Welcome to this delicious recipe for healthy, “raw” peanut butter cookies.
These tasty treats are perfect for vegans, vegetarians, those with gluten or sugar-free lifestyles, and anyone looking to enjoy a guilt-free snack.
The best part? They’re incredibly easy to make with just four ingredients and no baking required.
Once you try these cookies, you’ll be hooked on their soft, doughy texture, and the irresistible taste of peanut butter (who doesn’t love peanut butter?).
A note on “raw”
These particular cookies may or may not be labeled as “raw”, depending on the ingredients you use.
If you want 100% raw food, make sure the ingredients you use are raw. For example, most peanut butters are made with roasted nuts, so wouldn’t count as raw.
There’s definitely no cooking involved in the recipe though!
- Almond meal: Almond meal gives the cookies a smooth texture. You can also use whole nuts and make your own ‘meal’, which will give the cookies more of a crunchy texture. I’ve tried the recipe with almonds and cashews.
- Pitted medjool dates: These naturally sweet and chewy fruits replace sugar in adding sweetness to the cookies. Just make sure to remove the pits before processing.
- Natural peanut butter (or other nut butter): Choose your favorite nut butter to give these cookies their rich, creamy flavor. Natural peanut butter is the healthier option.
- Pure vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla extract enhances the flavors and adds depth to the cookies. Always opt for pure vanilla extract instead of artificial for the best taste.
Step 1: make the cookie dough
If you’ve got whole almonds, process them in a food processor until they resemble a coarse meal. If you have almond meal, you can skip this step.
Add pitted medjool dates, peanut butter, and pure vanilla extract to your food processor. If using almond meal, add this along with the other ingredients.
Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form a dough. This should take about 2 minutes.
Pro tip: If it doesn’t come together or isn’t sticky enough, add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough can be shaped. See my guide on softening hard cookie dough, especially if it’s chilled.
Step 2: form the cookies
Form the dough into small balls and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. You can leave them like this and call them ‘bites’.
Or gently press each ball with a fork to create the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
Let the cookie sit for an hour in the fridge before serving them for best results. They can look a little oily at first, but this will go away with time.
Hint: A word of warning on the dates… processing the dates can put a bit of strain on your food processor, so process the mixture with caution. Strong blenders will be fine, but you might struggle with weaker ones.
How to successfully blend dates
Not sure your food processor can handle the dates? Here are some tips:
Use soft dates. If your dates are hard, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes before you start working with them.
Chop dates into small pieces before blending, and then start with a pulsing action rather than a full-on blend.
The pulsing will ‘chop’ the dates even more.
Then when you’re blending, blend in intervals. Blend for a few seconds, then pause to let the food processor rest – this will prevent it from overheating (because you might be blending for some time).
If the mixture is really sticky, adding a teaspoon or so of water can help.
And don’t forget to scrape down the sides to incorporate any stubborn date pieces and ensure a smooth blend.
Fancy adding a twist to this simple recipe? There are only 4 ingredients, after all!
- Add a handful of cacao nibs to the dough for a chocolatey twist.
- Swap out peanut butter for sunflower seed butter to make this recipe nut-free.
- Mix in some chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or dried fruit pieces to add extra texture.
- Experiment with adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a dash of sea salt to the dough for a more complex and interesting flavor profile. You can also try adding a bit of orange or lemon zest for a refreshing citrus twist.
These chocolate-dipped cookies are also such a delicious treat, I had to share:
Keep leftover cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cold temperature helps maintain their freshness and chewy texture.
However, if you find yourself with stale, hard cookies, then check out my foolproof guide to softening stale cookies.
You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. Place them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. After all, you can freeze peanut butter!
They won’t freeze solid because of the oil in the peanut butter, so you can eat them straight from the freezer.
Or let them warm at room temperature for an hour.
Raw Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup raw or dry-roasted, whole almonds (or almond meal)
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- If you’re using whole almonds, process them until they resemble a coarse meal.
- Add the dates, peanut butter and vanilla; if you’re using already-prepared almond meal, just toss all the ingredients into the food processor together. If the nut butter isn’t salted, you may add a few pinches of salt.
- Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form a dough, about 2 minutes. If it doesn’t seem to come together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter and process again.
- Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Press each ball gently with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
- Store in the refrigerator.