Of the two of us, Katie is more of a baker than I am. She plans out a Christmas cookie baking schedule! Sweets aren’t really my thing, but salty foods and peanut butter definitely are. So, I decided to challenge myself by coming up with a recipe for salted vegan peanut butter cookies. Oh my gosh, why am I not baking cookies every week?! These cookies were *almost* a disaster but turned out better than I ever imagined.
Peanut butter cookies remind me of my childhood. Do you remember making three-ingredient peanut butter cookies with criss cross fork imprints on top? Such a classic! This recipe isn’t quite as minimal but the flavor is totally reminiscent of the peanut butter cookies I remember making and eating as a kid.
If you can, I recommend using creamy, salted peanut butter with no added sugar. Trader Joe’s peanut butter is my absolute favorite - I will stand in line outside of the store to stock up! I haven’t tested these vegan peanut butter cookies using peanut butter with added sugar (check the label on your jar, you might be surprised!), but I imagine they’d be quite a bit sweeter. Just something to keep in mind.
Do I really need to refrigerate my cookie dough?
I know it’s annoying, but it’s important to refrigerate your cookie dough. Why? It helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking. Fat solidifies in cool temperatures (think about a jar of coconut oil in the winter, for example) and will therefore melt more slowly when exposed to the heat of the oven. The result is a fluffy cookie, not a flat puddle on your baking sheet. Worth an hour of refrigeration? I think so!
Speaking of refrigerating your cooking dough, don’t be alarmed if the dough feels crumbly when you take it out of the fridge. That’s just the coconut oil in its solid state. Once you start rolling the vegan peanut butter cookie dough between your warm hands, you’ll see that it magically softens.
Another thing to keep in mind: these cookies will feel totally undercooked when you take them out of the oven. I mean, absolutely squishy. Don’t panic. Trust me. They will firm up as they cool on the baking sheet and as they come to room temperature. Don’t try to remove them from the baking sheet for at least five minutes or you will be very frustrated and bummed out. They WILL hold their shape!Print
These Salted Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies are crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside.
- 1½ tablespoons ground flaxseed (also called flaxseed meal)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup creamy salted peanut butter, so sugar added
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Maldon or flaky sea salt
- Combine the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl to create a flax egg. Set aside.
- Scoop the peanut butter into a medium bowl. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir the dough together. Refrigerate the peanut butter cookie dough an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Roll the peanut butter cookies into balls about the size of a golf ball and place them at least two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Use a fork to lightly flatten each ball of cookie dough in a criss cross pattern. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- Bake the salted peanut butter cookies for 20 minutes. They will be very squishy and appear uncooked when you take them out of the oven. Don’t worry!
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet undisturbed for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to a platter or cutting board to cool to room temperature.
Cook time does not include 1 hour of refrigeration.
Serving size = 1 cookie