I have a long-standing love affair with peanut butter. It goes way, way back. When I was in elementary school, I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day. No jelly. Just peanut butter. Usually crunchy. And on white bread. Yes, I know. White bread is like the most nutritionally bankrupt bread, but it’s so good! And to a kid in grade school, what could be better than that? Certainly not those awful chewy rectangles the school cafeteria tried to pass off as pizza! Um, let me see? Nasty, gross pizza or rich and creamy peanut butter on soft white bread? Not even a contest!
My love for peanut butter has not diminished over the years. Still as strong as ever, but nowadays, I usually eat natural peanut butter and tend to pair it with an apple rather than white bread. I switched to natural peanut butter about a year ago in an effort to cut down on some of the sugar in my diet. It took some adjusting, but I’ve learned to really love it.
Unfortunately, natural peanut butter is not always a good match for baking. Natural peanut butter is much thinner than traditional peanut butter at room temperature. If you’ve ever eaten natural peanut butter, you know that the oil tends to separate from the ground peanuts, and it takes a lot of stirring to get all mixed back together. (Storing natural peanut butter upside down in the fridge can help alleviate this problem!) The extra oils can cause things like cookies to spread more than one would like and may result in a crispier texture. So to avoid these issues, the vast majority of recipes assume that “regular” peanut butter like Jif or Skippy will be used.
Lucky for us, these Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies work just perfectly with natural peanut butter! No problems with spreading at all! These cookies are slightly crisp on the outside, but super soft and chewy on the inside. With the addition of finely chopped salted peanuts, the cookies are bursting with peanut flavor! And since these are cookies, we can’t get away from sugar entirely even if it’s not in our peanut butter. 🙂
Did you know?
Not all sugars are vegan. You may be thinking, “But doesn’t sugar come from a plant, and wouldn’t that be vegan?” Sugar comes from one of two sources – sugar cane or sugar beets. No animals here, so what’s the deal? The deal is bone char, which is used in sugar’s decolorizing process. Bone char is typically made from the bones of cows, so therefore sugars using this particular process for lightening are not vegan. Beet sugar does not use the bone char process and is always vegan. However, not all cane sugars are created equally. And it’s not just white granulated sugars, either. Brown and confectioners sugars sourced from cane sugar also could be processed using bone char. If you want to ensure your cane sugar is vegan, check the labels. Generally, organic sugars are vegan, and most will specifically indicate so.
Be sure to have a glass of milk nearby when you eat these Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies! They are rich, and the addition of oats makes them a hearty snack. Maybe even substantial enough for breakfast. Lots of fiber and protein, right? 😉
Whatever time of day you eat these Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, you will not be disappointed in this soft and chewy cookie jam-packed with peanuty goodness!
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups oats quick-cooking or rolled
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 4 teaspoons ground flax seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped/ground salted roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the oats and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together oil, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, non-dairy milk, flax seeds, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Add in the peanuts and mix on low speed until blended.
Fold in half of the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until moistened. Fold in the remaining half of the flour mixture and again mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined.
Using a 1 ½ or 2 tablespoon scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2-inches of space between each cookie. Flatten each cookie slightly with fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges of cookies just start to brown. Let the cookies rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container.