Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies With Chocolate Chips
Who doesn’t love an old classic peanut butter cookie? But what about a vegan peanut butter cookie?
Seriously, next to chocolate chips cookies, you can’t get much closer to an old-time American classic than that (crisscross pattern and all). Unfortunately, the old recipes usually called for animal-based ingredients (butter, milk, and eggs) and even worse, vegetable shortening (hydrogenated oil overdose). Not very healthy cookies to say the least and not very sustainable to boot (all that plastic packaging). But there is no reason that peanut butter cookies cannot be more environmentally friendly and vegan too!
Now that I’ve cracked the flax egg (pun intended) and figured out the secret to making vegan avocado cookies that are soft, cakey, and just as delicious as conventional ones, I thought I’d try my hand at creating a vegan peanut butter cookie. So I grabbed my old peanut butter cookie recipe that I have been baking since I was a teenager and got to work. And the results are amazing!
Today, I’m excited to share with you a vegan peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips (or without) that not only stands up next to my old recipe but actually exceeds it. This recipe uses only 10 ingredients (11 if you add chocolate chips) and almost all of those can be bought from the bulk section of your local grocery store.
These vegan peanut butter cookies are great with:
Using Avocado as a Butter Substitute
For the most part, this recipe is pretty straightforward but an effort to keep these vegan peanut butter cookies as zero waste as possible, I used avocado instead of vegan butter (to reduce packaging). Now, unless you are no stranger to baking with avocado, it might be a little off-putting. The first time I ate a cookie that used avocado, I was both intrigued and skeptical at the same time. But it ended up being one of the most delicious cookies I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
Working with avocado in any baked good is not as intimidating as it might seem but it does require a little extra work.
- You need to use very ripe avocados unless you’ve got a really good blender or mixer. Otherwise, you might have some chunks or stringy bits in the finished cookie.
- You need a blender or mixer that can puree the avocado to a smooth consistency without any leftover chunks. If you are ok with avocado chunks in your cookies, then this isn’t as big a deal although I haven’t ever tried it that way myself. I just feel like the chunks would mess up the texture of the cookie. If you try it with the chunks of avocado in there, I would be very interested in hearing what you think of it!
- Avocados vary in size. Sometimes all I need is half an avocado but other times it was more like ⅔ to ¾. To get a precise measurement, I placed the avocado in a bowl and mashed it with a fork. Don’t worry about lumps, this is just to get an accurate measurement. I then filled a measuring cup with the amount needed and then transferred that to my blender. It may seem like a bit of a pain to do but this will ensure that you get the best results.
Using Flax Eggs as an Egg Replacement
Unless you are no stranger to vegan baking, flax eggs are the other ingredients that can be a little tricky to work with. Flax eggs cannot be treated the same as chicken eggs. Flax just doesn’t have the same leavening and stiffening effect that you get from the chicken equivalent. It was the first mistake I made back when I was working on my Vegan Avocado Brownies. The finished brownies were really flat and too gooey.
So when you are using flax eggs in baked goods, you really have to aerate the batter. You can do this by hand using a whisk if you’re looking for a great excuse to workout your guns. But I found the best success by using either my Vitamix blender or a hand mixer. If you have a really good food processor that might work too although I have never used one for this myself.
If you are unfamiliar with using flax eggs, I have a post that goes into detail about how to work with them in baking.
Other Tips for Making Zero Waste Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Here are a few other tricks I picked up from working with this recipe and over the years when making cookies at home.
- If possible, let any cold ingredients sit at room temperature for 30 mins before use.
- Mix your flax egg ahead of time. I tend to mix my flax and water before I do anything else. By the time I preheat the oven, mix my dry ingredients, and measure my avocado, it’s usually ready to go.
- When mixing the dry ingredients into the wet, the batter will get very thick and hard to mix. I’ve found that it’s best to use a wooden spoon for mixing as metal ones tend to bend. Additionally, I suggest you mix half the dry ingredients at a time. This way will be easier on your arms and ensure even blending in the end.
- I used only peanut butter from the bulk section in this recipe. Depending on the machine and the peanuts, the results can vary. It isn’t as chunky as prepackaged ones but not completely smooth as the creamy varieties. You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter in this recipe if you prefer a packaged brand but use one with no additional sweeteners or salt. Please buy glass jars instead of plastic!
- Add the peanut butter to the wet ingredients last. Peanut butter get more oily the longer it is mixed so to avoid this mix all the other wet ingredients thoroughly before adding it. Don’t worry if still happens though, the taste doesn’t change.
- The vegan chocolate chips are completely optional. I am unable to find vegan chocolate in bulk so I’ve switched to diary chips instead. If you are more concerned with packaging than it being completely vegan like me, you can use dairy-based chocolate chips or leave them out entirely. Either way, it’s still a great tasting cookie! (Update: I have found vegan chocolate chips in bulk! These seem to be everywhere now.)
- I made my own hemp milk for this recipe. It’s very easy to do and it’s a great way to avoid the extra packaging from premade ones and it just tastes way better too. If you do buy premade hemp milk, go with the original unsweetened variety.
- Melt your coconut oil before measuring it out. I just place a heaping spoonful in a small glass bowl and nuke it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Done!
- When measuring the dough, keep the dough balls between 1 ½” to 1 ¾” for proper baking (about the size of a golf ball). You can use either an ice cream scoop to shape the balls or roll them out by hand. I preferred rolling them out by hand but either way works. Likewise, you can either flatten them slightly using a fork (if you prefer the traditional criss-cross pattern) or by hand.
- You can enjoy these cookies once cooled but they taste much better if left to sit in a covered container for a few hours to overnight. This allows the cookies to soften and the flavors to really come through.
I think that covers it all. Now let’s make the magic happen!
Looking for other zero (or low) waste and vegan sweets? You might want to check out my vegan anise avocado cookies, vegan chai milkshake, coconut macadamia granola with blueberries, spicy maple and rosemary pumpkin seeds, and vegan avocado fudgy brownies!
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Peanut Butter Avocado Cookies with Chocolate Chips
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Wooden Spoon
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Baking tray
- Hand Mixer
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or unbleached all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- 1/2 cups avocado, mashed (approx. 1 large)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 5 tbsp. unsweetened hemp milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cups peanut butter (use PB found in bulk)
- 1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp. flax meal
- 3 tbsp. water
For Flax Egg
- Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl.
- Let it sit for 20 mins. before use.
For Peanut Butter Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Place the avocado, vanilla, hemp milk, coconut oil, and flax egg in the blender. Blending on high setting until it is smooth.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the avocado mixture and sugar using a hand mixer on high for 2-3 mins. With a spatula, scrape the sides halfway.
- Add the peanut butter and blend well.
- Add the dry ingredients half at a time to the wet and mix until blended using a wooden spoon.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Slightly press the dough balls flat. For crisscross pattern use a fork dipped in oil. (Note: store cookie dough in the fridge when not in use)
- Bake for 15 mins. Let it cool on the tray for 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Store in a sealed container. Will keep for 5 days or longer if stored in the fridge.
Did you give this recipe a try?