I’m a big fan of small batch recipes. I have chocolate muffins for six on my site and a recipe for half a dozen vanilla cupcakes, so I am always brainstorming tiny treats or portions to accompany a smaller gathering. These small-batch peanut butter cookies are my latest addition to the growing list of recipes that fit that bill.
Like many of my cookie recipes, they feature browned butter and ground oats, which pair well with the taste and texture of creamy peanut butter. It’s also a no-chill cookie dough, so you don’t have to wait at all to pop these cookies in the oven once you’ve combined all the ingredients.
Below are key ingredients that make these soft peanut butter cookies delicious and extra special.
Ground oats from old fashioned oats – They add texture and chewiness. They even add small health benefits – like fiber, vitamins, and minerals – to the cookie!
Baking baking powder and baking soda – Baking soda helps a cookie spread while baking, but too much soda can lead to a thin, crispy cookie. As a result, this recipe also uses baking powder. It helps the cookie rise and prevents excessive spreading.
Browned butter – Browned butter provides a lightly nutty flavor. It’s not strong but is noticeable and enhances the cookie’s peanut butter flavor.
Peanut butter – Peanut butter is the ultimate ingredient to add soft texture and flavor to this small batch cookie recipe.
This step enhances and deepens the taste. The whole process takes only a few minutes. Here’s how, and it’s easy!
Brown your sticks of butter over medium heat (approximately 8-15 minutes). Stir continuously until the butter begins to foam and becomes golden brown. Once it smells nutty and becomes amber in color, remove it from the heat source.
Pour your browned butter into a heat-resistant container and place it in the freezer to expedite the cooling process for the next 15-20 minutes while you move ahead with this recipe. When you next use the butter, you’ll want it to be cool. It will likely have formed a sort of shell on its surface but be liquid-y beneath. That’s fine.
If you’re new to browning butter, I especially recommend watching your pot of butter closely. You want to get to the point where you see little brown flecks scattered throughout the butter. It will overall turn a more amber color, too. That’s why I also suggest using a pan or pot that has a lighter colored bottom. That makes it easier to notice the subtle changes in your butter’s color.
How to Make A Small Batch Of Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and start measuring out all your ingredients besides your brown butter, which should be waiting in your mixing bowl.
Place old fashioned oats into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely powdered. Set aside in a large bowl.
Add your spooned and leveled flour to your bowl of finely powdered oats.
In the mixing bowl with browned butter, add the peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Start on a low speed to moisten, then increase speed to medium until batter is well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl halfway through the process to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pause mixing and add your egg and all of your flour/oat mixture. Beat until smooth.
Use an ice cream scoop to place golf-ball sized portions of your cookie dough onto ungreased aluminum baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 12-13 minutes.
After cooling for about 10 minutes on cookie sheet (or until cookies are firm enough to handle), transfer cookies to cooling rack.
No-Chill Dough for these Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
Some cookie recipes insist on resting your cookie dough before baking it. This generally means setting it in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight before popping your cookies into the oven. The end result can be a more flavorful cookie.
However, life happens, and sometimes you don’t have time to wait. But the good news is that you don’t need to chill or rest the dough for these small-batch peanut butter cookies.
You can learn more about the merits of resting your dough in this post also from Bon Appétit. The bottom line is that if a recipe does ask you to rest your dough, you shouldn’t breeze past these instructions.
No resting needed here!
Did you know…
Why do some people put fork marks in peanut butter cookies?
While I did not put fork marks in these cookies, I was so curious as to why some people do!
According to this Wired article, the first documented instance of those criss-cross marks on peanut butter cookies appeared in the Schenectady Gazette on July 1, 1932. A peanut butter cookie recipe said to shape the dough into balls on a cookie sheet and then, “…press each one down with a fork, first one way and then the other, so they look like squares on waffles.”
Peanut Butter Cookie FAQ
Your peanut butter cookies may be hard if you didn’t measure your flour using a scale. You could’ve accidentally included too much flour, which can lead to a hard, thick cookie.
Peanut butter cookies can spread if the dough is too moist, without enough dry ingredients to hold it together. It can also spread due to an excessive amount of baking soda.
If you follow the steps in this recipe, though, you won’t have that issue.
In general, adding a bit of baking powder or flour to a cookie’s dough can help prevent them from spreading as much.
If a recipe calls for you to refrigerate any kind of dough before baking it, do it! This is a no chill recipe, though, so that isn’t necessary here.
I often use ground oats, brown sugar, and melted and/or browned butter in my cookie recipes to maintain a nice, chewy texture. You’ll find all of those ingredients in these cookies, too.
Tips for Storing and Freezing Your Peanut Butter Cookies
This small batch recipe of cookies will still taste fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature in an air-tight container.
If you don’t need all eight cookies at once, you could halve the recipe. Alternatively, I prefer making all of this dough at once and setting aside a few golfball-sized scoops of dough in an airtight container in the freezer so I can bring them out and have them ready to bake whenever I want.
Because the cookies have been frozen, you’ll likely need to bake them for 2-3 minutes longer.
You can also store these cookies fully baked in your freezer for up to 3 months.
More Dessert Recipes
These Biscoff butter cookie sandwiches are similar to this recipe in that you also use a smooth and creamy spread in the dough. They’re thick, chewy, and have Biscoff flavor throughout them. Or if you’re more in the mood for something a little different, check out my homemade Funfetti muffin recipe – these muffins would be perfect for a birthday celebration!Print
Small-batch Peanut Butter Cookies
These small-batch peanut butter cookies feature browned butter and oatmeal alongside smooth and creamy peanut butter.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 minutes/batch
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 2/3 cup (65 grams) old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup (75 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 5 T (75 grams) unsalted butter for browning
- 1/3 cup (85 grams) peanut butter spread (not all-natural)
- 2 T white sugar
- 1/3 cup (60 grams) firmly packed (either light or dark) brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg, straight from the fridge
Browning your butter
- Brown your sticks of butter over medium heat (approximately 6-10 minutes). Stir occasionally until the butter begins to foam and becomes golden brown. Monitor your butter closely to avoid any burning. Once it smells nutty and becomes amber in color, remove it from the heat source.
- Pour your browned butter into your mixing bowl while you move ahead with this recipe. It’ll still be fairly warm when you use it, which is fine.
Baking your cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and start measuring out all your ingredients besides your brown butter, which should be waiting in your mixing bowl.
- Place old fashioned oats into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely powdered. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Add your spooned and leveled flour to your bowl of finely powdered oats.
- In the mixing bowl with browned butter, add the peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Start on a low speed to moisten, then increase speed to medium until batter is well combined, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl halfway through the process to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pause mixing and add your egg and all of your flour/oat mixture. Beat until smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to place golf-ball sized portions of your cookie dough onto ungreased aluminum baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 13-16 minutes.
- After cooling for about 10 minutes on cookie sheet (or until cookies are firm enough to handle), transfer cookies to cooling rack.
Please note that the nutritional information is an estimate and based on one serving.
- Calories: 185
Keywords: cookies, peanut butter cookies, small batch cookie recipe