Gluten-free peanut butter cookies are so easy to make. All you need is one bowl and a few simple ingredients. The easy recipe uses gluten-free flour, which gives them crisp edges and a soft center.
Gluten-free peanut cookies fall into two categories: those made without flour and those made with gluten-free flour.
What’s the difference? Texture. Gluten-free peanut butter cookies made with gluten-free flour are thicker than their flourless cousin. These cookies are rich and tender with just the right amount of peanut butter flavor.
This recipe is very similar to my gluten-free peanut butter blossom recipe. So if you love that recipe, you’ll love this one!
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients.
- Gluten-free flour. All gluten-free flour blends behave differently. This means that the texture of the cookies varies depending on the gluten-free flour you use. A blend that contains xanthan or guar gum gives the cookies the perfect texture: chewy on the edges and tender in the middle. If your blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, whisk in a 1/2 teaspoon into the gluten-free flour before using.
- Peanut Butter. Gluten-free peanut butter cookies taste best when made with creamy peanut butter. It mixes easily into the dough and adds a lovely flavor. You can use either traditional (processed) or natural peanut butter. Cookies made with natural peanut butter tend to spread a little more than those made with traditional peanut butter.
- Softened Butter. Salted butter gives the cookies a salty-sweet taste, which is excellent in peanut butter cookies. If you’re dairy-free, use a dairy-free buttery spread.
- Brown and Granulated Sugar. This recipe calls for a combination of brown and granulated sugar. While you could use one or the other, the blend tastes best. Granulated sugar adds sweetness and helps the cookies stay crisp. The brown sugar imparts a molasses flavor and keeps the cookies soft.
- Egg. One large egg gives the cookies structure and aids in the leavening.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Gives the cookies a great texture.
- Salt. Enhances the flavor. Use table salt. It blends easily into the dough.
How to Make Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies.
If you’ve ever made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, you know the basic steps for making these cookies. Remember to start with a large bowl! Everything gets mixed in it.
Make the Cookie Dough.
Mix the dough. This is a one-bowl recipe. Mix the peanut butter with softened butter, sugar, and an egg. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, add the remaining ingredients. Mix until a dough forms and you’re done.
Chill until firm. After mixing, cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten-free flour to hydrate, giving you cookies with a tender crumb and nice rise. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days. The longer you chill it, the less the cookies spread.
Shape the Cookies.
Scoop the dough. I like to use a cookie scoop for this step for two reasons. 1. It’s fast. 2. All the cookies are the same size. And when cookies are the same size, they bake evenly.
Roll the dough in sugar. (optional) Roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar. Not only does this add a little sweetness, but it also gives the cookies a mild crunch.
Add a crisscross pattern. Peanut butter cookies usually have a classic “crisscross” pattern pressed into the dough before baking. This helps flatten the cookies for even baking. To do this, dip your fork into granulated sugar and then press it into the top of the dough twice, creating a crisscross pattern. Dipping the fork into granulated sugar keeps it from sticking to the dough.
Bake Until Brown.
Bake until golden brown. Place the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden brown and set.
Cool on a wire rack. After baking, let the cookies cool on the pan for about three minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Cooling the cookies on a rack keeps them crisp.
4 Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies.
- Use a cookie scoop. Cookie scoops make it easy to round cookies into a ball. And they ensure all your cookies are the same size. Why does this matter? When cookies are a uniform size, they bake evenly. So you won’t have underbaked and overbaked cookies on the same pan.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Using parchment paper makes cleanup a snap and prevents the cookies from sticking to the pan.
- Adjust the Baking Time. For chewy cookies, bake about eight minutes. For crisp cookies, bake about 10 minutes.
- Cool the cookies (a little) before moving them. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about three minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps the cookies to set and prevents them from breaking when you move them.
How to Store and Freeze Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies.
Gluten-free peanut butter cookies stay fresh for several days. Cover the cookies and store them on the counter for four to five days.
If you want to freeze them, follow these steps.
- Let the cookies cool. Before freezing, make sure the cookies are completely cool.
- Place the cookies into a freezer container. Separate the layers with parchment paper or waxed paper.
Don’t have a freezer container? Line a cake box with foil. This works great in a pinch. Then wrap the box with plastic wrap after you fill it.
- Freeze up to three months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature when you’re ready to serve.
Freezing Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
Want cookies fast? Whip up a batch of cookie dough and freeze it. Then when you’re in the mood for cookies, all you need to do is bake and enjoy.
- Make the dough as directed and scoop it into balls. Don’t roll the dough sugar.
- Place the cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes or until firm. Transfer the cookie balls to a freezer bag or container.
- Freeze for up to three months.
- When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer and allow to thaw while the oven preheats. Roll the dough into granulated sugar and press a crisscross pattern into the top of the dough before baking.
- Bake as directed. The cookies might take a few more minutes to bake. Check them after 8 minutes and adjust the baking time as needed.
Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum or guar gum. These ingredients help the cookies hold their shape while baking. The recipe was tested with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
All gluten-free flour blends behave differently. The texture of the cookies might vary depending on the gluten-free flour blend you use.
What’s the best peanut butter to use?
Gluten-free peanut butter cookies work best when made with regular creamy peanut butter. (The type where the oil doesn’t separate.) Natural peanut butter causes the cookies to spread when baking and makes for a drier, more crumbly cookie.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
These gluten-free peanut butter cookies are so easy to make! All you need is one bowl and a few simple ingredients. The recipe uses gluten-free flour, which gives them crisp edges and a tender center.
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (4 ¾ ounces; 135 grams)
- ½ cup butter or dairy-free margarine, softened (4 ounces; 113 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus additional for rolling cookies (see note) (3 ¾ ounces; 106 grams)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (3 ¾ ounces; 106 grams)
- 1 large egg (about 2 ounces; 56 grams out of shell)
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free baking flour, see note (6 ½ ounces; 185 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Mix peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy, about 30 seconds Stop mixer. Add gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until a dough forms. Cover bowl and chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop dough, about one heaping tablespoon, into balls. Roll in additional granulated sugar. Place dough balls, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Dip a fork into sugar and press a crisscross pattern into the top of each cookie.
Bake until edges are light golden brown. For chewy cookies, bake about eight minutes. For crisp cookies, bake about 10 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking.
Remove the pans from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for three to five minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.
Gluten-Free Flour: Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour that contains xanthan or guar gum. These cookies were tested with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
Sugar: Roll cookies in granulated sugar or colored sugar. You’ll need about 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.