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World's Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

Updated on December 2, 2014

My grandmother's delicious, outrageously simple recipe

Here it is: My contender for the world's easiest cookie recipe. It's fun to make these on June 12, National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. But really, I'll take any excuse to make--and share--this terrific recipe from my grandmother, who passed away just shy of her 96th birthday. As a child I watched her make many amazing desserts, mostly walnut-filled Eastern European specialties like roszke (crescent-shaped cookies) and potica (sweat, yeasted bread). My dad and brother carry on those traditions today, but for me, the one recipe that's always stuck--mainly because it's so simple that it's nearly impossible to forget--is for these classic American treats. See if these aren't the best peanut butter cookies -- along with the easiest -- you've ever made.

(photo: Maggie Hoffman via photopin cc ~ croppsed for shape)

World's Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg


Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients well. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased or nonstick cookie sheet. Press down each little ball of dough with a fork, then press again to make a criss-cross pattern. Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on whether you like softer or crispier cookies. (Peak underneath with a spatula to make sure the bottoms aren't over-browning.)

Tip: To avoid crumbling, let cool completely before you transfer these off the cookie sheet.

Variations: For extra decadence, add chocolate chips. Or press a Hershey's kiss into each ball of dough and skip the fork-pressing :)

P.S.: You don't want to get too fancy with these. If your heart is set on natural peanut butter, be sure to use a no-stir kind. The type that separates is too liquidy for this recipe. Also, go for regular granulated sugar. I tried it once with organic sugar, and for some reason, the recipe didn't work. With plain old sugar and PB, you're golden!

Wilton Excelle Elite 18-By-14 Air-Insulated Cookie Sheet
Wilton Excelle Elite 18-By-14 Air-Insulated Cookie Sheet

No more burnt-bottom cookies! No greasing, either, and a snap to clean. Invest in quality and use these sheets forever.


Health Benefits

Yes, my best peanut butter cookies are full of sugar & fat. But they're also packed with protein, which gives them a distinct advantage over other cookies I make or buy. Not only are my kids rather meat-averse, but 2 of the 3 have ADD, so I'll grab any chance to sneak protein into them...especially at snacktime, right before homework, when I'm looking for something a bit filling that will help them focus and sustain their energy.

In fact, 2 of the 5 foods chosen by Cooking Light magazine in its "5 Foods That Should Have a Place in your Diet" piece are featured in this recipe: peanut butter and eggs. Yea!

Allergy Alert: Obviously there's one group for whom these cookies are neither healthy nor safe: kids and adults with peanut allergies, which can be very dangerous--even life threatening. Check with your child's teacher before sending these cookies (or any treats, really) into the classroom or lunchroom.

On the other hand, this flourless recipe is fantastic for kids with wheat allergies, celiac disease, or some other need for a gluten-free diet!

Wilton 2105-459 Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack, 15 7/8" X 9 7/8"
Wilton 2105-459 Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack, 15 7/8" X 9 7/8"

This has been on my Christmas wish list forever!

Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Old and New Favorites
Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Old and New Favorites

With gluten intolerance and allergies growing, it's good to have some foolproof recipes in your back pocket!


Packing PB?

Out of concern over peanut allergy, some schools have outlawed peanut products in sack lunches. At others, like ours, lunches can contain peanut, but families are asked to label them as such. We use these "Contains Peanut" labels when we pack PBJs or PB cookies.


The year is full of semi-official excuses to try my peanut butter cookie recipe, given the number of relevant goofy (but fun) food holidays:

January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day.

The whole month of March has been decreed (by somebody!) National Peanut Month, with March 1 designated National Peanut Butter Lover's Day.

This recipe is so easy, it's a perfect choice for June 13, "Kitchen Klutzes of America Day" (count me in!).

Add chocolate and you can make these for August 4, National Chocolate Chip Day. Mmmmmm.

October is National Cookie Month.

In November the "Peanut Butter Lovers" graduate to a whole month, not just a day.

And December 4 is National Cookie Day. Knock yourself out!


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    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      This is a totally awesome recipe, thanks.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: the recipe won't work w/out the egg; sorry. you could try it, but I'm pretty sure it would come out as just a pan of crumbs ... ? the egg is the "binder"

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      what if i don't got the egg

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      Looks good, and can't get any easier than that.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 5 years ago

      I can't remember the last time I had a peanut butter cookie and I used to live on them as a kid. It was almost a staple in our house. I am really going to have to try that 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie. It doesn't get much easier than that!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @GuyB LM: wow, gotta admire your intensity here re. accuracy .... my grandmother taught it to me; we made these cookies together. I am really not sure, though, if her mom taught it to her or if she read it somewhere or (what I always believed) made it up. she passed away a few years back, so unfortunately I can't ask her about that. sorry I can't be more certain as to exact origin! thx for stopping by!

    • GuyB LM profile image

      GuyB LM 6 years ago

      Did your grandmother come up with this recipe or was it handed down to her? Like, if your grandkids make these cookies will they say it's yours or their great great grandmas? I just want to make sure that when you title a lens, it is accurate. Please let me know which relative originated this recipe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Those cookies look great, and I'll bet they taste great also.

    • profile image

      MK2020 6 years ago

      Those cookies look yummy

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @damoiselle: thanks! peanut butter day was a nice little gift ;)

    • damoiselle profile image

      damoiselle 6 years ago

      Oh, neat. I'll have to see if my sister knows about this. Cheers and congrats on a good traffic day ;)

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 6 years ago

      Yee Haw ... I like peanut butter cookies better than I like cats ....

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 6 years ago

      My favorite cookies are Peanut Butter! I love your lens, nice layout, easy to read, and great tips!

      Liked, Blessed and will send in to Squidoo for Peanut Butter Lens Quest! Yoo Hoo/1

    • MamaRuth profile image

      MamaRuth 6 years ago

      This recipe certainly lives up to your title! Wow, can't wait to try them...I love that the recipe only has 3 ingredients. I have a friend who is always on the lookout for good gluten-free treats so I will definitely share with her.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 6 years ago

      Well, you certainly got my attention with only 3 ingredients! I actually had to double check to make sure you intentionally didn't have flour in this! I love it! I just made peanut butter cookies recently, and am eager to try these little flour-less gems! And I don't CARE that it's a butter & sugar filled treat! I'm all in! :) ~*~Blessed~*~ :) Kath

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind 6 years ago from USA

      Nice -- peanut butter day tip in!

    • Jessica Holbrook profile image

      Jessica 6 years ago from Southern Indiana

      These sound so simple and very yummy. I LOVE peanut butter and especially peanut butter cookies!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      yummy article and yes, this does look easy, even a monkey could make this!

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 6 years ago

      Love Peanut Butter.Thanks for the recipe

    • profile image

      valiapegli 6 years ago

      very interesting information! I love your cookies! I would be very glad if you visited my lens about veg recipes and leave your comment

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: yep! and you don't miss that flour a bit :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      And they are Gluten Free!!!!!!

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      These look awesome. Great lens.

    • doors4home profile image

      Doors4Home 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Peanut butter cookies are my favorite! I wish I had time to make them. Thanks for the recipe~!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks so much. I liked your Squidoo.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love your cookie lens- I've featured it on my Rocketmoms cookie collection- thank you!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 8 years ago

      Wonderful recipe and thanks for sharing. I think I will give it a go for the grand kids. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      Hehehe. I was attracted to this recipe because it is "outrageously simple". I love simple! And these look great. Definitely worth a try.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed. I'd love to see another big picture of a peanut butter cookie though!

      Welcome to the Culinary Favorites From A to Z group. Don’t forget to come back and add your lens to the link list so that it will appear on the group page!

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      I've got to try this "easy" recipe for peanut butter cookies.

      I tried once to bake them and it was a "fiasco".


    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 8 years ago

      I love peanut butter cookies - and this recipe is going to get tried at my house very, very soon. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to C-Joy] lol...I've been known to make a half-recipe when I'm low on PB :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oh I wish I had enough peanut butter in the house to make these RIGHT NOw!!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      I'm definitely adding this recipe to my box! I think we'll have to make them with the chocolate kisses though...YUM :o)

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      You had from the picture down. I could already taste those lovely morsels. This is a yummy lens!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      I am learning about all the different celebration days we have! Great recipe. We are selling cookie dough at the moment for a fund raiser so maybe we can use this as a marketing pitch!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Can you believe all the peanut related holidays we have? I guess we're nuts about peanuts! You did brilliantly here! Those cookies just have three ingredients? Amazing!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 8 years ago

      YUM!...I love PB cookies warm out of the oven with a big glass of milk!

      Well done!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love Peanut Butter anything and this recipe sounds delicious.

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 8 years ago

      Mmmm peanut butter cookies are great! Sweet lens! :-)

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Well I can't try them since I have that horrible Peanut allergy, but 2 of my kids don't have it so I will pass on the recipe. they sound yummy for those that can eat them.

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      I LOVE Peabut Butter Cookies!