These incredibly easy gluten free peanut butter cookies with gluten free flour are made simply with plenty of peanut butter and brown sugar for the thick and chewy cookie you'll make again and again.
A classic gf peanut butter cookie
This isn't a recipe for naturally gluten free cookies, made flourless or with ground oats. These are thick and chewy gluten free peanut butter cookies, crisp around the edges and chewy in the center.
They taste homemade, and aren't made to mimic a packaged cookie. In fact, they're the type of cookie you'd make if you were new to gluten free baking, but were ready to bake with an all purpose gluten free flour blend.
Be sure to follow the link in the recipe below to the page linked in the all purpose gluten free flour ingredient. There are many flour blends available on to buy, but they aren't all created equal.
In fact, many of the most common blends, like King Arthur Flour blend and Bob's Red Mill blend, have gritty rice flours and unbalanced ingredients. They won't create that classic gluten free peanut butter cookie you miss.
Peanut butter cookies made with gluten free 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. These gluten free peanut butter cookies are made with gluten free flour, which is a blend of different flours that mimics the function of conventional all purpose flour.
Unlike our flourless peanut butter cookies, this recipe makes a your standard thick and chewy cookie, much like a chocolate chip cookies—but with a deep peanut flavor. 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.
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. I don't recommend making your own peanut butter for baking, since the oils in homemade peanut butter tend to separate.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies | Made with Gluten Free Flour
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (128 g) smooth, no-stir gluten free peanut butter
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk to combine again, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the peanut butter, butter mixture, eggs, and vanilla, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick but very soft. Add the chocolate chips, reserving a few. Mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Scoop the dough into portions about 1 1/2 tablespoons in volume. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and then flatten into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Place on the prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart from one another, since the cookies will spread during baking. For slightly thicker cookies, chill the shaped dough until it’s mostly firm to the touch (about 10 minutes in the freezer).
Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until set and lightly golden brown all over (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet or until firm before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Originally published on the blog in 2013. Recipe altered to make thick and chewy peanut butter cookies, instead of thick and crunchy. Photos and video, most text, all new.