this cookie or don’t have an orange on hand, simply leave it out.

You can stir in chocolate chips instead, or try peanut butter chips or chopped peanuts for double the peanut flavor.

Chopped dried cranberries are unexpected and add a burst of tart flavor.

If you are a fan of snickerdoodles, try rolling the peanut butter cookies in sugar, or a sugar and cinnamon mixture. 

Simply form the dough balls, then roll them in a shallow bowl of sugar to completely cover.

You can also sugar only the tops of the cookies by wetting the bottom of a glass, dipping it in sugar, then pressing the glass to the dough to flatten slightly. 

The sugar will stick on and you can repeat with the rest of the dough and sugar.

stack of peanut butter cookies with a bite out of top cookie

Can I freeze these?

Peanut butter cookies are a great candidate for freezing and baking off later!

Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet. You can place them very close together since they aren’t being baked.

Put the baking sheet into the freezer, and freeze dough until solid.

Once solid, pop the dough balls off the baking sheet and place into a freezer-safe container.

You can bake the dough balls directly from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time. 

Cookies baked from frozen won’t have that trademark peanut butter cookie crosshatch, but they’ll taste just as good!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

stack of peanut butter cookies with a bite out of top cookie

Peanut Butter Cookies

Orange zest kicks up these peanut butter cookies.
Author : Megan Myers
4.58 from 7 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 60
Calories 79 kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and stir in vanilla.
  • In another bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, zest, and salt.
  • Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until well-incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides as needed to incorporate loose flour.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and put on cookie sheets, flattening with a fork or the bottom of a cup. If dough is too sticky to easily form into balls, refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before moving to a rack to finish cooling.


Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 79 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 1 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 14 mgSodium: 64 mgSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below!

About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

4.58 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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  1. I like the orange peel. The cookies came out OK. But overall? Dry, too sweet, and not peanutty enough. They also took longer to bake than indicated, and the amount of vanilla was not specified. I feel this recipe could use some attention and refinement.

    1. Not sure what happened with her cookies but I made these and followed the recipe… btw, it specifies 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mine turn out nice, chewy and moist with full of taste.

    2. Hi Susan, I’m sorry you didn’t like this recipe. I’ve made them many times and they come out great each time. It calls for 1 teaspoon vanilla in the ingredients list.

  2. 5 stars
    Tried these cookies and they were delicious. They were fluffy, light and slightly chewy. The family loved them. Will make these again!