These 4 ingredient peanut butter cookies are the perfect quick and easy snack. They can be ready to eat in as little as 25 minutes and need no fancy ingredients at all. It’s a great recipe to keep up your sleeve for emergencies too – like friends or family popping ’round last minute!
If I’m having cookies (or biscuits as we call them here in Australia) at all, I want them to contain whole and natural ingredients. Some of the ingredients jammed into commercially bought varieties are really about extending shelf life. We don’t need to do that here. Mostly because they’re so quick to make you can whip up a batch whenever you like. You could literally have one of these in your mouth before you’d get to the store and back to buy a pack of cookies!
Ingredients for these peanut butter cookies
This recipe can be made with or without the chocolate chips and salt, which is why I’ve said it’s only four ingredients. I consider the top four listed below to be the base, and the choc chips are a deliciously added extra. They’re absolutely not essential though.
They’re also a great little snack option for those who are gluten and dairy free.
- Smooth peanut butter – This is solely my preference over using crunchy, as I found that gave the cookies a very sticky mouth feel.
- Blanched almond meal – This is the almond meal you’ll find in most supermarkets. The one I’ve used in this recipe is quite finely milled.
- Maple syrup – I love the caramel/toffee flavour this adds to these cookies. I am yet to try it out with a thicker sweetener like honey or rice malt syrup. If you do, please let me know how it goes in the comments.
- Vanilla essence – As always the wonderful vanilla helps to bring out, and bring together, the flavours in this recipe.
- Chocolate chips (optional) – This is an optional extra but I think it’s a wonderful one. I favour dark chocolate chips, which is what I’ve used here. If you’re a milk chocolate lover you go with that.
- Pinch of salt (also optional but delicious!) – There’s just something about peanut butter, chocolate, and salt that matches so perfectly.
How to make these peanut butter cookies
This recipe is honestly so simple I can guarantee it will be on high rotation. It can also provide a nice protein boost to keep you concentrating when the afternoon slump hits.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line a cookie sheet with baking paper
- Mix almond meal, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together to form a dough. Add in choc chips if using and mix well to combine
- Roll the mixture into balls then flatten out with the back of a fork in a criss cross pattern. I press quite firmly when doing this. If using salt, you could sprinkle that over now. You could also taste when the cookies come out of the oven and add then if you’d like.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until golden, allow to cool, and enjoy!
Be sure to check the notes at the end of the recipe for a couple of hints and tips to ensure you get golden cookie success every time.
This may be the result of two things. Adding too much almond meal, or using a peanut butter that doesn’t have much oil in it. I have used both Mayver’s and Honest to Goodness brands in Australia. Both of these contain only peanuts, but are sufficiently oily to ensure the cookies don’t dry out. If your peanut butter is very dry, you could experiment with adding a little macadamia oil.
See recipe notes and the tip below here – to stop these cookies going soft I store them in an airtight container with paper towel so they’re not affected by moisture.
If stored with a sheet of paper towel on the bottom of the container, then one over the top of the cookies as suggested in the recipe – these will keep for several days. I had my last batch stored this way for four days and they were still lovely and crumbly, not soft.
That should have all your questions covered. If you do have any others though, feel free to drop them in the comments. Happy baking!
Watch how to make these cookies
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- 3/4 – 1 Cup blanched almond meal
- 3/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 Cup maple syrup (I used a scant cup – so not quite full)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 Cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (~350ºF) and line a cookie sheet with baking paper
- Place the almond meal, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix to form a workable cookie dough (see notes below)
- Add in the choc chips if using, and mix again to combine
- Roll roughly 1 tablespoon of the dough into a small ball and place on lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all the cookie dough is used up
- Flatten each cookie dough ball with the back of a fork in a criss cross pattern. I press quite firmly when doing this. If using salt, you could sprinkle that over now. You could also taste when the cookies come out of the oven and add then if you'd like.
- Place in the oven and cook for 12 minutes or until golden (see notes)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before digging in! It's important to let these cool so they firm up.
- Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container that has been lined with paper towel. Place another sheet on top of the last cookie before closing the lid. This will help stop them from going soft and keep them fresh and crumbly for several days.
- I’ve mentioned using between 3/4 – 1 cup of almond meal, as the peanut butter you use may need a little more or a little less to form the dough. Start with 3/4 of a cup, and if you find the dough is too sticky to roll into balls add in the remaining 1/4.
- These cook perfectly in my oven in 12 minutes but as we well know, everyone’s oven is different. I would suggest going by sight and smell. If they smell great and look golden at 10 minutes in your oven take them out. Or if they need a touch longer leave them in for a minute or two more.