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For the serious PB-lovers, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies are the ultimate peanut buttery treat! Naturally gluten free with only 6 ingredients and no flour or butter. This easy one bowl cookie recipe will be your new favorite. Make sure to double it and try the variations!
Originally published on December 21, 2016. Updated with new images and more helpful information.
Peanut butter might just be one of my favorite foods in the world, and one of the best ways to eat it is in cookie form. There are plenty of recipes out there for peanut butter cookies, but I prefer flourless peanut butter cookies.
Why? Because they truly make the peanut butter the star! Not to mention that since they have no flour, they are naturally gluten free.
And, unlike some flourless peanut butter cookies that call for oats, which you have to be sure are certified gluten free, these do not require any special ingredients at all.
In fact, you might already have the ingredients in your pantry. Just mix up a batch, pop them in the oven, and pour a glass or milk. You can even pour a glass of almond milk if you prefer, because this cookie recipe also doesn’t have any butter. So it is dairy free too!
Why this Recipe Works
For those that are new to gluten free baking, flourless desserts are one of the easiest places to start. While there are a number of 1:1 flour blends on the market these days, gluten free baking used to require carefully measuring and blending the perfect ratio of flours and starches and gums.
Flourless baking doesn’t require any of that and can be made from basic grocery store ingredients.
You’ll find many 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies out there. While this one has a few extra ingredients, all of them make this cookie recipe more delicious without taking away from that intense peanut butter flavor.
I do recommend natural peanut butter to get the most pure peanut taste. But without the stabilizing oils in the usual jars of Skippy or Jif, the dough can be a bit more crumbly and the cookies do tend to be just a bit more fragile than the “usual” peanut butter cookies.
However, you just need to work through dough until it comes together, form tight balls, and press the balls down before baking. Let them cool a bit on the pan before transferring to a rack. Once cool, they stay together quite well, and they are super tender when you take a bite. No dry cookies here!
What You’ll Need
Just six basic ingredients, one bowl, and a few other items you already have in your kitchen – that and about 20 minutes are all you need to have a chewy batch of peanut butter cookies ready and waiting for you!
- Granulated sugar: A cookie isn’t a cookie without sugar to sweeten it up. This is the first ingredient in any flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, even the ones with just three ingredients.
- Brown sugar: Here is where things differ from the most basic version. The molasses in the brown sugar adds a slightly smoky caramelized flavor that actually makes the peanut butter stand out and taste even better. It also provides the acid to activate the baking soda.
- Baking soda: Speaking of baking soda, it is sometimes left out of other recipes. But it is the baking soda that gives these cookies the crisp but chewy texture. They get a little bit of puff, but not so much that they are cakey.
- Peanut butter: This is the star of the show, which is why I recommend a natural peanut butter. In most commercial brands of peanut butter, sugar and other oils are added which makes them creamy ad smooth without needing to be stirred, but takes away from all that peanut butteriness.
- Egg: An egg helps bind the ingredients and provides a bit more leavening.
- Vanilla: Not always included in peanut butter cookies, but vanilla is always a delicious flavor enhancer in sweet recipes.
NordicWare Baking Sheets are my favorites for cookie baking and much more. From roasting veggies to sheet pan meals, cookies to cake rolls, we use them almost daily. They are light, and the aluminum distributes the heat evenly.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Preparations: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream the peanut butter and sugar: Using a fork, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda in a bowl, then beat in the peanut butter until creamy.
- Add the wet ingredients: Blend in the egg and vanilla.
- Bake the cookies: Form balls using about 1 tablespoon of dough, place on the cookie sheet, and flatten to about ½ inch thick with your palm. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Cool the cookies: Cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Tips for Success
A few quick tips will make sure that these gluten free peanut butter cookies are total PB perfection.
Use Parchment Paper
While these are not especially sticky cookies, they are tender before they are cooled completely. But you also don’t want to leave them on a hot pan to cool completely or they could dry out. Using parchment ensures that you can safely take them off the pans without your cookies crumbling.
Work the Dough
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Dough can be a bit crumbly at first, and even when fully mixed does look a bit grainy. This is especially true when using natural peanut butter. Be sure to blend it with the sugar to let the oils and the sugar crystals cream together before mixing in the egg and vanilla.
Form Your Cookies
If the dough is a bit crumbly use your hands to form it into tight balls. Then flatten those balls into disks. The dough is thick, so it wil not spread much while baking, which is why you often see the crosshatch makrs in peanut butter cookies.
I usually just use my hand or a glass, but you can press down with a form to make the criss-cross pattern.
Do Not Overbake
To avoid a dry cookie, take it out when it is golden and set, but not firm or hard. Then will harden more as it cools on the pan for a few minutes. You do only want to leave them on the pan for about 10 minutes, though, or they will get too dark and dry on the bottom.
Storing the Cookies
Be sure to store the cookies in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature for about a week.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies are truly a blank slate. You can take this basic recipe and customize it with your favorite mix-ins, toppings, fillings, frostings, and more.
Stir in chocolate chips or chunks, toffee bits, chopped peanuts, or whatever you like before baking. Try:
- Flourless Triple Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
- Candy Overload Cookies from Crazy for Crust
- Peanut Butter Compost Cookies from Heartbeet Kitchen
Everyone is familiar with the peanut butter cookie with a Hershey Kiss on top. But that’s not the only thing you can put on top. Try a different candy, turn them into thumbprints, or give them a drizzle of something delicious.
Take two cookies and sandwich something yummy in the middle. Because two cookies are always better than one, especially when there is a filling in between them.
- Basic Cookie Sandwiches with Vanilla Frosting or Chocolate Frosting
- Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches (try: No-Churn Toffee Nutella Ice Cream)
- Flourless Peanut Butter Nutella S’Mores Sandwich Cookies
Frequently Asked Questions
Are flourless peanut butter cookies gluten free?
Yes, these are gluten free peanut butter cookies since they have no flour or other gluten-containing ingredients!
Are flourless peanut butter cookies healthy?
These cookies do contain sugar so they are not low in calories or carbs. I have not tested them with low carb sugar substitutes.
However since they are made without butter, the are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, containing mostly the healthy unsaturated fats in peanut butter.
Can you double the recipe?
Yes, you can easily double or triple the recipe to make a large batch of cookies. Especially if you want to add them to a Gluten Free Christmas Cookies Platter!
Can you freeze peanut butter cookies?
Yes, these cookies freeze quite well. Place them into a plastic freezer storage bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing, Then place into a plastic container or cookie tin to keep them from breaking and further prefent freezer burn.
For the best flavor, enjoy within 2 months, though they will be safe to eat for much longer.
- Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Almond Joy Cookies
- Flourless Monster Cookie Bars
- Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (I used creamy, but crunchy will work too)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a fork, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda in a bowl.
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat in the peanut butter until creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
- Form balls using about 1 tablespoon of dough, place on the cookie sheet and flatten to about ½ inch thick with your palm.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden and set.
- Let cool on the sheet for about ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.