These homemade flourless white chocolate chip peanut butter cookies are made with simple ingredients, lots of peanut butter, and are dairy-free. This quick and easy recipe is a tasty gluten free dessert that you can make from scratch without a mixer!
One of the many things I love about this recipe is that the peanut butter really gets to shine. It’s not spread out among loads of flour or butter or sugar. It is not an aftertaste or a hint like with some other cookies. There’s lots of salty nutty flavor in every bite and it’s all balanced out and complemented with sweet and creamy white chocolate chips; one of the best flavor combinations in my opinion!
The dough for this recipe comes together in about 5 minutes and all in one bowl. I make it by hand every single time. It’s that easy.
Why is there no butter?
In this recipe, the peanut butter is the butter! It is high in fat and that very same fat is what keeps these cookies soft and moist.
This recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of peanut butter. That’s much more than average so there is no need for any butter and there’s no shortening either.
The role of both sugars
Thanks to the granulated sugar the edges are slightly crisp and chewy, and thanks to the brown sugar the centers are so soft and moist that melt in your mouth.
The mixture of both sugars gives these cookies the perfect texture. Using brown sugar alone would have made them a little too rich and too soft. Using white sugar alone would have made them too crumbly, so we got the best of both worlds.
The role of the eggs
The purpose of the eggs in this cookie recipe is to add moisture and to act as “glue”. You’ll see what I mean when you make the dough yourself!
Before the eggs are added, the dough is a lot like batter. It’s runny and mushy and not suitable for making cookies at all. But after the eggs are incorporated, it transforms! It goes from a mushy glop to cookie dough.
Why are there no leavening ingredients?
This recipe is without baking soda or baking powder because the sugar in the cookies help them to spread enough.
Yes, you read that right. Sugar plays a role in how much cookies spread during baking.
Why does the dough need to be refrigerated?
This is not your typical cookie dough; it is gluten free and is made up mostly of peanut butter so therefore it’s extremely oily and sticky. Since there is no flour in this recipe there is nothing to “soak up” the fat so baking the unrefrigerated dough causes all the oil to escape leaving you with cookies that are tougher and crunchy.
When the dough is refrigerated, the fat (oil) in the peanut butter is solidified and doesn’t escape during baking resulting in cookies that are soft, chewy, and moist.
Shaping the cookies
These cookies come out of the oven the exact same shape they go in, only a smidgen bigger, so if you want them to look like actual round cookies you have to shape them that way.
Tip: The thicker they are, the softer they’ll be and the thinner they are, the chewier they’ll be.
As you can tell from the pictures I flattened mine thinner and they turned out nice and chewy. Be careful not to flatten them too thin otherwise they’ll be crispy and crunchy.
How to tell when the cookies are done
The edges will be set, mostly firm to the touch, and slightly dark brown. The centers will be soft and under baked.
After baking, you have to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before you remove them.
I know this is odd but since there is no flour holding these cookies together, they need the residual heat from the hot baking sheet to firm up and to prevent them from falling apart when being handled.
Even after all that time, they’ll still be very soft so you may need to use a spatula to assist you in removing them from the baking sheet.
And since they pretty much cool completely on the sheet, you don’t need to transfer them to a wire rack.
The cookies may leak a little oil so use a new piece of parchment or clean your baking mat for the second batch, if needed.
Storage & Freezing
How to store:
Store them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
How long will they last at room temperature?
They’ll keep for 5 – 7 days. The amazing thing about these peanut butter cookies is that they stay soft and chewy for days! I think it’s due to the absence of flour. I’m not quite sure. But whatever the reason is, I love this aspect about them.
Can gluten free peanut butter cookies be frozen?
Yes, they can.
To freeze, place fully cooled cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate in a single layer, spaced evenly apart, and freeze until solid. Then, place them in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing, then store them in the freezer.
These cookies do stick together so freezing them a single layer first prevents that from happening.
Although these cookies are naturally high in fat (healthy and unhealthy), they are high protein and have a moderate amount of iron and vitamin D. Yay!
Check out the nutrition label at the bottom of the recipe for more information.
Gluten Free White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups creamy or smooth peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, plus more for the tops
- In a large bowl combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt.
- Add the peanut butter and mix well.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Gently fold in the white chocolate chips.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
- Drop 2 heaping tablespoon balls of dough onto the baking sheet (10 - 12 per sheet).
- Roll, flatten, and shape into cookies. Space them evenly apart.
- Dot the tops with more white chocolate chips.
- Bake for 11 -12 minutes until the edges are set and centers soft and under baked.
- Allow cookies to cool and firm up on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before removing. *Wire rack not necessary.
- How long will the dough keep in the fridge? 4 – 5 days.
- Do not bake the room temperature dough. Since there is no flour, this dough becomes really mushy and oily when heated.
- Do not bake the cookies on a bare baking sheet. They may stick and the bottoms may burn.
- Do not flatten the dough balls too thin. Super thin cookies will be crispy and crunchy.
- Do these cookies spread? Yes, they do, but only a little. They don’t double in size.
- Do not remove the cookies from the baking sheet while they are still hot. They will be too soft and will inevitably fall apart.
- Use a spatula or a similar kitchen utensil to move the cookies off the baking sheet, if needed.
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