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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I was just wondering what I should to do with that spelt flour I had impulsively bought a few weeks ago - this may be just the thing.

S for Kitchen Confit

I've been wondering if using peanut oil in chocolate chip cookies would do anything interesting. Any thoughts?

Aaron Kagan

I love my peanut butter cookie recipe handed down from my Mom. 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup white sugar 1 egg Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the peanut butter, white sugar and egg. Mix until smooth. Roll dough into balls. Drop ball onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten ball with a fork (basically make an X on the cookie)with a sugared fork and Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not overbake- cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms. Let them set before you remove from your cookie sheet or you'll have a mess.


no butter and eggs! rock star...


Just last week I was making cookies for my family and of course didn't have everything I needed like butter or margarine and when I put the olive oil in instead, all three of my kids were like ewww!!!! Once they came out though, they were moist and wonderful and you would never have known! This will be a must try, I may make them tonight! For those of you who are counting calories, like I am, I put the nutritional information using and if you make 3 dozen cookies, each cookie would be approx. 105 calories, 5.7 grams of fat and 1.2 grams of fiber. I can definately fit that in my healthy eating plan! Thanks for the recipe!


Hey, I've made peanut butter cookies in the past, and they always come out tasty BUT they also come out grandmother used to make peanut butter cookies that were dry and super crumbly, can anyone attest to the above recipe being crumbly? Or possibly someway to make mine crumbly?


Ive got half a jar of peanut butter in my fridge and was wondering how I could use it up. I was going to make satay chicken - but I think I'll forgo that for these delicious cookies!!


Got the recipe in my inbox yesterday morning and made the cookies that night! After my many recent baking disasters, I was so happy that these cookies turned out perfect. I'll never have to look for another PB cookie recipe again. I added some chocolate chips to suit my fiance's very sweet tooth, used no-salt added natural PB, extra light virgin olive oil (was all I had on hand) and next time might reduce the maple syrup a tiny bit. Though the cookies weren't overly sweet using 1 cup. Lovely! Well, done, Heidi =) Thanks so much!


I've got to hop on this oil commentary!! For years my mother and I have used unsweeted applesauce as a substitute for baking oil (we've always substituted it as a 1:1 ratio). It seems to work best when there is another oily presence in the recipe- which is why I think an applesauce substitution may work here- since oily peanut butter is already in the recipe. Though we've never tried it in a recipe without egg- I wonder if it'd make a difference. Has anyone else ever tried this substitution? (People usually think it's crazy...)


heidi, have you ever tried PB2, the defatted peanut butter powder? it would be interesting to see how it work in a peanut butter cookie. not sure how it would work, but since it has very little fat it could make for a fairly low fat cookie. i've only seen it sold online direct from the manufacturer at p.s. - i don't work for them or anything, i just have been experimenting with PB2 in smoothies and such and thought you might be interested.


Awesome! I've done a similar recipe with teff flour...super delicious!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

You've sold me on this recipe! For a while, I've been making the simple ones, with only peanut butter, sugar and egg, but these sound fantastic. And so nutritious I might add! I especially love how you shaped them so they almost look like a random glob of peanut butter. Excellent recipe!


These look incredibly delicious!

Kim U

what an interesting variation. i always thought peanut-butter cookie couldn't possibly be improved upon, but now i'm curious. thanks for the recipe.


Oh my! These sound tasty! I'd like to try these with a scoop of chocolate sorbet (to make an ice cream sandwich).


Ooh, these look good! I just may have to try them out today!


There are no words for how much I love you for conceiving this recipe! Huzzah huzzah.


I have to try these! i love experimenting with baking!


Olive oil?! Ingenious! I have all of the ingredients already, so I may be baking this weekend :)


I always love your recipes, Heidi. Not to mention, love peanut butter cookies! I can't wait to try this recipe. The recipe I use for my peanut butter cookies is the easiest recipe I have ever used. I'd like to share it with you, although it does contain egg and sugar, but no flour! 1c Chunky Peanut Butter 1c Sugar 1 egg Combine ingredients, roll into balls, place on cookie sheet, make criss-cross with fork, and bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen. This is the perfect recipe if you need to make cookies on short notice! And they're a hit with everyone, every time. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes, Heidi!


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