Flourless Oat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies, and I love making chocolate chip cookies for the people I love.

The thing about having a wide variety loved ones is they also tend to have a wide variety of dietary needs.

Maybe you have vegetarian in-laws.

Maybe you have that one friend with a gluten allergy.

Maybe you have coworkers with religious dietary restrictions.

Finding a recipe you can share with someone who can’t eat certain foods while also making sure it tastes good can be a bit of a challenge.

These flourless oat peanut butter chocolate chip cookies strike a pretty good balance.

If you want a cookie that’s both crispy and chewy, sweet and savory, with a surprising amount of protein and fiber from ground legumes and whole grains, you need to give flourless oat peanut butter chocolate chip cookies a try.

Flourless peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies with oats
Flourless peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips and oats

How to Make Flourless Oat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe takes one bowl.

That’s it.

It takes one large mixing bowl to make this cookie dough.

You combine melted butter, natural peanut butter, light brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and kosher salt into a bowl. Mix it together, then fold in old-fashioned rolled oats and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, bake until the edges are golden brown, and cool.

Boom.

Cookies.

Keep in mind that the cookie dough is a bit on the crumbly side. If bits of it fall away while you drop it on the cookie sheet, just gently press them back together.

Even if the cookies are a little crumbly, they will still come out perfect. The cooling time gives them a chance to harden and crisp so they hold together while maintaining a chewy center.
You get a cookie with a surprisingly mild but still definitely noticeable peanut butter flavor, slightly nutty and toothsome old-fashioned rolled oats, and rich, gooey, chocolatey chips that contrast the salty peanut butter and savory oats.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a near-perfect cookie to me.

Using the Proper Peanut Butter

We need to talk about the ingredient that holds everything together: peanut butter.

Peanut butter is all about dualities. Do you prefer creamy or crunchy? Natural or regular? Salted or unsalted? Sweetened or unsweetened?

I used natural peanut butter, which means it’s nothing but ground peanuts and salt (and some versions don’t even have salt). They come in creamy and crunchy varieties just like regular peanut butter. If you end up using an unsalted peanut butter, feel free to increase the salt in the recipe to at least ½ teaspoon.

Want to use conventional peanut butter? Keep in mind that conventional peanut butters contain additional oils and sweeteners, so that may affect the consistency of the cookie. Consider reducing the brown sugar slightly to make up for the sweeteners in the peanut butter of your choice.

And for you crunchy peanut butter fans, yes, you can use crunchy instead of creamy.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (you can also use a silpat).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the natural creamy peanut butter, melted unsalted butter, light brown sugar, large egg, baking soda, and salt. Mix everything until well combined.
  3. Fold in the old-fashioned rolled oats and chocolate chips with a silicone spatula.
  4. Using a cookie scoop or two-tablespoon measuring spoon, drop the cookie dough onto the lined cookie sheet two inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown; cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then finish on a cooling rack. Then repeat as needed until the dough runs out.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes 21 cookies.

How to Serve and Store

This recipe makes about 21 small cookies. They don’t spread too much, so they look like tiny mounds of oats studded with chocolate chips.

These tiny mounds make a perfect flourless dessert in little portions. Make these for bake sales, picnics, or afterschool nibbles for kids and their playmates. Of course, you can also just make these for you.

As a warning, small peanut butter and chocolate cookies are dangerously snackable. Don’t be afraid to have a few and then store the rest in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Or you can have them for breakfast due to their high protein and fiber content. Go on. There’s no judgment here

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

What about the rest of the ingredients? Any substitutions you make are all about personalizing these cookies to your taste.

If you want a flavor other than vanilla, spices such as cinnamon can really change things up.

Using milk chocolate or even white chocolate chips makes these cookies more reminiscent of chocolate and peanut butter candies. If you’re not a chocolate person…why are you here? But seriously, if you aren’t, or someone has an allergy, just replace them with some dried raisins or cranberries for a peanut-butter-and-jelly vibe.

Oats are an important ingredient in this recipe; they add bulk and texture to the cookies in place of flour. I used old-fashioned rolled oats, which are bigger and have a chewy texture (which is how I like my cookies). You can use instant oats, which are cut much smaller, but keep in mind that their size will affect the consistency of the cookie dough and may affect the texture too. Steel-cut oats will not work for these cookies, as they do not cook or absorb moisture quickly enough.

For folks avoiding gluten, keep these cookies gluten-free by making sure the oats you use are labelled gluten-free.