Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
These healthy peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy and filled with plenty of peanut butter flavor! You won’t believe that these cookies are made without any refined sugar or flour!
This is my favorite kind of cookie recipe because not only are these cookies a bit healthier than most, but they’re also super easy to make! I’ve made this peanut butter cookies recipe many times, and I promise, they’re hard to mess up. No coconut sugar? Don’t worry, you can use brown sugar. Not sure where to buy oat flour? You can make your own in seconds! These oil free peanut butter cookies taste decadent even though there is no butter or oil, because the peanut butter is filled with healthy fat.
Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
- Peanut Butter– I find that creamy no-stir peanut butter works best in this recipe. If your peanut butter is too dry, as natural peanut butter can sometimes be, the cookies may be too crumbly. I’ve used Whole Foods Organic Creamy Peanut Butter and Aldi’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter and both worked well. If you’re using natural peanut butter, be sure to stir it well before using.
- Coconut sugar– If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
- Applesauce– This adds moisture to the cookies so they’re soft, without needing any oil.
- Vanilla extract– This enhances the sweetness of the cookies.
- Oat flour– To make the oat flour, add 1 cup of oats to a blender or food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds or until crumbly. It doesn’t have to be super fine.
- Baking soda– This helps with leavening and browning.
- Salt -You may need slightly more salt if you’re using unsalted peanut butter.
How to Make Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
Tips for Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
You can mix these cookies by hand or with a hand mixer or stand mixer. You can even made this cookie dough in a food processor, if you like. The dough will be relatively thick. I recommend baking these cookies on a silicone baking mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, since these cookies have a tendency to stick to a regular baking sheet. If your oven has hot spots or doesn’t heat evenly, you may want to rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Cookie Baking Equipment
A cookie spatula can also come in handy! These small, thin spatulas make it easy to lift cookies off of a baking sheet or to get brownies out of a cake pan.
It can also be helpful to have an oven thermometer to be sure your oven is calibrated. You may be surprised that your oven runs much hotter or much cooler than you thought! This can be a very handy tool if you do a lot of baking.
The Best Peanut Butter for Peanut Butter Cookies
I find that creamy no-stir peanut butter works best in this recipe. If your peanut butter is too dry, as natural peanut butter can sometimes be, the cookies may be too crumbly. If you’re using natural peanut butter, be sure to stir it well before using it. My favorite brands are Santa Cruz or Whole Foods 365 brand. The dough will be thick and relatively stiff but it will stick together when rolled into a ball.
Peanut Butter Substitutes
If you’d rather use a different kind of nut butter, my recipe testers tried this with almond butter, and it worked just fine! Be sure to use creamy almond butter and stir well before using.
If you’re avoiding nuts, you can also make these with Sunbutter, which is made from sunflower seeds! This is a great option for those with peanut allergies. They still taste like a chewy peanut butter cookie!
How to Make Oat Flour
Blend 1 cup of oats in a blender or food processor for 10-15 seconds or pulse 5-10 times until flour is formed. It’s ok if there are still a few large oat pieces, but it should be pretty fine. If you’re gluten free, be sure to check the label on the oats to ensure there is no cross contamination. Oats are naturally gluten free but sometimes they’re processed on equipment with gluten.
Since this healthy peanut butter cookie recipe doesn’t require any eggs, it’s easy to make a half batch or a double batch without having to worry about any fancy conversions. I made a half batch over the weekend and it’ll be plenty of cookies for us!
Is Coconut Sugar Healthy?
I want to mention that just because coconut sugar is less refined sugar doesn’t mean you should go crazy with it. Like any sugar, you should enjoy it in moderation! You can read more about the health benefits of coconut sugar here. I like these cookies because they’re naturally sweetened with coconut sugar but they taste like a regular cookie. If you don’t have coconut sugar, feel free to use brown sugar instead.
How to Store Leftover Cookies
These healthy peanut butter cookies might not last long, but the best way to store them is in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze these cookies! Allow to thaw overnight or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to soften. You can also freeze the dough to enjoy later. If freezing the dough, I recommend scooping it into dough balls and freezing the dough balls so you can bake the cookies from frozen.
Variations and Mix Ins
- You can make these pb cookies with crunchy peanut butter if you want a little bit of a crunch to the texture. Another option is to add a few tablespoons of chopped peanuts to the dough.
- I also love adding mini chocolate chips or adding a drizzle of melted chocolate on top, since there’s nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate!
- Sometimes I like to add a pinch of flaky sea salt on top for a little added flavor and texture.
These healthy peanut butter cookies are deliciously chewy with no refined sugar or flour. They’re also gluten-free and vegan.
- 1 cup creamy salted peanut butter (see note)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (see note)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup rolled oats, blended into flour (see note)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt or more to taste, if using unsalted peanut butter
- Move the oven rack to the top-middle position.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut sugar, applesauce, and vanilla until combined.
- Stir in the oat flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and roll. Flatten with a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. These cookies can easily burn on the bottom so I recommend baking in the middle of the rack for 7 minutes and then moving to a top rack for the last 2 minutes of baking. Every oven is different, but that works best for my oven!
I find that creamy no-stir peanut butter works best in this recipe. If your peanut butter is too dry, as natural peanut butter can sometimes be, the cookies may be too crumbly. I’ve used Whole Foods Organic Creamy Peanut Butter and Aldi’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter and both worked well. If you’re using natural peanut butter, be sure to stir it well before using.
If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute brown sugar.
To make the oat flour, add 1 cups of oats to a blender or food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds or until crumbly. It doesn’t have to be super fine.
Keywords: peanut butter cookies
Now if you’ll excuse me, my sweet tooth and I are going to go enjoy one of these deliciously chewy peanut butter cookies!
Looking for other dairy free cookie recipes? Try these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!
Or if you’re in the mood for a chocolate dessert, try these gluten-free almond flour brownies!
What’s your favorite kind of cookie?