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Plain Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Plain Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they’re an amazing low-carb cookie!

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie!

A classic cookie, rebalanced

The most classic recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies is simply 1 egg + 1 cup peanut butter + 1 cup granulated sugar. But that makes a cookie that’s much more fragile, more crunchy than chewy and has those jagged, cracked edges.

I love crunchy cookies, and actually even prefer them to soft and chewy in many cases. But there’s a difference between a cookie that’s crunchy on purpose and a cookie that sometimes comes out crunchy in a mysterious way that’s out of your control.

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie!

When I first made flourless peanut butter cookies, I was only satisfied with a chocolate flourless PB cookie. It was the only way I could make them soft and chewy.

But I finally decided to revisit the classic “3-ingredient” peanut butter cookie version—and make it right. By adding a second egg to the cookie dough and a bit of baking powder, the cookie held together so much better.

I was even able to create the classic crosshatch pattern in a flourless cookie without getting those broken edges. Plus, I used brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, and was able to reduce the amount by half.

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie!

Beat that batter

It’s mostly the balance of ingredients that creates the proper texture in the cookie that’s crispy outside and chewy inside. But beating the batter a bit extra helps, too.

In a traditional cookie made with flour, creaming butter (or other fat) with sugar creates a bond between the two that allows the heat of the oven to cause them to rise and crisp. If you want crispy-chewy flourless peanut butter cookies, try beating the batter a bit more.

Most often, I make this recipe with a bowl and a spoon. I don’t bother with a handheld or stand mixer. But the few times that I have bothered, the cookies have the absolute very best texture.

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie!

The granulated sugar on the outside of the cookies is absolutely optional. But it does help create a bit of a crust on the outside. And you really don’t need much granulated sugar to make that sort of magic happen. ✨

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie!

Ingredients and substitutions

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are already dairy-free and gluten free naturally, with only a few ingredients. The secret to their crispy and chewy success is in the balance of ingredients. So keep that in mind as you consider whether to make changes to the recipe.

Peanut butter: Since these are peanut butter cookies, if you don’t like nut butter, I suggest you stay away! These are really for peanut butter lovers. But if you’re allergic to peanuts, you can certainly try replacing it with a no-stir variety of almond butter (Barney Butter is a good (if expensive) option).

Cashew butter might also work, as long as it’s no-stir. I don’t think that any of the other, more alternative nut-replacement butters would work. Nutella is just a different ingredient entirely, so don’t try that here. But you could use it to make my 3-ingredient Nutella cookies. Those are addictive.

Eggs: You could try replacing the 2 eggs in this recipe with a “chia egg” each (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). But the eggs really do help to hold this recipe together and make it puffy and chewy rather than crunchy.

If you decide to use chia eggs in place of real eggs, I highly recommend adding some granulated sugar to the batter. Maybe start with 1/4 cup (50 g) and go from there?

Sugar: I’ve made this exact recipe with a granulated sugar substitute and although the texture wasn’t spot on, it worked. I used Lankato brand monkfruit granulated sweetener, but I think I might prefer Swerve brand brown sugar replacement.

My kids love that I’ll let them eat the cookies with the sugar replacement for breakfast. Made that way, the cookies are low carb, high protein and really satisfying.

These plain flourless peanut butter cookies are made with brown sugar and well-beaten for that crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Use a sugar substitute and they're an amazing low-carb cookie! #flourless #dairyfree #glutenfree #gfdf #df #gf #peanutbuttercookies

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 18 to 20 cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

1 cup (256 g) smooth no-stir peanut butter

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

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the brown sugar, peanut butter, eggs, baking powder and salt, and mix to combine very well. The more you mix this cookie dough, the better it will be. A hand or stand mixer also works great.

  • Divide the dough into portions of 1 1/4 tablespoons each (a #50 ice cream scoop works great), and place about 1 1/2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to chill for about 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer, then roll each piece of dough tightly into a ball between your palms, and press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Wet the tines of a salad fork, press into the granulated sugar, and then press into a crosshatch pattern on each piece of cookie dough. Wet the fork as often as necessary to prevent it from sticking to the cookie dough. You can just use the wet tines without the sugar if you prefer.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and the dough no longer glistens on top (although the granulated sugar will glisten where it has clumped). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet or until firm.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Susan Zickler
    June 11, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Can I make these without brown sugar and substitue with Stevia instead. Trying to cut out sugar. Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 11, 2018 at 4:18 PM

      Hi, Susan,
      Please see the Ingredients and Substitutions section for all the advice I have!

  • Kerri
    June 5, 2018 at 9:26 AM

    Hello Nicole
    I am wondering you No Stir Peanut Butter, what is the equivalent called in Australia? Is No Stir Peanut Butter a brand or something else? We have Peanut Butter and our major brands for this is Kraft or Bega. I am not sure what No Stir Peanut Butter is. I tried googling it and came to no avail. If you could enlighten me I would really appreciate it thank you.

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 5, 2018 at 12:47 PM

      Hi, Kerri, So sorry that wasn’t clear! By ‘no-stir,’ all I mean is that the oil doesn’t separate out of the mixture at room temperature like many truly natural nut butters do. Basically, you need more of a processed peanut butter. Does that help?

  • Suzanne Lichtenstein
    June 4, 2018 at 9:27 PM

    I’m so excited to try these! We will be using Sunbutter, and I expect it will work. Why do you recommend the no-stir peanut butter? We usually just stir up the Sunbutter, then refrigerate it to prevent oil separation.

    Another trick is to mix honey with the Sunbutter or other nut-butter. Then, it does not need refrigeration; but, of course, it is very sweet. We have not experimented to learn what the lowest ratio of honey to nut-butter must be in order to prevent separation.

    What do Barney Butter and the others do to prevent separation at room temperature?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 5, 2018 at 8:08 AM

      Hi, Suzanne, I’m afraid I really don’t know what they do to prevent separation, but I suspect that they process it with shortening or another type of fat.

  • Dana
    June 4, 2018 at 11:50 AM

    Nicole – we prefer to use natural peanut butter – would that work?
    Thank you – LOVE your recipes!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 4, 2018 at 1:43 PM

      I’m afraid you need no-stir peanut butter, Dana!

  • Robyn
    June 3, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Love your recipes. I made these cookies today and they spread quite a lot while baking. I think the only difference was that I used low fat peanut butter so maybe that’s why they spread. Tasty nonetheless!

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 4, 2018 at 8:36 AM

      Hi, Robyn,
      The peanut butter could easily have affected the outcome. In general, I’d say to be sure you’re measuring by weight, and chilling the dough before baking as instructed in the recipe. Both of those will make all the difference, in addition to ingredients of course.

  • Angela
    May 31, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    My daughter was diagnosed with celiac and I’ve tried many recipes but I have to say that yours are spot on every time. I am able to make for her the things she liked without the gluten and I thank you for all your effort and hard work
    I haven’t attempted breads as I’m afraid I’ll fail, maybe soon
    I will try these cookies tomorrow and I’m sure she’ll love them too
    Regards

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 31, 2018 at 2:23 PM

      That’s really wonderful to hear, Angela, especially since I started out with one goal in mind: to make my celiac son all the things without the gluten. Abou bread, why not start with the Weight Watchers bagels? So simple (and of course just ignore the WW designation—they’re just good, simple bagels). Thank you for the kind note!

  • Olivia
    May 31, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    I think these will work with Sunbutter. My son has a peanut allergy and I’m gonna try! Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 31, 2018 at 2:23 PM

      If he has a peanut allergy but can have almonds, I’d try Barney Butter, Olivia, as I’m sure that would work. But if you do decide to try Sunbutter, please let us know how it goes!

  • Pamela
    May 30, 2018 at 8:53 PM

    I cant figure out how to contact you privately.. wanted to let you know that every time I post a link to any of your recipes in my GF FB group, the post is flagged as spam and has to go through a review process after I mark it ‘not spam’..Maybe speak to your website tech…? Also: LOVE your recipes 😍

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 31, 2018 at 8:23 AM

      Hi, Pamela,
      Thank you for letting me know! I’ve heard that that has been happening to blogs quite a lot lately on Facebook. I’m afraid there’s absolutely nothing I can do to eliminate the issue. Luckily, that hasn’t happened on my GFOAS Facebook page or group (have you joined the FB group? You should! Here’s the link). Thank you so much for going through all that trouble to share my recipes! I wish I could help make it easier. Facebook is a mixed bag, for sure!

  • Carol Lorette
    May 30, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Thank you Nicole, I have always loved the taste of these cookies but cannot have that much sugar. You have once again made my day very happy.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 30, 2018 at 1:51 PM

      Aw, Carol, that’s so awesome. You just did the same for me. :)

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