Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Say hello to the best peanut butter cookies out there. These guys have chewy middles, crumbly edges, and a fantastic nutty flavor. P.S. They're vegan too!

Peanut Butter Cookies

As soon as I tried these peanut butter cookies, I exclaimed, “They taste like Nutter Butters!” I meant it in the best way. They have a delicious crumbly texture with slightly chewy middles, and they’re bursting with sweet, peanut-y flavor. For me, they’re the perfect peanut butter cookies. If you need a second opinion, talk to Jack. I’ve made over six batches of different variations of this peanut butter cookie recipe in the last two weeks, and they’ve all disappeared. Suffice it to say, we’re hooked.

Peanut butter cookie recipe ingredients

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Ingredients

For years, I’ve been making peanut butter cookies without flour, but this fall, I wanted to develop a vegan peanut butter cookie recipe to share with you all. Instead of trying to make flourless cookies without eggs, I made this recipe more traditional, adding flour, baking powder, and baking soda. The crumbly, melt-in-your mouth texture these ingredients added totally delighted me, and I think you’ll love it too. Here’s what else is in them:

  • Natural peanut butter, of course! I haven’t tested this recipe with crunchy peanut butter, so be sure to use creamy peanut butter for the best results.
  • Ground flaxseed – I used flax as a binder instead of an egg.
  • Brown sugar and cane sugar – This combination creates the perfect complex, sweet flavor.
  • Coconut oil – Make sure your coconut oil is softened, but not melted. It should still have a white, creamy appearance, but it should mix seamlessly into the wet ingredients. You don’t want any chunks!
  • Vanilla extract – Just a splash adds essential depth of flavor.
  • And sea salt – Don’t leave it out! A pinch of salt really makes the peanut butter flavor pop.

Wet ingredients in a bowls

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies

Ready to make these easy peanut butter cookies? Here’s what you need to do:

First, make your flax egg. Combine the flax and water and set it aside for 5 minutes to thicken.

Mixing wet and dry ingredients

Then, whisk together the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients in separate bowls. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until everything is well combined. The dough will be very thick!

How to make peanut butter cookies Peanut butter cookie dough

Next, it’s time to chill. Pop the cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 350.

When the dough is chilled, you can bake! Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the dough and roll it into balls. Press the dough balls down gently with your hands before using a fork to give them the signature peanut butter cookie criss cross pattern. Bake the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12 minutes. They will still be fragile at this point, so allow them to rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Finally, eat! 🙂

Easy peanut butter cookies

My Best Peanut Butter Cookies Tips

  • Use runny peanut butter. Look for natural peanut butter with a smooth consistency to make this recipe, not the dry, stiff stuff that you might find at the bottom of a jar. Even when your nut butter is runny, this recipe makes a stiff cookie dough. If your peanut butter is too dry, the dough may crack, and it will be difficult to form cohesive cookies. Tip: If you store your peanut butter in the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour before making this recipe.
  • Chill the dough! It may be tempting to skip this step, but as I tested this recipe, I found that chilled dough really made the best peanut butter cookies. Chilling prevents them from spreading as they bake, and they come out with a clearer criss cross pattern.
  • Leave them on the baking sheet for a few minutes to cool. Like many vegan cookie recipes, these peanut butter cookies require a few minutes to set up once they’re out of the oven. Before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely (or devouring them right away!), leave them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up. It’s a win-win: their flavor also improves as they cool!

Best Peanut butter cookies

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love this peanut butter cookie recipe, try any of these favorite cookie recipes next:

Peanut butter cookies

Best Peanut Butter Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.67 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves 20
You'll love these easy peanut butter cookies! They have a delicious nutty flavor and crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • cups all-purpose flour,

    spooned and leveled

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil, soft but not melted
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup creamy natural peanut butter*, see note
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, cane sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir in the flaxseed mixture and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
  • Scoop dough using a 2-inch cookie scoop and roll into balls with your hands. The dough should be on the dry side. If it’s too dry and crumbly to work with, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it comes together. Flatten slightly and place on the baking sheet. Use a fork to make cross-hatch marks. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

*Look for creamy peanut butter with a smooth consistency to make this recipe, not the dry, stiff stuff that you might find at the bottom of a jar. Even when your nut butter is runny, this recipe makes a stiff cookie dough. If your peanut butter is too dry, the dough may crack, and it will be difficult to form cohesive cookies. This recipe was tested with 365 organic no-stir creamy peanut butter and 365 natural creamy peanut butter.
Tip: If you store your peanut butter in the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour before making this recipe.

 

60 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Patty
    07.12.2021

    My granddaughter is allergic to eggs, the protein in dairy and nuts (including peanut butter). Could I use Sunbutter (sunflower) in place of peanut butter?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.13.2021

      Hi Patty, I think these would work with sun butter but I haven’t tried, so I can’t say for sure.

  2. Kila
    03.07.2021

    Looked through the comments but didn’t see if anyone asked this – apologies in advance if it’s a repeat Q! If I use unsalted peanut butter, should I increase the salt in the recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.07.2021

      Hi Kila, you should be good with this same 1/2 teaspoon either way. If you love sea salt in desserts, a bit of flaky sea salt sprinkled on top would be a welcome addition.

      • Kila
        03.07.2021

        Excellent- thanks for the quick response!

  3. Fran McGuinness
    03.02.2021

    Hi recipe looks great, can i add chocolate chips or will that change things?
    Thanks!!

  4. Laura
    02.09.2021

    5 stars
    So good. I did a couple things differently:
    – I didn’t chill the dough.
    – I used canola oil instead of coconut oil.

    Also, I added a little water before forming the cookies. I will be keeping this recipe on hand! Chewy inside, crumbly outside.

    Is there a way to make these with less sugar though?

  5. Libby
    01.21.2021

    4 stars
    Has anyone tried this with acquafava instead of flax eggs? Im curious if that would give it a slightly lighter texture.

  6. diana
    01.07.2021

    These were delicious! it
    it could have used less coconut oil, has anyone tried less oil since the peanut butter is already oily?
    I used almond flour and monk sugar and also forgot to grind my flax seed, loved the added texture of this mistake.

  7. Lys
    01.05.2021

    3 stars
    The taste was there but these were not staying together whatsoever. Added excess PB and coconut oil too. Oh well, still enjoyed them! Added some dark chocolate bits on top that melted as they were cooling.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.06.2021

      Hi Lys, was your peanut butter very smooth and not dry or chunky?

  8. Linda Nicosia
    11.01.2020

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, but there’s a bit of a flaw: step one is to preheat oven; step 5 is to chill batter for 30 min…do you see?
    I put chocolate chips in it, too!!

  9. NM
    10.30.2020

    5 stars
    Great recipe for a natural peanut butter cookie! They came out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
    Admittedly, I made just a *few* changes. One, using a gf flour and two, subbing non-vegan ingredients (sorry!) it was hard to find a recipe that used natural pb but this one is great! I’ll definitely be saving it to use again!

  10. Hasani j
    10.06.2020

    3 stars
    dough did not come out right.
    They taste gr8 after fixing and using a little vegan butter 😉

  11. KS
    07.22.2020

    5 stars
    These were tasty! My dough was really crumbly, so I added some extra peanut butter. They turned out pretty well. I’ll definitely make these again.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.