Oct 06

Soft and Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten-Free

Soft and Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Last week was a bit of a doozy. Lots going on at work and even more going on outside of work, and by the time I arrived home on Thursday night all I wanted for dinner was a handful of peanut butter cookies. A strange choice, I might add, considering we didn’t have any peanut butter cookies on hand but stranger cravings have happened. It’s a lovely thing to have a craving that is so easily accommodated for given the simplicity of ingredients needed. Had I been craving gold-flake encrusted peanut butter cookies, well then that might have posed a problem.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been trying to make at least the majority of my weekday meals vegan. I’ve noticed that I feel more clear-headed and full of energy when I do, so I’ve worked to make it a habit. The weekends are still a time for falling off the vegan wagon, and if you witnessed my weekday breakfast trends you’d think I was a stockholder for Chobani. Such is life.

Peanut butter cookies are a cinch to make vegan, so I went ahead and made that a priority. As I got mixing, I figured why not up the health factor by allowing oat flour take the place of white flour. Now we’re talking vegan and gluten-free. Check and check. But of course the bottom line in any recipe is taste, and I promise you that these peanut butter cookies will knock the socks off of your cookie cravings. Like socks on the floor and cookie crumbs everywhere. I’ll let you gnaw on that image.

These cookies are the softest, densest, and most tender peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted. The use of brown sugar adds to their density and lends a warm, caramely layer to their peanut butter decadence. The path to making them vegan and gluten-free means that all that extra stuff that interferes (white flour, eggs, etc.) is cleared away and their true peanuty potential is reached rather effortlessly. They have this melt-in-your-mouth goodness about them, and they pair perfectly with a glass of ice-cold milk.

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

peanut butter cookie hearts

4.8 from 35 reviews
Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The softest and most tender peanut butter cookies ever... and you'd never know they were vegan and gluten free unless you read this recipe! Peanut butter heaven wrapped up in pretty little crisscrossed packages. (tip: make your own oat flour by tossing rolled oats in a food processor and processing for 2-3 minutes until a fine "flour" has formed).
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12-14
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter (make sure you use a no-stir peanut butter -- you can also use ½ peanut butter and ½ almond butter)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup oat flour (use 1 cup if you prefer chewy cookies rather than tender cookies)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water (readers have also had success using ¼ cup almond milk)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour, baking soda, and salt).
  4. While beating the peanut butter mixture, slowly add in the oat flour mixture and beat until a crumby dough forms. Add in the water and continue to beat until distributed. Do not over mix.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into balls (about 1½ - 2 tablespoons per cookie), drop on parchment paper, and flatten with a fork one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden on edges (they bake FAST so watch them carefully).
  8. Let cool completely and enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk. YUM.
  9. Store in an airtight plastic container to keep the cookies soft and chewy.
Notes
*Refined-Sugar-Free option: readers have had success using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar.

 

Comments

  1. Those are making my mouth water…would be great with my coffee.

  2. Thank You!!! These were delicious :) I look forward to more vegan sweets from you!

  3. I made these the other day for a relative who is vegan and they were such a hit with everyone in the house. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  4. Cassandra says:

    I made these yesterday, subbing crunchy natural (not no stir, it was what i had) almond butter, and coconut oil for the vegan spread. They turned out fantastic! chewy, tender, great flavor. my youngest is allergic to eggs, wheat, and dairy, and since I was making cookies for her sister I needed to make something for her. she is thrilled! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • What do you mean by vegan spread?

      • Hi Shelley, thanks for pointing that out in this comment! There isn’t any vegan spread, such as Earth Balance, in this recipe so that comment must be an error or a comment that should have landed on another recipe. Just follow the recipe exactly as posted :)

  5. Do you have any suggestions for baking soda and baking powder? That are vegan

  6. I have pb that’s close to expiration (we stocked up!), so I looked up a vegan cookie recipe. I’m about to try these. I’ll let you know how they taste with my glass of “milk”.

  7. Just finished making these. Note: I used my regular All-Purpose flour, but this recipe made some soft, delicious cookies! I’m excited to share them with husband. He loves peanut butter! Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying them and it’s helpful to know that they’re still just as tasty with all purpose flour! Thanks for the update!

  8. Cassandra says:

    I just made these and they were so delicious! I split the brown sugar with maple sugar (my husband’s family is from NH, so there are a lot of maple products in the house!!) and it gave the cookies a wonderful maple flavor! I used regular all-purpose flour since that is all I had- for my variation I had to bake them a little bit longer, but they still came out chewy and delicious! I’m vegan, but my husband and his family are not; this sweet treat was a hit with everyone and they seemed very surprised that a vegan diet can taste so wonderful! Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

    • Hi Cassandra! Thanks for trying out the recipe and for commenting with how the adjustments worked out for you! I will have to make these with maple sugar next time — that sounds so delicious. I’m so glad that these cookies impressed non-vegans! Always an exciting moment when you can surprise people with how delicious vegan food can be :)

      • Cassandra says:

        Ashley! I tried to give you five stars, but my iPhone wouldn’t let me… but just know it is a 5-star recipe! The whole batch is already gone and my husband is begging me to make more :)

        • Oh my gosh, you’re so sweet! Thanks for commenting back with your 5-star rating! Also, love when the husbands beg for vegan food — it’s so cute, isn’t it?

  9. This is the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe!! They are just the texture and flavor I was looking for. Plus, they couldn’t have been easier to make. As a vegetarian making the transition to a vegan lifestyle, I am always looking for new tasty recipes to add to my recipe box, and this is a keeper. I did have to make one adjustment because I didn’t have enough creamy peanut butter, so I used 1/2 cup creamy and 1/2 cup crunchy. I have to say, I loved the added texture of the crunch! As another commenter said, they took a little longer to bake, about 10 minutes for me. My boyfriend tried these not knowing they were vegan and raved about how good they were. When I told him they were vegan, he said, “You tricked me!” Keep the great recipes coming!

    • Hi Becky! Umm, thank you for the amazingly sweet words! I need to try this creamy-crunchy pb combo the next time I make these cookies. Isn’t it the best when our loved ones unknowingly eat vegan foods and melt over their deliciousness?! I “trick” my husband all the time, too! Also, thank you for noting that the baking time was closer to 10 minutes — I will update the recipe to reflect the variance in baking times. I’m quickly learning that the oven in our new-ish home is like a mini inferno, and it seems to bake EVERYTHING quicker than expected!

  10. These look amazing, but do you think I could sub the peanut butter with Sunbutter?

    • Yes, I definitely think that would work! You might have to add a bit more oat flour if the sunbutter is runny but otherwise I think it should sub really well. Please let me know how it goes!

  11. I made these for my kids {and hubs} last night and they LOVED them!! We will def be making them again! I love your photography too btw. I also only had pb on hand that separates, and they still turned out amazing! Thanks for blogging this recipe and taking the time to stage them so lovely. :)

    • Hi Talia! Thanks for reporting back with kind words and helpful substitution hints! I’m glad to know that they do turn out with pb that separates, and I will add a note into the recipe. Also, thank you for the sweet compliments on the photos! It’s definitely the part of being a food blogger that challenges me the most, so your words mean a lot to me :)

  12. This recipe is great! Super easy to make and super tasty!! I’m allergic to peanuts so I subbed the peanut butter with a toasted soy spread called wow butter (tastes just like peanut butter). They were amazing!!!

  13. do you have to use oat flour? or can you use regular, and make it non gluten free, but still vegan

  14. Hello, Ashley. I don’t have brown sugar so can I make them with honey??

    • Hi Donika, I’m not sure how they’ll turn out with honey as I haven’t tried substituting with it but please let me know how it goes/went if you try it!

  15. This recipe was great! Just what I was looking for. Thank you.

  16. These were fabulous!!! I am not vegan, but have discovered the joys of vegan baking. At first glance, I wondered how cookies without the usual butter/egg combination would taste, but these are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I used my Nutribullet to make oat flour – quick and easy!

    • Hi Pam! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed them so much! Great tip to make the oat flour in a Nutribullet. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Roslynne Crawford says:

    These cookies are awesome! Next time, I am going to put the cookies in the freezer for 30 mins or so to reduce them spreading out. Mine were a bit thin. Thanks, Ashley. I am a new vegan so it’s a pleasure to read your blog and try out some delicious recipes.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them and thank you for the feedback! Great idea about freezing the dough prior to baking, as they can spread out a bit. I might have to add that into the recipe notes!

  18. SOOOO GOOD! I added coconut oil in, and subbed the water with almond milk. BEST VEGAN COOKIES I HAVE FOUND TO DATE! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    • You’re making me blush! Thank you so much for the amazing cookie compliments, Carly (try saying that 10 times fast). Can I ask how much coconut oil you added? Just asking in case other readers want to make that addition since coconut oil has so many awesome health benefits. Thanks for reading, baking, and commenting!

  19. I made these tonight with maple syrup in place of the sugar. I was worried they’d be a bit too soft as the batter was quite runnuly but they turned out fantastic! I actually forgot about them and they didn’t over cook.

  20. I am not much of a baker, but I had a huge craving for (vegan, gluten-free) peanut butter cookies last night. After searching through recipes that had ingredients I didn’t care for, or long lists of various flours and binders, I found yours and thought it looked like something I could handle. I blended my own oat flour, leaving just a few larger flakes intact and used a combo of almond butter and peanut butter (because I didn’t have a full cup of pb). The cookies were fantastic! Exactly what I wanted – peanutty, not too sweet, chewy and a little salty. This morning, I ate one with my coffee and it had become satisfyingly crunchy around the edges and maintained a really good chewiness in the centre. Thank you, thank you! This may be my go-to recipe from now on.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Mishka! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on them — you’ve inspired me to try these with my morning coffee!

  21. Alba Marina says:

    Hey! I was wondering if I could use baking powder instead of baking soda? Thanks!

    • Hi Alba! I’ve never tried substituting baking powder for baking soda in this recipe, so I can’t vouch for it having the same results. However, usually you need 2-3 times the amount in order to sub baking powder for baking soda, but it can affect the flavor. If you try it, please comment and let me know how it works! Good luck!

  22. Not sure how many vegans are going to want to dip their cookies in a cold glass of milk… but this recipe looks great!

    • Hi Natalie! Thanks for the sweet words! By “milk” I mean plant-based milk (almond, cashew, coconut, etc) — there is an entire world of non-dairy milk options :)

  23. this recipe is the BOMB! Eight cookies given to me as a take home treat for the hubby ( I am not a cookie kinda person) , and I nipped the corner of one for a quick lil taste… eight cookies later… I am a convert. And the hubby will just have to wait until i make them myself… FIVE STARS of perfect addiction… :)

    • What an awesome compliment — thank you!! I feel honored that this recipe converted a non-cookie person! :)

  24. These were really delicious. Instead of water I used chocolate almond milk. They were sooo good.

    • What a fabulous idea to use chocolate almond milk! Thanks for the wonderful idea, and so glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  25. I just made these and they were amazing. I was really craving something sweet for dessert and it was really easy I already had all the ingredients. It’s so nice to find eggless recipes. Thank you!

  26. Best Peanut butter cookies ever! something so delish! Simple and quick. I am eatting too much though lol, also because of this recipe, I’m making my own oat flour which u drop your oats in a blender or proceesor and done! going to try the other recipesssss. You go girl!

  27. These cookies were amazing!!!! Followed the recipe exactly. Made my own oat flour out of oats like the notes said. Easy! My non vegan fiancé is on his 4th cookie. My stupid iPhone won’t let me rate w the stars but 5stars!!!!

  28. Thank you so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

    Please note that BROWN SUGAR IS NOT ALWAYS VEGAN as the processing of the sugar uses Bone Char from cow bones.

    • Hi Andrea! Thanks for the insight on brown sugar — I had no idea! I just checked on the one that I use (Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Sugar), and it is vegan. Thank goodness!

  29. Hi Ashley,
    I stumbled across your recipe and made them as fast as I could gather up the ingredients!!! I used 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt in lieu of the 1/8 teaspoon of regular salt and in my food processor I pulsed my own oat flour using gf whole oats. I went with your readers suggestion and used almond milk instead of water. Fan-friggin’-tastic peanut butter cookies!!! THANKS for sharing this recipe and I hope my readers love them as much as I do!!!

  30. PS….I went with the full cup of oat flour too!!!

  31. YUMMMMY! These are so so darn good! I had no idea what to expect because of no butter or anything but they are the BOMB! I just made myself sick though, they are very rich so please ladies no eating the whole batch :D

  32. Made these with my 2 year old son yesterday and they were amazing! Thanks! How can I share this recipe on my Twitter?

    • Hi Julie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the peanut butter cookies! You can share the recipe on Twitter by linking directly to the post. Thanks for checking and for your lovely feedback!

  33. Woweeeeeee says:

    These are amazing!!!!! Best peanut butter cookie recipe I have ever tried.

  34. Hello Ashley,

    This recipe is simply amazing! I add chocolate chips to my cookies to make it even more mouth watering. I hope that is okay that I made a printable of this recipe, it was just so delicious!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Janelle

    • Hi Janelle! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe! Great idea adding in chocolate chips! Sharing the recipe is fine as long as you link back to both my homepage and the original recipe post within the printable. Thanks for checking!

  35. I made these this morning for a friends birthday who is not Vegan or GF. I looked all over the internet for a good pb cookie recipe that didn’t have rice flour but oat flour – as my family is gluten free; but my non GF friends can taste the rice flour I put in things. This was IT!! All I can say is that these are AWESOME! The only thing I would change next time I made them would be a little more peanut butter, but I really like Peanut butter. I also added a tsp of Baking powder to help the cookie not spread. I have found with GF baking that it helps. These were great, because it was just simple ingredients, nothing weird; no special mixing, basic stuff. you would never know these were without the eggs and butter. Love them! Seriously if anyone has doubts, DONT! Just go for it, you’ll be glad you did!

    • Hi Eileen! Thanks so much for commenting with your feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies so much. It makes me so happy to hear about people sharing them with friends and family and having positive results! That is a great tip about adding baking powder — I never would have thought to do add it in to prevent the cookies from spreading. I’ll absolutely try it the next time I make them! Thanks again for your kind words!

  36. I have made these twice with good results. To jazz them up a little I added a few handfulls of trail mix & granola, plus a little cinnamon. They seem to be pretty foolproof (I don’t even measure, just eyeball & dump everything in the bowl). :)

    • Umm, genius idea to add trail mix, granola and cinnamon; that sounds amazing! Glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Autumn!

  37. hi, can u add a photo of the dough after adding the water?
    it looks very watery and stickey to me,,
    tnx

    • Hi Eliko! I can add a photo of the dough the next time I make these; however, the dough should not be watery after adding the 1/4 cup of water or almond milk. It should add just enough moisture to get the dough to hold together nicely so that you can form the cookies for baking. What kind of peanut butter did you use?

      • tnx :)
        actually after 5 minutes the dough was ok to work with.but when i tryed to make the cross pattern the fork just sticked to the dough .
        after 10 minutes in the oven the cookies spreaded ALL over the baking sheets – is it ok?
        i added the photo:
        http://i58.tinypic.com/oftt21.jpg

        • Hmm, it does sound like the dough was a bit too wet and the cookies typically don’t spread out like that; however, they should still taste delicious and hold up fine. You can try chilling the dough for 30 minutes or more before baking next time or add in a touch more oat flour if you want to reduce the spreading.

  38. Oh. My. God. I’ve been making peanut butter cookies since I was a kid, and these are the best!

    I was low on peanut butter, so I just made a 1/2 batch–it worked perfectly. I used 1/2 cup of oat flour for the 1/2 batch, and coconut milk instead of water. The perfect cookie for a rainy night.

    • Thanks, Traci! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the cookies so much! Also, thank you for the including the measurements you used to cut the recipe in half; it’s always great to know what works! I think I need to start making half batches, too :)

  39. nom nom de nom says:

    I think the texture would be something like Shortbread, especially if you use some cornstarch in place of about 1/4 cup oat flour.

  40. These biscuits are fantastic. I am gluten and dairy intolerant so finding yummy things to eat can be a challenge. So easy to make, thank you

  41. I made these with soynut butter since the kids’ schools are nut free… Delicious!!! Thanks:)

    • Hi Shayna! I’m so happy to hear they worked with soynut butter. Thanks for sharing your modification!

  42. wow jeez these are good!! thank you!! :)

  43. Ashley C. says:

    These are oh so delicious! Loving each bite! Simply beautiful

  44. YUM! Thank you for this recipe! Delicious! and my PB Cookie fans didn’t even know they were vegan!

    • You’re welcome, Renee! I’m so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed the cookies! Always a good sign when no one knows they’re vegan :)

  45. Just made these and my husband who’s not vegan LOVED them, he thought they were “even better than the non vegan”. I used all purpose flour since it was what I had and left them in the oven for double the time, they are delicious. Thank you !

    • Hi Raquel! I’m so happy to hear that you and your husband loved the cookies! What a great compliment that he thought they were better than the “non-vegan” kind :) Thanks for taking the time to report back and provide the notes on your adjustments with all purpose flour.

  46. Hi! I was looking for a recipe with oat flour and natural peanut butter, and here they are! Thanks! Yes, I used the kind of peanut butter you have to stir, and it was so hard, I emptied the entire new jar into my food processor, whirred it smooth, and scraped the unused part right back into the jar! The recipe worked great! I used vanilla almond milk, and made the cookies not as flat. They are beautiful, tender, and delish! And I fell, almost guilt-free! Win-win! SO glad I found your blog!

    • Hi Nancy! Thanks for your sweet words and for your tips about using the kind of peanut butter you have to stir; I’m so happy to hear it worked out with it. Great idea to throw it in the food processor first to completely incorporate the oil. I’m SO glad you found Blissful Basil, too! :)

  47. Marlo Saul says:

    Hi Ashley! Today is my first day finding your blog and I’m so glad that I did! I had a crazy PB cookie craving hit and these little gems were put to the test! I’m a chewy cookie girl so I went for the whole cup of flour. I also subbed a homemade almond/walnut butter for the pb and coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar and I added Enjoy mini chocolate chips. My batch was too loose to press with a fork so I thought they might be a flop but they turned out AMAZING! I usually roll half of my batter in plastic wrap and refrigerate so I can slice a couple singles to bake after my kids go to sleep, this recipe will be perfect for that! I’m keeping this recipe in my arsenal! Thanks so much!

    • Hi, Marlo! I’m so glad that you found Blissful Basil and had a chance to make these cookies and enjoyed them! Thank you for outlining your substitutions; it’s always wonderful to hear that the cookies turn out even with adjustments. I definitely need to try adding in mini chocolate chips; peanut butter + chocolate = the best!

  48. Jessica I. says:

    Made these for the second time tonight and once again they are dee-licious! Both times I made the oat flour with my Nutribullet and I used natural peanut butter which does separate but they were perfect! The first time I made them tender and the second time I went for chewy; either/or is great. I love how quick and easy these are to make; this is officially my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe! Thanks for this!

    • Thanks so much for commenting with your feedback, Jessica! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the cookies both ways, and what a great idea to process the oat flour in a Nutribullet. I’ll definitely have to try that the next time I make them :)

  49. Wow, just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing this recipe, these cookies are amazing! I LOVE that all of the ingredients are healthy too, making them pretty guilt-free in my books. It can be tough to find healthy-but-delicious sweet vegan recipes (that aren’t a raw vegan tart!). So good to see a recipe without vegan spread or general flour (I sometimes don’t even feel that comfortable using wholemeal flour, to be honest).

    I used coconut sugar and natural peanut butter and it was great. Also sneaked in some vegan sugar free dark choc chips and some ripe banana chunks! Super duper delicious. Also, I love the oat flour. These cookies are actually really filling and satisfying compared to cookies that call for normal flour – I think this is due to the oat flour (and the peanut butter, of course!). So good.

    Thanks again! It’s people like you who are making the vegan world more friendly and accessible, gotta love that!

    With love from Australia :)

    • Alex! Thanks for taking the time to write such a long, thoughtful, and sweet comment. I really appreciate the feedback, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies. Adding chocolate and peanut butter chunks sounds like the best idea ever; I will have to try that the next time I make these. I’ll make a note in the recipe that coconut sugar can be used in place of brown sugar, so thank you for noting that substitution!

  50. Anneli Olila says:

    WAY too sweet. Offensively sweet. Too bad.

    • Hi Anneli, I’m sorry that you felt that these were too sweet! I’ve never heard that complaint about these cookies before, but you can always cut back on the brown sugar or use coconut sugar instead.

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