Flourless Chocolate Dipped Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
If you are a peanut butter lover, you will love these soft and chewy flourless cookies dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with a bit of flaky sea salt. They are loaded with peanut buttery flavor, and are soooo easy to make. This gluten-free recipe only calls for simple pantry ingredients and comes together in just one bowl. It’s a clever recipe by Alton brown that I love to make all the time. They take absolutely no time to put together, require no chilling although the dough can be made ahead and chilled if you wish and they bake up perfect every time. They spread nicely thanks to the baking soda and they are perfectly crackled and slightly puffed out of the oven. It’s hard not too eat them right out of the oven because they smell heavenly but it’s essential that they cool complete in the pan before transferring to a wire rack and dipping them in chocolate. Yes it’s a bit over the top with the chocolate but peanut butter and chocolate go to together like no other combo does!
Here’s What You’ll Love about these Peanut Butter Cookies:
- Crumbly edges
- Packed with flavor
- Extra soft, chewy and almost bendable. Remain moist and soft even after days.
- Chocolate dipped and sprinkled with flaky sea salt
- Easy straightforward recipe
Ingredients & Substitution tips
- Peanut butter: I always use a creamy peanut butter like jif. I do not recommend using natural peanut butter but if you must use natural definitely make sure your measurement doesn’t consist of any of the extra oils that gather on top of it. Swap the peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter if preferred.
- Sugar: I used a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar for the best texture. You could use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar if you would like or do one or the other. These make for a sweet cookie - for a less sweet option I recommend reducing the granulated sugar to ¼ cup
- Vanilla extract: this is a must for all baking recipes
- Baking soda: Adds the perfect lift to these cookies along with the crackly top. It also ensures even cookie spread. You can leave it out if you prefer denser cookies though.
- Egg: I recommend using large or extra large and at room temperature. The egg is required to bind the ingredients together. If you want to make this simple recipe completely vegan, or have egg-allergies, simply substitute the egg for an egg replacer or a chia egg, or a flax egg
- Chocolate: use dark chocolate for dairy free or semi-sweet if preferred. I recommend dark chocolate because these cookies are already sweet so the dark chocolate is a nice balance of sweetness.
- Flaky sea salt: totally optional but recommended as it brings really balanced the flavours
- Optional Cookie Add-Ins: Some fun ingredients you could add to these cookies include chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or even cocoa nibs. Think of this recipe as a base recipe to which you can add things to make your own creation depending on your preferences!
How to Make Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies – Step by Step
- In a large mixing bowl, using a spatula mix the peanut butter with the sugar until sugar has been fully incorporated.
- Add in the vanilla, baking soda, salt and egg, and then stir until you get a homogeneous brown cookie dough (you will get a soft dough that’s also sticky but that’s fine).
- Using a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scooper scoop 1 ounces of cookie dough and then roll it between both palms until you form a golf-ball sized ball. Repeat until you have used up all the cookie dough (you should get between 16-18 balls).
- Place balls of cookie dough in one single layer on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 2-3 inches of space between each of them (you may need to bake the cookies in 2 batches depending on the size of your baking sheet - I used two ½ Sheet pans and did 8 at a time)
- Use the back of a fork to press down the balls in a crisscross pattern to flatten the dough slightly and to get the classic peanut butter cookie look. The fork marks don’t have to be perfect, but the dough is sticky so feel free to dip your fork in a bit of water if you need to between cookies.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until they turn a lighter brown and look crackers and set (they may look slightly undercooked, but that’s fine as they will continue cooking with the residual heat on Sheetpan).
- Allow cookies to cool at least 15-20 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them and letting them cool totally on a wire rack (this is important because if cookies are still too hot, they will break when you move them)
- Melt chocolate if using and dip half of the cookies into it and set on parchment paper to dry - enjoy with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt or even chopped peanuts.
Tips for making the best flourless peanut butter cookies:
- Don’t use natural peanut butter. I don’t recommend it. Natural peanut butter separates and tends to be oily. Instead, use a creamy variety like Jif to make sure the cookies turn out just right. See recipe ingredients above for more details.
- Use a large rubber spatula to mix the dough. This helps prevent too much of the batter from sticking to the mixing tool and helps to incorporate the ingredients together better.
- Do roll your cookie dough. This is optional but it helps create more uniform shaped cookies.
- Chilling the cookie dough is optional. A quick ½ hr -1 hour of chilling will create smaller thicker cookies that don’t spread as much - either way these cookies are delicious and its all up to your preference.
- Dip your fork in water to prevent the dough from sticking. This is a sticky dough - to help prevent your fork from sticking to the dough as you make the cross-hatched pattern, dip it in cold water before pressing it in.
- Sprinkle the tops with flaky salt. Because these cookies are so simple, they can easily be dressed up with garnishes or mix-ins. If you have flaky salt on hand, sprinkle some on before or after baking. It brings out the flavor and balances the sweetness. You could also sprinkle them with chopped peanuts too.
- Let Cookies Cool Completely: It’s important to let the gluten-free peanut butter cookies fully cool or they will break apart when you try to remove them from the sheet. I usually leave them on their to cool for 15-20 minutes then transfer them to cooling rack. Overnight Chill: These cookies can be made a day or two in advance. The longer the cookie dough sits the more the flavors develop.
Check out more delicious cookie recipes you will love:
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (preferably not the natural kind)
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a spatula mix together the peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined.
- Add the egg, baking soda, vanilla and salt and mix thoroughly until well combined and batter has thickened.
- Scoop out 1-ounce portions of dough and roll into balls, (I use my 1½ tablespoon smaller cookie scoop) place 8 per prepared sheet pan, then flatten slightly with the tines of a fork creating cross hatch pattern. (See tips above)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies look dry and set and are just lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and cool the cookies on Sheet pan over a cooling rack completely before transferring them.
- Melt chocolate if using then dip one half of the cookie into the melted chocolate and place back on parchment lined baking sheet & allow the chocolate to set - depending on the temperature in your house it will take about 20-30 minutes.
- Storage: Undipped cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days (if they last that long). You can always freeze the cookies for up to 3-4 months. Because the chocolate on the dipped ones can get sticky I recommend keeping the chocolate dipped ones chilled in a sealed container.
- Make ahead: These cookies can be made a day or two in advance. The longer the cookie dough sits the more the flavors develop. If dough is chilled you may have to bake 1-2 minutes longer
Adapted from Alton Brown