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Peanut Butter Cookies: Vegan and Non-Vegan Recipes

A vegetarian/vegan since 1960 at age 14, I have always enjoyed cooking primarily with vegetables and creating non-traditional recipes.

A plate of peanut butter cookies (these are the non-vegan version).

A plate of peanut butter cookies (these are the non-vegan version).

A Recipe History

I have always loved peanut butter cookies. For years, I relied on the recipe from an old, battered cookbook that my mother owned. Interestingly, she did not use that cookbook for most of her cooking, and, ironically, she never made the peanut butter cookie recipe. I enjoyed that kind of cookie at the homes of relatives in Kentucky and at school functions.

After I was old enough to use the kitchen, I went looking for a peanut butter cookie recipe and found it in that old cookbook. While I enjoyed the cookies that resulted from the recipe, it always seemed to me that the peanut butter flavor was a bit weak.

So I began experimenting with the recipe, adding more peanut butter, substituting whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, adding raw sugar instead of the granulated and brown sugar called for in the old cookbook's recipe. After a few other tweaks, I finally found the recipe that best suits my taste.

Making the Recipe Vegan

After creating the just-right regular version of the peanut butter cookie recipe, I experimented with a vegan diet for about a decade. So I had to tweak my recipe further to make it vegan. After a few unsuccessful tries that resulted from trying to find the right substitute for the egg, I landed upon my perfect vegan recipe. Although I no longer follow a strict vegan diet, I still enjoy my vegan version of this cookie recipe every bit as much as the non-vegan.

Adding Chocolate Chips

Because of my enjoyment of peanut butter and chocolate, I also created a recipe featuring those two flavors. They are simply alterations of the peanut butter cookie recipes. There are only a few minor changes along with the addition of chocolate chips. They are yummy!

Happy Baking and Buon Appetito!

Vegan peanut butter cookies.

Vegan peanut butter cookies.

Recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker’s Natural Chunky)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar, divided (1/2 cup for rolling)
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Blend vegan butter, peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, apple butter, and vanilla in stand mixer to a creamy texture. Add dry Ingredients.
  4. Blend well to a nice, cookie dough texture. Shape into round balls, roll in remaining raw sugar.
  5. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  6. Press and criss-cross each cookie with fork for traditional pattern.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.
The non-vegan version of the cookies.

The non-vegan version of the cookies.

Recipe for Non-Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker’s Natural Chunky)
  • 2 cups raw sugar, divided
  • 1 egg (warmed to room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Blend butter, peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla in stand mixer to a creamy texture. Add dry Ingredients.
  4. Blend well to a nice, cookie dough texture. Shape into 1-inch round balls, roll in remaining raw sugar.
  5. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Press and criss-cross each cookie with fork for traditional pattern.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Vegan Version with Chocolate Chips.

Vegan Version with Chocolate Chips.

Recipe for Vegan PB Cookies With Chocolate Chips

This recipe yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Wet

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker’s Natural Chunky)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar, divided (1/2 cup for rolling)
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Blend vegan butter, peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, apple butter, and vanilla in stand mixer to a creamy texture.
  4. Add dry Ingredients, except chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Add chocolate chips. Blend well to a nice, cookie dough texture.
  6. Shape tablespoon-sized amounts into round balls, roll in 1/2 cup raw sugar.
  7. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Press and criss-cross cookie with fork for traditional pattern.
  9. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, non-vegan version.

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, non-vegan version.

Recipe for Non-Vegan PB Cookies With Chocolate Chips

This recipe yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker’s Natural Chunky)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar, divided (1/2 cup for rolling)
  • 1 egg (warmed to room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Blend butter, peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla in stand mixer to a creamy texture. Add dry Ingredients.
  4. Blend well to a nice, cookie dough texture. Shape into 1-inch round balls, roll in remaining raw sugar.
  5. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Press and criss-cross each cookie with fork for traditional pattern.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes