This simple recipe for gluten free peanut butter cookies is full of peanut butter flavor and made in the classic criss-cross style. A soft and chewy cookie peanut butter lovers will swoon for!
You’re either a peanut butter lover or can’t stand the stuff. I’ve come to realize there’s no in between.
My mother hates it. This unfortunately meant my childhood was robbed of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and classic candy like Reese’s during Halloween.
I’ve tried to make it up for it since with recipes like peanut butter and jelly muffins and my favorite snack, these no bake peanut butter chocolate chip bites. This recipe for gluten free peanut butter cookies brings things one step closer to even.
When I think of peanut butter cookies, my brain immediately envisions the classic cross-hatch pattern and a soft and chewy cookie bursting with peanut butter flavor.
That’s exactly what these cookies are with the added bonus of being gluten free.
Making soft and chewy gluten free peanut butter cookies
This recipe comes together very easily. A handheld mixer is used instead of dragging out the stand mixer (although you can if you prefer) and the ingredient list is short with things you probably have on hand.
You’ll need these ingredients
- creamy peanut butter
- brown sugar
- unsalted butter
- egg yolk
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose gluten free flour blend
- baking soda
Peanut butter – Choose a creamy, natural peanut butter that has no extra ingredients. Peanuts and salt should be the only things listed. If the oil has separated in the jar, make sure to stir it well before using. Look for peanut butter certified as gluten-free if you’re celiac or extremely sensitive. While peanuts are naturally gluten free, some brands can be cross contaminated in production.
Gluten free flour – These cookies are forgiving. There are many gf flour blends available and each perform a little differently than the next but I’ve found it doesn’t really matter too much with these cookies. I personally use King Arthur measure for measure GF blend. Check to see if the ingredients on your blend include xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is what helps bind the cookies together and will prevent crumbling. If yours does not include xanthan gum, it’s wise to add it to the dry ingredients.
Milk – Any type of milk can be used for this recipe. Dairy or plant-based will work fine. If you want to make the cookies completely dairy-free, swap out the butter for a plant based butter. Miyokos is my preferred brand.
Egg yolk – A lot of my baking recipes are both gluten free and vegan but these cookies are obviously not with the use of an egg yolk and butter. To make them vegan, in addition to the butter substitute, use a flax or chia egg.
Baking the gf peanut butter cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, brown sugar and butter. Use a hand held mixer on high speed to beat the mixture until creamed and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat again briefly until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time and mix using a spatula until no flour streaks are visible.
Add the milk and mix again until incorporated. The cookie dough will be thick but should roll nicely.
At this point, you can let the dough rest covered in the refrigerator before baking or get right to it. A short rest time in the fridge can help the gluten free flour absorb the wet ingredients a bit better. This will result in a smoother textured cookie.
Once ready to bake, use a medium cookie scoop to place the dough in the palm of your hand and roll into a smooth ball. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining cookie dough.
Use the back of a fork to gently press down on each ball of dough, flattening the cookie a bit in the process. Turn the fork in the opposite direction and press again to create a cross-hatch pattern.
The cookies will not change shape too much while baking so flatten as much as desired.
Bake for 12-15 minutes making sure not to over bake the cookies. They should still be soft when removing from the oven.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Gf peanut butter cookies vs. flourless peanut butter cookies
This recipe uses gluten free flour to make the peanut butter cookies. Flourless peanut butter cookies are similar in that they’re also gluten free but no flour is used to make them.
The texture is slightly different between these two cookies. Flourless cookies tend to be more oily (from the use of more peanut butter). They typically have crisp edges but a soft center.
These gf peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy all around. There’s big peanut butter flavor but the cookies are more texturally aligned with a regular cookie that uses all-purpose flour.
Why you’ll love these cookies
- Soft and chewy
- Simple ingredient list
- Big peanut butter flavor
- Store well
There’s a lot of cookie recipes on this site and while I adore fun ones like these peanut butter stuffed cookies or more sophisticated recipes like these rosemary chocolate chip cookies, there’s something to be said for an easy staple like these gf peanut butter cookies.
For those that want a little something extra, try a sprinkling a touch of coarse sugar or salt flakes on top of each cookie.
Storing the cookies
The peanut butter cookies store extremely well. Keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.
They can also be frozen once completely cooled then thawed at room temperature.
More gluten free cookie recipes to try
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, I use King Arthur measure for measure
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or other milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place peanut butter, butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Cream together using a hand-held mixer until soft and fluffy. Alternatively, you can do this in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix again until incorporated.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and stir together with a spatula until no more streaks of flour can be seen in the dough.
- Add the milk and continue mixing until incorporated.
- Using a small or medium cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the palm of your hand and roll into a ball shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Using the back of a fork, gently press down on each cookie then turn the fork at a 90° angle and press again to create a cross-hatch pattern.
- Repeat with all the cookies.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are just starting to turn light brown. Cookies will still be soft when taken out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.