Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

flourless peanut butter cookies recipe
After I discovered flourless peanut butter cookies, I’ve never once made peanut butter cookies the traditional way again. You might ask why we need to go flourless on something that doesn’t taste bad with flour in it. Well, peanut butter cookies don’t need to be flourless. It’s just that some of us — even those who have no issues with gluten — prefer flourless peanut butter cookies to traditional ones, because the peanut flavor in flourless peanut butter cookies is much, much more pronounced. The cookies are also moister and remain that way longer. They even taste great frozen.

If you’ve never had peanut butter cookies made without any added flour, you should really try them. Even if you still won’t abandon your traditional peanut butter cookies for these flourless ones like I have, I still think you’d consider this another great version of peanut butter cookies.

Not all flourless peanut butter cookie recipes out there are great, however. I’ve tried a few and while some are quite good, some are disappointing. Some produce cookies that spread out too much in the oven. Some produce cookies that are too dry and powdery. Fortunately, I’ve found the Goldilocks of flourless peanut butter cookies.

These flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are from one of San Francisco’s best chocolatiers, Recchiuti.

This is, to date, the best recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies I have ever come across. The ingredient list is short. And though the fat content is not so low since it’s peanut butter we’re talking here, these cookies are lower in fat than many others since they don’t have any fat other than what’s in natural peanut butter. True, chocolate provides added fat, but you can cut it out entirely without any ill effects. I’ve made this recipe several times before with no chocolate added and always been pleased with the results.

What I love best about these cookies, in addition to them being absolutely delicious, is that you can mix the batter by hand with just a wooden spoon (even easier if you warm up the peanut butter in the microwave just slightly). Fewer things to wash. You’ve got to love that.

flourless peanut butter cookies
The recipe instructs you to mix the dark chocolate chunks right into the batter, and you can certainly do that. However, this batch you’re looking at here was my — I don’t know — 200th batch (?), so I thought I would convert it into thumbprint cookies for fun and in anticipation of the upcoming holidays.

All you have to do is follow the recipe as it is written (although I replaced white sugar with dark brown sugar for this particular batch). Instead of stirring the chocolate chunks into the batter, set them aside. Form the batter into 24 balls, flatten them, arranged them on Silpat- or parchment-lined cookie sheets with about 2 inches of space between them, and make an indentation in the middle of each with the end of a wooden spoon before you bake them. Once the cookies are done, you’ll need to reinforce the indentations while the cookies are still very warm right out of the oven. [This is because the cookies will have puffed up somewhat and the “wells” in their centers are too shallow for the chocolate filling.]

While the cookies are still warm and on the baking sheets, fill their centers with the chocolate chunks (you can use chocolate chips) which should slowly melt upon contact with the warm cookies. If your cookies have cooled down a bit too much and the chocolate chunks don’t melt readily, briefly pop the cookies back in the oven which, at this point, should still be warm. Smooth out the surface of the melted chocolate with the tip of a small knife or a toothpick.

flourless peanut butter cookie
Transfer the thumbprint cookies to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely and the chocolate filling to firm up to soft ganache consistency before serving.

Additional notes on the recipe: The recipe calls for natural peanut butter and chopped roasted peanuts. You can eliminate one step by using chunky natural peanut butter and forget the roasted peanuts. I usually double the recipe and use one whole 16-ounce of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter (chunky).

Regardless, the success of this recipe rests on your peanut butter being natural. You cannot use the kind of peanut butter that is soft and spreadable at any temperature; you need the kind that comes with liquid fat that rises to the top. Even the brands that have “natural” on their labels produce disappointing results. If they say you do not need to stir it, you should not use it in this recipe.

I’ve never used homemade peanut butter, but I think that should work well.

13 Responses to Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Planner Perfect November 10, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    these look amazing and can’t wait to try them!!!

  2. Thip November 10, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    I have that book, and I’ll have to try this recipe soon.

    I made dark chocolate peanut butter ganache a couple days ago. It didn’t turn out right, but I didn’t want to waste it–so I beat in some eggs and turned it into a flourless chocolate peanut butter cake. 🙂

  3. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets November 10, 2010 at 4:13 am #

    These look really delicious. I love PB and chocolate together. The middle shot is especially appealing and the lighting is wonderful.

  4. LimeCake November 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    I love Recchiuti anything! I’ve tried this recipe before and had great PB success. If you get the chance, try his recipe for Burnt Caramel. Oh-Em-Gee.

  5. City Share November 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I love that you call them the “goldilocks of flourless peanut butter cookies.” I was sold at that description. I’ll have to give them a try.

  6. Gourmet Getaway November 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I have just come across you site and I love the look of these biscuits. My three year is sitting with me and she said “can we make those today” she obviously has good taste, so I will be trying out this recipe today!

  7. Arwen from Hoglet K November 11, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    They sound wonderfully peanutty, and the thumbprints are cuter than choc chips anyday.

  8. Sue November 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    I have made these many times for my father, and also made them sugarless, replacing the sugar with 2/3 cup “Stevia in the Bag” and using sugar-free Hershey chocolate chips. They are really quite the tasty little bite!

  9. lisaiscooking November 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    This is my kind of cookie. No, really. I bake a lot of cookies and give them away, but these, I would keep all to myself! Peanut butter with a chocolate filling sounds amazing.

  10. Chef Fresco November 20, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    Aww so cute! Perfect for the holidays!

  11. Marilou Garon November 24, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    Leela – where these better with white sugar, or dark brown sugar? I’d love to take advantage of your expertise, after 200 rounds of baking! Thank you!

  12. Leela November 24, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    Hey Marilou (waving) – I like dark brown sugar better, but that’s only because I like my PB cookies moister and darker in color. White sugar works fine as well, but it results in lighter-colored and crispier cookies. You can also do half white half brown.

  13. erin March 24, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Made these at the weekend. Love they are gluten free. Really easy to make and delicious. I didn’t put the thumb print in. Maybe next time.