This is one of my all time go-to recipes when time is short and something sweet is required. Plus, your family or guests won't believe you when you tell them that these are just 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies. (But a warning: they are addictive...)
So I know exactly what you're thinking if you haven't tried some variation of three-ingredient cookies before: how can they possibly be good or even come close to "real" cookies, right?
Believe me, I thought the same for a long time. But then desperation set in: I needed home-baked cookies in less time than I had to work with. I knew the three basic ingredients well--there are plenty of variations out there of this simple combo, so with no time to spare I grabbed the ingredients, made my best estimates as to a good baking ratio and crossed my fingers.
The result? They were sooooo good, like you wouldn't believe how good. These delicate but chewy peanut butter cookies tasted just like the real thing! And from that day on I continued to test and tweak until these cookies were absolutely...perfect.
PS: If you love peanut butter as much as I do and want to venture off cookies and into a delicious (and healthy!) snack, you have to try these peanut butter protein balls too. 😉
So at this point you're probably wondering, well, just what are the three ingredients (spoiler alert: one is peanut butter), and how can these cookies be so easy??
And here they are:
- peanut butter
- brown sugar (white sugar works too; I just prefer the taste of brown!)
- a large egg
- bonus ingredient: ½ teaspoon sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional, but highly recommended!!)
Yep, that's it! And these simple, flourless peanut butter cookies will work out great if you follow just a few important tips below.
Tip #1: If you use natural peanut butter for this recipe (the one that you can see the oil separated on top), just make sure you stir in and incorporate all of the oil really well first. I like using creamy peanut butter best, but crunchy works too if you like crunchier cookies! Also, make sure it has salt added--if not, you'll definitely want to see tip #3 below.
Tip #2: Once you get the three basic ingredients mixed together, let your cookie dough "set" by leaving it on the countertop for about 10-15 minutes. This lets the sugar incorporate and the consistency to become a bit more solid before you form the cookies.
Tip #3: Yes, I know I said these are three ingredient peanut butter cookies, but if you happen to have some sea salt on hand, go ahead and sprinkle a little on your cookies just before they go into the oven. Call them 4 ingredient peanut butter cookies, and you can thank me later. 🙂
To get started, preheat your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this makes for super easy cleanup afterward.)
Then mix the peanut butter, brown sugar and egg together in a large bowl and stir well to incorporate. Let the dough stand and set for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto your baking sheet, leaving a couple inches in between each, and then make a crisscross pattern on each ball using the back of a large fork to gently press down on the dough. Lastly, sprinkle some sea salt over the cookies before they go in the oven (optional, but so delicious!)
Bake for 12-13 minutes or just until the edges start to brown, and then let the cookies stand on the baking sheet for another five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Once they're cool, these 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter (see notes)
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar or white sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt optional, but recommended
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Mix: In a large mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, brown sugar and egg and stir well to incorporate. Let the dough stand for at least 10 minutes on the countertop.
- Bake: Use a tablespoon measure to scoop out balls of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving a couple inches in between each, and then use the back of a large fork to gently press down each cookie, creating a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt (if using) and then bake for 12-13 minutes or just until the edges start to brown. Once out of the oven, let the cookies set on the baking sheet for another five minutes.
- Enjoy: Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy! Cookies can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
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