These peanut butter cookies are just like grandma’s, but changed up just a little to boost the protein and reduce the sugar. Oh, and they’re gluten-free. Make this one your new classic peanut butter cookie recipe!
Making fresh PB in my Kitchenaid food processor, a Christmas gift I’ve finally gotten around to using. Much more powerful than my smaller food processor, it makes nut butter in minutes. Love!
Sorry, grandma. I love ya, but that cup of sugar and white flour have gotto go!
The new kids in town, aka the secret ingredients changin’ up the cookie scene: A dash of whey protein powder (<– not just for body builders!) to bump up the protein content, and a little stevia to naturally enhance the sweeten of these cookies, cutting down the amount of sugar you need. For my dairy-free readers, see the recipe for a variation sans the protein powder.
Did I mention these buttery, slightly crumbly little morsels of peanut butter goodness are gluten-free, too? They hold together just fine without xanthan gum, although you can certainly add a little bit (1/8th of a teaspoon, perhaps?) to make the cookies more sturdy and less shortbread-like. There’s a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth quality to these toothsome morsels – a slight change from the original recipe, for the better in my opinion. Apparently these cookies are a hit since the batch I made for the photo shoot today is already gone, devoured by myself, my parents, and my friends at the Veterans Affairs clinic at which I volunteer. If you do make these cookies, I recommend taking them to a summer picnic to share the love… and get ‘em out of the house!
To my regular readers: These cookies are NOT sugar-free like the other recipes you see on this blog, and I’m totally owning up to that! Having tried countless batches of peanut butter cookies using erythritol, xylitol, and stevia, I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t get the crispy, delicate cookie texture we all know and love without using a little sugar. Cookies are the one baked good that absolutely needs some form of sugar, whether it be cane sugar, honey, pureed fruit, agave… cookies need at least one of ‘em to be cookie-like! If at least one person replaces their old peanut butter cookie recipe with this higher protein, lower sugar version that tastes every bit as good, then this recipe will have helped someone reduce the carbs in their diet. That, to me, is totally sweet!
Healthier Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low Sugar)
Makes 20 cookies
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, OR coconut oil
11 packets good-tasting stevia extract OR 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia powder
1/2 cup (4 oz) light brown sugar, firmly packed, OR coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 yolk from a large egg
1 1/3 cup (6.5 oz) dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons oat flour
2 Tablespoons (.5 oz) whey protein powder OR 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add peanuts to food processor and pulse a few times. Process peanuts for 1 minute, or until you get a coarse meal. Scrape down sides and grind peanuts until a smooth butter forms. Add softened butter, stevia, sugar, sea salt, vanilla, and egg yolk, and process 10-20 seconds, or until creamy. Add oat flour, whey protein, and baking soda to food processor in a circular motion, sprinkling the dry ingredients around the blade. Process for a minute or so until mixed thoroughly with no streaks of flour present, scraping sides of food processor down once during processing. Remove dough ball from food processor and refrigerate for later use, or bake immediately. Form 20 dough balls, setting them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Press balls a bit flat with your hand. Make crisscrossed marks on top of each cookie with the tines of a fork. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are slightly browned at edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet a couple minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cookies will firm as they cool, which takes 10-20 minutes.
*You can use 5.5 Tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening or coconut oil in place of butter to make these cookies dairy-free.
Purevia (available in grocery stores) and NuNaturals stevia packets have both been found to yield delicious results with no aftertaste.
*You can replace brown sugar with an unrefined sugar like turbinado sugar (evaporated cane juice), or coconut sugar. If you use turbinado sugar, grind it to a finer consistency in your food processor and reserve it for later use in the recipe.
~8g net carbs, 121 calories, 3.4g protein per cookie
Let’s compare these nutrition facts to those of Classic Peanut Butter Cookies:
Have you had success making cookies sugar-free? Share your tips and recipes in the comments, please!