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October 7, 2007 / Tony

Peanut Butter Cookies

Alton Brown has a very good peanut butter cookie recipe in his book, I’m Just Here for More Food.  They are tender with just a little bit of bite and have exactly the right amount of peanut butteriness.  Here’s the recipe:

Peanut Butter Cookies, by Alton Brown

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut or other vegetable oil

 2 cups +1 T (20 3/4 oz) chunky peanut butter

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3 3/4 cups (18 oz) all-purpose flour

1 T baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

sugar for sprinkling on top

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl and mix (Alton recommends doing this by pulsing the mixture a few times a food processor.)  Mix the butter alone in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for about one minute.  Add the sugars slowly.  Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, beat the mixture on medium speed until it lightens noticeably in texture and increases slightly in volume.  Drop the mixer speed to low and add the peanut butter and oil all in one dose.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and cream for another 2 minutes until well combined. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 

Add the dry ingredients to the mixture in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Chill the dough for about a half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Portion the cookies into golf-ball sized balls (mine were a little smaller) and place on cookies sheets.  (I used half-sheet pans lined with parchment paper but greased cookies sheets should work just fine.)  Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the top and then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake the cookies until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges, about 14 to 17 minutes.  (You can bake two sheets of cookies at a time, just rotate them halfway through the cooking time.)  Let the cookies sit for at least 2 minutes on the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely. 

Here’s a picture:


A few notes:  As with most baking exercises, weighing your ingredients with a digital scale is the preferable method of measurement.  Doing so ensures a consistent product amongst multiple instances of making a recipe as well as accurately following the recipe author’s directions faithfully.  I realize everyone does not have a digital scale but if you are even somewhat serious about baking, I think it a very, very wise investment.  Take some care with the temperature of the ingredients before you bake.  Everything and I mean everything should be at room temperature.  Your dough will come together more easily and you’ll have a better product at the end.  Baking is the culmination of a thousand details and decisions that a baker must attend to.  In essence, baking is all about control and the more control you have over every aspect of the baking process, the better off you’ll be.  Finally, this is a sticky dough so when making the criss-cross patterns on the cookies, wet down your fork and you’ll have an easy time.  Happy baking!


Leave a Comment
  1. Katie B / May 11 2008 3:26 pm

    My mom would die for those!

  2. emily / Feb 26 2010 6:27 pm

    hi, what is the capital T for? on the peanut butter and the baking soda?

    • Tony / Feb 27 2010 12:41 pm

      “T” is the abbreviation for tablespoon. “t” is the abbreviation for teaspoon. Happy Baking.

  3. Tara / Nov 10 2010 2:41 pm

    These cookies are incredible. They’re light, and melt-in -your-mouth, and slightly crispy but soft inside. Incredible. I used 1c of dark brown sugar and 3/4c of light brown, because I like the rich flavor the dark brown sugar adds. Also, I only baked these for 12-13 minutes, any longer they became too dark and crispy. Alton Brown never disappoints!

  4. Tara / Nov 10 2010 2:43 pm

    I forgot I also used creamy peanut butter, added one package of chocolate chunks, and omitted the extra sugar sprinkle. I don’t think there’s anything you could do that would make these cookies less fantastic, but who doesn’t love chocolate with their peanut butter?

  5. Happy Baker / Jun 18 2011 9:18 pm

    These cookies came out amazing! They were very soft and perfectly cooked after 14 min. I loved them! This was a great recipe that I will definitely continue to use and refer my friends to. Thanks!!

  6. Bill Toohey / Nov 24 2013 12:58 pm

    I am a little puzzled by the peanut butter amount. A cup in 8 ounces, two cups are 16 ounces,
    A tablespoon is 1/2 ounce. Therefore 2 cups plus one table spoon would equate to 16 1/2 ounces of peanut butter.

    If we are talking about imperial measurements ( as in the UK) that is different. 1 cup is 10 ounces, 1 tablespoon is 0.625 ounces therefore two cups imperial would be 20.625 imperial ounces. Note a US ounces is bigger than a UK ounce.

    I assume the correct ounces is 16 1/2 US ounces.

    • Mike B / Dec 13 2013 2:13 pm

      Bill, I believe your calculations are off. Per the King Arthur Flour Master Weight Chart (, 1/2 cup of peanut butter is 4.75 ounces. So 2 cups of peanut butter alone would be 19 ounces.

    • Jo Mercer / Jan 20 2015 4:17 pm

      American measurements are typically by volume, not by weight. So, for example 8 fluid ounces of a liquid might not weigh 8 ounces, nor would eight ounces of a measured volume of sugar necessarily weigh 8 ounces.

    • Matt / Apr 24 2018 8:09 pm

      The “oz” listed are weight ounces; as Jo mentioned I believe you are using US fluid oz, rather than US oz. To make it more universal, you want 588.25 grams of peanut butter.

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