September 4, 2021

Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies

Quintessential peanut butter cookies ready in 20: this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe makes nine cookies and yields a soft, slightly crumbly cookie full of that comforting peanut butter flavor. 

5 from 7 votes
Yield: 4
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Quintessential peanut butter cookies ready in 20: this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe makes nine cookies and yields a soft, slightly crumbly cookie full of that comforting peanut butter flavor. 

How to make Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies 

Well it’s a very very difficult process and I’m not sure you want to invest in this recipe. It will take you a full ten minutes and you will need to enlist the help of… a hand mixer. 

But seriously, these come together in a flash. Just be sure to beat the butter/sugar and then the yolks well – otherwise, throw ‘em together then throw them in the pan! 

I will say that for small batch recipes I much prefer a scale, so if you have one use it! You’ll dirty less dishes and there will be less room for error. 

Ingredients for Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies 

Butter: unsalted, at room temperature. If you use salted omit the salt in the recipe (but keep the flaked sea salt). If you’re like me and are loath to let butter soften at room temp, stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds or less – you don’t want it melty but just enough so that when you press it there’s an indentation. Alternatively use cold butter, but chop it up before you begin beating (it’ll take a little longer to cream with the sugar).  

Peanut butter: don’t use natural peanut butters here, go for the conventional brands that have a bit of added oils and sugar. I use Jiff Natural (which I know sounds like it would be in the natural category but it just has less added sugar & oil than most conventional brands). 

Brown Sugar & granulated sugar: don’t reduce the sugar in this recipe as it will change the structure and shape of the resulting cookie. 

Egg yolks: Make for a chewy cookie with great flavor. Cannot be substituted with a whole egg but I’d be curious about a flax egg. 

Vanilla & salt: These two add flavor to the dough. If your brand of pb is particularly salty add the lesser amount of salt. I know some people say you can’t taste the vanilla but I always can so I never leave it out! 

Baking Soda: Baking soda will react with the brown sugar to release a gas in the oven, help the cookie spread and make it light in texture. Cannot be substituted with baking powder.

All-Purpose Flour: If measuring by cups, fluff the flour then sprinkle it over the cup to measure. This way you won’t over measure. I haven’t tried this with any alternative flours yet but when I do I’ll update this section. 

Flaked sea salt: optional topping. I like the little bursts of flavor they add to the cookies. Especially if I’ve added chocolate (see below in FAQ). 

peanut butter cookies

Troubleshooting Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies 

My cookies didn’t spread: too small yolks, incorrectly measuring butter or flour (too much flour, too little butter) will lead to cookies that don’t spread. In the photos you can see mine were still domed but they spread as much as you’d want for this type of cookie. If you add chopped chocolate the cookies will spread more. If you use organic brown sugar they’ll spread less (it has less moisture in it). 

My cookies spread too much: This can happen for a few reasons; baking without parchment paper, using overly melty butter, incorrectly measuring the butter or the flour (too much butter or too little flour) or using a peanut butter that 

There’s not enough salt or the cookies are too salty: This is something you’ll need to figure out by tasting your pb and figuring out much salt to add. Some brands come heavily salted in which case you’ll want to add very little and vice versa. If you use salted butter, I’d omit the salt. Also, if you are adding the flaked sea salt on top let that figure into how salty you want the resulting cookies to be. 

peanut butter cookie dough

FAQ for Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies 

Can I halve this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe (for an even smaller batch)? 

Sure thing: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon sugar, 1 egg yolk, ⅛ tsp baking soda and 6 tablespoons all purpose flour (50g to be more accurate if you are using tablespoons don’t pack them). Add vanilla and salt 

Can I double this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe? 

I haven’t done it but I think it’ll be fine. You could also calculate it to work with 3 egg yolks (so increase the recipe by 50%, see above). 

Can I use a different nut butter? 

I’ve tried these successfully with cashew butter; I had the Good & Gather brand and they were so good! So it can work but it has to be the kind of nut butter that does not separate too much. 

Can I add chocolate? 

Yep! For this recipe I’d do just ⅓ cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. 

Can I use crunchy peanut butter? 

I wouldn’t. The peanut butter and it’s oils & sugar contribute to the texture of the cookie. If you use crunchy the chunky nut bits will take up the space where we need the pb. fIf you like, make the recipe and fold in some roasted peanuts before you scoop. Best of both worlds! 

Tools to make small batch peanut butter cookies 

  • Hand mixer 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper 
  • Cookie scoop 

Recipe for Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies 


Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies

A quick recipe for a small batch of soft and crumbly peanut butter cookies.
peanut butter cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4
5 from 7 votes


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter 57g (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter 75g (store-bought, any generic brand that doesn’t separate)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar 55g
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 45g
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cups all purpose flour 98g
  • A pinch or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt depending on how salty your pb is, if using salted butter omit the salt
  • Flaked sea salt if desired (see Ingredient notes)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • With a hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, salt vanilla and peanut butter until light and fluffy – about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolks and beat for another 3-5 minutes, give time for the eggs to emulsify into the oils.
  • Add the flour and baking soda and beat to just combine.
  • Portion the dough into 2 tablespoon balls or scoops (here’s my scooper) and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Bake for 10 minutes.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Love these cookies…I made them with my leftover yolks from the lemon meringue bars. No waste!! Definitely making these again!!

  2. 5 stars
    These are so good!!! The recipe is simple, quick, and gives amazing results. I added chocolate chips and sprinkles and got a perfect peanut butter cookie – a little crunchy, a little soft, just the right balance of sweet and salty. I have loved every recipe that I’ve tried from Buttermilk and will keep trying out more! Thanks, Sam!

  3. 5 stars
    I was looking for a quick small batch of cookies that needed to be delivered in under an hour- these PB cookies were perfect. Whipped up a batch super quick with kitchen staples, let cool and then packaged up and dropped off just in time. Perfect balance of sweet and salty- held together very well and stayed beautifully puffy. Definitely will make again!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh, these are heavenly!! Made these exactly as written using a kitchen scale, and they turned out wonderful! Light and delicate, but with just the right amount of chewiness as well. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I added chocolate and they’re so so good! I live in Belgium and the peanut butter I can get here isn’t as processed as Jiff or Skippy is, but it seemed to work ok. The cookie is a bit crumbly, but I think it’s because of the type of pb/I think my yolks were a bit on the small side.

  6. 5 stars
    These were so easy and so delish!!! Added mini choc chips and they were perfect!! Another small batch winner!! Thanks for all of these awesome small batch options!!!!