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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork or meat mallet if desired. Bake 10-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Test Kitchen tips:
  • Use a glass with a pretty pattern on the bottom to add flair to these cookies.
  • Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light or golden brown sugar. The types are generally interchangeable in recipes. But if you prefer a bolder flavor, choose dark brown sugar.
  • Check out 55 of our most impressive cookie recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 each: 180 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 128mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • Sue
      Jul 8, 2020

      I found these cookies quite tasty! The shortening made them a nice soft cookie but full of flavor. Next time Zi will use dark brown sugar to compare results.

    • FEC
      Jun 27, 2020

      Have not tried this particular recipe although looks very good. A difference that has been used in my family as long as I can remember is to substitute bacon drippings for part of the shortening.

    • jimmyJEO
      Jun 6, 2020

      looks like Carol has a little trouble reading titles : "The Secret Cookie Recipes Grandma (Almost) Wouldn’t Share" ..Grandma didn't have the leisurely life we all enjoy today. Grandma's had grit and courage, and the best recipes were made to fill a stomach that has been working all day. This "Classic Recipe" Rocks! Mmmmm very tasty, make sure you read the recipe, and use the amount of peanut butter that the "recipe" calls for "1 Cup". Roll them in sugar also, like one commenter mentioned.Mmmmm

    • jimmyJEO
      Jun 6, 2020

      looks like Carol has a little trouble reading titles : "The Secret Cookie Recipes Grandma (Almost) Wouldn’t Share" ..Grandma didn't have the leisurely life we all enjoy today. Grandma's had grit and courage, and the best recipes were made to fill a stomach that has been working all day. This "Classic Recipe" Rocks! Mmmmm very tasty, make sure you read the recipe, and use the amount of peanut butter that the "recipe" calls for "1 Cup". Roll them in sugar also, like one commenter mentioned.Mmmmm

    • Tina
      Jun 1, 2020

      I found them on the dry side. I only baked them for 8 minutes. Something was missing with the taste. I followed all directions for ingredients but something was lost in the flavor. Not much of a robust peanut butter taste.

    • seralee
      Jun 1, 2020

      Thank you to Carol, for your straight-up review. Couldn’t agree more about the use of shortening and abuse of sugar. ??

    • LBurkey
      May 22, 2020

      These peanut butter cookies are delicious. I added chocolate chips to them and flattened them with a fork dipped in sugar and did a criss-cross pattern on top. They would be great without the chips, as well.

    • Jax
      Apr 9, 2020

      My go to peanut butter cookie recipe, easy to put together and they taste great. To Carol that complained about the recipe on March 18, 2020, not sure what recipe you were referring to, this one uses 1 full cup of peanut butter, you insisted the 1/2 cup should be increased to 3/4 cup, read the recipe. I'm sure you can find a peanut butter cookie recipe that uses 3/4 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of sugar and butter, go make those, leave our tried and true recipe alone.

    • Jane
      Apr 4, 2020

      I don't understand the low ratings. These are clearly labeled as "Old Fashioned" and the description says it's a recipe from 1942! It's not like you're going to plop the kids down with a whole plate full anyway! I've been looking for recipes from this time period, like something my grandmother would make. These are definitely what I remember. Thank you so much for this, we love them!

    • Carol
      Mar 18, 2020

      I love peanut buttet cookies but this recipe has too much sugar (cut white sugar to 1/2 cup), not enough peanut butter (increase by 1/2 to 3/4 cup), and who uses disgusting shortening nowadays?? Its an industrialized/hyper processed version of dietary fat. Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on whether you like soft or crisp cookies) of plain old yummy natural butter forheavensakes! Or, if you are lactose intolerant just use oil, or all peanut butter. Now go, pilgrim. Go and bake your brains out! Since we are mostly home "sheltering in place" and have little else to do but cook and eat we might as well eat well, after we do our calisthenics in the living room, garage, or backyard :-)