Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Not your typical peanut butter cookie recipe - but just as good. Tastes pretty darn close to the classic but without all that butter, and with maple syrup in place of the white sugar. Vegan, egg-free, and easily made wheat-free if you like.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I had my heart set on writing a peanut butter cookie recipe for Super Natural Cooking. A recipe that featured ingredients other than white flour, white sugar, and huge amounts of butter, yet somehow retained the spirit and flavor of the classic peanut-y cookie everyone loves. In the process I cooked many, many batches of bad cookies, and eventually gave up. I tried a lot of flour and sweetener combinations - nothing tasted good. One memorably bad batch tasted like un-sweet, hot, steamy nut cakes. That did me in. Flash forward two years and I'm back at it. My first try last week wasn't so great, but I think I'm really onto something with this version - you be the judge. The cookies are maple syrup sweetened and come together with just seven ingredients. I cut out the eggs and butter altogether. Bonus points for being able to lick the bowl clean and not worry about raw eggs.

I'll mention this in the head notes as well - whole wheat pastry flour is my flour of choice for these cookies. It delivers a tender crumb and traditional coloring. Spelt flour is great too - it just bakes off a bit darker, a worthy substitute for people who might need to choose spelt flour over wheat because of allergies. I did a white whole wheat flour in the past with a slightly different recipe - no good. Too dry and bread like. Vegans, these cookies are for you too - no substitutions needed.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Spelt flour bakes into a slightly darker cookie (photo), whole wheat pastry flour is slightly blonder - more traditional in appearance in the end. Finish the cookies with chopped nuts or a sprinkling of flaky salt. I'd also recommend seeking out a peanut butter that is well combined, and not super-oily (extra slick) looking - to avoid problems with the cookie batter.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup organic, chunky natural peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined - still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork. It's a loose batter, so if you're set on doing criss-crosses, go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes - but don't over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Make 2 - 3 dozen cookies.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Heidi, I'd love to know what brand of PB works best for these. Also, is that extra virgin olive oil? I'm guessing it is, but since the regular stuff has a more neutral flavor, maybe not. I'd love to make these for my husband who loves the traditional crisscross PB cookie! HS: Hi Julie, I link to the brand in the ingredient list. I believe that brand is sold nationwide through Whole Foods. And I also updated the recipe to reflect extra virgin olive oil. Thanks, -h

Julie

The "secret ingredient" in my grandma's brown sugar cookie recipe is maple flavoring and people can never tell what it is. Maple syrup in this cookie must add that certain quality to this cookie as well, plus it sweetens! Genius :)

Maxine

These look great!

C

thanks, I just made them,so easy&yummy did put a photo on my flickr page see you Kay

Kaylovesvintage

Those look super :-) I'm a big fan of healthier-than-traditional cookies. Here's one of our favourite peanut butter cookie recipes. They are dairy-free, sweetened with honey, (not-too-sweet), whole grain - yummy too!

Patty

You're killing me! I am still working my way through a batch of your banana chip cookies (which are phenomenal, by the way, even though I mistakenly used wheat bran instead of wheat germ) - now I will have to make these, as well. Not that that's a bad problem to have. :)

Melinda

Kim and Aunt B, I've been using that recipe for eons. I think I saw it in a cookbook or online once but it did not have chocolate chips, brown sugar, or vanilla in it. I added those and in my opinion, made it much better. I love brown sugar in cookies because it is what helps make them chewy.

Amber

Heidi, First of all, I love your blog! It sounds like you've discovered a Peanut Butter Cookie version very much like the one in my book, Amazing Meals I, the first volume in a unique two volume set of cookbooks featuring over 500 incredibly delicious plant-based (meat-, egg-, and dairy-free) recipes, arranged in 75 family-pleasing menus. I too spent many hours in the kitchen experimenting with various combinations and proportions of ingredients, in search of the perfect "vegan" cookie. If you would like to compare my recipe with yours, I will give you a list of the ingredients. This is a copyrighted recipe, but I will happy to send you the complete recipe if you email me at luann6@msn.com. Peanut Butter-Chocolate (or Carob) Chip Cookies) - posted by LuAnn Bermeo, from her book, Amazing Meals, vol. 1. 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup uncooked quick cooking oats 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup natural peanut butter 1/2 cup mild-flavored olive oil 1 1/2 cups maple syrup 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon imitation butter flavor (optional) 1 cup carob chips or vagan chocolate chips (optional) 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

LuAnn

How funny... I was just looking for a PB Cookie recipe last night and you posted this recipe. Can't wait to give it a try!

MK

I have to ask... why did you use olive oil rather than peanut oil? HS: I keep lots of olive oil on hand. It's sometimes hard for me to find good, organic peanut oil - but if you have it, I suspect it would be good - toasted peanut oil, even better.

Amy

Longtime reader, first time caller! :-) Heidi, your blog is the only food-related website I visit regularly; you're amazing! Will have to give the peanut butter/maple syrup combo a try. Amber, that sounds like the flourless peanut butter cookies I've been making for years, but I've only ever used white sugar, not halfsies with brown. Oh, and chocolate chips? Genius. My recipe came from an old country cookbook, how about yours?

Aunt B

I've been playing with the same concept for a couple of years, and these sound really good. My version uses spelt and has chocolate chips, but I'm going to leave those out next time. Must try yours!

Ricki

let's get one thing straight here! the reason cookies are so good id that they were never ment to be GOOD for you. I love health food but some things were made to be decadent. let's leave well enough alone. cam we. if you want something good for you be creative enough to come up with something new. and don't ever try to sell me a vegan caesar salad! HS: Not the first time I've heard this sentiment. Just trying to explore a wide range of alternatives here - some new, some variations on classics. I guess it just goes back to my philosophy that if everyone did a bit better in their day to day cooking, baking, and eating - we'd all be better off.

lester smilowitz

Heidi, Thank you so much for this recipe. You must have been reading my mind as I have been perusing various vegan peanut butter cookies the past few weeks, and this looks like the one for me. I plan on baking these cookies for my vegan potluck next week!

Kelleen - Picks Over Peas

Julieta, I've had good experience making various nut butters with little fuss. Most nuts I've tried just need some time in a blender, and perhaps a splash of oil (olive works fine) at the beginning to get the process started. Add the nuts a small scoop or two at a time to the whirring blender. Experiment to see how much oil you might need to start with. Listen for strain in the motor; too much strain means you may need to use more oil, or to add the nuts more slowly. Good luck, M.

Michael

Excellent - vegan cookies! Thanks for the recipe Heidi. And thanks to all your readers who made vegan-ifying suggestions after my question on your spinach gratin recipe - I'm going to give them a try. Love the site and love the readership!

Laura

Ranger Trixie, Delicious looking cookies aside, I hope you have an 'epi pen" for your son. I've had to use them twice on friends with allergies, one allergic to bees, the other allergic to all nut products. It gave us the time to proceed to the ER (just to be on the safe side) in a more leisurely, and not panicked, manner. Those things can truly be lifesavers, and your son's doctor can probably prescribe one for you, Heidi, Thanks for all the delicious recipes. I'm trying to cook healthier since I was recently diagnosed as diabetic and your blog gives me some great ideas.

kailua girl

hmm these are interesting, can't wait to hear what people say

marissa

Awesome. I needed an easy baking recipe for a birthday BBQ -- and this is it. Thanks :)

Cmoore

Thank you so much for posting a healthy, vegan peanut-butter cookie recipe! No eggs, milk, butter, honey... and as it's your creation, I fully anticipate deliciousness. So many vegan recipes over-do the sugar (to compensate for other sticky ingredients, I suspect), or end up crumbly or dry. And I'm just thrilled that it's whole-wheat and heavy on the peanut-butter, not to mention that it includes olive oil (I love baking with olive oil, and wish there were more recipes incorporating it). Thank you! I can't wait to try this! :)

Jennifer

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