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?


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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.





  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. 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:@)

  3. 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!!

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  4. 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!!

  5. 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.

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  6. 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;)

  7. 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:)
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  8. 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.
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  9. 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.

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