These gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies are the gluten free version of a holiday cookie classic. They’s soft and chewy, with a crackly crust and they simply melt in your mouth. Each cookie is topped with a milk chocolate kiss candy, and the combination of the peanut butter with the milk chocolate is just heavenly. They’re incredibly easy to make and a wonderful addition to your Christmas cookie lineup.
Today, I’m sharing the gluten free version of a holiday classic. Yes, we’re talking gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies.
This recipe combines all the very best things: peanut butter, chocolate and soft, slightly chewy cookies. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s a match made in flavour (and texture) heaven. Every bite just melts in your mouth, and the mingling of the peanut butter and milk chocolate is simply divine.
These cookies are incredibly easy to make and they’re a wonderful addition to your holiday baking lineup. And even though these are gluten free, they’re guaranteed to be a huge hit with everyone, regardless of whether or not they have to follow a gluten free diet.
What are peanut butter blossom cookies?
While I’m sure you know exactly what these are if you’re from the US (they are, after all, something of a holiday classic there), the rest of the world seems to be slightly less familiar with them… or, you know, it might be just me – I’ve only really been aware of them for the last year or so. I know, I’ve definitely been missing out.
Peanut butter blossom cookies have been around since 1957. They’re soft peanut butter cookies, rolled in granulated sugar before baking, that are topped with a Hershey’s Kiss chocolate candy immediately out of the oven. Apparently, the cookie was developed in Ohio as an entry into the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest – and gosh, I’d like to give a big hug to their creator because they are AMAZING. You can read more about the history of these cookies here.
The original cookies were made with regular wheat flour – and today, I’m sharing with you my gluten free version that’s just as delicious and just as easy to make.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing cookies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
How to make gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies
Making these delicious gluten free cookies is incredibly easy. You don’t need any special equipment (no stand or hand mixers) and all the ingredients are your standard gluten free pantry staples.
However, if you’d like to use a mixer anyway, you definitely can! I don’t recommend using a hand mixer as it tends to incorporate too much air into the cookie dough (more on that below). Instead, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and always mix on the lower speed settings – again, you don’t want to whip too much air into the mixture.
Here’s a video that takes you through the process step by step:
Making the peanut butter cookie dough
The main thing when making the cookie dough is to MIX all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined without incorporating air into the mixture. You want the cookies to rise in the oven due to the presence of the baking soda, and not due to any air trapped into the cookie dough.
I’ve optimised the amount of baking soda to give perfectly soft and chewy cookies that are slightly crisp around the edges and have a prettily cracked surface. If you also incorporate air into the cookie dough, the cookies will end up spreading and cracking too much in the oven. So, remember: mix – don’t cream, whip or aerate.
Here’s how you make the peanut butter cookie dough:
- Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, mix together the peanut butter, softened unsalted butter, white caster/superfine or granulated sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, and mix well.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (plain gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt) and add them to the butter-sugar mixture.
- Mix well until the mixture comes together in a smooth cookie dough with no patches of dry, unmixed flour.
The final cookie dough shouldn’t be sticky to the touch or too soft. You should be able to easily form it into balls with your hands, without it sticking to your fingers and palms. However:
- If the cookie dough feels too dry and crumbly to easily handle, add a small amount of milk (one teaspoon at a time) until the dough feels more manageable.
- If the cookie dough is too soft and sticky to easily form into balls, add more gluten free flour blend (one tablespoon at a time) until the dough is easy to handle.
Note that the dough should be manageable without having to chill it in the fridge at any stage.
A note about the peanut butter & cookie dough consistency
In this recipe, I’m using a natural (unprocessed), unsweetened, smooth peanut butter. In general, I don’t like using processed peanut butter in my baking. When using natural, unsweetened peanut butter, you have far more control over the sweetness of the final cookies – plus, good quality natural peanut butter carries far more flavour and will therefore result in much more delicious cookies.
However, peanut butter can vary widely in consistency (and also fat content, to a smaller extent). In this recipe, I used the Whole Earth smooth peanut butter that isn’t too runny. Other peanut butter brands might be much runnier, others might be thicker and “drier”.
This introduces a degree of unpredictability into the recipe. So, you might need to adjust the amount of flour OR add a bit of milk to account for that:
- If your peanut butter is on the runnier side, your cookie dough might be too soft and sticky. It will be difficult to form into balls and it might spread out too much in the oven. In that case, add more gluten free flour blend (one tablespoon at a time) until the dough is easy to handle.
- If your peanut butter is very thick and “drier”, your cookie dough might end up too dry and crumbly. When you try to form balls, it might not stick together very well. In that case, add a small amount of milk (one teaspoon at a time) until the dough feels more manageable.
Assembling the cookies
Once you’ve made your peanut butter cookie dough (and ensured that it has the right texture and consistency) you need roll it into balls. Each ball should contain about 1 generous tablespoon of cookie dough, or about 18g.
Then, roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar and place them onto a large lined baking sheet.
Baking the cookies
These gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies need only a very short time in the oven: they’re perfectly baked after 8-10 minutes in an 350ºF (180ºC) oven. They should be very light golden in colour on top, and golden-brown around the very edges. They will expand during baking to form little rounded mounds and they’ll be cracked in places – that’s exactly as they should be.
They might look a bit underbaked in the very centre, and that’s perfectly okay. They will continue to bake and set as they cool on the baking sheet. Taking them out of the oven when they’re not 100% fully baked through ensures a perfectly soft and chewy texture of the cooled cookies.
Immediately out of the oven, while the cookies are still hot and a bit soft, press a milk chocolate Hershey’s kiss into the centre of each cookie. The heat from the cookie will soften and slightly melt the Hershey’s kiss, but they will still hold their shape beautifully.
My favourite time to enjoy these cookies is when they’re still slightly warm and the chocolate candy is still a bit soft and therefore extra luscious. Every bite simply melts in your mouth and you get this wonderful explosion of flavour, where the milk chocolate mingles with the peanut butter cookie goodness.
More amazing gluten free cookie recipes
As we’re nearing Christmas and we’re therefore officially in the cookie baking season, here are a few other gluten free cookie favourites:
- The Ultimate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten Free Caramel Cookies (Homemade Twix)
- Gluten Free Pistachio Biscotti
- Soft & Chewy Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies
- Extra Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies
- Hazelnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
- Gluten Free Vanillekipferl
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Shortbread Stars
And there you have it, friends. Everything you need to know in order to make the most amazing gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies – so you won’t have to miss out on this holiday classic even if you can’t eat gluten.
These are definitely one of the easiest cookies you could possibly make – and they always look incredibly pretty and taste AMAZING. If you want to play around with colours and decorations, you could roll them in sprinkles or coloured sanding sugar before baking for a fun, colourful, extra-festive twist. Or you could use different flavours of Hershey’s Kisses chocolate candy instead. The options are endless, so just have fun with it.
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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Peanut butter cookies:
- 130 g (½ cup) natural (unprocessed), unsweetened, smooth peanut butter
- 113 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g (½ cup) light brown soft sugar
- 100 g (½ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 US large/UK medium egg, room temperature
- 1 US large/UK medium egg yolk, room temperature
- 260 g (2 cups + 3 tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a digital food scale for best results.)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xantahn gum.)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
You will also need:
- 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies before baking
- 42-44 milk chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped
Peanut butter cookie dough:
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment/baking paper.Tip: You will bake the cookies in several batches, so you can line 2-3 baking sheets if you have them on hand. Otherwise, just re-use the same baking sheet, but make sure to cool it completely before you place the next batch of unbaked cookies onto it.
- In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, mix together the peanut butter, softened unsalted butter, caster/superfine or granulated sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla until well combined. (Note: mix, don't whip or aerate.)You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lower speed settings. I don't recommend using a hand mixer, as it tends to incorporate too much air into the mixture.Tip: You don't want to cream the peanut butter, unsalted butter and sugar together, as that aerates the mixture (that is, it incorporates air into it), which can cause the cookies to spread and crack too much in the oven.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt, and add them to the butter-sugar mixture.
- Mix well until the mixture comes together in a smooth cookie dough with no patches of dry, unmixed flour. The final cookie dough shouldn’t be sticky to the touch or too soft. You should be able to easily form it into balls with your hands, without it sticking to your fingers and palms. You shouldn't need to refrigerate it.Tip: Depending on the brand/type of peanut butter you're using, you might need to slightly adjust the texture and consistency of your cookie dough at this point.If the cookie dough feels too dry and crumbly to easily handle, add a small amount of milk (one teaspoon at a time) until the dough feels more manageable.If the cookie dough is too soft and sticky to easily form into balls, add more gluten free flour blend (one tablespoon at a time) until the dough is easy to handle.
Shaping the cookies:
- Shape about 1 tablespoon (about 18g) portions of cookie dough into balls. You should get 42-44 cookies in total.
- Roll each ball in granulated sugar until it's fully coated.
- Place the cookie dough balls on the lined baking sheets, at least 1 ½-2 inches (4-5cm) apart. The cookies will spread and expand during baking.
- Bake one baking sheet at a time at 350ºF (180ºC) for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are very light golden in colour on top and golden-brown around the very edges. They will expand during baking to form little rounded mounds and they’ll be cracked in places.Tip: The cookies might look slightly underbaked in the very centre, and that’s perfectly okay. They will continue to bake and set as they cool on the baking sheet. Taking them out of the oven when they’re not 100% fully baked through ensures a perfectly soft and chewy texture of the cooled cookies.
Assembling the cookies:
- Immediately out of the oven, while the cookies are still hot and a bit soft, press a milk chocolate kiss candy into the centre of each cookie.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- You can serve them either warm or completely cooled.
- The gluten free peanut butter blossom cookies keep well in an airtight container in a cool dry place for about 1 week.