These black bean cookies are stuffed with creamy peanut butter for a decadent and gooey center. They’re a healthier, nutritious and gluten-free way to indulge!
I hardly ever have a “backlog” of recipes to share on here. Some bloggers have months of content already developed, shot, edited and written.
I am not one of them.
This site is more of an extension of what I’m eating at the moment than some pre-planned out, optimized machine.
Half of me likes it like that, half of me wishes I could get my shit together a bit more.
However, back in March right before the kitchen renovation when I knew I was going to be without any way of cooking or baking for 6-8 weeks, I tried to work ahead.
I sort of succeeded.
I did get a bunch of recipes developed and photographed.
Then I just got way too overwhelmed with the state of my house from the whole renovation that I barely posted anything because even just the writing of these posts was too much to deal with amidst the chaos of that project.
So, recipes like these black bean cookies sat and waited. And waited. And waited some more.
Until finally, here were are in December and it feels like a good time to post a cookie recipe.
December isn’t a great month for this site.
Despite having some really awesome (at least I think so) healthier cookie recipes for the holidays like these Chocolate Chunk Molasses Gingerbread Cookies, Orange Pomegranate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Orange Infused Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies just to name a few, people seem to be all about the more decadent, full on indulgent desserts.
If that’s you – please, please, PLEASE try this apricot brandy pound cake this year.
It doesn’t have a single “healthy” bone its body but omg, it’s the most delicious cake ever and I look forward to a slice every single Christmas Eve. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s no basic boring pound cake.
If you’re in the minority though (like me most of the time), and are looking for a slightly healthier way to enjoy the holiday season, these stuffed black bean cookies might just be your thing.
How to make black bean cookies
Making these gluten-free black bean cookies is pretty simple.
In a food processor blend the following:
- canned black beans (drained and rinsed well)
- maple syrup
- almond milk
- vanilla extract
When that’s smooth and creamy, transfer it to a bowl and add eggs and melted coconut oil. Whisk the mixture until smooth again.
In a small bowl, add and mix together the dry ingredients:
- oat flour
- coconut flour
- cacao powder
- baking soda
These get added to the wet ingredients and stirred until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and then form the cookies using a medium cookie scoop.
How to stuff the cookies
Forming these peanut butter stuffed black bean cookies takes just a minute or two of work compared to a normal cookie.
Use the cookie scoop and place one scoop of black bean cookie dough on a small piece of parchment paper.
Make a small indent/well using your fingers in the center of the dough.
Place about 1/2 teaspoon of creamy peanut butter into the indent.
Use the cookie scoop again to place another scoop of dough on top of the peanut butter and then use your hands/fingers to seal up the edges making sure there’s no exposed peanut butter.
Form a nice dough ball and place on a prepared baking sheet. Gently press down on the dough ball with your hands to flatten the cookie a little.
If this is all too much for you, just make these gluten free peanut butter cookies instead. Packed with peanut butter flavor, they’re soft, chewy and totally classic.
You can add a few additional chocolate chips to the top of each cookie if desired at this point.
Once this is repeated with all the remaining batter (the recipe should make about a dozen stuffed cookies if you’re using a medium sized cookie scoop), bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes.
How do I know when the cookies are done?
The cookies will spread just a bit when baking and crack a little on top (they almost look like a pudgier crinkle cookie).
Edges should be well formed and set when the cookies are done baking but don’t be worried if they’re still a little soft in the center when you take them out of the oven.
Letting the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack while still on the baking sheet is important! Don’t touch these black bean cookies to move them until they’re fully cooled.
Similar to these vegan black bean brownies, the beans keep the texture very soft when they’re hot out of the oven so just be patient while they cool.
The same thing happens to these black bean meatballs when they bake up with a crispy outside but nice and soft interior.
Can you taste the black beans?!
Fear not, these cookies do not taste like beans.
I promise the black beans in this cookie recipe make these extra fudgy and soft (think similar to a fudgy brownie and very similar to the texture of these Dark Chocolate Amaretto Fudge Cookies), but do not make them taste like beans.
The maple syrup, vanilla extract, cacao powder and of course, the peanut butter hide any and all bean taste.
I make the same promise on this chickpea blondie recipe. They’re SO decadent and delicious with no hint of bean flavor!
Can I use another nut butter?
Absolutely. If you’re opposed to peanut butter or have an allergy to deal with, any other nut butter would be great in these stuffed black bean cookies.
My go-to nut butter substitution would likely be cashew butter. I just love its cake-batter taste so much. These Chocolate Dipped Cashew Almond Butter Cookies with Candied Sage are one of my all time favorite baked goods because of it and also a great holiday cookie recipe with the festive candied sage on top!
Almond butter would also work.
Or, to make these even more chocolatey and amazing – try nutella or a similar chocolate hazelnut spread.
I remember back in 2009 when I was at the beginning of my healthier eating/weight loss journey and I found a recipe that used chickpeas in a chocolate chip cookie. I was super skeptical but baked them anyway.
The result turned out to be one of my favorite go-to cookie recipes for years to come and what ended up convincing me indulgent treats like cookies really could be health-ified without disgusting consequences.
Hopefully these black bean cookies will be that recipe for someone out there!
They’re a gooey, decadent stuffed chocolate cookie that I promise anyone will love. They just so happen to be made with a can of black beans rather than tons of butter, sugar and oil.
Cookies should always be a part of the holiday season. With these, you can just eat a few more than usual!
Looking for a healthy breakfast recipe with the same kind of flavors? Try these chocolate peanut butter overnight oats!
More healthier holiday cookie recipes:
Peanut Butter Stuffed Black Bean Cookies
- 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips + more for topping if desired
- about 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter for filling
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.
- Place black beans, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add eggs and coconut oil, whisk until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine cacao powder, oat flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
- Add dry ingredients to the the bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Stir until combined then gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop batter onto a small sheet of parchment paper. Gently make an indent in the center of the dough.
- Dollop about 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter into the indent.
- Place another cookie scoop worth of batter on top and crimp the edges using your hands and fingers so that you form a ball of dough with no peanut butter exposed. Place on a baking sheet and gently flatten slightly by pressing down on the top of the cookie.
- Push a few additional chocolate chips if desired onto the top of the cookie and repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until cookies are set around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Store cookies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.