These incredibly easy gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are made simply with plenty of peanut butter and brown sugar for the thick and chewy cookie you’ll make again and again.
I absolutely love everything about cookies: baking them, eating them, and developing recipes for making them however you like best. Whether you like the crunchiest cookie chips, a classic crunchy crosshatch gluten free peanut butter cookies, or thick and chewy like this recipe, I’ve got the cookie for you.
Can you make gluten free peanut butter cookies without rice flour?
If you’ve ever made any gluten free baked goods before, unless they were flourless, they most likely called for an “all purpose gluten free flour.” All of my recommended all purpose gluten free flour blends are based upon rice flour.
This recipe for gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies is your standard thick and chewy cookie. It’s slightly crisp on the very edges, and you taste the peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips the most.
The all purpose gluten free flour blend is made mostly with rice flour, and it has no real taste or obvious texture. That rice flour blend behaves just like all purpose wheat flour would in a similar recipe.
But I am mindful of the fact that a truly finely ground white rice flour can be difficult to find, at least when you’re brand new to gluten free baking. So I’ve developed a recipe for peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that are made without any rice flour at all. Those cookies have a more complex flavor than this one, and you might want to try them both!
Baking gluten free with peanut butter
What is “no stir” peanut butter?
This recipe, like nearly all of my recipes for baking with peanut butter, calls for a “no stir” smooth peanut butter. “No stir” just refers to the kind of jarred peanut butter that doesn’t require you to stir it to reincorporate the peanut oils that have separated from the rest of the nut butter.
Most conventional brands of peanut butter are no-stir unless they’re truly “natural” peanut butter that is made with nothing more than peanuts and salt. That kind tastes great but behaves very differently in baking.
Is peanut butter gluten free?
As we discussed in detail in our recipe for plain flourless peanut butter cookies, most brands of commerical peanut butter are naturally gluten free. Some brands, like Jif, will label its peanut butter (and other products) “gluten free” if it fit the U.S. definition of “gluten free,” but may have been prepared on manufacturing equipment that has been shared with gluten-containing products.
Most types of Skippy peanut butter are gluten free, except for those that contain other ingredients. That’s the brand that I buy the most. The safest peanut butter brands only make gluten free varieties, like Peanut Butter & Co., but they’re pricey.
Can you replace peanut butter with Nutella?
You can’t replace peanut butter with Nutella in a baking recipe (or Nutella with peanut butter). I’ve tried! But I’ve been doing some switching back and forth between baking with peanut butter and baking with Nutella and I think I’ve cracked the code.
Nutella is nut butter, but it has lots more sugar in it than even any commercial peanut butter (part of its charm, no doubt). We made 3 ingredient Nutella brownies, and they were a complete failure when I attempted to replace Nutella with peanut butter. The oil from the peanut butter separated during baking and the result went right into the compost heap.
We were able to make a version of those Nutella brownies with peanut butter by adding some brown sugar to the peanut butter. They turned into 4 ingredient peanut butter brownies.
I bet you could do something similar in this recipe by reducing the brown sugar in this recipe by at least half and replacing the peanut butter with about 3/4 cup of Nutella. It would take some experimentation, but I think it would be worth it!
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: The only real dairy in these cookies is the butter. If you’d like to replace the butter, try using half (4 tablespoons) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half (4 tablespoons) Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.
In my experience, that combination mimics the behavior of butter in cooking-baking best. Be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips, too.
Egg-free: There are two eggs in this recipe, which is the upper limit for replacing eggs with “chia eggs” (each “chia egg” is 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon water and allowed to gel). I haven’t tried that substitute here, though, so I’m not sure how well it would work.
Corn-free: The cornstarch in this recipe is used to lighten up the all purpose gluten free flour blend and make chewier cookies. In place of cornstarch, you can try using arrowroot powder.
Another note about cornstarch: If you’re already using a higher-starch all purpose gluten free flour blend like Cup4Cup, replace the cornstarch with additional all purpose gluten free flour.
Peanut butter: If you need to make this recipe peanut-free, you can replace the peanut butter with an equal amount of smooth, no-stir smooth almond butter (Barney Butter is a favorite brand) or cashew butter.