Peanut Butter Cookies

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies recipe -- stacked on a tray

A classic case of one cookie leading to another... all week long I've been very much in cookie baking mode. And these peanut butter cookies were one of the many varieties that happened. I've been making this particular recipe for several years now whenever I'm in the mood for something snack-ish and peanut buttery, but this week's batch had a slight update which took this cookie recipe up a few notches.

gluten-free vegan peanut butter cookies recipe

Unlike my usual batches of these cookies, I added a tablespoon of coconut sugar to the mix on this occasion. I also upped the temperature to 375F instead of the usual 350F I've always baked it at.

The result? A perfectly soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside scrumptious peanut butter cookie. I'm super pleased with the results. I don't think that baking a refined sugar-free, oil-free, vegan and gluten-free peanut butter cookie has ever been simpler :)

peanut butter cookies (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)

As I was putting these photos up on the blog I wondered why I always criss-cross my pb cookies with a fork -- I don't do that with any other cookie, and I make many cookies... In my head it's just not a peanut butter cookie without that signature look somehow.

The criss-crossing is something I had picked up back when I once saw a roommate make her pb cookies that way. At the time I thought it was neat, plus she knew her cookies while I was totally clueless on the subject (until living with her it somehow never even occur to me that people bake their own cookies at home lol. I thought cookies just that came in packages from the store... *facepalm*). But now I wondered what's up with that pressed pattern anyhow? So I went to look it up...

the criss cross grid on peanut butter cookies (a vegan and gluten-free recipe)

Here's what Wikipedia says about it:

"Early peanut butter cookies were either rolled thin and cut into shapes, or else they were dropped and made into balls; they did not have fork marks. The first reference to the famous criss-cross marks created with fork tines was published in the Schenectady Gazette on July 1, 1932. The Peanut Butter Cookies recipe said: "[s]hape into balls and after placing them on the cookie sheet, press each one down with a fork, first one way and then the other, so they look like squares on waffles."

Pillsbury, one of the large flour producers, popularized the use of a fork in the 1930s. The Peanut Butter Balls recipe in the 1933 edition of Pillsbury's Balanced Recipes instructed the cook to press the cookies using fork tines. These early recipes do not explain why the advice is given to use a fork, though. The reason is that peanut butter cookie dough is dense, and unpressed, each cookie will not cook evenly. Using a fork to press the dough is a convenience of tool..."

...and from that the criss-cross became a thing! So if you've ever wondered why peanut butter cookies have those fork marks, now you know :)

Ok now that the dorky cookie history lesson is done, go get your forks out and criss-cross some peanut butter cookies ;)

soft on the inside crunchy on the outside peanut butter cookie (gluten-free vegan)

gluten-free vegan peanut butter cookies recipe

Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Author: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert


These scrumptious vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies are perfectly soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Also refined sugar-free and oil-free.



1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and set aside.

2. Process all cookie ingredients in a food processor until the mixture begins to form a ball*. Form the mixture into a ball with your hands and knead briefly.

3. Tear off about a 1½ - 2 tablespoon of the dough (a ⅙ of the total amount) and roll into a little ball with your hands. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough until you get 6 dough balls. Space them out a few inches apart on the tray. Use a fork to press down each cookie ball to flatten it, first going one way, then the other to form a criss-cross pattern.

4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approx 10 mins until the cookies become nice and golden. Remove from oven and cool the cookies on the tray on a wire rack (they'll firm up a touch as they cool). Enjoy!


*The texture of the dough can be different depending on the peanut butter used. For example sometimes you might get a batch that’s more “oily” other times one that’s more dry + brands vary, etc. The dough should be soft and pliable. But if the mixture feels too sticky at this point, add a bit more flour (1 teaspoon at a time) and process again to incorporate; if too dry, add a bit more maple syrup.

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