Crunchy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Crunchy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Crunchy gluten free peanut butter cookies with the traditional crosshatch. So easy to make, and packed with peanut butter flavor. Make them tonight!

Close up of peanut butter cookies on a white plate

Proper crunchy peanut butter cookies are made with a dense cookie dough that has more peanut butter than anything else. In fact, almost a full pound of smooth peanut butter goes into every batch! 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.

Now, when I see the crosshatch, I just think “mmmm… peanut butter cookies.” Like Pavlov’s dog. It works.

Crunchy gluten free peanut butter cookies with the traditional crosshatch. So easy to make, and packed with peanut butter flavor. Make them tonight!

I also like the little crispy bits on the top of each gluten free peanut butter cookie that the crosshatch creates during baking. To make a perfect pattern, just briefly wet the tines of the fork each time you look to press them into the cookie, both flattening it and making it just that much prettier.

But you can skip the crosshatch, of course. We know how to press our cookies without a fork. We’re smart like that.

An overhead view of peanut butter cookies on beige paper

2 peanut butter cookies on beige paper and peanut butter cookies on a white plate below

Now, I know I didn’t invent peanut butter crosshatch cookies—but after much trial and error I crown this recipe the perfect crunchy gluten free peanut butter cookie. They’re just the right amount of crunchy and boast more peanut butter than you’d think were possible in anything other than a peanut itself.

And as always, unless the recipe specifically indicates otherwise, I haven’t tested it with any substitutions. I recommend that you make the recipe as written at least once, then substitute at will! That being said, I bet any other smooth traditional nut butter would work well here. If you try, share your results in the comments!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies


1 1/2 cups (385 g) smooth no-stir peanut butter

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (108 g) packed light brown sugar

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten


  • 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 the saucepan or bowl 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 mix again to combine. The cookie dough will be soft and sticky. To make it easier to handle, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. Do not chill for too long, or the dough will be crumbly. If you over-chill the dough, just allow it to sit at room temperature until it holds together well when squeezed.

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and pull or scoop off pieces of dough, each about 2 tablespoons in volume. Roll each piece of dough into a round between your palms,then press 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 large fork, and press the tines firmly into the top of each cookie. 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 until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and lightly golden brown all over (about 15 minutes). Remove 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.

  • Recipe originally published on the blog in 2013. Method modified, photos and text all new, recipe ingredients unchanged. 


Comments are closed.

  • tinamarietarrant
    September 8, 2016 at 7:23 AM

    These look so much like my peanut butter cookies, it is eerie. I have had the recipe for eons and all I did was swap out the regular flour for Gluten Free and they become even crispier and more melt in the mouth (I actually didn’t understand that melt in the mouth saying, until I made my version). NOM NOM NOM

  • Angela
    September 5, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Really nice cookies and easy to make! Thanks for this recipe.

  • Cecilia Conway
    September 4, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Thank you, looking forward to making them tomorrow…can’t wait to have them with a cup of tea!

  • Nancy Latimer
    September 4, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    I just made these cookies but I only had natural (major stir-n-break your wrist kind of) peanut butter on hand. The recipe still works but the dough was more crumbly and more work than if I had used Nicole’s exact ingredients. But the cookies were still lovely and yummy.

  • Cecilia Conway
    September 4, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Can I use all natural peanut butter instead?

    • September 5, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      As Nancy discovered above, Cecilia, the cookie dough will be much more difficult to handle and the cookies themselves much more fragile/dry.

  • Enrique Patete
    August 29, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    hola, muy buenas sus rectas, le felicito; disculpe ¿un niño con autismo puede comer pasta de sémola de trigo durum?

  • Maggie
    August 29, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    We use to make peanut butter cookies and added peanuts to the dough. Am making these on Friday sweet tooth is loose around here again. Thank you for sharing can have cookies and other foods and not have side effects of the gluten.
    Thank you.

  • […] Crunchy peanut butter crosshatch cookies. […]

  • Mare Masterson
    September 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    I am late to the party on this one. Work was nuts and could not get to email yesterday. Nicole, Jennifer, Michelle, John & Stacey all had a premonition that your next book is going to be a cookie book — that is so awesome!! I know I can’t wait!

    • September 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Hi, Mare! I’m afraid their premonitions are not exactly spot on about book #4, but I can say with confidence that there will, indeed, be a book #4 and that it will, indeed, have cookie recipes in it!
      xoxo Nicole

  • superfcbear
    September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I am wondering if SUNBUTTER will work?

    • Jennifer Sasse
      September 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      You can try it. I tried it in the chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe. The dough was very greasy, but the end result was like a regular cookie. I am not used to sunbutter, so the taste was just ok to me. Good luck!

      • September 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Thanks a million for jumping in, Jennifer!!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle
    September 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    These look like they would be a perfect after school snack! When I was a kid, we used to dip the fork in granulated sugar before making the cross hatches- it adds a little sparkly crunch. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • September 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Oooh that sounds even better, Michelle! Sugary crosshatches. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Michelle
        September 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        I made these today, and they are fast, easy and fabulous. I am very popular around my house right now- there is talk of a parade. Thanks!

  • Jennifer Sasse
    September 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I am also on this cookie cook book band wagon (or as betty crocker in the 50’s or 60’s said “cooky” cook book!). I would love for you to put all these cookies in one book, and honestly, you have a ton of great cookies on here but you’ve only scratched the surface my friend. You would have a whole section on holiday cookies made over, the classics, cookies made into bars, you could even go paleo and complete allergy friendly in a section. Oh oh or what about cookies made with your cake batter recipes? would love that too. I remember seeing in a regular cookie cook book, a base recipe and then there were tons of variations you could do with that one base. People love that! so as you can see, I think the possibilities are endless when it comes to GF cookies. I’m tired of buying GF cookies at the super market and they taste like complete crap and they also have no imagination at all. Same old kinds over and over again….I totally see this as a new venture for you… you could even solicit suggests on here – everyone has a favorite cookie from their childhood or before going GF that they would want made over. Ok. I’ll get off my step stool now.
    Thanks for this recipe – it is a classic and soooo yummy. would love to see a nutella version in your new cookie cook book! teehee! : )

    • MIchelle
      September 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      What Jennifer said!

    • September 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Wow, Jennifer! That’s some serious brainstorming you’ve already got going there! I’m definitely taking notes. I do already have a deal-in-principle with my publisher for Book 4, and it’s not a cookie book, per se, but it will definitely have cookies in it. :)

      xoxo Nicole

      • Jennifer Sasse
        September 27, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Can’t wait!!!

  • John Lachett
    September 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Your GFF,
    John L

    • Stacey
      September 24, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      I second that one. :)

    • September 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Love your chanting HTML, John! You don’t need a cookie book from me, friend. So much of it’s here! Anyway, there’s already a brand spankin’ new handshake deal for Shoestring Cookbook #4. Will spill the beans soon, probably first to subscribers. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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