This easy gluten free peanut butter cookies recipe, made in the classic crosshatch style, is rich with tons of peanut butter flavor. For peanut butter lovers only!
And they’re made with simple GF ingredients you have on hand, including a simple all purpose gluten free flour blend. Just a few ingredients, a bowl, and a mixing spoon, and your whole house will smell like heaven!
After much trial and error, this is the perfect crunchy gluten free pb cookie. They have more peanut butter than you’d think were possible in anything other than a peanut itself!
How to make crunchy gf peanut butter cookies
Proper crunchy peanut butter cookies are made with a dense cookie dough that has more peanut butter than anything else. Every batch has almost a full pound of smooth peanut butter!
The original purpose of the crosshatch pattern in the top of the cookie was to ensure that the cookies are pressed properly, so they cook evenly.
I also like the little crispy bits on the top of each gluten free peanut butter cookie that the crosshatch creates during baking.
Briefly wet the tines of the fork each time you look to press them into the cookie. For some more sweetness and a beautiful look, dip the tines in sugar first—or just sprinkle some sugar on top.
How are gf peanut butter cookies different from flourless peanut butter cookies?
This is a recipe for gluten free peanut butter cookies made with gluten free flour. Flourless peanut butter cookies are made without anything ground into a flour.
Flourless peanut butter cookies are naturally gluten free, since conventional flour is the main gluten-containing ingredient in most cookie recipes. In this recipe, you can use any of my recommended all purpose gluten free flour blends.
Flourless peanut butter cookies also have a different texture than these classic cookies. They’re crisp on the outside, but chewy in the center.
These gf peanut butter cookies are crispy and crunchy all the way through. If you under bake them a bit, these cookies can also be softer in the center.
But the outside of these cookies made with flour will always be crispier than a flourless cookie.
Is peanut butter gluten free?
Yes, in its purest form, peanut butter is made of peanuts and salt and is naturally gluten free. If you place peanuts (roasted or raw) in a high-speed blender, you’ll have peanut butter when you’re done.
The main ingredients in natural peanut butter, peanuts and salt, are gluten free. Most potential additives, like sugars and oil, are also naturally gluten free.
But commercially prepared peanut butter can be unsafe on a gluten free diet if it’s become contaminated at any point during the manufacturing process. So be sure to read product labels—and know your brands.
Some brands, like Jif, will label its peanut butter (and other products) “gluten free” if it fits the U.S. definition of “gluten free.” But it may have been prepared on manufacturing equipment it shares with gluten-containing products.
Most types of Skippy peanut butter are gluten free, except for those that contain mix-ins.
The safest peanut butter brands only make gluten free varieties, like Peanut Butter & Co, but they tend to be very expensive.
What is “natural peanut butter,” and can I use it here?
There are two types of peanut butter that are called “natural peanut butter.” The first natural kind you can’t use here; the second you can.
Don’t use drippy natural peanut butter
The first kind of natural peanut butter is the kind that is made of only peanuts and salt. Most of the oil separates out and sits on top of the jar.
The nut butter in this kind drips off the spoon at room temperature. You can’t use that here.
If you use the drippy kind of natural nut butter, your cookie dough will be very greasy. That will make the dough very crumbly and nothing will look or bake like the dough you see here.
Use the no-stir type of peanut butter
To bake these gf peanut butter cookies, and virtually any other peanut butter recipe on this website, you’ll need the “no-stir” type of peanut butter.
This second type of peanut butter, which is also sometimes labeled “natural,” is the no-stir kind of nut butter. It’s usually blended with shortening and some sugar.
When you open a jar of no-stir peanut butter, you may find a little pool of oil on top. But there won’t be much separated oil, and the nut butter will be fluffier and creamier.
Substitutions for gluten free peanut butter cookie ingredients
Gluten free dairy free peanut butter cookies
To make these gf pb cookies dairy free, too, you must replace the butter. My favorite nondairy butter replacement is vegan butter (Miyoko’s Kitchen or Melt brand is best).
Since there are only 4 tablespoons butter in the whole batch, you might even be able to use Earth Balance buttery sticks. Skip the salt, though, and expect your cookie dough to be softer, though, and the cookies to spread more.
Gluten free egg free peanut butter cookies
There are 2 eggs in this recipe. You can try replacing each of them with 1 “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).
If you make these cookies both dairy free and egg free, they will also be gluten free vegan peanut butter cookies.
Gluten free peanut butter cookies without peanut butter
If you can’t have peanuts, you can have actual gf peanut butter cookies. But you can still have gluten free nut butter cookies.
This recipe works well with no-stir almond butter. I really love Barney Butter brand—but it is ridiculously expensive.
Just like it won’t work with the drip-off-the-spoon peanut butter, the recipe won’t work with that sort of almond butter.
I do not recommend trying this recipe with Sunbutter, which is by its nature very drippy.
If you’d like to make a cookie with Sunbutter, try using one of my Nutella recipes. Here are some Nutella recipes that might work with Sunbutter:
How to make gluten free peanut butter cookies step by step
BEST Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Ever
- 1 ½ cups (385 g) smooth no-stir peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 ½ cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter; click for details)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 (100 g (weighed out of shell)) eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar for dipping or sprinkling optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
- In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl, place the peanut butter and chopped butter. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat (or in the microwave for about 45 seconds on high) and stir until melted and smooth (about 2 minutes). Set aside to cool briefly.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the light brown sugar, and whisk again to combine, working out any lumps.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the melted peanut butter and butter mixture. Mix to combine.
- Add the beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix again to combine well. The cookie dough will be soft and sticky.
- If the cookie dough is too sticky or soft to handle, or it feels particularly greasy, cover it and refrigerate it for 10 minutes or less. If you refrigerate it for too long, the dough will become crumbly.
- Pull or scoop off pieces of dough, each about 2 tablespoons in volume. Roll each piece of dough into a round between your palms.
- Press the ball into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and place about 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Wet the tines of a salad fork, dip in the optional extra sugar, and press the tines firmly into the top of each cookie. (See Recipe Notes)
- Wet the tines again, and press them again into the top of the same cookies in the opposite direction to make a crosshatch pattern.
- Place the cookies, one baking sheet at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake.
- For less crunchy cookies, bake until pale golden all over (about 15 minutes). For very crunchy cookies, bake until uniformly golden brown all over (about 18 minutes).
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet until set (at least 5 minutes) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The cookies will be very fragile when they first come out of the oven, so it is very important to let them sit on the baking sheet until they are set. They will crisp as they cool.