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:
4.93 from 14 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
  • 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. 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.

 

46 comments

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  1. Tricia Berkow
    10.28.2019

    These look yummy and I want to make them. Can I ask you what is your favorite brand of runny peanut butter?

    Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.28.2019

      Hi Tricia, we tested these with both Whole Food’s Organic and regular (natural) peanut butter.

  2. Hey this is a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.30.2019

      I hope you enjoy them!

  3. Lauren Neciuk
    10.28.2019

    5 stars
    These cookies look so good! I love the fork trick you did at the end.

  4. Averie
    10.28.2019

    These look delicious! I can’t wait to make this for my daughter’s surprise birthday party!

    • Gabby
      10.28.2019

      yes please make these for me (i am her daughter)

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        10.30.2019

        Haha, I hope you both enjoy them 🙂

  5. KareninStLouis
    10.29.2019

    I look forward to trying this. I use Trader Joe’s organic no salt peanut butter with Valencia peanuts. It is a great peanut butter at an amazing price. I typically pour off as much of the oil on top as possible before using the jar, but for this recipe I will blend in all of the oil as I think that is needed since you recommend using a runny peanut butter.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.30.2019

      Hi Karen, I hope you enjoy the recipe! Yes, I would definitely stir the oil into the peanut butter really well.

  6. Kris
    10.30.2019

    Can I make using eggs? If so. How many eggs?

  7. Veronica
    10.30.2019

    5 stars
    Quick, easy, and very tasty. I used liquid coconut oil and baked for a few extra minutes.

  8. Katie
    10.30.2019

    These look so good! Can I use gluten free flour?

    • Angela
      11.19.2019

      Hello! Have you tried without using sugars and just maple syrup and/or honey instead?

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        11.21.2019

        Hi Angela, I don’t think it would be an equal swap because it’ll change the wet to dry ingredient ratio.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2019

      Hi Katie, I haven’t tried these with gluten free flour so I can’t say.

    • Alene
      03.16.2020

      Hi! I was just wondering if you tried it with gluten free flour.

      • Christin from veggiechick.com
        05.14.2020

        I made them with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour. I had to add about 1/4 cup almond milk because the batter was a bit dry, and I baked them longer, around 15-16 minutes. So good!!

        • Alene
          05.14.2020

          Thanks Christin! Wonderful! I’m just afraid to bake them because I will eat them all! My husband is not a peanut butter fan.

          • Christin from veggiechick.com
            05.14.2020

            No problem Alene! =) And if that’s the case, I’d probably make a 1/2 batch, cause it makes a lot of cookies! Enjoy. =)

  9. mary
    11.01.2019

    5 stars
    Wow! These really are fabulous! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Jen
    03.09.2020

    My dough is super crumbly and wont stick together. Should I add another egg?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.09.2020

      Add a little bit of water until it’s moist and more sticky…

  11. Nas F.
    03.24.2020

    I was so excited to make these but I’m short on coconut oil- I only have 1/4 cups worth. we’re in quarantine so unfortunately I can’t run to the store- would it be crazy to use olive oil for the other quarter cup? Any suggestions are welcome!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.24.2020

      I would! The dough might be a little more wet since – if it is, just chill a little longer until the dough is workable. It might affect how the cookies spread, but they should still be delicious!

  12. Emmery
    04.05.2020

    Just made it but my dough is very crumbly hoe can I moisten it without ruining it?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.05.2020

      Hi Emmery, add a little bit of water until the dough sticks together and is more workable.

      • Emmery
        04.05.2020

        4 stars
        Thanks I did, I said screw it added too much, then I added some flour. They turned out alright a bit hard though

  13. Jamie
    04.21.2020

    My favorite vegan cookie so far! I’ve made it twice once with almond butter and once with peanut butter- both are very good.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.22.2020

      Hi Jamie, I’m so glad you loved them!

  14. Kris B.
    05.03.2020

    5 stars
    Used crunchy natural peanut butter instead of creamy for 2/4 cup, then used 1/4 cup creamy almond butter. Used 1/4 teaspoon sea salt instead of 1/2. The added 1 1/2 teaspoons tequila to the mix, because why not.

    Baked outcome looked a little crumbly, but still held together and was fantastic.

    Also really liked the coconut oil flavor in this recipe.

    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Hi Kris, I’m so glad you loved them!

  15. Christin from veggiechick.com
    05.14.2020

    5 stars
    I made these cookies and the only thing I did different was use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Blend. They were a bit dry using this flour so I had to add a bit of almond milk (about 1/4 cup). And I also had to bake them a little longer, about 16 minutes. They were perfect! Firm enough but still chewy with a great peanut-buttery taste. So good. Thanks so much! =)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Hi Christin, I’m so glad you loved them. Thank you for leaving your gluten free tips!

  16. Jeanine Donofrio
    05.15.2020

    I’m so sorry to hear, would you mind sharing what type of peanut butter you used so I can troubleshoot for future readers?

  17. Leah
    06.10.2020

    5 stars
    In light of national peanut butter cookie day on Friday, I decided to make these along with the peanut butter snickerdoodle in the cookbook! Both are nothing short of amazing… I was planning on bringing all the cookies to share with my family on Friday… I don’t think they are going to make it! Thank you for sharing your recipes 🙂
    Next time I am tempted to try putting Nutella in the centre.. or at least in some of them!
    A quick question also, how do your cookies turn out so well with the fork method on top? Mine never lasts in the oven!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      Hi Leah, I’m so glad both recipes were a hit! For the hatches – did you change anything about the recipe and are you using natural peanut butter?

      • Leah
        07.12.2020

        5 stars
        I don’t believe I did change anything! I also used natural peanut butter, I even made my own because you gave me the idea too on the blog! However, I clearly did something wrong – haha!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          07.12.2020

          I think I might just try pushing down harder? Sometimes my hatches bake out too. I don’t know if it’s just a humidity thing or different in moistness of types of peanut butter. I hope they tasted great either way!

          • Leah
            07.12.2020

            Thank you for the tip and quick replies! They tasted absolutely amazing regardless!
            I’ve been on a roll with your second cookbook since the pandemic began, I haven’t been disappointed yet!!

  18. Jeanine Donofrio
    06.16.2020

    I’m so glad you loved them!

  19. HNH Style
    07.03.2020

    5 stars
    Very good recipe. My daughter loved it so much.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2020

      I’m so glad you both loved them!

  20. 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.