These peanut butter cookies are made with just 2 ingredients. They don’t contain any flour, butter, refined sugar or eggs. They are easy and quick to make and you don’t even need a mixer for the dough. The cookies come out tasting like peanut butter shortbread cookies.
I’m always trying to make recipes with as few ingredients as possible, but even I was surprised by how ridiculously simple the ingredient list is for these cookies. I got the idea from experimenting with baking a few of my no bake cookie recipes and ended up coming up with these. The cookies are a little more delicate than your typical cookie but they taste so buttery and nutty and make a delicious afternoon snack.
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Maple Syrup
Creamy natural peanut butter is made of just peanuts and sometimes salt. Nothing else. Because of its high fat content, it works great as a butter replacement. It’s what gives these cookies a buttery shortbread texture even though there is no butter in the recipe.
The recipe uses just a little bit of maple syrup which adds some sweetness and also thickens the peanut butter. On its own, natural peanut butter is very liquidy. But when you mix it with maple syrup, the peanut butter will thicken and it thickens enough to be a workable cookie dough that you can shape into a ball, press into a disk and make the criss-cross pattern on top.
I know you might be doubtful that this can really work but one of the most popular peanut butter cookie recipes out there is a 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe that is just peanut butter, sugar and eggs, so this is just one less ingredient.
Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Texture
Even though these cookies are made of peanut butter, they do come out like a cookie! The cookies have a firm exterior but when you bite in, the cookie will almost melt in your mouth, like shortbread. These cookies are more delicate because of the minimal ingredients. They will hold a cookie shape but you can expect a few more crumbs than normal when you bite into them and they do break apart more easily.
More Peanut Butter Recipes
- 2 Ingredient Healthy No Bake Cookies
- 3 Ingredient Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge
- 3 Ingredient Flourless Peanut Butter Mug Cake
2 Ingredient Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup creamy natural unsweetened peanut butter must use natural peanut butter (see note)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter and maple syrup with a spatula. At first your batter will be very liquidy, but as you continue to mix the maple syrup into the peanut butter you will see your batter thicken and resemble cookie dough. Your dough will not be as thick and solid as typical cookie dough but it should be firm enough for you to scoop up with your cookie scoop and shape with your hands. See notes section about potentially making the cookies sweeter.
- Using a 1.5 tbsp cookie scooper, scoop cookie dough and place onto prepared baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Using the palm of your hand, flatten cookie dough into a round disk. Make criss-cross patten on surface of each cookie using a fork.
- Bake cookies about 10-12 minutes or until surface of cookies look dry and cooked. Do not worry if the cookies still feel soft. They will firm up after they cool. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheet to allow them to set. Do not attempt to remove cookies before they are cool because they will fall apart. Once cookies are cooled and set, they should easily come off your parchment paper or silicone mat. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
- This recipe will only work with natural peanut butter that only contains nuts and salt. It will not work with peanut butter processed with oils because the oils keep the peanut butter in its paste form and it won't form a dough the way the natural one will when it is mixed with the maple syrup.
- These cookies have only a little bit of sweetness. This was intentional as I wanted something low sugar. I find that the peanut butter is so flavorful that just having the cookies slightly sweetened works for me. However, if you wish for a sweeter cookie you can make them sweeter. After you mix in the maple syrup, taste your cookie dough. If you want more sweetness you can add 1-2 more tbsp of maple syrup. I do not recommend adding more than that because your dough will be too moist to work with.
- Adding 1-2 tbsp more maple syrup will make the dough a little harder to work with because it will be softer but you should still be able to shape it. Your cookies will also be a little darker in color and you may need to bake 1-2 minutes longer. (My cookies were done at 10 minutes for the original version and closer to 12 minutes when I added more syrup).
- This recipe should work with other natural style nut butters like cashew or almond butter. I have not tested this recipe with other sweeteners but I think other liquid sweeteners like honey should work.
- While this recipe should work with almost any brand of natural peanut butter, I would stay away from ones that you may find more oily than normal. You don't want to use an unusually thin, liquidy or oily peanut butter.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.