Small batch peanut butter cookies are packed with flavor, soft inside, and a crumbly edge we all love. This peanut butter cookie recipe makes six delicious cookies. This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and before you know it you will be enjoying the best peanut butter cookies!
Who doesn't love a peanut butter cookie? They are simple to make and packed with loads of amazing peanut butter flavors. My personal favorite part is the extra sugar on the edge. It just gives the cookie a perfect little crunch!
Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
Did someone say I want peanut butter cookies for two? (Or three, ok, maybe four.) I live in a household of two, and there is no good reason to bake 3 dozen cookies. Sometimes my husband and I want just the right amount of cookies to satisfy our craving. But not so much we end up freezing most of them. Because let's be honest, I eat the frozen ones while they are still frozen. However, making a half batch is a little tricky. A full egg is too much moisture for the amount of dough. The solution? One egg yolk. Here is a quick rundown of the ingredients you will need.
- All purpose flour (APF) - Provides the structure for the cookies. APF is a great all around flour ajd the perfect flour for this recipe.
- Baking powder and baking soda - Create the perfect lift and spread you are looking for in a cookie. For best results, make sure that your baking powder and soda are no older then six months. Also, stay away from the baking soda in your refrigerator. While tempting in a pinch, it will make your cookies taste like everything in your fridge. (I can vouch from personal experience.)
- Salt - Best results use standard table salt. You can also use sea salt.
- Unsalted butter - When baking, always try and use unsalted butter. This allows you, the baker, to control how much salt goes into your recipe. You also want your butter at room temperature. Leave it out for at least two hours before starting to bake.
- Sugar - Use a standard granulated sugar when making peanut butter cookies.
- Brown sugar - You can use either light or dark brown sugar. If you have both, I would go with dark brown sugar. The extra molasses will give the cookies a deeper flavor and warmth.
- Large egg yolk- A room temperature egg yolk is preferred. In order to achieve a room temperature egg yolk, you must separate the egg white from the yolk right out of the refrigerator. Then allow just the egg yolk to come to room temperature (one-two hours). If you forgot, which I sometimes do, the recipe will still taste works well with a cold egg yolk.
- Creamy peanut butter - I don't say this often, but stick with the processed peanut butters. Jiff or Skippy are perfect peanut butters for baking. They are creamy, moist and provide softness to the cookie. On the other hand, avoid natural peanut butters. They will make your cookies dry and crumbly.
- Vanilla extract - Always use vanilla extract to enhance the other flavors. Vanilla is the best supporting actor in the baking world.
Additions and Substitutions
- Vegan -The recipe below I have tested and I absolutely love it. However, sometimes people would like to make vegan peanut butter cookies. At this time I have not been able to make a vegan version of this cookie. Here are a couple of recipes for vegan peanut butter cookies. You can try this one or this one. If you try them, please let me know how they turned out.
- Chocolate - If you want to make these cookies chocolate, add ⅓ cup of cocoa powder when mixing the dry ingredients.
- Chocolate chips - If you would like peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, add ⅓ cup of chocolate chips just after mixing the dry ingredients.
- Pretzels - For that extra crunch and salt, add ⅓ cup of rough chopped pretzels just after mixing the dry ingredients.
- Once the dough is rolled into a ball, roll the dough in white sugar. This will help to keep the color light and provide extra texture to the cookie.
- When measuring, fill your measuring cup and gently tap it on the counter. Then run your knife over the top. This will level the ingredient and match the quantity used in this recipe.
- When using the hand mixer, cover the bowl with your hand. this will help reduce the number of ingredients that go flying. In a small batch of cookies this step is really important.
- For the perfect golden cookie, use a silacone mat.
How Can I Keep My Cookies From Being Thin?
There are several reasons your cookies could be flat, but the main reason is warm butter. To avoid this, you can do three things.
- Use room temperature butter and never melted butter. Room temperature butter will hold it's shape and be soft to the touch. If the butter is not holding it's shape it is too warm.
- Beat the butter and sugar just enough to blend together, but not over-beat. When over-beating occurs the butter is too warm, causing the cookies to rise, but then collapse in the oven.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour before baking. This is a universal cookie best practice to achieve the best shape. If I am in pressed for time I skip it. But if time permits, I always chill the cookies before baking.
Peanut Butter Cookie FAQ
When making peanut butter cookies, use processed peanut butter such as Jiff or Skippy. This type of creamy peanut butter bakes perfectly and gives the cookie a smooth texture.
Yes, technically, but your cookies will be dry and crumbly. I recommend using processed peanut butter for baking and natural peanut butter for eating.
Bakers typically prefer smooth peanut butter for the traditional look. However, if you like chunky peanut butter, you can substitute that for smooth peanut butter. The only difference is your cookie will be lumpy instead of smooth.
Technically yes, however, it is a best practice to use unsalted butter. This allows you, the baker, to control how much salt goes into a recipe. With that said, I have used salted butter when I do not have unsalted butter in my refrigerator, and my cookies still taste great. (Disclaimer, I love salt. Probably a little too much.)
Allow the cookies to cool fully. Then place them in an air-tight container. You can store them this way for up to one week.
Yes, these cookies freeze very well. Allow them to fully cool, and then place them in a freezer bag. I also recommend placing the freezer bag in a container. This will protect the cookies from breaking as items get shuffled around in the freezer. Peanut butter cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Before eating, allow cookies to come to room temperature. (If you can wait that long!)
If you are freezing the dough, scoop the dough onto balls. Then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for one-two hours. Once the dough is frozen, move the cookies to a freezer bag. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before eating. Cookies can be stored this way for up to three months.
Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies
- Hand Mixer
- Small and medium sized bowls
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 very small pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup extra creamy peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- extra sugar for rolling (optional)
High Altitude Adjustment
- 1 - 2 teaspoons water (see notes)
- Mix dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.½ cup all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 very small pinch salt
- Mix wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, cream the butter, and both sugars (white and brown) together using a hand mixer, on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolk and beat on low until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, then beat on a medium speed until combined.* If at altitude, add 1 teaspoon of water for every 5,000 feet above sea level.3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark), 1 large egg, ⅓ cup extra creamy peanut butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine dry and wet ingredients: Using a mixer on low, combine the dry and wet ingredients into the medium bowl until combined. The dough will be thick.
- Baking prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough into 1.5 tablespoon balls. Use a fork to make a crisscross indent on the top of each cookie. Optional: Place the cookies in the refrigerator for one hour. Optional: While the cookie is still in a ball, roll the ball in white sugar for a lighter look and extra texture.
- Baking: Bake for 12- 15 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft. Allow to cool for 3 -5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack.