Vegan and gluten free peanut butter cookies, made with coconut flour and maple syrup. These super healthy cookies taste just like standard PB cookies, despite being free from refined sugar and grains, and they’re so easy to make.
These gluten free peanut butter cookies have been through at least a dozen rounds of testing, and they’ve become my go-to along with a chocolate chip cookie I’ve been testing for what feels like forever. I don’t know what it is with me and cookies. With other recipes I’m happy with a couple of tests and confident that they’re going to work, but cookies are a different story. I think it might be because I don’t make cookies as often as other things like breads or savoury meals. Cookies are a rare treat, unlike other recipes where I’ll test them a few times in the course of our regular meals.
So what’s the big deal about yet another peanut butter cookie recipe kicking around? Well, I’ll tell you. These cookies are, of course, healthy and dairy free, like every other recipe shared here. They are also, however, totally gluten free and grain free – with the secret ingredient being some coconut flour. The high content of peanut butter plus the coconut flour makes them very high in protein and fibre. After plenty of trials, I ended up adding a bit of olive oil to improve the texture of the cookie (but just a tablespoon). They are chewy, with a bit of a crispy edge. I’ve brought these to the ceramics studio and made them for lots of different people, and everyone who’s tried them so far has loved them – even my very crotchety pottery teacher.
The cookies are vegan as well but you’d really never know that they’re missing eggs, butter, flour, and sugar. I had this idea that they could be “5-ingredients or less” but sometimes those extra ingredients make a much better recipe. But vanilla and salt don’t really count, right?
I looked up a couple of grain free peanut butter cookie recipes before coming up with this one, but the comments and reviews were abysmal. Please keep in mind that coconut flour can vary in terms of texture and absorbability when you make this recipe and, the first time you make them, follow the instructions carefully. Everything is mixed in one bowl (I absolutely hate dishes), but you have to stir a little longer than usual and I recommend adding slightly less coconut flour and then adding more as needed. This is just the first time to test your flour, as the type I use looks like it’s only available in Canada right now. I have made this recipe plenty of times, though, and it’s worked perfectly every time.
If you’re not familiar with coconut flour, it’s just ground up dried coconut. It’s a little bit sweet, and high in healthy fats, protein, and fibre. It might seem expensive to buy the first time but you generally need very small amounts in recipes as it absorbs a lot more liquid than most other types of flour. Here is another recipe that uses coconut flour as a base, and it’s a favourite.
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Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter*
- 4 tablespoons coconut flour one tablespoon at a time (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt**
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chopped, or chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, milk, olive oil, vanilla, and salt to a mixing bowl. Stir for thirty seconds with a wooden spoon.
Add the coconut flour a tablespoon at a time, stirring for another thirty seconds with each addition (if you've already made the recipe once and the 1/4 cup flour worked well, just throw everything in and stir it up).
The mixture will thicken as its stirred, because maple syrup has a tendency to cause peanut butter to seize slightly and the coconut flour will cause it to thicken with a little time and friction. If, with the full 1/4 cup flour the dough is still runny, stir a little longer and then let it sit for a few minutes. If it is still too thin after that, add another tablespoon of coconut flour.
Once your cookie dough is thick enough, roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Use a fork to press them down, creating a crosshatch pattern.
Bake at 350F/180 for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the pan for five minutes before removing and letting them cool completely on a wire rack. I like them best out of the fridge or freezer.
Gently melt the chocolate over low heat or with a double boiler with the coconut oil. Dip the cookies into the chocolate mixture, place them back on the lined cookie sheet, and refrigerate or freeze until the chocolate has set. I prefer to keep them in the fridge after the chocolate has been added.
* Look for unsweetened peanut butter. You can also substitute another kind of nut butter, but I've only tried it with almond. I imagine sunbutter would work well for a nut free option.
** If your peanut butter has salt added, reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.