The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
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The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

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I’m excited to show you how to make the best peanut butter cookies ever! It’s my sister-in-law Pat’s classic peanut butter cookie recipe with Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses. Now they make dark chocolate kisses that I can use since they’re my favorite! Love it!

This is really a tribute to her for not only being a wonderful cook, but also for being an awesome Aunt to my girls when they were growing up in Utah, and into their adult life as well.

I’m updating this recipe from July 2016. That seems like such a long time ago.

Pat passed away a few years ago, she would always have a treat for them when we visited her. I still remember her using her apron to wipe their noses because they had fallen outside and came in crying. She always had her arms open to love everyone.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

In case you missed my other Peanut Butter Recipes:

My Cookie Recipe Book

As I read through this recipe in my recipe book, I could see that it makes several cookies. Of course, it depends on the size of the cookie scoop, but I usually get 36 cookies from this recipe. This must be why we always looked forward to her bringing them to the family reunions each year because we could each have more than one cookie!!

Today I am cutting the recipe down to make only 36 cookies. It seems like 48 cookies is a lot these days! LOL!

Items You May Need In The Kitchen:

Ingredients – Peanut Butter Cookies

Dry Ingredients

  • All-Purpose White flour (I use bread flour): You can use all-purpose flour, but I find the peanut butter cookies come out fluffier with white bread flour. And, my bread flour has more protein than other flour varieties, which I appreciate when making any of my pastries or bread recipes.
  • Baking Soda: Adds carbon dioxide to the dough, which helps to create a delicious soft and chewy cookie.
  • Sea Salt: Used to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients, and to help offset the flavor of the sugar.
  • White Granulated Sugar: Used to maintain moisture, creating a softer cookie, and adding sweetness and flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: A mixture of granulated white sugar and molasses. It’s added for flavor and to help maintain moisture. It caramelizes as it bakes, creating a robust rich flavor that makes this peanut butter cookie truly incredible!
  • Hershey Kisses: A popular and delicious small piece of chocolate candy in the shape of a teardrop with a flat bottom. Each piece is individually wrapped with foil. Made with sugar, chocolate, milk, soy lecithin, cocoa butter, lactose, milk fat, and artificial flavor.

Wet Ingredients

  • Salted or Unsalted Butter (softened): Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce softer peanut butter cookies and enriches the flavor; it helps to keep the cookies from crumbling. Butter prevents the eggs, or any moist ingredient, from evaporating, which creates moist, soft, and velvety cookies. Due to the added sea salt in this recipe, you don’t need to use butter that contains added salt.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: A savory, high protein, a spread made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts with sugar, salt, and oils added.
  • Eggs: Great protein source, helps bind the cookie dough together, creating moist and soft peanut butter cookies. Increases browning during the cooking process. Adds a deliciously rich flavor and helps to extend the life of the cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds and enhances the flavors of the creamy peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, flour, and Hershey’s Kisses.
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Softest Peanut Butter Cookies

Step One: Gather Ingredients – Preheat the Oven – Grease Cookie Sheets

Gather the ingredients so you’re ready to make these yummy peanut butter cookies! Preheat the oven to (375°F) = (190°C) degrees. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature.

You can grease the pan, use parchment paper, or use a Silpat liner. A handy approach is to skip the vegetable spray and use this mat forever! Silpat Liner or Parchment Paper.

Gather The Ingredients

Step Two: Cream The Ingredients

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, white granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, sea salt, peanut butter, and vanilla extract.

Cream the wet Ingredients

Whip Until Creamed

Whip Until Completely Creamed

Step Three: Add the Flour

Gradually add the flour until the flour mixture is blended well. How much flour you add will determine the texture of the cookie. I’ve found the amount shown in the recipe works great for how I like mine.

Add The Flour

Step Four: Shape the Dough into Cookie Balls

Once blended, shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet, baking sheet with parchment paper, or mat as mentioned above. I use a 1/8 cup cookie scoop to make these yummy cookies. Cookie Scoops and my favorite cookie spatula: OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula

Use a Cookie Scoop

Step Five: Bake the Cookies

It’s time to bake the cookies! Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Depending on the size of the dough balls you make, the cooking time may vary.

Bake The cookies

Step Six: After Baking add the Hershey Kisses

Next, remove the foil from the Hershey Kisses. You may want to chill the “kisses” because they may start to melt. After baking, immediately add an unwrapped chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie. By doing so, the “kisses” melt just a bit into the hot peanut butter cookies, which helps them to stick. So delicious!

Add The Kisses to Each Cookie

Finished Product

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and carefully place the cookies on a wire rack or serving tray.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

5 from 4 votes
The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
Softest Peanut Butter Cookies Ever
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 dozen
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour (I use bread flour)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup salted or unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag chocolate Hershey Kisses-unwrapped
Instructions
  1. Gather all of your ingredients. Preheat the oven to (375°F) = (190°C) degrees. Allow the butter to soften. Grease your cookie sheets, or place parchment paper on them. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature.

  2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter, white granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, sea salt, creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whip until creamed.

  3. Gradually add the flour until the flour mixture is blended well.

  4. Once blended, shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet or baking sheet with parchment paper. I use a 1/8 cup cookie scoop to make these yummy cookies.

  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the balls you make, the cooking time may vary.

  6. Unwrap the Hershey Kisses before you bake them so they are ready when needed. You may want to chill the "kisses" because they may start to melt when placed on a hot cookie. After baking, immediately add an unwrapped chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie. By doing so, the "kisses" melt just a bit into the hot peanut butter cookies, which helps them to stick. So delicious!

How Should I Store Peanut Butter Cookies?

Once you’ve made these Peanut Butter Cookies, you may be wondering how you can store them. Wait until they have reached room temperature and then put them in an airtight container. If stored properly, they’ll stay fresh for around a week. 

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How Long Do Peanut Butter Cookies Stay Fresh?

In my home, peanut butter cookies are gobbled up so quickly that I seldom have to worry about how long they’ll stay fresh, which I’m grateful for. If they’re stored properly in an airtight container, they should stay fresh for about a week.

Can I Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies?

These peanut butter cookies freeze really well! The cookie dough freezes nicely too if you want to bake the cookies later. Be sure to freeze the dough in an airtight container.

Why are peanut butter cookies called Peanut Butter Blossoms?

This is such a fun story! Back in the 1950s in Ohio, a woman named Freda Smith was cooking chocolate chip peanut butter cookies for her grandchildren. Halfway through making the cookie dough, she realized that she didn’t have any chocolate chips! She came up with the brilliant idea to use some Hershey Kisses from her pantry and plop one on top of each of the cookies! It was such a hit that she ended up entering the cookies in a Pillsbury cooking competition. She called them “Black-Eyed Susans.” Pillsbury actually renamed the cookies to “Peanut Butter Blossoms.” Although the cookies didn’t win the competition, they’ve become well-known around the world and have become a family favorite for many! Some still call them Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies. In my home, we call them Peanut Butter Cookies with a Kiss. So fun!

It’s important to realize, moisture is key to keeping a peanut butter cookie chewy or soft vs being on the crispy side! Equally important, the butter and peanut butter in the peanut butter cookie dough contains water, milk solids, and oils which help to create a soft or chewy peanut butter cookie. Also, the thickness of the dough is an important thing to consider. As I have noted before, I like to use a 1/8 cup cookie scoop to measure my cookie dough balls for this recipe and it makes a 1-inch ball. I feel that that size ball is the perfect size to help maintain the moisture as it cooks and as it takes the shape of the cookie.

If you prefer crispier sugar cookies, for example, use a smaller scoop. A thin cookie won’t be as soft, so you decide what texture you like your cookies to have. Please make sure to watch the baking sheet in the oven to see when the cookie edges are a little darker, not too much, just a little. They’ll cook in less time because they are thinner.

Final Word

Please let me know if you try making these peanut butter kiss cookies! They are the perfect Christmas cookie that is so fun to take to any friend or family get-together.

This recipe is truly the best peanut butter cookie recipe! I love how the flavor of the peanut butter combined with the sea salt, vanilla extract, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, butter, and the Hershey Kiss make a very creamy, chocolatey treat!

I’d love to hear if you enjoyed this recipe! Let’s continue to cook from scratch. It’s so important to teach these skills to our young loved ones. May God Bless this World, Linda.

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20 Comments

  1. My daughter is ALWAYS asking for Peanut Butter Cookies and so one day I asked her if they were her favorite, and she said they were only ONE of her favorites. I asked her why she only asked for peanut butter cookies all the time then, and she said, because YOU are allergic to peanuts and that means more for me!

    Oh I love the smell of peanuts too. I’m not BAD allergic, but told it could get bad and not to even try to have any. So I can still have them in the house and still can cook with them, but like she said, more for her–rather all for the family, save me! Oh the pictures are so mouth watering! I have peanut butter cookie envy! I remember how smooth and yummy peanut butter is.

    I MUST make these!

    1. Hi Debbie, I’ve heard how dangerous it is to be allergic to peanuts. They won’t even pass them out on an airplane if you tell them you are allergic to peanuts. I love the comment more for her! Hugs! Linda

  2. I won’t get any, but I’m making these for the family this weekend for our upcoming camping trip.

    I need to also make some granola, a kind without peanuts. Sometimes I can substitute sunflower nuts and/or almonds. Tree nuts are okay. I need to find a good recipe for granola. The thing is, I think I have everything I need to make it in food storage. We’re still working on building that up, but part of doing that is learning to use it and rotating, so I think it would be great if my daughter and I could make some granola completely out of the food storage. Do you have a good recipe?

    Can’t wait. I’m working out our menus for the trip. We love camp food.

    1. Debbie, here is another one that is really good, I need to make a post with these:

      Granola:

      Place the following in a large bowl and set aside:

      32 ounces oatmeal uncooked

      6 ounces puffed rice cereal

      1 cup sunflower seeds

      1-1/2 cups sliced or slivered almonds

      2 cups unsweetened coconut

      Put the following ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir altogether:

      1-3/4 cup honey

      1 1/2 cups Olive Oil

      2 tsp. salt

      4 T. cinnamon
      After cooking over low heat add 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients above. Place in a greased 9 by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn the oats halfway through the 30 minutes to maintain even browning so the edges do not burn. Enjoy!

  3. I didn’t know about keeping nuts in the freezer. I keep rotating nuts in the food storage because we eat a lot of nuts, and I figured I’d use them by the “use by” date. How long do they last in the freezer?

    Love the looks of that second granola recipe! The first one (the link) didn’t come through. For the second one, I have everything I need in food storage. I like to impress on my daughter how great it is to have food storage, so when we have a food storage recipe that we’ve tried, we keep the recipe on a card in a special box. That means if we need to use food storage that we have recipes (tried and true) that we can put together, knowing everything’s there.

    I like the heavy use of the olive oil in that recipe. We need that for calories. You go on a long hiking trail, you crave the carbs big time. We’ll try it!

    1. Hi Debbie, I buy all kinds of nuts and put them in either mason jars and seal them and place them in the freezer or the bags and seal them as well before putting them in the freezer. Great idea about the box with food storage recipes, I love that! I’m glad you found my website too! Hugs, Linda

  4. 5 stars
    Ohhhh…..this peanut butter cookies look and sound absolutely delicious!! The Hershey kiss really tops it off! Thank you sooo much for sharing!❤️

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Linda:

    I feel for Debbie. I am also allergic to nuts but the only ones I can eat at peanuts, cashews and walnuts. It’s crazy. I can eat peanuts but I can’t have peanut butter. My husbands cousin is allergic to all nuts.

    I am going to make a double batch of the peanut butter cookies. I don’t like them but my husband loves them and I will make some for Christmas for him. I just hope the kids don’t eat them all before he has a chance to eat some.

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! They are yummy with or without the chocolate kisses! I have a granddaughter who is allergic to nuts, she can’t have these either. But the rest of the family enjoys them!! Linda

  6. 5 stars
    My husband makes these about ever 6 weeks. His only difference is he adds milk chocolate kisses before he bakes the cookies. They don’t melt, but it does change the texture of the chocolate, and we like it better. The dark purple wrapped kisses are dark chocolate, and they do melt if added to the cookies before baking. Thank you for the reminder that it’s time Tom baked cookies.

  7. 5 stars
    Anything that involves chocolate & peanut butter is outstanding in my book! The only cookie that could give this one a run for it’s money is your soft oatmeal cookies.

  8. I have an Easy Peanut Butter Cookie. Making them for >30 years. Also happen to be gluten free- absolutely delicious and no flour. Great for college kids with limited supplies on hand or for young kids to mix up as there is less mess since no flour.
    1 egg
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup peanut butter
    Mix well. Roll into 24 balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. May press with tines of fork or put Hershey Kiss or star on top. If preferred may mix in chocolate chips with dough.
    Bake 9-11 minutes @350 degrees until light brown and set. Cool 3 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove. Easy-peasy and tasty.

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