These soft and buttery peanut butter cookies, made with creamy natural peanut butter, are savory and sweet in every bite. If you like peanut butter, enjoy eating soft cookies, and are following a gluten-free and/or vegan diet, this is a recipe you will want to bookmark.
Our family loves natural peanut butter, both the creamy and chunky. We like to spread it on our homemade gluten-free bread, muffins, or scones for breakfast. Even my 2-year-old son, Leo, always requests peanut butter on his muffin. Recently we created a YouTube video showing how we effortlessly stir natural peanut butter without opening the jar, by using a rock tumbler. If you use lots of natural peanut butter and would like to make your life a whole lot easier, check out the post here. Seeing how much we like peanut butter, it should be no surprise how crazy I am about these naturally sweetened rich peanut butter cookies.
As you know, natural peanut butter always has the oil separation on top and runny texture when it is stored at room temperature. Many brands offer the non-stir type of natural peanut butter with the addition of palm oil to prevent the oil separation. Taking advantage of this idea, I mixed 1 tbs coconut oil, ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter, and ½ cup of vegan butter together into the cookie dough. When the dough is refrigerated, the low temperature helps to solidify the coconut oil and makes the dough firm enough to manage. Otherwise, the dough will be too runny and soft to be rolled to form a cookie ball.
Many non-vegan peanut butter recipes use eggs to add the water content to the cookie dough. This makes the cookies soft and chewy. For this vegan version, I substituted applesauce for the egg ingredients and was surprised how well it performed in the texture of the cookie dough. In the end, I added 1 tbs organic cane sugar to add some stickiness to the dough while baking.
If you have ever baked with gluten-free flour, you are probably familiar with how the pastries become stiff and hard after being stored in the refrigerator. However, with all the peanut butter and applesauce in these rich cookies, they stay soft for a long time.
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbs coconut oil soft but not liquid
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ tsp pure stevia extract powder Now brand
- 1 tbs organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/3 cup 196 g all-purpose gluten-free flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Place the vegan butter in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to beat the vegan butter to be creamy and soft. Add the rest of wet ingredients and continue to mix with hand mixer until well combined.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixture. Use hand mixer at the lowest speed to mix and combine. Or use a rubber spatula to mix them together.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 hours to let the dough become firm enough to manage.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease the baking sheet with butter and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. The butter will help to hold the parchment paper in place.
- Roll approximately 2 tbs of cookie dough to form a cookie ball. Leave 2 inch space between each cookie ball. Gently press down with fork to create the criss-cross pattern. Bake the cookie for 12 minutes and rotate the baking pan 180 degree halfway through the baking time.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the cookies cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring onto wire cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft at this point. They will continue to stiffen while they are cooling.
For homemade gluten-free all-purpose gluten free flour (yield 45 oz all-purpose gluten-free flour)
5 oz brown rice flour
5 oz millet flour
5 oz Maseca Corn Masa Mix
7.5 oz sweet rice flour
7.5 oz white rice flour
3 oz cornstarch
3 oz tapioca starch
2 oz potato starch
Mix all flour well in a container or a gallon zip-lock bag. Store in freezer.
The store-bought all-purpose gluten-free flour will work for this recipe as well.