Indulge in the irresistible blend of rich cocoa, creamy peanut butter, and wholesome oats with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, a gluten-free option that offers a satisfying chewiness and the perfect touch of sweetness, ready in under 30 minutes.
If you’ve made our famous peanut butter oatmeal cookies or our flourless monster cookies, then you will adore these chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. They are made sans flour with an oatmeal peanut butter base.
Actually, these are a variation of our PB oatmeal cookies, which means we’ve made and tested this recipe more times than you can imagine!
What is in Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies?
- All-Natural Creamy Peanut Butter: This ingredient contributes to the rich and nutty flavor that is one of the signature tastes of the cookies. The recommendation to use an all-natural product like Smucker’s emphasizes the importance of this ingredient.
- Cocoa Powder: Adding a deep chocolate flavor, the cocoa powder complements the peanut butter and enriches the overall taste profile of the cookies.
- Quick-Cooking Oats: These provide a chewy texture and wholesome, hearty flavor, which is a distinguishing feature of oatmeal cookies.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks: These chocolate chunks elevate the cookies by adding pockets of intense chocolate flavor and a pleasing textural contrast.
Easy Ingredient Swaps
- Butter: If you want to make these cookies dairy-free, you can use coconut oil or a plant-based butter substitute.
- Light Brown Sugar: You can substitute with coconut sugar or granulated white sugar if you prefer.
- Maple Syrup: Honey or agave syrup could be used as alternatives.
- Gluten-Free Oats: If gluten is not a concern, regular quick-cooking oats can be used.
- Peanut Butter: If there’s a nut allergy, sunflower seed butter or almond butter can be a suitable replacement.
A note on the oats: we tested this cookie with rolled oats and we much prefer quick-cooking because it will hold together better.
- Add Nuts: For additional crunch and flavor, consider adding chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
- Different Chocolate: Experiment with dark chocolate or milk chocolate chunks for a different chocolate flavor profile.
- Spice It Up: A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg can add warmth and complexity.
- Add Dried Fruit: Raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried apricots can be mixed into the dough for added sweetness and texture (similar to our kitchen sink cookies!).
Remember to adjust the cooking time and method slightly if necessary based on the specific substitutions or additions you make, as they may alter the texture or moisture content of the cookie dough. These variations and substitutions can help you tailor the recipe to personal tastes, and dietary preferences, or simply add a new twist!
Why are my cookies spreading too much or not enough?
Cookies can spread too much if the dough is too warm or if there’s too much fat or sugar. Refrigerating the dough before baking can help. If they’re not spreading enough, it might be due to the dough being too cold or over-measured flour.
Do I need to use natural peanut butter for this recipe?
In this specific recipe, natural peanut butter is recommended. Do not use Jiff or other non-drippy peanut butter varieties as it will impact the texture and consistency of these cookies.
What if I don’t have parchment paper?
If you don’t have parchment paper, you can lightly grease the baking sheet or use a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking.
Can I use old fashioned oats instead of quick cooking oats?
Quick-cooking oats are usually preferred for a softer texture, but old-fashioned oats can be used for a chewier cookie. It may slightly alter the texture and appearance of the cookie.
Once completely cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you want to keep them longer, freezing is a good option.
- To freeze the dough: you can shape the cookie dough into balls and freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. They can be baked straight from the freezer, but you might need to add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.
- To freeze the cookies: I personally like to freeze already-made cookies for an easy grab-and-go option. Let your cookies cool completely and then transfer them into a gallon-size freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Smoothies: Serve these cookies with a protein-packed smoothie. The cookies can be a tasty crunch to complement a nourishing beverage 😀
- Frozen Yogurt or Nice Cream: A scoop of frozen yogurt or a homemade “nice cream” made from blended frozen bananas could provide a cooling contrast to the chewy cookies.
- Fruit Salad: Pair the cookies with a fresh and vibrant fruit salad for a lighter dessert option. The sweetness and acidity of the fruits can balance the rich flavors of chocolate and peanut butter.
- Coffee: Serve the cookies as a delightful accompaniment to a cup of freshly brewed pour over coffee. A spiced chai or a robust espresso could complement the flavors particularly well.
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter* (we used Smuckers)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats gluten-free if desired
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks + more for topping
- Flakey sea salt for garnish
First, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, combine melted butter and brown sugar until there are no lumps (we used an electric mixer for this step, but you can use a hand whisk, too). Then, add maple syrup, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix again.
Add salt, quick-cooking oats, cocoa powder, and baking soda and mix until everything is combined. Add in chocolate chunks and mix again.
Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes to set.
Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of cookie dough into your hands and form it into a ball. Place it onto the cookie sheet and slightly press down to form a cookie shape. The batter will feel a bit wet, but it will be so soft and chewy when done baking!*
Repeat the process above until you’ve fit 12 cookies on the baking sheet.
Add more chocolate chunks to the top, if desired.
Bake cookies at 350ºF for 11-14 minutes or until they begin to crack on the top.
Remove cookies and let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of moments before transferring them to a wire rack to continue cooling for at least 20 minutes to firm up. Sprinkle the cookies with flakey sea salt.
Tips & Notes
- We use Smucker’s all-natural peanut butter (or similar style peanut butter(, where you must stir in the oil. This type of peanut butter is extra drippy. We do not recommend using a brand like skippy or JIFF for this recipe.
- Cookie dough: the cookies will spread just a bit when baking. If you don’t press them down, you will get dome-shaped cookies.
- If you use less than 2 tablespoons of dough, reduce your bake time by 1-2 minutes as your cookies will be smaller.
- It might help to slightly moisten your hands before rolling the cookie dough and washing your hands in-between balls because the dough is pretty sticky.
Calories: 227kcal Carbohydrates: 24g Protein: 5g Fat: 13g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 16g
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.