This recipe for flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, with only 6 simple ingredients, makes perfectly soft and chewy cookies. You'll never believe they have no flour!
A twist on a classic peanut butter cookie
The most classic recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies is made with 1 egg, 1 cup peanut butter, and 1 cup granulated sugar. I'm not sure who first came up with that recipe, but the 1:1:1 ratio is the standard-bearer.
I was never a really big fan of that cookie, though. It's mostly crunchy in texture and typically bakes up very cracked. It might be an occupational hazard, but I really prefer something that can look more beautiful.
The first twist of that classic recipe I ever posted was these chocolate flourless peanut butter cookies. The addition of cocoa powder to the cookie dough really rebalances the recipe into a tender and chewy favorite.
By adding one more egg and some baking powder to the 1:1:1 classic cookie, I found that we were able to have a plain chewy flourless peanut butter cookie, which I loved. But I still longed for the perfect texture of the chocolate ones.
That's when I remembered how useful powdered peanut butter can be. By replacing the cocoa powder in that chocolate PB cookie recipe with powdered peanut butter, the texture is spot-on—and my new favorite peanut butter cookie.
Powdered peanut butter
I've been baking with powdered peanut butter for many years, long before it was available on the shelf in nearly every grocery store, right alongside the jars of good, old-fashioned peanut butter. It's typically a dehydrated peanut butter, that has also had a fair amount of the fat removed from it.
The brand we have used for years is PB2. But today, there are so many brands that even generic grocery store brands have gotten in on the action. I've only tried a few brands (some cheaper, some more spendy), but they all seem equivalent. Check labels carefully, but I've yet to run across a brand that isn't gluten free (like almost all peanut butter itself is gluten free).
How to make these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
To make this recipe, the only equipment you need is one bowl, a spoon, and a baking sheet. The peanut butter goes in the bowl first, but you want it to be stirred easily.
If your peanut butter seems extra thick or dry at all, just pop the bowl in the microwave for less than 30 seconds. It will loosen right up. Add the brown sugar, egg, baking soda, and powdered peanut butter, then mix.
When you first begin to combine the ingredients in the bowl, the cookie dough will seem rather soft. But keep stirring and it will thicken into a scoopable, moldable dough. If your cookie seems warm, let it cool a bit before adding the miniature chocolate chips or they'll melt into the dough.
Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon, and then roll it between your palms into a ball before flattening it into a disk. Add a few more mini chips on top, mostly for looks.
For slightly thicker cookies, chill the shaped dough a bit. It will crack and spread a bit less. But even if you bake the dough without chilling it, the cookies will be soft and chewy.
Bake the cookies just until they become a more pale brown and no longer glisten in the center. If you bake them longer, they'll be crispy around the edges. I like these cookies best when they're super soft.
Ingredients and substitutions
As long as you use dairy-free miniature chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is the best), these cookies are already dairy-free. Since this recipe is soooo simple, substitutions are risky. Here are my best guesses, though:
Peanuts: Since this recipe contains both smooth jarred peanut butter (“no-stir” just refers to the type of peanut butter that doesn't separate in the jar, so it doesn't need to be stirred after opening, unlike the more natural kinds) and powdered peanut butter, you really can't make these cookies without nuts, or even with a different type of nut.
I have used PB2 brand powdered peanut butter for years, and I'm thrilled that there are so many different brands available today. I used to have to order it by mail, and now it's widely available. I've even seen some generic store brands! Just check the label to make sure there aren't any gluten-containing additives, and they should be interchangeable.
If you'd like to make a similar cookie but nut-free, try using sunflower seed or soybean butter in our recipe for flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies. The cocoa powder in that recipe takes the place of the powdered peanut butter in this one.
Sugar: You can try replacing the brown sugar in this recipe with an equal amount of coconut palm sugar. That sugar has a much larger grain, though, so grind the sugar into a finer powder first. You may also need to add a tiny bit of moisture to the dough since, unlike brown sugar, coconut palm sugar is very dry.
You might be able to make this recipe without added sugar if you can find a sugar-free no-stir peanut butter, and replace the brown sugar with Swerve brown sugar alternative sweetener. I haven't tried that, though, and I'd be concerned that the cookies would be very crumbly.
Egg-free: Since this recipe contains only 1 egg, I recommend that you try to replace it with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (256 g) smooth, no-stir peanut butter, warmed slightly
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (82 g) packed light brown sugar
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons (18 g) powdered peanut butter
3 ounces miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, baking soda, and powdered peanut butter. Mix to combine well. The mixture will be thin at first and will thicken quickly. Add all but about 2 tablespoons of the miniature chocolate chips, and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough. Scoop the dough into portions of about 1 1/4 tablespoons each (a #50 cookie scoop works really well here) and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Roll each piece of dough tightly into a ball between your palms, and press into a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Place a few additional miniature chocolate chips on the top of each disk, and press gently to help them adhere. For slightly thicker cookies, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or the freezer for about 5 minutes.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the prepared oven and bake for 11 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and set toward the center. When they’re set, they’ll become more pale in color and the dough will no longer glisten. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet, or until firm. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Freeze for longer storage.