Easy Low Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies Gluten Free
What does this girl do when asked invited to a last minute gathering? She makes these super quick cookies.
I love my friends. This fourth of July Alan was scheduled to work leaving me with nothing to do until fireworks time. I asked around on Facebook and my friend Emily invited me to spend the day with her, her husband, and her five children. I had not been grocery shopping in a while and did not have mayo for potato salad, slaw, or any other quick fourth of July favorites. That’s when my mind turned to cookies.
I remembered a recipe for peanut butter cookies I used to make as a kid. They were quick, involved only 3 ingredients (all of which I had on hand) and would please the kids. I googled three ingredient peanut butter cookies and easily found the recipe.
It looked like it would take me 20 minute start to finish to have hot peanut buttery goodness to share at the gathering. I whipped them up and was excited to have found something so easy and crowd pleasing to bring along.
Then I removed them from the oven. Despite following the recipe exactly, the bottoms were burnt. I taste tested them and immediately noticed how overly sugary they were. The burnt flavor did not bother me nearly as much as the fact that the sugar overpowered the peanut butter flavor. I now saw the burnt cookies as a great reason to try again and lower the sugar in the recipe.
Being that the cookies called for 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, and 1 egg, I was afraid that removing sugar would make them too gooey or sticky. I decided to replace some of the sugar with a few tablespoons of gluten free flour. I also baked this batch at a much lower temperature to prevent burning another batch.
The new cookies came out beautifully. I tasted them and was amazed. Reducing the sugar by 2/3 still resulted in a pleasantly sweet cookie. The flour added a better texture as well. You can tell the difference in texture between the cookies by looking at the photo above. Notice how some have an oily look to them and the fork marks are less defined? Those are the original recipe. The cookies that look more appetizing (to me at least) are my lower sugar recipe.
Not wanting to waste the first batch I pulled out my super secret burnt-be-gone device (aka: a butter knife) and scraped the burnt layer from the bottoms. I decided to A/B test the full sugar vs low sugar recipes on Emily’s 5 kids. I quickly realized that kids don’t care about A/B testing and just want cookies. I ended up giving them the low sugar cookies and they all loved them and begged for more. The grownups liked the low sugar variety better than the full sugar recipe as well.
I know how popular the three ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe is in most peoples kitchens. I decided to post my altered version to give you all a healthier alternative that is still just as simple to make.
- 1 cup Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter or nut butter of choice
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp rice flour (you can probably sub any gluten free flour with similar results)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until combined.
- Place tablespoon sized balls of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Use fork tines to flatten cookies making a crisscross pattern.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies will be light in color.
- Cool and enjoy!
Posted on: Gluten Free Fridays
These look beautifully moist! Thanks for sharing them at Gluten Free Fridays!
Love that you cut down on the sugar! I enjoy using natural sweeteners and I think coconut sugar would work so well for this recipe because it really caramelizes (just like brown sugar) when baked. Yum!
I tried these using coconut palm sugar (blonde) and it was not good. It didn’t spread at all and was very dry & crumbly. I don’t think it would have made a difference using regular sugar. Won’t be making these again.
I’m sorry your cookies came out crumbly. Maybe together we can figure out why you had such odd results.
These cookies are not meant to spread when baked. They are meant to be flattened prior to baking with the tines of a fork. These cookies appear soft and underdone at the 15 minute mark but should not be cooked any longer than that as they cook more and firm up as they cool. They are meant to be a hearty crunchy cookie.
I use regular store brand creamy peanut butter when I make these. What brand did you use? That could possibly have changed the consistency. As for the palm sugar I have never used it. From doing a quick Google search on palm sugar it seems like it should work the same as white sugar though.
I love feedback on my recipes and hope we can figure out why these did not work for you. They really are great cookies.
Sugar absorbs liquid when it bakes so if you add a larger egg or a bit less sugar & pb your cookies will be a little more moist.
Also, different sugars act differently in baked goods. For instance, using brown sugar would give you a slightly chewier texture.
My kids went crazy for these (even the picky one). Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks, loved these! I used gf bisquick and they turned out great! A little vanilla would be good too I think.
How many grams of sugar per cookie in lower sugar version?
The sugar has been reduced by 2/3 from the original recipe. The original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar. This calls for only 1/3 cup. The sugar grams per cookie will vary depending on the size of your cookies.
Just used coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, added 1/2 tsp of vanilla and sea salt. My 4 year old added a few tiny bittersweet chips to them after we flattened them with a fork. They came out perfect!!!!! Thank you,
Awesome! I haven’t tried these with coconut flour yet. I’ll have to try them soon. I’m so glad you liked them. 🙂
These are really good. I added 2 extra tablespoons of rice flour and everyone here loved them:)
Just made these, they came out perfect. I made them as the recipe stated but used ground rolled oats (about 5 tbsps) I have never bought rice flour but I am intrigued to use both that and the coconut sugar.
I made these using 1/4 c honey instead of granulated sugar. We do not have a gluten sensitivity so I used unbleached flour. They were soft and delicious, my kids ate them all. Thanks for a great recipe.