Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Bake up a batch of these peanut butter oatmeal cookies today! The recipe is so easy and they’re full of chewy oats and nutty peanut butter!
Back to school is in full swing, and if you’re anything like me that can only mean one thing: cookies!
Nothing welcomes the kiddos back home after a long day of learning like a plate of freshly baked cookies and a tall glass of milk.
I’m a mom of two growing boys and they come home hungry!
So I love to be able to offer them a wholesome treat that will fill their bellies and keep them going until dinnertime.
And these peanut butter oatmeal cookies really fit the bill! They’re so hearty and delish!
Table of Contents
- What are peanut butter oatmeal cookies?
- What’s great about this recipe
- What do peanut butter oatmeal cookies taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make this peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe
- How to serve
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- How to store
- A few more of my favorite fall recipes
What are peanut butter oatmeal cookies?
These are a simple drop cookie, so they’re made in just one bowl in about 30 minutes or less.
There’s lots of scrumptious peanut butter, plus chewy oats. They’re sweetened with a combination of white and brown sugars, so the flavor is warm and complex, with a bit of a sweet/savory vibe.
The texture is extremely tender. They practically melt in your mouth!
What’s great about this recipe
- Tastes amazing: Peanut butter and oatmeal make a killer combo!
- Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of basic pantry staples to make this recipe.
- Easy to make: They come together in 30 minutes or less.
- Incredibly soft and tender: These oatmeal peanut butter cookies bake up so soft! It’s comfort food at its best.
What do peanut butter oatmeal cookies taste like?
This cookie recipe combines all the best that peanut butter and oatmeal have to offer, with just the right amount of sweetness.
The peanut butter flavor really shines! These are so peanut-buttery!
And the oats are the perfect chewy, slightly sweet counterpoint. They really up the hearty factor, as well as bringing a unique flavor and texture to the cookies.
You’ll just need a few basics to make this peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe. You probably already have most of these ingredients in your cupboards and fridge!
I just use regular, creamy peanut butter to make these cookies. My favorite brand is Jif.
I have not tested this recipe with natural peanut butter, but I do think it could work. Just keep in mind that the final result will taste a lot less sweet, since the peanut butter doesn’t have any added sugar or salt.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
For a dairy-free peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
This recipe works best if you allow the butter to come to room temperature first. You can set it out on the counter a few hours ahead of making your recipe, or you can microwave it for 10 seconds, turn it over, and microwave it again for another 8 seconds.
Sugar adds sweetness (obvs!) but it also aids in browning and keeps things moist, since it’s hydrophilic (this means it loves water, in other words, it draws moisture in).
Sub for another type of sweetener if you like! As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
This recipe calls for one whole, large egg, which provides structure to the cookies.
Additionally, I recommend adding one more egg yolk to this recipe. It adds richness and helps the cookies to be moist and soft. If you used the second white too, the final result could be a little tough.
All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you can swap it out for any kind of whole-grain option if you like. You may need slightly less if you go that route.
A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
I like old-fashioned oats best, because they are so hearty. But use whatever you’ve got!
Cornstarch is a colorless, odorless, and flavorless starch that will keep the cookies soft and tender.
Make sure you’re using cornstarch, which is white and powdery, and not cornmeal, which is yellow and gritty and tastes like corn chips.
Baking soda is a chemical leavener.
In other words, it helps the cookies to rise and spread through a chemical reaction between acid, base, and liquid.
Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine and that can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Here are the tools you’ll need to create this special treat:
- Measuring cups and spoons: To measure out the ingredients.
- Large mixing bowl: I use the one that comes with my stand mixer.
- Electric mixer: Either a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer.
- Silicone spatula: For scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Cookie scoop: For portioning out the cookie dough. I like a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop.
- Parchment paper: To line the baking sheets and make cleanup easier.
- Baking sheets: I like to use aluminum half sheet pans. They’re lightweight and they provide nice, even cooking.
How to make this peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe
These oatmeal peanut butter cookies come together in just 6 simple steps.
Step 1: Cream the butter and sugars
Start by placing the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together in your mixing bowl.
Then, using the paddle attachment, whip these ingredients together until very pale and fluffy.
This is a really important step, so don’t skimp! If you do, your cookies could come out too dense and you might not get as many out of the batch.
You really want to incorporate lots of air, so set a timer for 5 minutes and look for the mixture to double in volume.
Step 2: Add peanut butter and eggs
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl down with a silicone spatula, and add the peanut butter.
Stir this in just until combined, then add the eggs.
Once the eggs have been worked in, you can add in the dry ingredients.
Step 3: Mix in the dry ingredients
Add the oatmeal, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
Stir these in on low speed, just until barely combined. Be careful not to overmix at this stage, or the glutens in the flour could become overworked and your cookies could come out tough.
Step 4: Portion the dough
Fill the cookie scoop and squeeze your dough balls out onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Be sure to leave a little space around each dough ball, so the cookies have room to spread as they bake.
This recipe doesn’t spread a whole lot, so I recommend flattening the dough balls slightly before sliding them into the preheated oven.
Step 5: Bake
You’ll know your cookies are done baking when they’re set around the edges but still quite doughy and moist towards the center.
Don’t forget to allow for carry-over cooking, which is the idea that the internal temperature of foods will continue to increase, even after they’re no longer exposed to a heat source.
If you bake your cookies too long, they could come out dry, so remove them from the oven just a little shy of completely done. As they cool on the baking sheet, they’ll firm up a lot.
How to serve
These cookies are so good with a tall glass of ice-cold milk!
But if you really want to jazz them up, try dipping them in melted chocolate, like I did with these almond butter cookies.
Or, sandwich them around strawberry jam for peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies.
You could also make fluffernutter cookies with this marshmallow filling recipe!
These are just a few ideas! There are all sorts of ways to make this oatmeal peanut butter cookie recipe your own.
Really whip the butter and sugars
You want to get lots of air incorporated! This will result in a lighter, less dense cookie that practically melts in your mouth.
I find this typically takes no less than 5 full minutes, sometimes more.
You may need to stop a few times to scrape down any dense butter that clings to the bottom and sides of the bowl or paddle.
Once the dry ingredients go in, you really don’t want to overwork the dough. This could result in a tougher end result.
Just a few times around the bowl with the mixer. The flour should be just barely incorporated.
Use a cookie scoop
This tool makes cookie-making a breeze!
The dough portions out in no time flat, and you get a really consistent result. This is important! You want all your cookies the same size so they bake in the same amount of time.
Overbaked cookies will be dry and crunchy, rather than moist and soft.
Pull them out of the oven a minute or two before they actually look done. They’ll continue to cook and firm up as they are allowed to cool on the hot baking sheet.
Frequently asked questions
What if I can’t have nuts?
If you have a nut or peanut allergy or intolerance, I have a great recommendation for you: SunButter!
It’s made from ground sunflower seeds and it tastes almost exactly like peanut butter.
Why didn’t my cookies spread?
These cookies don’t really flatten out a ton as they bake. I think it’s because of the added protein in the peanut butter.
I recommend flattening them slightly with the palm of your clean hand, or with the bottom of a drinking glass that’s been dipped in flour. This should help to yield the desired shape.
You could also try adding just the tiniest pinch more baking soda.
Why are my cookies dry?
This is almost always the result of overbaking!
Remember to take them out a minute or two earlier than you’d think, and allow them to cool on the baking sheet.
Why did my cookies fall apart?
These peanut butter oatmeal cookies are extremely tender!
Even more so when still warm. I prefer to let them cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet, so they really have a chance to firm up.
And if you’re transporting them somewhere, it’s probably better to stash them in a box or tin, rather than a zip-top bag.
How to store
Keep your cookies in an airtight container and they should last for about a week at room temperature.
Or, wrap them up nice and tight and they’ll keep in the freezer for several months.
You can also freeze the dough: just scoop onto trays, freeze until hard, then transfer to a gallon-sized, zip-top freezer bag.
The frozen dough will last for a couple of months.
You don’t have to thaw the cookie dough before baking. Just grab as many as you like, pop them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake from frozen. You may need an extra minute in the oven, if you go this route. But it’s so nice to have freshly baked cookies whenever the craving strikes!
A few more of my favorite fall recipes
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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (258 g) peanut butter
- 1 (44 g) egg, large
- 1 (18 g) egg yolk, from a large egg
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (350 g) oatmeal, I prefer old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl, and cream together on medium-high speed for a FULL 5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then stir in the peanut butter, egg, and egg yolk until incorporated.
- Add the flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, and mix together on low speed until just barely combined.
- Scoop 1.5-tablespoons balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing flat and allowing about 2 to 3 inches in between (for spreading).
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until just barely beginning to turn golden around the edges (the cookies will still look quite wet towards the centers).
- Allow to cool fully on the baking sheet.