The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies are soft, chewy and easy to make. A healthy sweet treat that’s flourless and sugar free. This vegan recipe is so delicious, it will quickly become a favorite.
This post was updated from the original that was published on June 25, 2015. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
One bite of these Homemade 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?
Soft and chewy, totally addictive…and just so good! You’ll want to make these over and over again. No problem, I’ve got all the tips for this easy recipe to share with you.
Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies start with Nutritious Ingredients
- 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.
- Creamy Peanut Butter: Loaded with protein, iron and calcium….great for building muscle and promoting healthy strong bones. Rich in niacin that helps with brain health and helps fight oxidative stress.
- Applesauce: a natural sweetener that is full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C.
- 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 healthy cookies.
Label Reading is SO IMPORTANT!
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.
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.
Kids and moms love these cookies!
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!
Tips and Tricks for Easy Peanut Butter Cookies:
- 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.
Be careful….they’re addictive
Ok…I’ll admit, these cookies are so good, it’s hard to stop eating them. What to do? Make just as many as you need. One of the beauties of vegan baking is that it’s easy to make half or even a quarter of a recipe. No need to worry about splitting eggs to figure things out.
I have another suggestion though. FREEZE the dough, or at least part of it. This dough freezes beautifully. Just scoop golf-ball sized portions onto a sheet of unbleached parchment 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.
A gift-worthy cookie for sure!
Homemade cookies make awesome gifts. They make perfect holiday gifts, they’re a terrific treat to drop off to a friend or serve at a party.
Here’s a super easy and fun idea. Dip one corner in melted dark chocolate for a decadent treat. Place dipped cookies on unbleached parchment and place in the fridge until chocolate hardens. Store in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to 6 months.
The search for the best peanut butter cookies is over! These are everything:
- Healthy: date sweetened
- Peanut Buttery
- Grain-free, flourless
- Refined sugar free
- Vegan: dairy-free and eggless!
- Soft and chewy
- Insanely DELISH
- Fun and pretty…..
Although I look for ways to alter the foods we love so they are healthy, I am not willing to compromise on taste. A super satisfying delicious cookie without sugar or butter! Little touches like finishing sea salt and rich dark chocolate make these healthy peanut butter cookies into something your friends and family will beg for the recipe and constantly ask you to bake more.
- 1 cup medjool dates*
- 1 cup organic creamy peanut butter*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/3 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.
DATES: 1 cup is approximately 8-9 dates, depending on size. Buy dates with the pits still in and remove them yourself. They will be softer and more moist.
PEANUT BUTTER: Look for peanut butter with only 1 ingredient: peanuts. Natural peanut butter doesn't have any added oil or sugar. When you open a new jar, be sure to mix it well. Separation is natural, but to ensure recipes come out well, the oil and solid needs to be well mixed....otherwise your cookies may be too dry or too oily.
FLAKEY SEA SALT: Optional, but I think totally worth sprinkling on top of cookies before baking.
CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Optional to mix 1/3 cup chocolate chips into batter before spooning onto baking sheet. AND/OR melt chocolate chips: to dip one corner of baked cookies into or drizzle onto baked cookies.
DOUGH: Chilled dough is easier to work with and the cookies will hold their shape better. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also keep the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze dough, roll into cookie size balls and freeze on flat surface until solid, then transfer to freezer container for up to 3 months. Bake as directed, adding additional 3-4 minutes.
Serving Size2 cookies
Amount Per Serving Calories 144Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 111mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 4gSugar 14gProtein 4g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.