Healthier, Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies to Satisfy All Your Cookie Cravings
Remember Cookie Monster from Sesame Street? For years he mindlessly devoured platefuls of cookies. But he recently changed his tune, acknowledging that, in moderation, cookies can be a part of a well-balanced diet. That’s especially true when you bake your own cookies with wholesome ingredients, like the ones found in our recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies.
These healthier cookies replace traditional ingredients with better-for-you alternatives, like oat flour instead of white flour, coconut oil for butter, and all-natural peanut butter in lieu of the ultra-processed stuff. All together, it makes a recipe that’s surely a Cookie Monster-approved guilty pleasure — in moderation, of course!
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2½ cups gluten-free oat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt or Himalayan slat
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-natural peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Place sugar, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a medium bowl; mix with a hand-mixer until totally combined.
Crack one egg into sugar mixture and mix until combined. Repeat with remaining egg.
Add extract and peanut butter, mix to combine.
Add oat flour mixture into sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. Place bowl in refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
Scoop 24 rounded teaspoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches of room between each scoop.
Press the back of a fork into the top of each cookie, turn the fork 90 degrees and press down again to make a crosshatch design.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges.
Cool until ready to serve. Store remaining cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.
How to Make Healthier Peanut Butter Cookies
One of the easiest ways to make cookies healthier is to swap refined all-purpose white flour for another flour with a better nutrition profile. That’s why these gluten-free peanut butter cookies use oat flour. This swap also makes them perfect for anyone with gluten or FODMAP sensitivities!
Oat flour is also more flavorful than all-purpose flour, and it has a texture similar to whole wheat, making it the perfect choice for a chewy, crumbly peanut butter cookie.
How to make your own oat flour
If you can’t find gluten-free oat flour in your regular supermarket, you can easily make it at home. Simply buy gluten-free rolled oats (not steel-cut) and grind them in your blender or food processor. The more finely ground the oats, the smoother the consistency of the cookie.
Just note that you’ll need to measure out a bit more oats than the recipe calls for in order to make 2½ cups of oat flour.
Can You Use Natural Peanut Butter in Cookies?
Absolutely! Not only will a natural peanut butter give your cookies the rich flavor you’re looking for, it can even make your cookies better for you. Old-school processed peanut butter often contains added oil, sugar, and salt, which can really wreck the nutritional value.
But natural peanut butter is made from only — you guessed it — peanuts! With any unnecessary additives, it makes it a low-carb friendly source of protein.
What Can I Substitute for Egg in Peanut Butter Cookies?
Thanks to the explosion of vegan cooking, you have lots of options when it comes to replacing eggs.
The internet is a flutter about the wonders of aquafaba, the flavorless, viscous liquid inside of a can of chickpeas. It’s nearly indistinguishable from egg whites, and, like eggs, it acts as a binder, keeping your baked goods fluffy. Replace 1 egg with 3 tbsp. of aquafaba, and you’re off to the races.
Don’t have a can of chickpeas beans on hand? You can also make your own binder using water and flaxseed. Flaxseed “eggs” include a bit of a nutty taste, which is a fantastic addition to these peanut-y cookies!
Here’s how to make a “flax egg” to replace 1 egg:
- Stir 1 Tbsp. finely ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp. of water. (For this recipe, you would use 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp. of water.)
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.
- Add it to your recipe. That’s it!
You can also turn to mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, or applesauce to replace eggs. For these substitutes, use about ¼ cup per egg. Since the peanut butter in this recipe is the dominant flavor, these fruits disappear into the background. You won’t even notice a difference!
Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative