Very easy peanut butter cookies with only 4 basic ingredients!
They're healthier, flourless and made in 3 flavors: classic, salted dark chocolate, and cinnamon white chocolate.
These easy peanut butter cookies are flourless and based on the 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe from allrecipes.com but they require less sugar and also half of it has been replaced with maple syrup.
The maple syrup, except for being a healthier alternative, also fixes the problem that some people have with the cookies being dry.
As a result, these peanut butter cookies are perfectly sweet, with crispy edges and soft, moist center.
Are these cookies healthy?
I prefer to call them healthy-ish because they do contain sugar. Specifically, this recipe requires 4 tablespoons white sugar and 4 tablespoons maple syrup and makes 16 cookies.
Since the sugar content is not very high, these peanut butter cookies can certainly find their place as part of a balanced diet. They're also ideal for people who follow a gluten-free diet, because as mentioned above they're completely flourless.
The flavors: Classic, salted dark chocolate, and cinnamon white chocolate.
All 3 flavors are amazing.
The classic cookies have pure peanut butter taste, while the salted dark chocolate will certainly remind you of peanut butter cups. The cinnamon and white chocolate flavor will probably be the least familiar, but it's equally delicious, especially if you love white chocolate.
Since this recipe uses only one egg yolk, I'd recommend to store the egg white in the freezer and when you have two, defrost them and use them to make these Italian almond cookies (soft Amaretti) or when you have 4 egg whites make this fluffy white chocolate bundt cake.
Peanut butter: Store-bought smooth peanut butter works best with this recipe. Try to find a brand that's almost 100% peanuts.
Many brands contain other ingredients like salt, sugar, oil and emulsifiers (lecithin). This is okay as long as they're in small quantities. I wouldn't recommend peanut butter brands that contain less than 90% peanuts or brands with hydrogenated fat.
Homemade peanut butter will also work but the texture will be a bit softer. If you want to know how I make my homemade peanut butter watch this video for how to make almond butter and just replace the almonds with roasted, unsalted peanuts.
White sugar: I tried this recipe with coconut sugar instead of white sugar and the taste was disappointing. I also tried it with maple syrup only, and the cookies came out soft like brownies.
Using just 4 tablespoons of white sugar allows us to achieve the desired texture while still being able to say that these cookies are healthier than your classic 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies.
Maple syrup: Maple syrup has a lower Glycemic Index (GI) compared to sugar which means that it doesn't raise your blood sugar levels as high, something that makes it a healthier substitute. Grade A Golden maple syrup is recommended for this recipe.
Egg yolk: Instead of a whole egg, an egg yolk is used in this recipe. This lets us substitute half of the white sugar with maple syrup without affecting much the texture of the cookies. The texture is definitely not dry. Crispy edges and soft, chewy center.
These cookies are very easy to make. You just need a bowl and a hand mixer, but a fork or a wooden spatula will also do the work.
Start by mixing the peanut butter, the sugar and the maple syrup. Then add the egg yolk and continue mixing until you notice that the cookie dough is starting to come together and it's not sticky any more.
Take full tablespoons of the dough, form balls and place them on a baking pan. Make crisscross patterns with a fork (optional) and bake.
There's no need to refrigerate the peanut butter before using it.
Salted dark chocolate peanut butter cookies
What can I say about this variation? This is probably one of the most amazing things you're going to taste!
If you like Peanut Butter Cups you're certainly going to LOVE these chocolate covered peanut butter cookies. They're just as good as these Greek chocolate covered honey cookies (melomakarona) which are my favorite. And this says a lot!
Chocolate has to be tempered before coating the peanut butter cookies, otherwise it may not set properly, especially during the warmer months of the year.
You can temper chocolate in a few different ways but the easier one (which unfortunatelly doesn't always give you perfect results) is to chop the quantity of the chocolate you need, melt the ⅔ of it, and when completely melted, add the ⅓ you have reserved and stir until all the bits and pieces are melted.
You can read more details in the article how to temper chocolate from sugargeekshow-com.
If you feel that melting the chocolate and dipping the cookies is a lot of work you can just add half a cup of mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough before forming the cookies.
Mini chocolate chips work better than regular in this recipe because their small size helps the cookies to hold their shape better.
Cinnamon and white chocolate variation
Cinnamon and peanut butter pair very well together and foodiecrush.com proves it with these cinnamon-sugar flourless peanut butter cookies.
Cinnamon also pairs perfectly with white chocolate. Just try these fluffy cinnamon rolls with white chocolate icing and you'll know what I mean.
Can you tell where I'm going with this?
Peanut butter, cinnamon, and white chocolate. These ingredients are meant to be together.
Again, the only thing you have to be aware of is to temper the white chocolate before using it.
Tempering white chocolate with the method I describe in the previous paragraph, doesn't always work for me and sometimes the chocolate stays soft to the touch, especially during the summer months.
If that happens to you too, you can store the cookies in the fridge. The taste will still be the same and the chocolate will be hard enough without sticking to your hands.
Alternatively, add ½ a cup of mini white chocolate chips to the cookie dough before forming the cookies.
Easy peanut butter cookies recipe (3 ways)
- 1 cup (260 grams) peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons (50 grams) white sugar
- 4 tablespoons (60 grams) maple syrup
- 1 large egg yolk 18-20 grams
For the salted dark chocolate version:
- ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips or 100 grams melted tempered dark chocolate for dipping or drizzling
- About 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
For the cinnamon – white chocolate version:
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 2 for stronger taste)
- ½ cup mini white chocolate chips or 100 grams melted tempered white chocolate for dipping or drizzling
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking pan with baking paper.
- Make the cookies: Transfer the peanut butter, the sugar and the maple syrup to a bowl and stir with a fork to combine (if you're making the cinnamon and white chocolate version, add the cinnamon at this stage).Add the egg yolk and mix for 2-3 minutes until a soft and pliable dough is formed. If you're using mini chocolate chips instead of dipping the cookies in melted chocolate, add them to the dough and mix gently to combine.
- Take full tablespoons of the cookie dough, form balls and place on the baking paper. You should have 16 cookies.Flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern.
- Bake for 16 minutes, take out of the oven and let the cookies cool completely.
- Dip the cookies in the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip and place on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate is fully set.Instead of dipping the cookies you can also drizzle the melted chocolate over them.Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the dark chocolate or some ground cinnamon over the white chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate in a narrow bowl so that it will be dip enough for the cookies to be dipped.
- You can temper chocolate in a few different ways but the easier one is to melt the ⅔ of the total quantity and when it is completely melted, add the ⅓ you have reserved and stir until all the bits and pieces have melted.
- You can read more details in the article how to temper chocolate from sugargeekshow.com.
- Each cookie is about 121 calories without chocolate and 154 calories with teh chocolate.
My kids are so exited eating those delicious cookies!!
Thank you Makos!! 🙂
That's great Poly! Enjoy!!!