Paleo “Peanut” Butter Cookies (gluten-free, nut-free)

These Paleo “Peanut” Butter Cookies are soft, chewy and pretty much irresistible.

You only need 1 bowl and 5 ingredients for these flourless peanut butter cookies that don’t contain peanuts at all!

By using sunbutter (sunflower seed butter), these easy cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free.

But everyone can enjoy them, whether they eat nuts or not!

gluten-free cookies on a baking sheet and on a white plate with a glass of milk

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Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies

The classic peanut butter cookie is a classic for a reason – it’s easy to make, uses only a few ingredients and everyone loves peanut butter.

But these cookies are off limits for those that can’t tolerate peanuts, can’t bring anything made with peanuts to school or if you’re Paleo, since peanuts aren’t Paleo. And some versions contain flour which doesn’t work if you’re gluten-free.

That’s why I wanted to create a version that everyone can eat, because I’m a people pleaser like that.

So instead of peanut butter, we’re using sunbutter, which is incredibly similar to peanut butter but is made with sunflower seeds.

Plus we’re swapping out the white sugar for coconut sugar, which is unrefined, retains some minerals and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar.

You end up with soft, chewy cookies that are just sweet enough. The coconut sugar gives them a deeper, almost molasses-like flavor compared to the white sugar version.

And you still get the classic criss-cross pattern on top!

If you prefer crispy cookies, I include instructions in the recipe notes.

 

What you need for Paleo peanut butter cookies

You’ll need:

  1. 1 cup sunbutter – I use the organic SunButter kind, as it contains no additional oils or sugar
  2. One egg
  3. 3/4 cup coconut sugar – I like this brand or this brand
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Equipment:

  1. a mixing bowl (get this whole set! The little bowls are extremely handy!)
  2. a sturdy spatula or a hand mixer
  3. measuring spoons (these are my favorite because they fit in spice jars)
  4. baking sheets with cooling racks
  5. parchment paper
  6. a small cookie scoop (I use a #60 1 tablespoon/1″ scoop with a trigger)
  7. A thin spatula for moving the cookies to the cooling racks

sunbutter cookies on a baking sheet and on a white plate with a glass of milk

How to make Paleo “peanut” butter cookies

Nothing like a good one bowl cookie recipe!

Blend together the sunbutter, egg, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt.

Scoop up two tablespoon-sized balls onto your hand, roll into a ball (smoothing out the crack where the 2 pieces were combined) and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Flatten each cookie with a fork to create a criss-cross pattern.

Sprinkle with a little extra coconut sugar.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, swapping and rotating the pans halfway through cooking times (meaning, rotate each pan 180° and swap the one on the top rack to the bottom rack and vice versa; this ensures even baking).

Let the cookies rest so they set up properly, the eat!

Substitutions and variations

I haven’t tried this with crunchy sunbutter but if you want a bit of crunch, I think this would work.

You can use other nut butters like almond, cashew or even peanut, but some can be gritty so the texture might be different. And if you use one that has added sugar, you might want to cut down on how much sugar you add to the dough.

Make ahead

The cookies can be stored either at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Other cookies and treats

For another Paleo cookie option, try these big, buttery Paleo chocolate chunk cookies.

You might also love these Paleo Italian hazelnut cookies.

For something chocolate-y, try these fudgy Paleo brownies.

For something less sweet, there’s this Paleo apple bread.

 

paleo peanut butter cookies on a cooling rack, a baking sheet and a white plate with milk
gluten-free cookies on a baking sheet and on a white plate with a glass of milk
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Paleo "Peanut" Butter Cookies (gluten-free, nut-free)

The classic peanut butter cookie is updated so everyone can enjoy it! This fast, easy, one-bowl recipe makes soft, chewy cookies that are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time11 mins
Resting time35 mins
Total Time56 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: paleo cookies, peanut butter cookies, sunbutter, sunbutter cookies
Servings: 13 cookies
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy sunflower seed butter (sunbutter)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend until smooth and no streaks remain.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to scoop two tablespoon-sized balls into your hand. Roll them into one ball, smoothing out the crack where they were combined. Place on the baking sheet 2" apart from each other.
  • Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern as you flatten the cookies to between 1/4-1/2". Sprinkle each one with a bit more coconut sugar.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating and swapping the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies have spread and look dry.
  • Let the cookies rest on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies from the sheets to cooling racks. Let them rest for 30 minutes so they set.

Notes

The cookies can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you prefer crispy cookies, bake them for 16 minutes, swapping and rotating the pans halfway through, until the edges are dark brown.

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