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Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten Free and Sugar Free options)

Heavenly vegan peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies!  Soft and chewy, bursting with chocolate chunks, and so easy to make you won’t feel bad about eating the full batch in one sitting.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

I was a picky eater as a child.  The only food my parents were certain I’d actually eat in my lunchbox was a peanut butter sandwich.  Not peanut butter and jelly… just peanut butter on thin white bread.  Oh how I’ve grown (though to be honest that still sounds amazing).

I know of few better pairings in the baking world than peanut butter and chocolate, and you must agree or else you wouldn’t be here right now!  You have good taste, wise reader.

I tried so many versions of a peanut butter & chocolate chip or chunk cookie, I stopped keeping count.  If you have a question about substitutions here, I assure you I can answer anything.  But I love this final version so much.  The cookie itself has a bit of a crisp outside, and the most decadent chewy and soft insides.  I personally prefer chunks to chips because I think they hold their own better here, but honestly the peanut butter part of the cookie is so good I don’t even mind bites without the chocolate!  Feel free to make these as just plain peanut butter cookies, they hold up.

How To Make Them:

These vegan peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies really couldn’t be easier!  My favorite part of this recipe is that the peanut butter provides the only fat content, no need to deal with any other butter or oil, so your first step is creaming together the peanut butter and sugar (see the Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make these sugar free!) the way you normally would with butter. 

Next up you mix in the other wet ingredients – non-dairy milk and vanilla extract – and mix until smooth. Then add in the dry ingredients – gluten free flour and baking soda – and mix again. Add salt ONLY if your peanut butter is unsalted, otherwise it will be oversalted.   

Finally, add in chocolate chips or chunks!

All ingredients combined without chocolate chunks
All ingredients including chocolate chunks

The big question – to chill, or not to chill?  In this recipe I recommend chilling the dough, though if you’re in a rush you can get away without.  Without chilling they are honestly still delicious cookies, just very dense and chewy.  With chilling they puff up, get softer on the inside, and get that outside crispy goodness.  My taste testers have all preferred the chilled ones, but agree unchilled are still wonderful.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies - dough
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies - dough
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

The one big consideration here is the difference between your peanut butter and my peanut butter.  This is one of those tricky ingredients that varies based on brand, whether or not it’s natural, and so many more x-factors.  I use smooth Skippy peanut butter in all of my peanut butter recipes, since I find that’s the most accessible to all people.  If you are using natural peanut butter, you may need to add some additional vegan milk to help keep it creamier.  I’ve added all these photos of my process so you can try to match your dough consistency to mine along the way.

That’s it! Time to eat your amazing vegan peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies!! Nutritional info can be found in the Notes section below the recipe instructions.

Storage:

After they have cooled, seal in an air-tight container and store at room temperature.  They will stay good for 3-5 days.

Pro tips and tools:

  • Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • This tip goes for all cookie recipes – if it is your first time trying a new cookie recipe, if you have the time, I always suggest baking one cookie first before putting the full batch in the oven.  That way if something is not working right for your batch, you can adjust before you’ve wasted all the dough.  If it spreads too much, adding a little more flour is usually a safe fix.  If it’s too dry and not spreading at all, it may need some more liquid ingredients, in this case a bit more non-dairy milk.
  • Make sure your chocolate chunks or chips are vegan.  I use these bars for chunks or this brand for chips, but whatever you like best will work!
  • I always keep a large round cookie cutter or a mason jar lid next to my oven, that way when the cookies come out if they are misshapen I can quickly use the round lid to help reshape the dough before it has firmed up.
  • If you want to achieve that perfect chocolate chip cookie look, while the cookies are cooling, you can lightly press a few extra chunks or chips into the tops. 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Ingredients needed:

  • Smooth peanut butter – Important note!  I used Skippy peanut butter for this recipe.  If you are using natural peanut butter, you may need to add in some more non-dairy milk, depending on how dry your dough comes out.  I have included tons of pictures of the process so you can make sure your moisture content matches.  Peanut butter is a tricky ingredient because every brand is a little different. 
  • Granulated sugar – If you want to make these sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Non-dairy milk – I always go almond for cookies, it’s my personal favorite taste, but your preferred milk should work just fine.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Chocolate chunks or chips – Make sure these are dairy free to keep it vegan!  Like I said, I prefer chunks here, but chips are great too.  Or skip them, or swap them out for nuts!  Dealer’s choice.
  • Salt – only if your peanut butter is unsalted!  Otherwise it will skew the taste if you oversalt.

What To Bake Next:

Artistic photo of completed cookies on a tray

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten Free option)

Heavenly peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies!  Soft and chewy, bursting with chocolate chunks, and so easy to make you won’t feel bad about eating the full batch in one sitting.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chill Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Birthday Party, Dessert, Lunch Box, Snack
Servings 16 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter I use Skippy peanut butter here.  If you choose to use natural peanut butter you may need to add more milk to moisten the dough.  Follow along with the pictures to keep it looking like the recipe used here!
  • 1 cup granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chunks or chips
  • ½ tsp salt only if your peanut butter is unsalted!!

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and the granulated sugar until fully combined.
  • Stir in the non-dairy milk and vanilla extract.  Next, stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt if using.  At this point the dough should be pretty thick, but not too crumbly.  See the photos if you’re concerned that you may need to add more milk. 
  • Finally, add in chocolate chunks or chips.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. *see notes if you want to skip this step
  • While your dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 350°F, and line pans with parchment paper.
  • Once the dough is chilled, remove from the fridge and scoop balls the size of rounded tablespoons. You should get around 16.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes. The cookies will continue to cook on the tray after you remove them! Let them rest for about 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Notes

  • I use Skippy peanut butter here. If you choose to use natural peanut butter you may need to add more milk to moisten the dough. Follow along with the pictures to keep it looking like the recipe used here!
  • If you do not have time to chill the dough, the cookies will still turn out delicious. Without chilling they are denser and chewier, with chilling they have a softer chew on the inside and puff up a bit more. My taste testers have all preferred the chilled ones, but agree unchilled are still wonderful.

NUTRITION INFO

Total amount: 16 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie
Per serving amounts:
  • Calories – 255
  • Grams of fat – 13.2
  • Grams of carbs – 31.4
  • Grams of protein – 5.4
Keyword chocolate, chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chunk, cookies, gluten free, gluten free cookies, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, peanut butter cookies, vegan, vegan cookies
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