Chewy 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

published Oct 17, 2023
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

They're soft, chewy, and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Makes24 (2-inch) cookies

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 12 minutes

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Peanut butter cookies on baking sheet.
Credit: Kelli Foster

I’m an “instant gratification” kind of baker. Any baked good that’s deemed a “project” (with the exception of pumpkin cinnamon rolls, of course!) isn’t really my speed. Give me sweets that I can mix together quickly and easily, pop in the oven, and snack on in half an hour and I’m sold. Enter: 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies.

Not only are these the absolute easiest, but they’re my favorite soft and chewy peanut butter cookies too. I’m talking, just three ingredients and less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Bonus: They’re naturally gluten-free. It truly doesn’t get any better.

Ingredients in 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Peanut butter. Both natural peanut butter and peanut butter spread like Skippy and Jif work well here, so use what you prefer or already have handy. Creamy peanut butter is best, although crunchy will also work, as will other nut butter.
  • Granulated sugar. We developed these with granulated sugar because that’s what many of us are most likely to have in the pantry. Plus, it’s totally delicious. If you’re out of white sugar but have brown, go ahead and use it  — the cookies will be great and will have a subtle caramel flavor. 
  • Egg. A single large egg works as a binder and gives the cookies a chewy texture.
Credit: Kelli Foster

If You’re Making 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies, a Few Tips

  • Make sure the peanut butter is stirred well. This only applies if you’re using natural peanut butter, which has a tendency to separate. Be sure to give it a good stir first, so the oil is well-blended with the peanut butter. It’ll make the cookie dough much easier to mix together.
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet (and before digging in!). The hardest part of making these cookies is waiting until they’re totally cool before grabbing one. Trust me, though — it’s worth the wait. These cookies are super soft when they come out of the oven and will crumble apart if you move them while warm, although they firm up nicely as they cool.
  • Give the cookies a twist. These cookies are fantastic as is, but if you want to zhuzh them up a little, there’s no shortage of options. You can press mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, or chopped nuts into the top of the cookies before baking, roll the dough in cinnamon sugar, or partially dip the baked (and cooled) cookies in melted chocolate.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

They're soft, chewy, and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Makes 24 (2-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    smooth peanut butter (well-stirred if using natural peanut butter)

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1

    large egg

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350℉. Lined 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. Place 1 cup smooth peanut butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 large egg in a large bowl. Mix with a flexible spatula until well-combined.

  3. Scoop the dough out into 24 (level 1-tablespoon) portions. Roll into balls. Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, 12 per sheet. Flatten each dough ball with a fork until about 2 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick, creating a crosshatch pattern.

  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the centers are set, the cookies are lightly puffed, and the edges are firm, 5 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on the baking sheets, about 30 minutes. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough can be made ahead and frozen until you’re ready to bake. Scoop out the dough, shape into balls, flatten, and freeze on the baking sheets; when they’re firm, transfer to a zip top freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, line the baking sheets and place the cookies on them. Let them sit at room temperature while the oven heats. Bake according to recipe instructions.

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.