Cookies recipe

The Easiest 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Ever

Every great cookie recipe has a story behind it – or in the case of my favorite three-ingredient peanut butter cookies, years of beloved stories and memories with dear friends.

In my early and mid twenties, I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my best friend. One day two women moved into the apartment directly below us and the four of us became fast friends. We were completely inseparable. During those few years, we did almost everything together, and many of our memories centered around our favorite foods and drinks. We would have coffee and breakfast together in the morning before we split up for school or work, then come home and debrief our days over a glass of red wine and dine on the porch.

However, like many people in our twenties, we weren’t making a lot of money and had to have fun on a pretty tight budget. This meant that we often had to get creative with our food and drink recipes; we needed food that was quick, easy to prepare and as cheap as possible. But as the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and that’s where our three-ingredient peanut butter cookies came in.

Courtesy of Samantha Boesch

Using ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen, these peanut butter cookies always come in handy when we’ve been craving something sweet after a late night out.

While I’m grateful to be in a slightly different financial situation than I was then, to this day I still bake these cookies whenever I feel like it. So, without further ado, here’s how I’ve been making the easiest, cheapest, and most delicious peanut butter cookies in nearly a decade.

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cookie ingredients
Courtesy of Samantha Boesch

Let me start by saying that these cookies aren’t the healthiest you can find. Although a major plus is that they only require three ingredients, one of those ingredients is a whole cup of sugar. For this reason, if you’re watching your sugar intake for some reason, you might want to try a low-sugar dessert instead.

Even though these cookies contain a healthy dose of sugar, the good thing is that the recipe is flexible in what type of sugar you use. In our many years of baking, we’ve tried everything from white sugar, pure cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, and raw sugar. As long as the sugar is a fine consistency and not too coarse, you will be fine.

Another advantage of this recipe is that it adapts to many dietary restrictions. One of the main reasons we always turned to these cookies, aside from their low price, was that our celiac friend could eat them because they are completely gluten-free. They’re also dairy-free and vegetarian-friendly, making these cookies perfect for sharing, too.

To make these cookies, you will need to enter:

  • 1 cup sugar of your choice
  • 1 cup peanut butter (which can be crunchy or creamy, depending on your preference)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium or large mixing bowl
  • A measuring cup
  • Parchment

Make the cookies

To beat
Courtesy of Samantha Boesch

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can preheat your oven to 350° and then start mixing your three ingredients, peanut butter, sugar and egg. I don’t know if a professional baker would agree with how I do this, but I usually stir the sugar and peanut butter together with a fork until evenly combined. After that, I add the egg and mix everything.

Depending on the type of peanut butter you use, this dough can get a little too sticky for a fork. If so, feel free to get your hands dirty!

cookie dough balls
Courtesy of Samantha Boesch

After you combine all your ingredients, you can lay out your parchment paper and start rolling your dough into small balls. I don’t have an exact measurement of their size, but I generally use about a full tablespoon of batter for each cookie. When the cookies are all laid out, you may find that you have some dough left over. (I like to freeze mine and use it later!)

Your total baking time will be about 15 minutes, but start by placing your cookies in the oven for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I take out the cookies and press them very lightly with a fork. You don’t want to flatten them too much, just enough to shape them. Then I put my cookies back in the oven to bake for another five minutes.

The end product

peanut cookies
Courtesy of Samantha Boesch

So ! After just three ingredients, sticky hands covered in peanut butter, and just 15 minutes of baking, you now have some of the easiest and most delicious peanut butter cookies ever.

I have years of fun memories of sitting around a table laughing and eating these cookies with my best friends. I hope you now feel inspired to make these cookies and create new memories for yourself too!