These Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies are soft and chewy, easy to make and delicious. Peanut Butter Cookies without butter or refined sugar are a healthy sweet treat that will quickly become a favorite.
This post has been updated from the original posted October 13, 2020.
- Why you will love them
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- What kind of peanut butter is best for cookies?
- Why do Peanut Butter Cookies have fork marks?
- How to prevent cookie dough from sticking to fork.
- Debra’s Pro Tips
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- How to freeze peanut butter cookies
- More Cookie Recipes without Butter
- 📖 Recipe
- Calling all cookie lovers: More delicious recipes you will love:
One bite of these Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies and you’ll be hooked. Trust me, I’ve tasted a lot of peanut butter cookies in my lifetime and this recipe is hands down the best ever….oh, and it happens to be healthy too!
WHAT? Yes, really…no grains, no sugar, no dairy, no eggs needed. I kid you not! I mean it’s a PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE….shouldn’t it taste like peanut butter? Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies are easy to make and taste incredible.
Why you will love them
- Kid friendly, mother approved.
- Peanut butter cookies without butter.
- Grain-free, flourless
- Refined sugar free, sweetened with dates.
- Vegan and Gluten-free.
- Soft and chewy
- Insanely DELISH
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Medjool Dates: Low on the glycemic index-–meaning they won’t spike blood sugar levels the way refined sugars do….and they help these cookies taste delicious. Dates are high in disease fighting antioxidants, and digestive regulating fiber plus they are mineral dense which is good for bone health. I love the rich color and flavor that dates provide, without having to use any refined sugar.
- Peanut Butter: Rich in protein, fiber and minerals.
- Applesauce: A natural way to sweeten peanut butter cookies without added sugar.
- Almond Flour: low in carbs, high in protein and great choice to add texture, flavor and nutrition to baked goods.
- Cassava Flour: Made from a root vegetable making it ideal for grain-free baking. A good substitute would be arrowroot powder.
- Ground Flax: I love the nutty flavor, plus the omega 3 essential fatty acids and fiber they add to these vegan cookies.
What kind of peanut butter is best for cookies?
- Peanuts are one of those heavily sprayed crops, so be sure to buy organic peanut butter.
- Also look for a brand of peanut butter that has only one ingredient: peanuts. Sounds intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many brands appear to be healthy or “all natural” and yet they are filled with refined oils, sugars and other ingredients that aren’t part of a healthy diet.
- Learn to read labels and look at the ingredient list, not just the nutritional information.
- Drippy peanut butter works best in cookies. Be sure to mix your jar thoroughly when you first open it to evenly distribute the natural oils.
- I prefer creamy peanut butter for cookies, but crunchy for eating….what about you?
Why do Peanut Butter Cookies have fork marks?
I love the way traditional peanut butter cookies have fork marks. You definitely know they’re peanut butter cookies without having to ask, right? Peanut butter is heavy, and so is grain-free almond flour. The fork marks actually have a useful purpose: they help the cookies bake more evenly and make them less dense.
How to prevent cookie dough from sticking to fork.
Dipping the fork in a little almond meal or cassava flour in between pressing down on the dough will prevent the tines from sticking. It’s the easiest way to get that classic cross-hatch pattern.
Traditional peanut butter cookies are loaded with sugar—many recipes have as much as a cup EACH of brown and white sugar, and often they have 2 sticks of butter in them as well. Yikes! Sounds like a reason to say no to a favorite cookie.
This is the perfect recipe to make instead. With no refined sugar or grains, plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fiber why not let them indulge? Say yes to cookies any time of day. Breakfast cookies? Why not? An after school snack? You bet!
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Soak the dates in warm water to make them soft and easy to mix into the peanut butter
- Save some of the date water to use in the recipe
- CHILL THE DOUGH before making the cookies. They’ll be easier to scoop and they’ll hold their shape better.
- Use a small scoop to make uniform sized cookies.
- Dip your fork into some flour before making marks in the cookies so the tines don’t stick to the dough.
- Consider adding chocolate chips to the dough…or melting some to decorate the cookies.
- Double the recipe and freeze some dough for another time. They taste great cold and they can go straight from the freezer to the lunch box.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Mix in ½ cup chocolate chips to the batter and bake as directed in the recipe card.
- Let cookies cool completely and drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Dip one corner in melted dark chocolate for a decadent treat.
- Place drizzled or dipped cookies on unbleached parchment and place in the fridge until chocolate hardens.
How to freeze peanut butter cookies
- Freeze dough before baking: scoop golf-ball sized portions onto a sheet of unbleached parchment paper and roll them into balls. Pop them into the freezer until solid and then transfer into freezer safe bags. Pull out just the amount you want to cook and bake.
- Cool baked cookies completely and then transfer to freezer safe containers for up to 6 months.
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Healthy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup medjool dates*
- 1 cup organic creamy peanut butter*
- ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup cassava flour*
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Remove pits from dates and soak in warm water for 10 minutes. SAVE soaking water.
- Place soaked dates, peanut butter, applesauce, vanilla and ¼ cup soaking water into bowl of food processor and mix until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients: almond flour, cassava, flax, baking soda and sea salt and process until just incorporated. It should pull away from the edges of the processor. If it’s too dry, add an additional Tablespoon date water, if it’s too sticky, add additional Tablespoon almond flour.
- If desired, stir in ⅓ cup chocolate chips by hand.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes*
- Preheat oven to 350. Line rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Scoop out golf ball sized balls of dough onto prepared pan.
- Use the back of a fork to make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie. To prevent the fork from sticking to the dough, dip it in cassava flour in between pressing down.
- Dust with a pinch of flakey sea salt if desired.
- Bake 15 minutes until golden.
- Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy.
- Baked cookies can be stored in airtight container once they have cooled at room temperature for 4 days, in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.