Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Who can resist a good peanut butter cookie?  I can’t, that’s for sure.  They make me feel like a kid again.  (This is increasingly important, because I am celebrating another birthday this weekend – eek!)  This particular recipe is fantastic.  In fact, it will be my new standard for peanut butter cookies.  The peanut butter flavor is great, but the really wonderful thing about these is the texture.  They are thick, soft, and chewy – just perfect!

I was disappointed when I saw shortening on the ingredient list for these cookies, because I typically try to avoid using shortening in my cooking and baking.  Normally I would just substitute an equal amount of butter for the shortening and never think a thing about it.  However, thanks to an article I read in Cook’s Illustrated, I learned that shortening and butter have some different properties that affect the way they behave in baked goods.  I really wanted to keep the thick, chewy texture I was expecting from these cookies, so instead of subbing butter for all of the shortening, I did so only for half.  It worked like a charm and I was thrilled with the way these turned out.  The honey probably also plays a role in this magnificent texture, but I don’t know enough of that science to explain it.  A cookie (or two) with a cold glass of milk was a great way to unwind after a long day.  Obviously, I lead a wild and crazy life.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
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3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
Sugar, for rolling the cookies

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, butter, peanut butter and honey.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and beat just until incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Roll the dough into 1½-inch balls, and roll each dough ball in sugar.   Place the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, a couple inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen, originally from Taste of Home

62 Responses

  1. Just what I need now….looks beautiful & delicious. I love all the cracks.

  2. I’m not particularly fond of peanut butter cookies but these look really tempting! Interesting to see that honey is a major ingredient here…probably contributes to the chewy texture as well, as I’ve noticed breads that include honey are almost always super moist and chewy!

  3. That sounds like the perfect way to unwind after a hard day to me! Give me cake or cookies over wine anyday 😀

  4. I can’t wait to try these out, they sound wonderful. Peanut butter cookies should be chewy! I hope they taste similar to the ones I buy at Coborn’s Grocery store. I don’t know how they do it but they are thick and chewy. Maybe it’s the honey? hmmm

  5. These look fabulous! I can hardly get my cookies to stay soft once they’re cooled so maybe I’ll take a look at that article and stop substituting as well. 😉

    • Kelly,
      I don’t think it’s that the shortening keeps the cookies soft once they are cooled, but I think it plays more of a role in helping them maintain their shape in baking rather than spreading out (butter is has some percentage of water, which evaporates during baking, while shortening is 100% fat). I think in this case it’s the honey that keeps things soft and chewy.

  6. I’ve never made them at home…think I’ll start with this one!

  7. These cookies look fantastic. Soft & Chewy…my fav! Can’t wait to try!

  8. These look about as close to perfect as a PB can get!

  9. You are right, who can resist a good peanut butter cookie. I am excited to try this recipie. I have never cooked with shortening, other than pie crust. A good trick to having your cookies stay soft is take them out just before they are cooked, with ginger snaps once they get that “cracked” look I take them out of the oven. They are always soft. I would suspect you can do that with this recipe too.

    Thanks again for all your fabulous recipies Annie.

  10. Mmmmm! I’ve been craving a nice PB cookie!

  11. There is something magical with the combination of peanut butter and honey. Mmmm! I am going to try these with Peter Pan’s Honey Roast Peanut Butter (which is my new addiction!) If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge you to do so! It is fabulous!

  12. These cookies are fabulous! Like you I do not like to cook with shortening but I tried them anyways. I am so glad that I did! My kids will be so excited after school today to see what I baked! Thanks:)

  13. Wow those look so amazing, my husband would love them. His favorite thing in the world in peanut butter!

  14. Sooo weird. Yesterday I was totally craving pb cookies, and even looked on here for a recipe. Since I couldn’t find one, I resorted to good ol’ Betty Crocker (which also called for shortening), and now I am trying to figure out how to get rid of them so I don’t eat the whole batch! Once I do, though, I’ll give these a try. I’m interested to see what all that honey does to the cookies.

  15. These cookies look absolutely perfect! Wow! Bookmarked!

  16. Just found your blog and its amazing! SOOO many yummy things 🙂
    Can’t wait to browse around!
    -Mini Baker
    ps. Peanut Butter cookies are my favorite too! NOTHING beats PB!

  17. These look wonderful!

  18. I love peanut butter but not most cookies because they are just not chewy enough for me. You have basically solved all of the problems in my life with these. Needless to say I lead a very wild and crazy life 😀

  19. I love chewy cookies! And the peanut butter makes these sound even better!!

  20. Hey Annie,
    I saw this post this morning and made the cookies tonight! Yum! I’m glad you gave the shortening info, as well as your modifications. I normally stay away from it too, but included it for these babies! I rolled my cookies in turbinado sugar, which gave a great crunch. We would have liked just a bit more peanut flavor to come through so we might add in some peanut butter chips next time. Thanks for another keeper! You’re the best!

  21. Hi Annie

    What kind of honey did you use.

  22. this looks absolutely delicious! What a great yummy snack 🙂

  23. Happy Birthday Annie! I am definitely going to try these cookies. I can never find that perfect peanut butter cookie recipe. I hope this is the one! I read your blog daily; I am inspired by your creativity! Enjoy your weekend!

  24. I came across your blog a couple weeks ago and have to admit I love it! I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but hope to make the Oatmeal Buttermilk Wheat Bread this weekend. Honestly, I feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store. I don’t know which recipe to try first. I want to try them all!!

  25. The texture on these looks perfect. However, I too never use shortening, but looking at your pictures maybe it’s worth the occasional sacrifice?

  26. These were so yummy! Thanks, Annie!

  27. I made these cookies tonight as a special treat for my husband who LOVES peanut butter cookies They were perfect! I haven’t run across a recipe with a dough that turned out quite like this one and they were a big hit in our house!

  28. Can I just say that I loved the last line of your post? 🙂 I just tried these, and they are terrific. After I made the dough, I realized that I had accidentally used reduced fat peanut butter, and it worked well too. I’ve gotten so many wonderful recipes from your site, I just wanted to say thanks for posting them all!

  29. These look great! I’ve never tried making them with honey… can’t wait to try them!

  30. I could never resist a PB cookie! AND happy bday!

  31. I made them!
    Dip one in your coffee and that’s a good way to start your day.
    I think the honey gives a great layer to this cookie.

  32. I just made these this afternoon—so yummy! And chewy! 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe…you even got me to go buy shortening for them. I also always subsitute butter, but I trust your advice and these were great!

  33. I read your blog most days. You really have incredible recipes and photos. I am interested in your comments about the texture of these cookies. I love peanut butter cookies that have a sandy texture. Do you have any thoughts of how butter/shortening might be best used to achieve this?

    • Cynthia,
      I think the sandy texture of a peanut butter cookie would be more likely to come from the sugar you use, and maybe also the peanut butter. I doubt the choice of butter or shortening would play a role. I really have no clue how to achieve it though, I just know I like this recipe.

  34. Delish! Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorites. And I’m with you, I never bake with shortening. These look like the perfect afternoon treat. 🙂

  35. I love chewy cookies so these sound divine

  36. so funny, i was just searching your site last week for a pb cookie recipe and didnt find one! i used another recipe and subbed the shortening for butter and they turned out good, just not amazing. so maybe that shortnening really makes a difference.

  37. […] I had the chance!  To see pictures of this fabulous little dessert, head on over to check out Annie’s Eats, which also provided the recipe for these.  Annie talked about the texture of this cookie being […]

  38. These look fabulous! I just got my kitchen all organized from our move a few weeks ago and I wanted to finally use my Kitchen Aid mixer. I think this will be the perfect recipe to use it for the very first time!! =) My family will love these cookies!

  39. I am a fan of your blog!!! I made these for my friend who had a baby and she loved them….so did my husband and co workers!

  40. These are delicious! I added some chocolate chips and they made the perfect PB/Chocolate combo 🙂

  41. I made these this weekend and really liked the results. This recipe is a keeper!

  42. I made these for my hubby for Valentines Day, and they turned out fabulous! Thanks for the great recipe. The honey gives them the taste of a peanut butter and honey sandwich, yum!! As I shared your recipe with a co-worker, I realized that I forgot to add the butter-I would have never known the omission, they are still great tasting, and have a great soft but chewy-firm texture!!!

  43. It was a snowy day and after I finished shoveling, I was looking for a great cookie recipe to try. These turned out perfect. I love that the peanut butter flavour is not overwhelming and that the honey comes through too. Love the chewy texture. They were declared a huge success here. Thanks for the recipe that we will using many times I’m sure.

  44. Hi Annie,

    How many cookies does this recipe make? I was thinking of cutting the recipe in half as it seems like the recipe amounts would make a big batch.



    • Hi Tanya,
      If I don’t write a yield, it’s usually because I can’t remember. I *think* the yield for this was around 3 dozen cookies or so, but I honestly don’t know for sure.

      • HI Annie,

        I made these yesterday and I got 32 cookies. They are really delicious, but mine didn’t flatten as much as yours. Do you have any idea why? I followed the recipe exactly except I added some chocolate chips (about 3/4 cups mini chips). I don’t thinks that was the issue though… Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

      • Hi Tanya,
        I really don’t know. I had the same question from another reader and I don’t have any answers. Sorry!

  45. Hi Annie,
    I just made these today and they are outstanding! I found your blog about a month ago and have loved everything that I have tried. The Chicago style pizza has been our new favorite and I have made it twice already. My husband and I are expecting our first child and I can’t wait to try making my own baby food. I have always wanted to go that route and am more confident with your recipes. Thanks so much for your blog!

  46. Great, moist cookies. Only problem I had with the recipe was the proportion of honey to peanut butter. mine came out tasting more like honey cookies than peanut butter cookies. It might have to do with the brand of each, and I will definitely try this recipe again.

  47. I am DYING to try these! Normally, I stick with my great-grandmother’s recipe (which are amazing but turn out more to the crispy side…good for dunking in coffee!) but ever since a friend mentioned she had made cookies with a layer of extra PB and chocolate chunks hidden inside, I’ve been looking for a softer, chewier cookie to try it on. I think I may have found it…. And how wonderful that it uses honey to replace some of the sugar I’ve found in other recipes (up to 2 1/2 cups!!). Thank you for sharing, Annie.

  48. So, a question. Sorry if its been asked and answered…
    approximately how many cookies does this recipe make following the instructions?

  49. YUM!! we tried these tasty cookies today and they were a hit for our arvo tea!@ Thanx for the recipe I hope to blog it later this week!

    • I’ve followed your blog for as long as I can remember, and have made many, many of your recipes. I wanted to make soft peanut butter cookies tonight, so I Googled – the minute I saw yours, I knew the recipe would be a keeper. I just pulled them out of the oven – they look AMAZING! Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes! 🙂

  50. Just discovered your wonderful blog and all I can think is…I am in BIG trouble! What wonderful looking recipes. Can’t wait to try them all. But tonight, I made these yummy cookies for my father in law who loves peanut butter. We loved them!

  51. I have trie MANY peanut butter cookie recipes, and this is by far the best one that I have come accross. The cookies are moist and chewy, due to the honey. This will definitely be a keeper in my recipe section!

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