Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free} | The Rising Spoon

Friday, December 9, 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free}

Easy flourless peanut butter cookies studded with dark chocolate chips and sweetened with maple syrup. These cookies are incredibly soft, full of rich peanut butter flavor, and they develop a wonderful chewiness the day after baking them. The best part? You can eat 2 or 3 cookies in one sitting and still feel great! Fix a batch today with simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now! {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free}

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips

Come early December, sweet treats are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Cookies, candied nuts, cakes, pies...pretty much anything you can think of with a holiday spin. It takes an iron willpower to resist all of 'em. 

I'm usually able to limit my intake by never making sweet treats at home (unless it's something like homemade toffee that's getting packaged up quickly for a holiday gift). 

Why? As I've mentioned here many times before, if I fix a whole batch of goodies at home, I'll be the only one to eat them...and too quickly at that.

True fact about me: If I know there are sweets in the house (the only exception is bar chocolate) then my brain goes into devious let's-rationalize-why-we-deserve-the-sweet-thing-right-this-second-all-throughout-the-day mode.
Because of this, it makes way more sense for me to buy a dessert by the slice or individual serving from a bakery when a craving strikes. 

Which is exactly what I did last week. I went to two different places on a Thursday night and ended up buying a brownie, a doughnut, and an almond nut pastry. The first two were sooooooo dry (I guess that's my fault for buying baked goods late at night) and super sugary. The third was mehTotally disappointing.

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies That Are Flourless

So I went to bed that night with an itch to do some dessert crafting of my own. To fix something totally delicious, yet not so sugary I'd feel like crap 30 minutes after eating it. 

I fell asleep daydreaming of fudgy brownies, rich flourless cake, and peanut butter cookies then woke up the next day and did something totally out character: I baked cookies. Multiple batches of them, in fact.

Extreme sugar cravings can (occasionally) lead to good things, y'all. Tell that to your significant other the next time they question your need to run out and buy a pint of ice cream right this second


And thanks to my desperate craving for a delicious yet still decent for you dessert, accidentally created the perfect healthier cookie. (If you happen to have a gold star, A+, or "You Did It!" sticker laying around, I'd happily accept it.) 

I'm not talking a tastes like cardboard and makes you want to chug a glass of water after one bite kinda "healthy" cookie. 

I mean a cookie made without refined sugars, super processed oils or unpronounceable ingredients...YET it still tastes indulgent and satisfying. And it's created using simple gluten-free pantry ingredients that almost everyone keeps around (in one form or another). 

How to Make Peanut Butter Cookies That Are Flourless
Wanna know the best part? It's how good you feel after eating 1 or 2 or 3 (in a row). Regular cookies made with butter, white sugar, and flour have amazing textures, but they are typically looooooaaaaded with sugar. 

There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but for those of us who have drastically reduced our sugar intake by no longer drinking soda or commercial juice and even fixing our bulletproof coffee or tea without a sweetener, anything with sugar tastes 1000% sweeter to us. 

That's why my sister and I created our healthy dark chocolate covered peanut butter balls recipe. The classic version has 4 CUPS of powdered sugar. There is no way it needs that much. Sorry folks, I'm sweet enough.

Want to Make This Cookie Recipe? Watch The Short Video Below To Show You How!

The Six Simple Ingredients In The Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies 

Okay...so let's talk about these amazing flourless peanut butter cookies and the handful of easy ingredients you use to fix them. 
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free}

Peanut Butter (Natural or Regular)

First, the main ingredient is peanut butter. Magical, decadent, fat and protein-rich peanut butter. 

I recently met up for breakfast with my friend Lauryn who's done months-long hiking trips (think Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail) and she mentioned that the hikers burn so many calories all day long that they're pretty much ALWAYS hungry and peanut butter is a lifesaver. Like I said--magical.

Note: If you can't have peanut butter, this also works with cashew butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter (the last one may turn your cookies green, though). 

Real Maple Syrup

Second, the main sweetener in the cookies is real maple syrup. This is probably my favorite unrefined sweetener right now. It's sweeter than white or brown cane sugar, so you can use less of it in baking (which is good because it's a bit more expensive) and its glycemic index score is also lower than table sugar (54 versus 65). 

This means your body processes it a bit slower, so it's less likely to make your blood sugar spike. It also contains trace amounts of minerals like manganese and zinc + antioxidants

This doesn't mean you should eat bucketloads of it--sugar is sugar--BUT, it tastes wonderful and is sweet enough that you can use less to get the same results. 

I think they're perfect in these cookies because the maple flavor pairs well with the peanut butter but doesn't overwhelm it. Plus, the extra liquid in the recipe helps to keep the cookies soft! 

Easy Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips


This is the binding agent that helps keep everything together instead while also adding fat + moisture. I used both medium and large-sized eggs for this recipe and they both turned out great. Oh, and they don't need to be room temperature. That means you can bake these on the fly. :)

Baking Soda

We're only adding a 1/2 teaspoon to each batch, but it's a necessary ingredient in order to give the cookies a bit of lift so they don't go kersplat all over the baking sheet. Why use baking soda instead of baking powder? Check out this post to learn a bit more. 

Dark Chocolate Chips

Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Do I have to say anything more? You can use whatever chocolate suits your fancy, but I love these bittersweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter & Maple Syrup For The Win

These flourless peanut butter cookies are adapted from my friend Ariana's tahini molasses cookies, which I've made before using brown sugar (I didn't have any muscovado on hand), and those are fantastic

This time around I only had peanut butter in my pantry and wanted to give maple syrup a try instead since it's my current favorite. I was surprised at how well the cookies turned out and posted them on Instagram and Facebook. The feedback was super positive, so I decided to experiment more. 

Flourless Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies Recipe

I made several batches using either natural or regular peanut butter and molasses sugar or maple syrup with varying amounts of sweetener added. I brought a plate with samples from the different batches to the gals working at my apartment complex office and had them do a taste test. 

They unanimously preferred the flat, non-pretty looking maple syrup cookies. I was so surprised! They said it was because the maple syrup ones were softer and had a stronger peanut butter flavor. 

When my beau had the same reaction, I went back the next day and did more recipe testing. Turns out chilling the dough for a short amount of time helps keep the very moist "dough" from flattening as much in the oven.

A Truly Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe 

While one of my batches was chilling, I took to the interwebz to see if anyone else had made flourless cookies using maple syrup. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something really obvious. I found pages of recipes that called themselves "flourless" but they all contained some kind of non-wheat flour like almond or coconut. 

Umm...guys, that's still flour!?! (Sorry this kind of deceptive wording annoys me.) Anyhoo, many search pages later I found this ONE recipe that was actually flourless (ahem) had ingredients similar to my own but looked nothing like mine. 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free}

I don't know what kind of voodoo magic the blogger was cooking up, but she used natural peanut butter and no baking soda and her cookies hardly spread at all. Mine never did that. She must have used tiny spoonfuls (even though she says tablespoon in the directions), which means they hardly spread. Hmmm.

Anyway, I wanted to let YOU know that these are real flourless cookies. No nut or seed flours required.

Psssst...If you happen to make one of my recipes or DIY crafts and share it on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter make sure to use the hashtag #therisingspoon and tag my account @therisingspoon so I see it! It helps me so much to get feedback on my creations and it totally makes my day. :) 

yield: 10 cookiesprint recipe

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

prep time: 35 MINScook time: 12 MINStotal time: 47 mins


  • 1 cup of peanut butter, salted & unsweetened (natural or regular)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of real maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or homemade vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I like these)
Recommended Equipment


  1. First, if you're using natural peanut butter (the kind with the oil floating on top), you'll need to use a little elbow grease and stir that all back in before measuring. Add the peanut butter, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a bowl or the stand mixer (if using).
  2. Stir for about 30 seconds or until everything is mixed and creamy. The batter will be very soft since we're using a liquid sweetener instead of granular. Place the mixture in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape better and spread less as they bake.
  3. About 10 minutes before you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Pull the dough out of the fridge, measure in the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and stir so it's completely incorporated. We're adding it right before the cookies bake so it doesn't lose its effectiveness.
  4. Fold in the dark chocolate chips, then drop rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. I usually bake 6 at a time, but you could potentially do more if you have a bigger sheet or you don't mind the cookies touching when they spread out.
  5. Pop any extra dough back in the fridge to keep chilled and stick the cookies in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops turn a pale golden color. I typically do 12 minutes, but if you want them even softer, you can do 10. You don't want to overcook them, as they will firm up a bit after baking.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5-7 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or somewhere they can get some circulation under them. (I don't own a cooling rack for cookies since I hardly bake so used a potato grater like this set on top of my coffee maker. Hey, whatever works!) If you leave them on a plate, it'll still work but the bottom center will be slightly moist.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the batter using the same tray or a different baking tray. Once all cookies are completely cool, store leftovers in an airtight container and eat within a few days.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Notes & Tips
  • If you're using unsalted peanut butter, you'll want to add a bit of sea salt to the dough before cooking to help balance out the flavors. 
  • They will be REALLY soft straight out of the oven, so if you can be patient, wait at least 30 minutes before you eat any. Trust me, the texture will be much better. I actually prefer their texture on the second day as they get a bit chewy!

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An easy recipe for the best flourless peanut butter cookies studded with dark chocolate chips. These yummy cookies are soft, healthy (they're sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar) and naturally gluten-free! The best part? You can eat 2 or 3 cookies in one sitting and still feel great! Bake a batch today with simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now! #peanutbuttercookies #peanutbutter #christmascookies #glutenfreerecipes #darkchocolate #realfood

P.S. Keep Reading! More Recipes From The Rising Spoon:

Healthy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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