What is the best peanut butter for baking?

These flourless peanut butter cookies require just 4 ingredients!

Which kind of peanut butter is best for baking— crunchy or smooth? Natural or regular?

Even though we usually only eat natural-style peanut butter in our house, I always have regular peanut butter on hand for baking. Natural-style peanut butter tends to be thinner at room temperature and the oil and peanut parts sometimes separate and require stirring before use. It’s this oil that can cause cookies and bars to spread and seem a bit greasy. For some recipes natural peanut will work, but I always use regular peanut butter if there’s any doubt. I look for regular peanut butter without any added sugar and salt, but that’s just my preference.

Using crunchy or smooth peanut butter is mostly a matter of preference. Smooth peanut butter is better for cakes and muffins, while either smooth and crunchy will work fine with cookies and bars.