As a kid, Monster cookies (soft peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chip and M&Ms) were my favorite. Have you tried those?! I hate to admit that I’ve outgrown my old love for M&M peanut butter oatmeal cookies but now…I think these healthy peanut butter cookies with flaky sea salt are my new favorite. They’re like the grown-up version of Monster cookies.
They’re sweet & salty, plus soft & chewy, AND like Monster cookies typically are, they also happen to be gluten-free.
These peanut butter cookies are relatively simple, too, with just oats, peanut butter, eggs, baking soda, sugar or coconut sugar, and chocolate chips.
I’ve tried quite a few simple healthy peanut butter cookie recipes and have been bummed when they were crumbly or dry, including the Internet-famous 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies with just peanut butter, an egg, and sugar (I think mine may have been dry because I used natural peanut butter).
So, I’ve been working on the perfect natural, healthy peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe for a while.
I tried batches with old fashioned vs. quick oats, a combination of oat flour AND oats vs. just oats, an extra egg, and more. I think this final version is just right.
These healthy oatmeal peanut butter cookies are super soft and chewy, and just sweet enough. I’m all for soft cookies over crispy cookies (although if you prefer crispy, you can just bake them a bit longer).
Like many of my gluten-free baking recipes, I used oats because they’re a great base in lots of cookie recipes and lots of folks already have oats in their pantry. Just be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you have a serious gluten allergy.
As far as cookies go, these are so easy to make, too, with no softened butter or mixer needed!
Just stir six simple ingredients together: natural peanut butter, coconut sugar or regular sugar (whatever you have), eggs, vanilla, quick OR old-fashioned oats, and chocolate chips.
I tested these cookies with both Costco and Simple Truth organic natural peanut butter, and both worked great.
Using natural peanut butter in recipes that were tested with traditional peanut butter sometimes results in dry or crumbly baked goods, so these were all tested with natural peanut butter. Using traditional peanut butter in recipes written for natural peanut butter tends to swap better rather than the other way around!
Roll the cookie dough into balls and press each one down with a fork or spatula because like most peanut butter cookies, they don’t spread much on their own. Then, sprinkle the tops with flake salt.
For pretty cookies, I always press an extra chocolate chip or a few onto the top of each one after I press them down.
After 8 minutes in the oven, your healthy peanut butter cookies are ready to enjoy!
Why Use Flake Salt?
I held off on buying flake salt forever just because it wasn’t a typical ingredient in my pantry, but I think this little addition takes cookies from normal to bakery-level fancy. 🤩 I just loveee the sweet/salty combo and a salted chocolate chip cookie or salted peanut butter cup cookie is too good.
If you haven’t baked with flaky sea salt before, it’s pretty different from regular salt. You can see the thin flakes on top of the cookies, and it’s just pleasantly salty enough.
Now that I have flake salt around, I’ve found myself adding it to lots more, like sprinkling on a bowl of chocolate ice cream or on top of chocolate smoothie loaded with toppings.
Where to Buy Flake Sea Salt
I was a little surprised when I couldn’t find flaky sea salt at my Super Target, but I ended up ordering this Maldon flaky salt from Amazon. It looks like it’s currently sold out, but here’s a similar one. I’ve also spotted it at Whole Foods since then.
If you enjoy these healthy peanut butter cookies, let me know in a comment or take a photo and tag me @livbane on Instagram. I’d love to see!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
- 1 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar or regular sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt for topping (if you need to omit, add 1/2 tsp. regular table salt to the cookie dough)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in oats and baking soda until almost combined, and then add chocolate chips and stir to fully combine.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop 20 tablespoon-size balls of dough onto cookie sheet. Firmly press each cookie dough ball to flatten. Add an extra chocolate chip or two for pretty cookies and then top each cookie with a few flakes of salt.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, until cookies appear set. They will continue to set on the baking sheet and under-baking is better! Enjoy warm and store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g