(Not) Nutter Butters

I don’t have 12 Days of Cookies for you this year. I have one day of cookies—and it is today. But it is one very special cookie. As I look back on 2010, this will stand out as one of the best recipes I tried this year. These delicious peanut butter cookies are something I will be making for years to come, and you should too.
I love the rich flavor and the saltiness of good peanut butter cookies. So, I was curious when I saw this recipe for Nutter Butters on Brandi’s wonderful blog I Made That! (I love the name, and if you aren’t already familiar, Brandi makes dessert at Delancy in Seattle). The recipe is from a Nancy Silverton cookbook that I have had sitting on my shelf for years. I remembered when I bought the book I was intrigued by the nutter butter recipe, but then completely forgot about it.
Brandi’s praise of the recipe was enough for me to pull the book off of the shelf and try out the recipe. I was so very glad I did. These are incredibly good and pretty accurately recreate all that is best about a Nutter Butter, minus the commercial flavors. That sandy texture of the cookie and smooth, creamy filling are all here. I made these once and then within a few days made them again for friends. Everyone agreed that this is one of the best cookies they have ever had. Lots of “Mmmmmm”. These may not be the obvious choice for a Christmas celebration, but will probably blow everything else out of the water.

Of course those of you who want to get creative can form these into a peanut shape. I recommend storing these cookies in the fridge because I think they taste even better chilled. I am anxious to make a sundae out of them too. Chop a few up and sprinkle them over homemade vanilla ice cream and you will have a very special treat indeed. Enjoy!

Not Nutter Butters (adapted from Nancy Silverton)


  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural , chunky-style unsalted peanut butter, excess oil poured off and discarded
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural, chunky-style unsalted peanut butter (or smooth)

In a medium skillet, melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the pulp and the seeds, and add the scrapings and the pod to the butter. Add the oats, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until the oats are lightly toasted and a golden-brown color. Transfer to a bowl, discard vanilla pod, and chill the mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the rest of the butter, the baking soda, and the salt on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until the butter is softened. Add the sugars, and mix on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and mix to combine. Turn the mixture off, and add the oats and flour. Turn the mixer on low speed, and mix for another minute until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Using your hands, roll the dough into balls (Silverton suggested 2-inch balls, I do more like 1-11/2-inch). Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2-inches apart. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the balls into disks (about 1/4-inch tall). Using a fork or sharp knife, mark diagonal crisscross patterns over the surface of each cookie. Chill them for about 15 minutes until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Bake cookies for 16-18 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through. Allow them to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and salt on medium speed for about 1 minute, until the butter is softened. Add the sugar and peanut butter, and mix for another minute to combine them.

Make into sandwiches, and enjoy!

Yield: 24 large sandwiches or 36ish smaller sandwiches. This makes a LOT of cookies (especially because they are pretty rich). You can cut the recipe in half and end up with about 12-18 cookies.

25 comments to “(Not) Nutter Butters”

  1. Wow! WOOOOOWWW! I just made “oreos” they were a hit. This will blow their mind. Thank you!!!!!

  2. Hey Michelle, this is a great companion to homemade oreos. You can follow them both up with homemade fig newtons!

  3. I’m so happy you liked them as much as I did! I haven’t had time to even enter my kitchen since Thanksgiving, but vacation starts today and I suspect I’ll be making another batch of these.

  4. I adore nutter butters – will have to give these a try after the holidays (and before New Year’s resolutions kick in!).

  5. Word. I’ve had these on my mind lately after ever since I saw them on Brandi’s blog. Now with your endorsement, they will occur. Thanks, Tim. Happy Holidays!

  6. Megan- you’ll love these. They are really exceptionally good. Excited to hear!

  7. Looks/sounds delish. I love any Christmas cookie that is not a spritz cookie, so this one is great! Can’t wait to check out “I Made That.”

  8. These look OVER THE TOP! I thought I finished my holiday cookies; guess I was wrong. I’m excited.

  9. Oh, I cannot beLIEVE this! I have loved Nutter Butters since I was a kid and well, I’m not such a kid anymore. *sigh*

    These will be in the rotation for lunchbox snacks right after Christmas vacation, for sure. Thanks for the recommendation!

  10. My husband will love these. He’s already lamented the lack of peanut butter in our holiday cookies this year. I’ve made homemade Oreos before, and these might have to be my next step on the homemade-is-better-than-commercial train. Thanks!!

  11. These sounds like they will be well worth all the extra gym time it will take to burn them off.

  12. I got a taste of these yesterday. WOW they are rich, pea-nutty and delicious. Thanks Tim.

  13. we are making these to leave out for Santa! Good thing the mommies get to eat the cookies so the plate is empty in the morning!

  14. I made these to have around for Christmas and they were ahhhMAZING! My daughter, husband and I have been sparring over the last few cookies today; I may have to make another batch this week. YUM!

  15. It’s nearly 2 a.m. but instead of winding down for the evening, all I can think of is how much I want to whip up a batch of these scrumptious-looking cookies!!! Thanks for posting this recipe and I look forward to trying it for myself. I’ve recently discovered your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts!

  16. Love these!! I did use old fashioned oats due to the fact that I did not have quick oats and I cannot imagine them being any better. I did enjoy them cool and the next day, more. Thanks for another fun recipe!!

  17. These look amazingly delicious….so happy to see they are from Nancy’s book (that I have not pulled out in ages and need to!) Also, delighted to find your blog in my search for a terrific peanut butter cookie! Cheers.

  18. A friend of mine just made these for my birthday today because I love peanut butter and they are DELISH!!! Of course I got the recipe from her and am sure my son and I will be devouring them by the weekend. :~)

  19. In the oven and looking ridiculously good. I made these in lieu of a stiff drink as breast-feeding doesn’t allow for the booze. Seems like a decently fair trade?

  20. Stefanie says:

    June 1st, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Just made these over the weekend for a Memorial Day picnic and they were amazing! I always try to find something a little different from the standard dessert options (chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes etc.). I think the toasted oats really added depth to the flavor. Even my picky mother in law loved them! Thanks for sharing and keep the good stuff coming!

  21. These are delicious! I do have a question, though – mine were extremely crumbly (the first batch fell apart on the cookie sheet after baking) and I added some heavy cream to half the batch after the failure of the first half and they were still super fragile and many broke. Any thoughts? The only variation I had from your recipe (until I added some cream) was that I used old fashioned oats. Thanks!

  22. Hey Darcy! I think using old-fashioned oats would make a big difference. The quick cooking break down faster and are more incorporated into the dough when baked. But that being said, these cookies are a bit fragile, especially right out of the oven. I always wait a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. The longer they sit, the sturdier they become. Thanks for checking in on these and better luck next time!

  23. Anina banana says:

    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:05 am

    These are excellent. I used almond butter in the cookies and they came out delicious, and kept well in the fridge for a week! Very decadent, I will make them a little smaller next time. Thank you!

  24. would these be ok without the vanilla bean, could I substitute regular vanilla? I really want to make these and keep pulling out this recipe but never have a vanilla bean on hand.

  25. These look great! Do you know if the cookie dough can be made and refrigerated 1-2 days in advance?

What do you think?