These old-fashioned peanut butter cookies are soft, chewy, and deliciously vegan. One of these easy home-baked chunky peanut cookies are leagues better than any deli, bakery, take-out, or grocery-bought cookie.
Just a few every-day pantry ingredients, a few minutes prep, and 12-13 minutes bake in the oven, and you have yourself the best batch of vegan peanut butter cookies. So tasty!
These vegan old-fashioned cookies are chunky, thick, and huge with crispy edges and soft, chewy insides and packed with peanut butter caramelly flavours.
Origin of peanut butter cookies
A peanut butter cookie has all the usual cookie staple ingredients sugar, butter, flour, and eggs but with the main flavour being peanut butter.
Peanut butter cookies originate in the United States during the early 1900s with one of the first recipes published in 1932 within the Schenectady Gazette. This recipe instructed the unbaked cookies to be marked with a fork.
Around the same time the American flour company Pillsbury also published a peanut butter cookie recipe with the same idea of using a fork to mark the dough.
The reasoning for the fork marks is that the traditional peanut butter cookie dough was heavy and dense, so flattening them out before baking resulted in a cookie that spread out more easily and evenly.
Even though recipes for peanut butter cookies became increasingly popular during the early and mid 1900s, the idea for the peanut butter cookie is often credited to the American Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver [1864-1943] who published a peanut booklet titled How To Grow The Peanut And 105 Ways To Prepare It For Human Consumption .
Carver's booklet was used to promote the use of peanuts and contained three different peanut cookies that used ground peanuts which is similar to powdered peanut butter.
There's nothing better or more cosily homely and welcoming than trays of home-baked cookies just out of the oven. It's hard to resist munching them warm from the baking sheets. Another great thing about cookies are that they are quick to bake, so don't use too much valuable cooking fuel.
Vegan peanut butter cookies
This recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies produces a cookie that is thick and chunky yet spreads into a large, chewy, crisp and soft cookie during baking. Butter is replaced with vegan margarine, baking spread, or vegan butter.
For this recipe we used Stork baking spread, the one that is labelled vegan and comes in a plastic tub.
Eggs are omitted, and a few tablespoons of soya milk is included. The addition of baking powder and extra flour add more body to the chewy cookies, and the overall result is one of the best peanut butter cookies you'll ever have. Well at least we think so!
One of the tricks to soft and chewy cookies is to slightly under bake them so even if the cookies are not completely firm, they will continue to firm up on the cookie sheet once removed from the oven. Yet will remain soft in the middle and crisp on the outside. Perfect!
This vegan peanut butter cookie recipe does not have too much peanut butter as it only requires ½ cup or 150grams, but this is the ideal amount for a dozen cookies. Sometimes too much peanut butter can overwhelm the flavour of the cookie and so the cookie can be a little dense and rich. But these peanut cookies have the ideal balance of flavours.
We used the brand Whole Earth crunchy peanut butter and the small bits of peanuts provide a pleasant texture. However, feel free to use a smooth peanut butter if preferred.
How to prepare vegan old-fashioned peanut butter cookies
These peanut cookies are so easy to prepare and quick to bake.
Perfect for when you need a batch of home-baked vegan cookies for unexpected guests, or a fun family bake with the kids, or even to leave out for a treat for Santa on Christmas Eve.
First add the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and margarine to a mixing bowl. Using a hand held whisk or just a mixing spoon, cream the ingredients together.
Use a spoon to scrape the mixture off the sides into the creamed mix.
Next, add the vanilla and milk and cream some more.
Tip in the peanut butter and beat with the whisk or mixing spoon until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda [baking soda], and salt to a sieve and sift the ingredients into the creamed mixture.
Using a mixing spoon stir the flour into the mixture.
Now either use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and scoop up balls of cookie dough [each ball weighs 50-60 grams/about 2 oz] and drop onto the baking sheets.
With a fork gently press each cookie dough ball down, but not too much just a little press. Bake on the middle shelf for 12-14 minutes.
Store peanut butter cookies within an airtight container. Wrap in parchment paper and kitchen foil to keep fresher for longer.
Or freeze for 3-4 months. Place parchment paper between each cookie or layers of cookies so that its easy to pull out a few cookies at a time to defrost.
I have a jar of sunflower seed butter on order and when it arrives in a few days I will test this recipe with the sub. Check back here soon for an updated answer!
Chunky peanut butter gives a nice texture to cookies as the little bits of crushed peanut gives a nice bite. For our cookies we used Whole Earth Crunchy Peanut Butter.
However, if preferred use a smooth peanut butter.
A vegan margarine or butter that is not labelled as low fat/lite/light/diet/reduced fat etc., is best for cookies, as the lighter versions tend to have even more water added. The extra water does not cope well with being heated during cooking, and may affect the liquid ratio for baking.
Stork baking margarine, is labelled vegan and is perfect for baking cakes, biscuits and pastry, etc. Flora margarine [labelled vegan] is also a good one to try for baking as is the margarine Vitalite.
Flora vegan butter and Naturli' vegan butter can be used for baking but as they are expensive I tend to use them for frostings and icings as they set up firm again.
Although, do have a look at the ingredients of supermarket own brands of baking spreads as many are also suitable for vegan diets and are fine for vegan baking.
No, this vegan recipe for peanut butter cookies does not need to be chilled before baking.
A Baker's Dozen
This old-fashioned peanut butter cookie recipe makes 12 or 13 chunky large cookies. The 13th cookie may be a little smaller but that just means the batch is a bakers dozen.
A bakers dozen is one more than twelve, and I like to think that the extra one is intended for the home baker to test the batch.
However, historically the meaning of a bakers dozen dates to medieval Britain when 13 or 14 loaves of bread was added to a batch of 12. The extra loaf/s was a safeguard to protect the bakers reputation against being accused of trying to cheat by selling underweight batches of bread. Punishment for selling smaller than expected loafs was being beaten or receiving a fine.
Nowadays, we can just enjoy the extra cookie with a nice cup of tea!
This is a small batch of peanut butter cookies so do double up the ingredients if a larger batch is required.
More tasty vegan old-fashioned cookies
Old-Fashioned Walnut Cookies [Hickory Nut Cookies]
Old-School British Concrete Cake [Chocolate Crunch Cookies]
More vegan recipes that utilise tasty peanut butter:
Peanut Butter Cornflake Cakes [no-bake Haystacks]
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
- baking sheets/trays
- parchment paper
- hand whisk or mixing spoon to mix by hand
- Mixing bowls
- ice cream scoop or a tablespoon
- 95 gram vegan margarine [such as Stork]
- 115 gram granulated sugar
- 80 gram dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 tablespoon plant milk [such as soya/oat or your usual milk]
- 150 gram peanut butter
- 210 gram plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 160Fan/ 180C/ 356 Fahrenheit/ Gas 4.
- Line 1 or 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Add the margarine, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Using a hand held mixer or stand mixer, or simply a mixing spoon cream the fat and sugar together.95 gram vegan margarine, 115 gram granulated sugar, 80 gram dark brown sugar
- Use a mixing spoon to scrape down the sides and mix it into the creamed margarine.
- Pour in the milk and vanilla, and cream everything together.1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 3 tablespoon plant milk
- Next scoop in the peanut butter and cream everything till thoroughly combined.150 gram peanut butter
- Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt to a smaller bowl. Sieve all these ingredients into the creamed mixture and now just using a mixing spoon stir until all combined. Tip any salt left in the sieve into the bowl.210 gram plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop up the cookie dough into balls [each ball will weigh between 50-60 grams per cookie ball] and place onto the baking sheets. Leave a few inches between each cookie to allow them room to spread.
- Using a fork gently press each cookie down, just a little, as they will spread out on their own.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 11-14 minutes. Cookies may look slightly underdone but will be lightly golden on the top, with more golden bits around the edges, and feel firmish but still soft to touch. The cookies will firm up more when out the oven.[for softer cookies bake for about 12 minutes and for firmer but still soft cookies bake for 13-14 minutes][However, check fan ovens around the 11 minute mark as these types of oven tend to cook a few minutes quicker.] If unsure leave for another minute to bake longer.
- Leave the cookies on the baking tray for 10-15 minutes or until it is easy to lift the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not intended to be an exact calculation as ingredients vary.
- Peanut butter cookies will keep fresh within an airtight container for up to 5-7 days. Wrap in parchment paper and kitchen foil to keep fresher for longer.
- Or freeze for 3-4 months, well wrapped to avoid freezer burn. Add a layer of parchment paper between each cookie or layers of cookies.
Baked these tasty vegan old-fashioned peanut butter cookies?
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Thanks so much.
Take care, Jacq x