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No More Crumbs! 8 Ways to Fix Your Crumbling Peanut Butter Cookies Fast

No More Crumbs! 8 Ways to Fix Your Crumbling Peanut Butter Cookies Fast

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The smell of freshly baked peanut cookies fills your kitchen, and you’re looking forward to trying them with a glass of cold milk or your favorite hot coffee.

Your cookies look heavenly golden, and you grab the first one, not even waiting for it to cool down.

But before you even take the first bite, the cookie starts breaking in your hand. You take the first bite, and it feels dry and crumbly.

You ask, “Why are my peanut butter cookies crumbly?”

I’ve asked this question before and I’m here to explain to you why this happens and how you can have chewy and soft cookies with a few tried and tested tips.

Why Are My Peanut Butter Cookies Crumbly?

This is one question I used to ask myself a lot. Although your peanut butter cookies might still taste divine, they won’t have the lovely chewy texture that slowly dissolves in your mouth, tickling your tastebuds with the richness and slight saltiness of the peanut butter.

Why does this happen? There are several reasons why your cookies might crumble and break quickly.

1 – You Added Too Much Flour

This is a rookie mistake that I admit I made in my early baking days.

You mix all the ingredients and you feel that the dough feels too wet or contains too much fat.

How do you fix this? You add more flour, right?


Adding too much flour to your recipe will make the dough too dry, and it will feel crumbly and heavy.

This isn’t how peanut butter cookies should feel, as they should feel dense and fudgy.

In most cases, the recipe calls for using 1 ¼ cups of flour and ¾ cups of peanut butter. The dough can look wet because you also add ½ a cup of butter to make soft and rich cookies.

2 – You Didn’t Add Enough Butter

Peanut butter is rich, but you still need another crucial ingredient to make your tasty peanut butter cookies. This is soft butter.

Fats make your cookies moist and tender, and without enough butter, the cookie dough will be too dry.

3 – You Used the Wrong Type of Sugar

Different types of sugar don’t deliver the same results.

Preparing peanut butter cookies calls for using brown sugar with a little bit of granulated sugar. Using granulated white sugar alone will add more structure to your cookies.

As a result, your cookies will be crumbly.

4 – You Used Expired or Not Enough Leavening Agent

Baking soda and baking powder are the leavening agents that add air to the cookie batter.

When the leavening agents are expired, they won’t work well and the cookies will be crumbly.

This will also happen when you don’t use the right amount of baking powder and baking soda.

5 – You Used Cold Ingredients

Adding the right amount of ingredients isn’t enough. You should also ensure that they’re at the right temperature.

Yes, that’s right. When peanut butter, butter, sugar, and eggs are too cold, your cookie dough won’t turn out how you want it.

Room-temperature butter can hold air when you cream the butter and sugar. When the ingredients can’t hold air, the batter will be too heavy, and your peanut butter cookies will be crumbly.

6 – You Didn’t Cream the Sugar and Butter

The process of mixing the sugar with the butter, or creaming them creates several air pockets in your batter.

These pockets make your cookies fluffy, soft, and chewy when you take the first bite.

7 – You Overmixed the Batter

Once you’ve added the flour to all the liquid ingredients, you should start mixing the cookie dough well.

Nevertheless, when you overdo it, your dough will be overloaded with gluten, and your cookies will be crumbly.

8 – You Overbaked the Cookies

When you leave your cookies in the oven for too long, they will become heavy and crumbly.

But that’s not all. They’ll also taste bitter.

How to Fix Crumbly Peanut Butter Cookies

The following essential tips will help you avoid having crumbly and dry peanut butter cookies in the future.

1 – Add the Right Amount of Flour

Too much flour will lead to the overdevelopment of gluten, which makes the cookies crumbly.

Ideally, you should add an equal amount of flour to the total amount of butter and peanut butter.

However, the actual amounts differ when you use a measuring cup. This is why I strongly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure all your ingredients accurately.

2 – Add Enough Fats

You should add enough butter to the batter or it will turn out too dry. Don’t get deceived by the wet look of your dough and decide to use less butter, or the cookies will become too dry.

3 – Use Brown Sugar

Brown sugar adds sweetness and a caramelized taste to the peanut butter cookies. It also has a higher moisture content than granulated sugar.

Using granulated sugar won’t affect the sweetness of the peanut butter cookies, but it will make them crumbly, as it adds structure.

In the classical peanut butter cookie recipe, you should use a ratio of 2:1 for brown and granulated sugar. Nevertheless, you can adjust the amounts based on your preferences.

No matter what you do, and I can’t stress this enough, using brown sugar is a must because it’s more acidic. Thanks to this acidity, it combines well with the leavening agents, which are naturally alkaline, to make the cookie dough rise.

4 – Use Enough Leavening Agent

Using baking soda and baking powder will keep your cookies chewy and soft.

Always check the expiry date on your leavening agents before using them. When they’re too old, they won’t be able to create air pockets in the cookie dough and your cookies will turn out dense and crumbly.

If you’re going to substitute leavening agents, you must understand that you’ll have to adjust the amounts. You should triple the amount of baking powder if you will skip the baking soda.

This means one teaspoon of baking soda is equal to three teaspoons of baking powder.

5 – Allow Your Ingredients to Reach Room Temperature

All the solid and wet ingredients shouldn’t be cool to the touch.

Cold ingredients don’t mix well, and the butter won’t cream perfectly to create air pockets in your cookies.

6 – Mix the Butter and Sugar Well

Creaming the sugar and butter is a must because it creates air pockets to make fudgy and chewy cookies.

Ideally, you should mix them for several minutes until the texture is fluffy.

7 – Don’t Overmix the Dough

Unlike the butter and sugar that could benefit from some extra mixing, once you add the flour, you should go easy.

Overmixing the flour will create a gluten overload that makes your cookies crumbly and hard. So, you should mix the flour using a spatula until it disappears.

8 – Pay Attention to the Baking Time

Before baking, allow the dough to chill for a couple of hours to absorb some moisture.

Ideally, you should bake your peanut butter cookies for eight or nine minutes until the edges are golden and the center of the cookies is soft and chewy.

When you overbake, your cookies will lose all the moisture and they will become dry and crumbly.

Once the edges are set, you should pull the cookies out of the oven.

Final Thoughts

Peanut butter cookies are supposed to be moist, chewy, and soft. Making a mistake with the ingredients or preparation steps can make them too crumbly and dry.

Pay attention to the quality and quantity of your ingredients, and don’t forget to cream the butter and sugar to create enough air pockets. But take care not to overmix the batter or overbake the cookies.

With these few simple adjustments, you’ll always have soft and chewy peanut butter cookies that never feel crumbly or dry.

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