Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies are the soft peanut butter cookies with the crisscross design on them that our mothers and grandmothers used to bake. Traditionally the dough is rolled into balls and then flattened with the tines of a fork to make a waffle pattern on the top surface of the cookies.

I’ve never been a fan of vegetable shortening out of a can. Whenever I can, I like to substitute coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature and somewhat resembles shortening) for vegetable shortening. The coconut oil works quite well in cookies. To update this recipe for Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies I switched out the vegetable shortening for coconut oil, in the same amount, and was quite pleased with the end results – a delicious peanut butter cookie that was soft with slightly crisp, browned edges.

The Recipe for Updated Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies (Updated)
Yields 3
A traditional soft peanut butter cookie recipe updated with the use of coconut oil in place of vegetable shortening.
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1 cup coconut oil
  2. 1 cup peanut butter
  3. 1 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Mix coconut oil and peanut butter. Add both sugars; beat well.
  2. Mix flour, salt and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture.
  3. Roll dough into small balls, then flatten by pressing down on the dough balls with the tines of a fork, making a crisscross pattern on the top surface of the cookies.
  4. Bake Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies at 375 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  1. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter both work fine in this recipe - it's your choice!
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 Recipe Notes

Crunchy or Smooth Peanut Butter may be used in this recipe for Updated Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies – the choice is yours!

I used parchment paper on the cookie sheets to prevent them from sticking to the cookie sheets. To make cookies of uniform size, I used a small scoop to make the balls of dough. In my opinion, a scoop really speeds up the process of forming cookies before baking.

A Brief Background on Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies have been a favorite of so many people since the first Peanut Butter Cookie recipe was made public around 1916. Unique to the peanut butter cookie are the fork marks crisscrossing the top of the cookie. Why are the crisscross marks on top of peanut butter cookies? Some say it’s a baking tradition that helps the cookies bake more evenly.

When peanut butter is added to cookie dough it makes it denser, which in turn makes it harder to bake thoroughly. Flattening the balls of dough by pressing down with the tines of a fork helps them to bake more evenly.

Others believe that the crisscross marks on top of peanut butter cookies are a warning sign for people with peanut allergies. Because Peanut Butter Cookies resemble other cookies in shape, texture and color, they can easily be confused and accidentally eaten by someone with a peanut allergy. Since the crisscross marks are such a unique feature, it is a great reminder that peanut butter is an ingredient in these cookies. (If I had a peanut allergy I don’t think I would take any chances with a cookie I couldn’t identify!)

In conclusion, if you like Peanut Butter Cookies you are not alone. In fact there are four other recipes on Silver Foodie for cookies containing peanut butter, as well as a few with peanut butter chips in them!

If you like Peanut Butter Cookies, please check out the other four recipes on this website. Indian Heaven Treats are a delicious high energy treat. For a peanut butter cookie made with oat bran, click on Delectable Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies. Another healthy peanut butter cookie is one made with wheat germ called Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps. Recently I posted Trailside Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies which are really great because you add whatever chips or nuts or other ingredients you choose to put in them to make this cookie uniquely yours.

I hope you’ll try substituting Coconut Oil in recipes that call for vegetable shortening – it really works well in cookies!

Wishing all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!


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