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Peanut Butter Cookies | Raw and Baked Option

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These vegan, gluten-free peanut butter cookies take on a healthified twist from the classic cookie your grandma would make. They are thick, soft, crunchy, and chewy–but most of all they are rich, sweet, and have that all-time favorite peanutty flavor. Every recipe collection needs a great peanut butter cookie. And that, my friends, is what I have for you today!

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies raw or baked option

I developed this recipe on 12/12/10 and it was born out of necessity. You see when a non-raw foodie tells me that healthy food can’t taste good, I take it seriously, and the challenge is on! A friend of ours, Jason, who was very “sketchy” about this whole “raw food thing” was convinced that anything raw, gluten-free, and vegan just couldn’t measure up to the traditional, comforting foods he grew up on.

“Oh yeah? Then tell me, Jason, what is your all-time favorite cookie?” With a twinkle in his eye, he quickly responded, “Peanut butter!”  I nodded, as if contemplating whether I could create a healthy version of his childhood favorite cookie. I knew I could, but I didn’t want to seem smug about it. I confidently informed him I would make him a raw peanut butter cookie that he would fall in love with.

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies raw or baked option

After spending the afternoon in the kitchen, I could hardly wait to present this raw, vegan, gluten-free cookie to Jason. Later that evening, Jason and some other friends joined us for dinner. I have to sheepishly admit that I rushed dinner along just so we could get to dessert… the peanut butter cookies.

Once the dinner dishes were cleared, I scuttled off to the kitchen to grab the cookies.  I made him close his eyes, promising me that he wouldn’t peek.  I then laid the plate in front of him and told him he could look.  He was so excited but hid it behind a tinge of skepticism. Out of politeness, he picked up the cookie and took a bite. His face lit up and soon there wasn’t even a crumb left to signify the existence of any cookie.

As I was doing dishes with my back to our guests, I heard comments such as: “I wouldn’t have known it was raw if she hadn’t told me…” “I normally don’t even care for peanut butter cookies, but that was amazing!…” “We need to sell these in the cafe!…” “OMG, these are amazing!”  Now mind you, these comments are coming from three gentlemen who are not raw food eaters or even indulge in healthy eating.  It just tickles me to feed good, healthy food to loved ones.

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies raw or baked option

Whole Rolled Oats & Oat Flour

Whole Almonds (instead of OATS) – to make these grain-free

Peanut Butter

Coconut Oil OR Applesauce


Tips and Techniques

Cookie Texture

These cookies are chewy and satisfy that craving for homemade peanut butter cookies. I hope you give this recipe a try. Please keep me posted below. Blessings, amie sue

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies raw or baked optionIngredients:

Yields 29 (2  Tbsp) cookies


  1. To a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the oats and salt, processing until it almost resembles flour.
    • If you wish to whole almonds, place them in the food processor with the salt and process until they reach a fine crumble. Due to the natural fats, they won’t break down to fine flour texture.
  2. Remove the lid and place the peanut butter, sweetener, oil (or applesauce), and vanilla around the surface of the bowl. Process until well incorporated and the batter starts to stick together as it goes around the bowl.
    • Be careful that you don’t overprocess the batter, or it will get too oily.
    • Once you start the machine, don’t stop it, otherwise, the batter may be too thick to restart the blade.
  3. Form balls and flatten with a fork.
    • When flattening, dip the fork in water between pressing the cookies to keep them from sticking. Optionally, sprinkle the top of the cookies with coarse salt.

Dehydration Method

  1. You can actually enjoy these right away rolled into a ball, or you can dehydrate them at 145 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for up to 16 hrs.  They won’t become crispy, but the outsides will be dry to the touch.
    • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F)?  Click (here) to learn the reason.

Baked Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F) and line 2 cookie sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper, or leave ungreased.
  2. Follow the same instructions above regarding the formation of the cookies.
  3. *Baking Oat based cookies – Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
  4. *Baking Almond based cookies – If you choose almonds over oats, I found I had to bake them for 12 minutes. Don’t let the lighter color fool you, they are browning on the bottom. Once they are done baking, slide the parchment paper onto the cooling rack and let them cool before removing them (they will appear soft). Once cool, remove from the parchment paper. If you leave them sitting on the baking pan, they will keep cooking and we don’t want that.

Storage and Shelf Life

Make-Ahead Cookie Dough

Everyday Enjoyment

  1. Keep your peanut butter cookies fresh in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. They do well loosely covered for a couple of days, too. To keep longer, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Freezing the Cookies

  1. To freeze, let the cookies cool completely and store them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between each layer. Cookies will keep for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the fridge or on the counter.

Freezing the Dough

  1. To freeze the dough, roll into balls as directed, place the balls on a cookie sheet, and freeze until solid. Place frozen dough balls in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, dehydrate or baked, place the cookies on the tray/pan, let them thaw, then bake as instructed.

For those of you using whole almonds, this is what they look down broken down in the food processor.

52 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Cookies | Raw and Baked Option

  1. Bonnie says:

    Hi Amie Sue – It was great meeting you yesterday at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. I haven’t made the cookies yet but plan to this week. Do I need agave nectar/syrup? The recipe just says 1/2 c agave and I have no experience with it yet.

    I wanted to share with your readers how much I enjoyed the cookies yesterday. These are, indeed, the real deal. They remind me of the no-bake cookies I used to make when my daughters were little, but these ingredients are much healthier. Thanks again for posting your wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try some of the others! Hope you find the perfect location for production!

    Bonnie Gonzales
    (Mrs. Green’s World)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Bonnie! It was wonderful to meet you as well. The Food Conspiracy Co-op was buzzing Sat. :) Regarding the peanut butter cookie recipe. Yes, you can buy agave nectar/syrup (same as when I say “agave” at many places around town! Look for the raw version of it. It comes in dark and light amber color, either one is fine to use as well. They carry it down at the co-op too. If you want to make these cookies now and don’t have agave on hand…you could use all honey if you wanted, though it might alter the flavor some. Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions. :)

      Amie Sue

  2. jennifer says:

    These cookies look amazing but am curious if not soaking the oats makes this cookie raw? And, is it ok to use the gluten-free oat flakes like Bob’s Red Mill and not soak them in the apple cider vinegar like you mentioned in another post?

    Thanks so much for the clarification!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Raw oats are what make the cookie raw, not the soaking process. The soaking process helps to omit the phytic acid. If you can’t get truly raw oats and use standard rolled oats then the cookies is partially raw. The gluten-free ones from Red Mill will be fine, just remember then they are not 100% raw. You can skip the soaking process if you don’t have any issues with digesting oats. Personally, my body struggles to digest oaks so this soaking process helps me. Does this help Jennifer? :) amie sue

      • jennifer says:

        Hi Amie-Sue, Thank you for the helpful response. So for a truly raw cookie, I will use Oat Groats for the oat flour and for the additional 2 cups of oats needed correct? And, I will not soak them because then the cookies will be wet instead of dry, yes? And, as far as the peanut butter goes, should it be wild jungle peanut butter? Or, can it be peanuts from the grinder at the store? I thought all nuts needed to be soaked and then dehydrated to be raw so i get a little confused about the recipes that call for nuts and no soaking is mentioned. Thank you so much for your help!

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Jennifer,
          You can find “raw” oats but a person usually has to order them. I know that is the only way I can find them. I have some sourced out and you can find their links here…. https://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/truly-raw-oats-vs-standard-oats/.
          Here is a statement from Red Mill brand regarding oat products:
          From Bob’s Red Mill Customer Service:
          None of our oat products are raw. They are all stabilized at 200°F for 4-5 hours to stabilize the enzyme. A raw oat will only live for about 72 hours, which is why it’s unlikely that you’ll find raw oats on the market unless you purchase them directly from a farmer.
          Please let me know if you have any further questions.

          Kind regards,
          Customer Service
          Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc.
          I shared that just to remind to watch the products you buy in making sure they are raw. So when using oat groats, it seems the same question arises….”are they raw?” It appears to steer clear of Bob’s Red Mill if this again is a concern. From the research that I have done you want to use the sprout-able oat grouts. You can find these through: http://sproutpeople.org/oatsgroats.html. If you use these, I would sprout them, dehydrate them and then grind them to a flour. Again, we facing the issues about removing the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors…thus is why we go through the soaking process.

          Addressing peanut butter: If you are making your own peanut butter, yes using wild jungle peanuts are a good choice. I have found raw peanuts in bulk at the stores but when it comes to nuts there is ALWAYS this underlying question as to how a person or a manufacture interprets the word “raw”. My only response in how to handle this is to encourage a person to contact the manufacture of the brand or source of nuts you are using. Outside of that, use your best judgement. Some of this stuff can really throw a person into mental case. My motto is to always make the best purchases with the sources I have available to me….that or don’t make it. haha It is almost a given that the peanut butter that you can purchase fresh ground in the stores is made from toasted peanuts. It will tell you on the ingredient list of the peanut butter machine.

          You made the following comment: “I thought all nuts needed to be soaked and then dehydrated to be raw …” I want to address this as well. :) The soaking and dehydrating process is not what makes a nut raw. It’s how it is processed after it comes off the tree / bush that makes it raw or not. The whole process of soaking and dehydrating a raw nut is to remove the enzymes inhibitors. I know it can all get a little confusing from time to time and just when you think you have a handle on it, new research comes out that changes everything.

          Does this help clear things up a bit for you Jennifer? If not, please let me know. Together we will iron this all out. :) Many blessings, amie sue

          • jennifer says:

            Amie Sue,

            Thank you so much for your insightful and detailed response! I so appreciate the clarity and understanding :)

            I’m so excited to try the Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies…but sometimes wish I could cut straight to the chase and buy them from you at my local health food store ;)

            Many Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!


            • amie-sue says:

              Your more than welcome Jennifer. I hope you try making the Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies too! Gosh darn, they all taste so good. lol I hope to one day have my products in the store! We are in the process of building a commercial kitchen. :) So keep that vision in your positive, happy thoughts!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well. hugs, amie sue

  3. joey says:

    I have these in the dehydrator right now. I can’t wait to try them in the morning!

  4. Dee says:

    OMG! These look amazing! I am struggling with candida related issues, so have to cut back on all sweeteners except Stevia..do you think NuNaturals NuStevia (powder pkts) would replace the agave and not affect the taste?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Dee,
      I haven’t tried making them with Stevia, so I can’t comment on how it will effect the flavor. If you sub out the agave and honey, you will need to increase the coconut oil I am guessing because you would be omitting quite a bit of liquid that helps hold it all together.

  5. mary says:

    I am new to going “raw” and have not purchased a dehydrator yet. Is there any way to set oven on low temp? And if so for how long? Also can you substitute coconut butter for coconut oil?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Mary,
      My fear of using the oven method is taking them beyond no longer being raw. I am sure you can use this method and the taste wouldn’t be effected but the raw level would. So it’s up to you. I haven’t done them that way so I can’t comment on how long to cook them for. I think you could use coconut butter but you will have to see if the batter is to dry if you do.

  6. Gina says:

    OMGSH, these cookies are just like baked cookies and so yummy! My husband came home middle of work to drop off our dog at the airport outbound to San Diego, and had missed an important opportunity to receive an award, so to show him my appreciation, I made these cookies because Nutter Butters are his favorite cookies. We shared them with our non-raw foodie friends and they raved about them too! I’m making your Living Lasagnana for our last dinner in Hawaii before we pack up the dehydrator and move to Tucson, and I hope that it will turn out just as fabulous as these cookies turned out to be. Thanks again for these wonderful recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      First of all, congratz to your husband for his award! These cookies do taste like Nutter Butters don’t they? hehe Delicious! I really appreciate you in taking the time to share this with me. :) I hope that you enjoy the lasagnana as much as we do. Please keep me posted. Good luck on your move, safe travels and let me know when you get in Tucson! amie sue

  7. Courtney says:

    I’m dying to make these… they look AMAZING!! What type of oats did you use for this recipe? Rolled oats? Whole oats? And what about for the oat flour? Greatly appreciate your help and information! Blessings, CJ

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Courtney,

      You will LOVE these cookies! I used rolled oats…same for the flour, as explained in #1 under “preparation”. These are some of my all time favorites. Let me know if you make them. :) Have fun!

  8. Jessie says:

    Can I bake these? What temp and how long? Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jessie,

      I don’t see why not but I haven’t tried it so you are treading on unknown land. :) Temp, maybe 350? How long….8-15 minutes? I would put them in and watch them like a hawk. :)

  9. Alex says:

    My, my, I could finish them all in one sitting, they are so good! Fantastic, indeed, the taste kind of resembles white chocolate. Great, thanks Amy Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      I know what you mean Alex. They are dangerous for me to make. Interesting that you got a flavor of white chocolate from it though. Sounds good :) Blessings, amie sue

  10. suzie blair says:

    Thank-you, thank-you for what you are doing. I am a vegan who is just getting her foot wet into raw. I like your approach.

    I have one question, as a vegan can I use all agave in your cookie recipe or is their another substitution you would recommend.

    Thank-you for your time.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Suzie and welcome. I can’t say yes with confidence on using agave straight across the board. Sometimes it can be textural thing and you might have to play around with the remaining ingredients to get the consistency and texture. Of course the flavor will shift some but then you expect that I am sure. Agave is also sweeter than honey so I suggest to go ahead and do so, just work in small steps, taste test along the way and have fun while your at it! Welcome and have a wonderful evening Suzie. amie sue

  11. suzie blair says:

    Thank-you amie-sue, I am just so delighted to have found your site.

    I will adopt the attitude to just play and enjoy the ride. I will have to work at that, I am type A, but you make it sound like so much fun.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Suzie,

      I am a former type A too! Nothing wrong with that, but I am learning to let go over of absolute structure. In doing so, I have been experiencing life on a new level. :) And that includes the kitchen. hehe If you can’t enjoy your food or have fun during the process, what is the point? Have a wonderful weekend Suzie.

  12. Christi says:

    Hi amie-sue,
    Would it work to use my wet , soaked oats directly or do they need to be dried first?
    Thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      Christi, you should be ok to use the wet oats, just keep an eye on the texture… I always make these with dry oats. Good luck! amie sue

  13. Aimee says:

    Dear Amie-Sue,

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your entire site and for sharing this wonderful recipe. My husband and I are trying to convert to a raw diet because of some severe health issues (Since I was 11!) and this recipe, and ones like them are such a great help I cannot put it into words. I made these with ingredients in my pantry and they are wonderful! That coming from someone who is not normally a big cookie or sweets fan. I cannot wait to try some of your other recipes. Thank you again!


    • amie-sue says:

      Oh thank you Aimee, that a blessing to wake up to such a beautiful message this morning. :) I hope that you find much inspiration through my site and never hestitate to ask questions or make comments… I love all feed-back. Many blessings on your journey! hugs, amie sue

  14. Pam says:

    I made these and they were delicious. One question about the recipe: was i supposed to make oat flour from one cup of oats or was I to end up with one cup of oat flour? Mine were just a tad bit soft and oily but, were so delicious they were eaten up very quickly.

  15. Pam says:

    Amie-sue, I read the above comments and got the answer to my question. Thanks for all the delicious recipes. I am a 52 year old vegetarian who is dabbling in raw foods. I have always enjoyed making nutritious foods and have made a few dishes from your recipes already. My family has been pleased so far. Thanks again. Blessings.

    • amie-sue says:

      Very good Pam, I am glad that you found the answer so quickly. :) Just adding some raw foods / dishes into a person’s diet is a perfect way to get some added nutrients and variety. The more fresh foods we eat and by fresh, I am also referring to whole foods (steamed or not)…. it helps to crowd out the other foods that are not as beneficial to our diets. It sounds like your on the right path. :)

  16. Lesley-Ann says:

    These cookies have ROCKED my world!!! I have been playing with raw snacks for a while, but have to say these peanut butter cookies are amazingly close to the “real” deal. Trying out your kale chip recipes next…….

    • amie-sue says:

      Lelsey-Ann, I am going to agree with you. These have always been my favorite raw cookie. I like them better than the baked version. I can’t wait to hear how the kale chips go for you. Enjoy my friend! amie sue

  17. Joanne says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    Well I finally tried making these peanut butter cookies as we have a peanut butter addiction! I am most happy to say that they were a “smashing” success. I am starting to have more fun with this. There is a learning curve and I think I am getting it now. Having good tools helps too :) thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      I agree with you Joanne. Every dietary journey has a learning curve when we are not use to it… but if you just take it one recipe at a time, you will so enjoy the process. And yes, having the right tools does make life so much more enjoyable. :) Thank you for sharing this with me, I appreciate it. amie sue

  18. Arleta says:

    O.M.G. YES! Everything on this website is amazing! All this week I just use my dehydrator (new purchase) trying your cookies and breads:) My housband loves it:)
    But in one week I am going to my family (another country) and would like to put them in stock … How long can they stay fresh?
    Sorry if you posted about it, but I can’t find it now:(

    Thank you for your quick answers:)

    Loves from Germany!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Arleta,

      I am so thrilled to hear that you have been busy creating in your kitchen! I am not sure which recipes you are referring too and I would need to know for sure to look at the ingredients to see how well they will travel. The breads should be fine for a few days. If at all possible, I would recommend freezing all of them and take them out to pack right before traveling. That would extend their shelf life a bit. I once traveled with 60 lbs of almond pulp. I froze it, and packed it in a cooler with dry ice. It stayed frozen, even 11 hrs later. I hope that you have a wonderful trip! amie sue

  19. Kayte says:

    Tried these with wet soaked oats and they turned out way to wet. Refrigerated them over night to firm them up. Also added Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips. They have to be dehydrated and I’m hoping they won’t flatten out to much or drip through the dehyrater sheet holes. I don’t have teflon sheets unfortunately. I sure hope they don’t leak through the holes. I don’t like cleaning those screens! They do taste very sweet and yummy.
    So do raw desserts need so much sweetener just for the purpose of holding them together? It would be so nice to have more that use stevia so we would have a truly healthy dessert.
    Your website is beautiful by the way. Thanks for all you do.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Kayte,

      Did you press out as much water as possible after soaking the oats? That could contribute to the batter being to wet. If you fear that a recipe is to wet to put on the mesh sheets that come with your dehydrator and don’t have the nonstick sheets, you can use parchment paper for the first part of the dry time, then transfer them to the mesh screen once dry enough.

      The level of sweetness has many roles. One, they work as a binder often and secondly, for taste. You can always use less as you build the recipe and see how the batter holds and tastes to you. Stevia pairs well with other sweeteners so you can use less many time. :)

      Have a great day, amie sue

  20. maureen says:

    Thank u!!! These cookies were amazing!

    My husband ‘s favorite cookies and the poor guy only got two🤪OOPS!

    I gave way 8 , he ate 2 ….. do the math…,, I’m a naughty girl…

    Now I know to double the recipe.

    Ever sat down to a whole jar of peanut butter…. ?

    I figured out how!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Maureen,

      Happy to hear that you all are enjoying the peanut butter cookies. They are always a favorite when I make them too. :) And NO… I wouldn’t ever trust myself to sit down with a jar of peanut butter. haha I know my limits. :P blessings, amie sue

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