These soft and chewy peanut butter cookies, with that classic crosshatch pattern on top, are the perfect healthier treat to have on hand during the week. Full of oats, flaxseeds, and peanut butter, they are also great for breakfast on the go. Of course, they are also vegan and gluten-free.
I believe that these peanut butter cookies are the first baked cookie recipe on my blog! I don't know how that's even possible considering how many batches of baked cookies we (mainly my husband Tanner) go through in our house.
Tanner loves cookies. He can eat an entire batch over the course of an afternoon. He inhales cookie dough blizzard, rows of Oreos, and organic "breakfast cookies", which he claims are healthy. Whatever.
Cookies are actually something I used to bake for Tanner all the time when we were dating. I would make a huge batch, pop them in an air-tight bag, and store them in the freezer. Whenever Tanner came for a visit, the first thing he would do (after taking his shoes off), was head to the kitchen, open the freezer, and grab the entire bag of cookies. Not even joking! Often times I would make three different batches of cookies throughout the week because Tanner would devour them so quickly. Peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies were the norm.
So, today I'm gonna share with you a recipe for soft and chewy peanut butter cookies. I will not label them “the best”, or “the greatest”, but I will call them “my favorite”. There are so many versions of peanut butter cookies available, with minor tweaks here and there, claiming to give it that edge. This recipe is nothing fancy, no unusual ingredients, but I like it the best.
If you prefer no-bake cookies, try these peanut butter & jam thumbprint cookies instead.
Tips for Making Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
When it comes to baking with peanut butter, there's always a discussion over which peanut butter is best. Natural or regular? Chunky or smooth? I use smooth natural peanut butter (with peanuts being the only ingredient). It tends to be thinner than "regular" peanut butter at room temperature and can separate more easily into the oil and peanut components. While regular peanut butter is perfectly emulsified and flavorful, I'm not a fan of the added sugars, salt, and extra oils it comes with.
Fats play a major role in the spread of your cookie. The more fat, the flatter and chewier to crispier the cookies. The less fat, the puffier and more cake-like cookies. The type of fat also affects the cookies. Oil, since it's already liquid at a room temperature, produces cookies that keep their shape. Coconut oil, on the other hand, melts at a very low temperature (76°F/24°C), so cookies made with it will tend to spread out.
The type of sugar and how much you use also plays a big role. I used both coconut sugar and maple syrup very intentionally. Coconut sugar is highly hygroscopic - it attracts and absorbs moisture from the air. So, it produces cookies that stay soft and moist for days! Maple syrup is here mostly for flavor - caramel-y, sweet, warm, and floral.
The two most common leaveners in cookies are baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. It's activated when dissolved in liquid and combined with an acid. Baking powder, on the other hand, is a mixture of baking soda and a powdered acid (cream of tartar) built right in. These days most baking powder sold is double acting. This means that the first leavening occurs when baking powder gets wet– like when you combine the dry and wet ingredients in the recipe. The second leavening occurs when the baking powder is heated. So how do these two affect the cookies? Baking soda yields craggier and denser cookies while baking powder produces cakier, puffier cookies with smoother, shinier tops. Baking soda has also a powerful effect on how rapidly foods darken and develop browned flavors.
The main binding ingredient in these peanut butter cookies is flaxseed meal ("a flax egg") and to some degree oat flour. Oat flour also adds moisture, producing cookies that stay nice and soft.
Cookies are generally easy to make and one of the first things a beginning baker makes. There are only six major types of cookies - molded, dropped, rolled, pressed, refrigerator, and bar - each with their own particular methods. These peanut butter cookies are molded cookies - round in shape, formed by rolling the dough with your hands, and pressed flat with a fork. To keep the dough from sticking, keep your fingers and utensils lightly dusted with flour (any flour will do).
To get super soft peanut butter cookies, bake them only for about 10-11 minutes. The tops of the cookies should look set, that’s when you want to remove them from the oven. As they cool on the baking sheet, the cookies will firm up, but still stay soft. I do this with all of my cookies and they stay soft for days! Trust me on this one.
Tools You'll Need
1. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 2. Baking Sheet (Pampered Chef, Stone) | 3. Cooling Rack ( Stainless Steel) | 4. Cookie Scoop (18/8, Solula, Stainless Steel) | 5. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 6. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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Peanut Butter Cookies
- ¾ cup natural smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 2 flax eggs*
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups oat flour**
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- pinch sea salt
- Add the peanut butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil, flax eggs, and vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously to get as much air into the mixture as possible.
- Add the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined. The dough should be thick and sticky.
- Using a 2 Tbsp. ice cream scoop, scoop and drop cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow enough space in between the cookies (they will spread slightly). I usually use 2 baking sheets with 8 cookies on each of them. Using a fork, press down slightly to flatten cookies. Turn the fork and press down on the cookie to create a crisscross pattern on top.
- Bake the cookies at 350°F (175°C) until slightly golden brown around the edges, 10-11 minutes. (The cookies will be soft when you take them out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
**I make my own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a Vitamix. A cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour.
What is your oven time? 350 or 40 deg fah
Hi Andrea - I baked the cookies at 350 F (175 C).
I am on a Keto Diet. Can you substitute oat fiber for the oat flour?
Hi Kimberly - oat flour and oat fiber are very different in texture, so I don't think it would work as a 1:1 substitution. Generally speaking, you wouldn't want to substitute more than 1/4 of the amount of oat flour for oat fiber.
Rajaa Dawood Dolly
Thank you our dearest Chef Petra
My family can’t wait to try them ♀️
Especially my husband ❤️
This is going to be our first vegan healthy treat for the New Year wish you and your family all best for the New Year 2019
Sounds like your husband loves cookies as much as my husband does 🙂 Hope the cookies turn out great!
Can i change it to chia egg?
And can I change the sugar?
Can I use almond butter we have peanut allergies in my house thank you
Hi Sherry - yes, you can 🙂 The cookies might just turn out a little darker since almond butter has usually deep brown color.
Can I replace the oat flour with almond flour?
Hi Cheryl - I have never tried it. However, I had one reader replace the peanut butter with almond butter and the oat flour with almond flour and apparently it worked just fine. Please, let me know how the cookies turn out if you give them a try 🙂
thank you Petra for the great recipe and I love reading all the notes about what the different ingredients do! I note that you want the cookies to be soft, but if I want them to be crispy cookies is there a way to do that without adding more fat? I'm noticing most vegan healthy cookie recipes end up being soft cookies and I crave a crisp one but not full of sugars and fats! Maybe I can't have it my way any more?
Hi Mary - you can make any cookie crispy, actually :). There are several things you can do: 1. reduce the amount of ingredients that hold moisture in the recipe (e.g. flour, sugar ...); 2. add more ingredients that allow the cookies to spread (mostly fat - I know you said you didn't want to do that, but I wanted to mention it anyway); 3. add more liquids (just a tablespoon or two of water or other liquid will help your cookies spread into flatter and crisper rounds); 4. reduce the amount of baking powder (baking powder creates puffy cookies), 5. bake the cookies longer at a lower temperature. Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂
Happy new year.
I am excited to try this receipe but I don't have maple syrup at this point, is there an alternative that I can use? Let me know.
Hi Nikhita - yes, for sure! You could use any other liquid sweetener instead of the maple syrup. You might even get away with a little more coconut sugar, but in that case you would need to use a little less oat flour to keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients the same. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
Thank you i used honey and the cookies came out so well!!
I added a few chocolate chips in some of them, which my daughter loved the most, kind of bribed her to make her eat these healthy cookies 🙂
Thank you for sharing the recipe
That's so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback, Nikhita! ❤️
I already have a scoop in house the mouth across measures 3 inches. It seems a little big for the size cookies in your video. I really did not want to purchase another scoop but I may need to as I would like the cookies to turn out the same size as in your video. How much did the cookie dough spread during cooking using the cookie scoop you recommend BTW I clicked on your cookie scoop listed at the end of your recipe would that be # 40 on the amazon site 2 tablespoon??? Please advise. Thank you
Cookie scoops can be definitely confusing, lol. There are three main sizes: small (#60 = 2 tsp.), medium (#40 = 1 1/2 Tbsp.), and large (#20 = 3 Tbsp.). I use the medium size the most for my cookies. The cookies do spread a little bit (mine were about 3" in diameter). In terms of how much the cookie scoop measures across, it's 1.5".
Thanks Petra: I have ordered the # 40 as per your advise. 🙂
Hi Petra: I will be making these peanut cookies over the weekend, and also wondered if you have a chocolate or chocolate chip or any other flavoured cookie recipe you would share as I would like to make an assortment to take to the office. Please advice. Thanks.
Hi Kasi - so far I have only published this peanut butter cookie recipe on my blog. I already have another recipe for cookies filmed, but it's in a queue 🙂 However, you could easily transform this recipe into cookies: https://nutritionrefined.com/banana-muffin-tops/ (they are delicious both as muffin tops and/or cookies).
Hi Petra! I have tried this recipe a couple times now and the batch only gets better. I recommend you leave the dough in the fridge for about 40 min before baking as the dough is quite sticky and soft. Also, do you know the best way to store these cookies? my last batch went soft rather quickly after a day of being out. Thank you for a great peanut butter cookie recipe!
Hi Melissa - that's awesome! So happy you like the recipe 🙂 Yes, it's definitely easier to work with the dough if it's chilled. The reason I don't chill the dough is that chilling affects the cookie spread. The colder (more solid) the fat, the more time it takes for the cookies to spread. That delay in melting gives the heat of the oven a little extra time to bake and dry out the edges and surface of the cookies, firming them up and locking them in place. I prefer the cookies a little more spread, so I don't chill the dough. As far as the texture goes, leaving the cookies breathe should help retain some crunch (although these will always be soft cookies; I have a recipe for crispy cookies coming soon!). If you're cookies are too soft, try baking them a little longer (even a minute can make a big difference).
OK Petra: the recipe for your muffin tops looks slightly different from the peanut cookie "dough." and would definitively like to try it as a cookie shape. Since I have not made either of these two recipes. The "medium" 1 1/2 " scoop arrived today from amazon. If I use this scoop using the banana muffin recipe to turn it into banana/pecan cookies will the cookies turn out like your peanut cookies in regards to size and width spreadability factor AFTER cooking? BTW my 25 year old kitchen aid with small bowl capacity I finally donated to my dressmaker who was absolutely thrilled to have it I was pondering on buying the Breville food processor (the one you have) as I have other Breville small appliances but instead opted for the gorgeous stainless steel 14 cup Cuisnart which has less bells and whistles and will be perfect for my needs. I am looking forward to making the cookies this weekend. 🙂
I ground up my rolled oats in a nut grinder which I normally use to grind pretty everything except coffee.
I didn't get the one cup rolled oats equalling aprrox 1 cup oat flour. Do you have any experience with this? I was wondering if the vitamix fluffs up the oats more than the nut grinder and wondered about altering the amount of oat flour to less.
Love your food blog. 🙂 It takes a lot of patience to experiment with recipes.
Hi Debbie - the amount you will get depends on 2 things, actually - 1. the type of oats you're grinding, 2. how finely you grind the oats. I wouldn't worry about how much rolled oats you're using. You want to measure the oat flour, not the oats (and also make sure that the flour is finely ground). So happy you're enjoying the blog. I couldn't agree more - there are recipes I have tested even over 30 times before I got them right (and then there are recipes I still haven't gotten right!). Fortunately, my husband and children love food, so they don't mind the large amounts of food we have in our house 😀
Thanks Petra. Knowing to just measure the flour and not worry about the amount of rolled oats eases my mind. The cookies are very good by the way. 🙂
Thank you Debbie 🙂
Since I am an avid raw foodist and have NEVER baked a cookie in my entire raw food life (40 years) it is interesting to read the comments on your blog. Particularly in regards to refrigerate the cookie mixture or not before cooking . I will make a small batch to experiment to see how the mixture performs in my convection oven. I would like the cookies to look presentable and taste worthy when I present them to the my office for the dessert section of a colleague’s birthday lunch spread. Thanks for all the tips they are invaluable.
Hi Kasi - I find that making cooked desserts are a bit trickier than raw desserts because you're trying to recreate something that's normally made with white flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Raw desserts, on the other hand, are an entity on their own. Have you considered making a raw dessert for your colleague's birthday party? I bring my raw brownies (https://nutritionrefined.com/raw-brownies/) and raw cheesecake (https://nutritionrefined.com/raw-vegan-cheesecake/) to parties all the time and nobody can ever believe that they are raw. The only downside is that they need to be kept in the fridge or the freezer. I hope the cookies turn out great if you give them a try 🙂
Loved them! Crispy on the outside and tender in the inside! How do I keep them from going soft on the outside? Any storing ideas? (If they last that long! )
Thank you so much for the feedback, Joanna! So happy you enjoyed them 🙂 It depends if you live in a humid environment. If you do, your best bet is storing the cookies in an air-tight container to prevent humidity from affecting their texture (as I mentioned in the blog post, coconut sugar is highly hygroscopic, so it will keep absorbing moisture from the air). If the cookies soften too much, you can re-crisp them by baking at 300°F for 5 minutes, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Update: I made a batch of these cookies again today, and I must say they are really amazing! I added lemon zest and grated fresh ginger to half of the dough and it was really out of this world delicious!!! I could eat all of the batter befor backing it!!
Rajaa Dawood Dolly
Yummm soooo delicious dear Petra thank you♀️
So happy you liked the cookies, Rajaa! Am I right in saying that you love cooking/baking? 🙂 You've made so many of my recipes. Thank you for always taking the time to comment. It means a lot! ❤️
Rajaa Dawood Dolly
You are right dear Petra I love cooking & baking so much, my two sons are vegan, my husband is on very sensitive diet due to his kidney stones, no spinach, tomatoes, nuts and no meat I’m on healthy ketoginic & IF ☺️ My daughter is eating healthy exactly like you do so you are really our angel Chef so precious and so appreciated for all your amazing efforts ❤️
Thank you so much for this delicious recipe which I actually just made and I wanted to let you know. I’m not exactly vegan since I do consume honey, yet I avoid certain things that vegans consume such as baking powder/soda. With that being said, I did eliminate those ingredients from my version of peanut butter cookies and they were amazing! I also experimented with adding a tsp of molasses and I made some large cookies and the majority med-small size. I think I prefer the crispy and flat version best. The bigger cookies (I have a large ice cream scooper) were quite moist but still delicious. I am enjoying your channel and the very helpful explanations to why you use the ingredients you use, as well as what they could be substituted with, etc.
I pray that you and your husband have a blessed New Year of 2019
Thank you so much, Yolanda! I am so happy you enjoyed the cookies. Thank you so much for the feedback and for sharing the substitutions you made. I really appreciate it ❤️
They look so good!! If I wanted to just use regular eggs instead, would I still use 2 whole eggs?
Hi Tasha - I would use 1 large egg or two small eggs. More eggs will yield softer, puffier cookies; less eggs will yield crispier, flatter cookies.
Thank you so much! I just made them and they’re declicous!! What’s the best way to store them? In the refrigerator?
That makes me so happy 🙂 Thank you for letting me know, Tasha! As I mentioned in the blog post, coconut sugar is hygroscopic, so it will absorb moisture from the air. If you don't want the cookies to become too soft, place them in an airtight container. I keep the cookies on the counter (because they are usually gone with a day or two - my husband is a cookie monster!), but you can store them in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer term storage.
So I just made these and
1) they’re delicious
2) they are what I call American-sweet so the next time I make them I will definitely reduce the sweeteners (even though I used only half the sugar already)
3) i think they’d really benefit from more salt, if the peanut butter’s unsalted. Like a good 1/2 teaspoon
4) I made those really big, flat style cookies without the fork pattern and they crack BEAUTIFULLY on the surface, I was amazed (I’d post photos but I don’t see the option anywhere)
Lol, my husband definitely likes his cookies sweet 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and modifications, Zuzanna. I really appreciate it ❤️ Unfortunately, the plugin I am using for comments doesn't have a photo sharing feature, so it's not possible to share photos on my blog. However, I am so happy the cookies turned out so well! 🙂
Dear Petra, I wonder why all your recipes are so perfect and the result is always excellent, tasty, delicious and of course healthy!?!
Peanut Butter cookies! Aaaa Unfortunately it's impossible to comment them because of my poor English!
I couldn't imagine that these cookies can be so delicious!!!! I strongly recommend them to all!!!
The sweetness is exactly as it's needed to be although I didn't add coconut sugar. Instead of it I added a little bit more maple syrup.
They are lightly crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. The texture and the taste are incredibly good and tasty! They are like professionally baked cookies from bakery!!
But it's important to bake them not too long! You have to bake them exactly as it's said in the recipe. I baked my cookies for 10 minutes. It depends on every oven and on the shape of your cookies.
Now these excellent cookies will be often in my house!! I loved them so much!
Many sincere thanks to you, Petra!! You are doing a great job!!! Thank you!!!
Your comments are always so encouraging, Evgenia! ❤️ I am so happy you enjoyed the cookies so much. Tanner and I have tested A LOT of batches of peanut butter cookies, and it seems that it was worth it 🙂 Thank you so much for the feedback!
Thank YOU, Petra! And thank to your husband Tanner that helps you and tells us about the taste, texture and his feelings when he tries your amazing dishes and sweets!
You're very welcome, Evgenia! ❤️ Thank YOU for all the lovely comments 🙂
Dear Petra, what do you think, if in this recipe instead of: peanut butter, coconut sugar and maple syrup I would add only a 3/4 cup of pitted medjool dates?
Will it work?
I know my question is weird and it won't be peanut butter cookie anymore, but I would like to know if I can substitute it with something else and what the proportions have to be?
Also, I have a similar question for Banana Muffin Tops! But I will post my question bellow Banana muffin post in order to be simple to understand what I mean :))
Hi Evgenia - I am really sorry, but I have to say that I don't know. I would have to test it. I am thinking that your batter might be a bit dry, especially if your dates are not soaked, but you can certainly give it a try. I would probably use less oat flour to begin with and add more as needed 🙂
Dear Petra, thank you so much for your reply and for your advice!!!
When I will give a try to do these cookies in different ways and with other substitutes I will let you know about the result!!!
Thank you so much, Evgenia! ❤️
My family and I are really enjoying every recipe . I do thank God for you.
Thank you so much, Ethel! ❤️
Baking yet another batch of these delicious cookies. I sometimes make vegan chocolate to drizzle over them. Such a great recipe Petra. You are in my top five favourite vegan chefs! Your recipes are always winners xxxx thankyou x
Yay! That makes me so happy. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe, Cubby! I really appreciate it. ❤️
Ok so the cookie dough was so good they almost didn’t make it to the oven! I’m so happy with this recipe, they turned out delicious! I followed all your ingredients to a tee, but I did cook then a little longer, I think total was 20 mins as 175 Fahrenheit as I like my cookies crunchy. But they were still soft in the middle. I have to limit myself or I’ll eat them all, and will definitely try more of your recipes.
And I’m not even vegan or gluten/dairy free, just a sweet tooth trying to be healthier 🙂
Thank you so much for this!
Thank you so much for the feedback, Michelle! ❤️ So happy you enjoyed the cookies.
These cookies are dangerous!
Prior to making a batch of these delicious cookies, I was eating almost raw for two weeks. And then I made these ... And ate the entire batch myself in two days! And then for the first time I developed allergy to peanut butter
Anyway, these are probably the best cookies I have ever tried so I thank you Petra so so much for the recipe!
Your whole youtube channel is inspiring beyond words!
Haha! Your comment made me laugh. Thank you so much for the feedback, Barbara! You're so kind. ❤️
I just tried these cookies today. I am so excited to have a cookie that I can eat. I love them. Thank you.
Thank you for the lovely comment, Fern! I really appreciate it. So happy you love the cookies! ❤️
Hi! Would you happen to know how many calories are in 1 cookie? 🙂
Hi Ianna = I just updated the nutrition label. One cookie has ~ 156 calories.
Appreciate it. Your recipe is great <3 Thank you so much! 🙂
Thank you Ianna! My pleasure 🙂