unrefined peanut butter cookies

posted in: baking, recipe swap, recipes | 16

Peanut butter, be still my heart. Almost any time I’m perusing websites, books and magazines for inspiration, recipes revolving around peanut butter win my heart.There’s something so lovely about the salty, crunchy, creamy, slightly sweet flavor of peanut butter. The fact that it pairs well with honey, bananas, bacon, chocolate, so many great partners only increases its degree of awesome.

So we come to peanut butter cookies – and this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Cookies are always welcome in my kitchen, so as soon as I spotted these peanut butter cookies on The Pretend Chef, my assignment was perfectly clear. This time of the year, I can’t be bothered to stay in the kitchen long. These come together rather quickly, bake in less than fifteen minutes, and are both delicious and nutritious.

Yes, there’s still peanut butter, sugar and butter in these cookies, but the sugar is of the unrefined turbinado variety and the flour is whole wheat pastry flour. You’ll still get a tummy ache if you eat a plateful of these cookies, no doubt. But there’s something mentally satisfying about creating a cookie that is unrefined. This recipe suits the crunchy bite of turbinado sugar and the nutty flavor of the wheat flour. The cookies are sturdier than many peanut butter cookie, making them perfect for picnics and parties.

In addition, a handful of deep, dark chocolate chips thrown in makes things even better. After making two dozen peanut butter cookies, the monotony was getting to me. So while that pan was in the oven baking, I added 1/4 cup of chips to the second part of dough. Perfect peanut butter chocolate chippers! So if you’re looking for an updated spin on a great classic recipe that’s not too sweet, not too delicate, just perfectly yummy, give these unrefined peanut butter cookies a try.

unrefined peanut butter cookies

This recipe is workable a few different ways. All butter instead of shortening, white flour or white and whole wheat mixed in place of whole wheat pastry flour, a mix of white and brown sugars instead of raw sugar, with or without sea salt or chocolate chips.

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed & room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, place the butter, shortening and sugar. With an electric mixer, whip together until creamy, about one minute.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, vanilla and peanut butter. Whip the mixture together for two minutes, until the mixture looks fully mixed up and fluffier.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt. Whisk to aerate and combine.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. With the mixer on low, beat together until just incorporated. Repeat with the second half of the flour.
  5. If using chocolate chips, gently fold them into the dough.
  6. Using a small scoop or two spoons, scoop small balls of dough and place on a parchment lined pan. You want about a tablespoon of dough.
  7. With a fork, press down gently in one direction and again in the opposite direction to get the classic cross-hatch, flattened cookie.
  8. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt before baking - an average of a few flakes per cookie is fine.
  9. Bake for 9-12 minutes; the cookies will seem barely done but they crisp substantially out of the oven. Let cook for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

And check out the rest of the Secret Recipe Club Group B! Our group has grown so tremendously that we’re now grouped up and posting throughout each month.

16 Responses

  1. These look great! I like your blog!

  2. Ooooh. I’m in love. Delish!

    Also, I love your Secret Recipe Club posts! That’s such a fun idea. 🙂

  3. What a classic cookie – beautiful. Must taste awesome!

  4. Wonderful looking cookies. If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A” ~ SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. I hear you on the peanut butter love! I’d have it for every meal if I could. The cookies look delicious – you can’t go wrong with an old fashioned PB cookies, especially if it’s a little healthier!

  6. You did a fantastic job with these cookies. I love your variations to suit it to your liking. Thank you so much for participating this month in the Secret Recipe Club and doing my blog justice. I really appreciate it.

  7. Great idea with the Chocolate Chips! 🙂

    Thanks again for being a part of SRC and being a part of my first group, I enjoyed being your host! Now, I get to visit everyone’s blog, THIS IS THE FUN PART!

    If you haven’t already, come check out my Secret Recipe Club Post: Cucumber Salad http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/2011/08/cucumber-salad-secret-recipe-club.html

    or my second post for the SRC Raspberry and Nutella Pizza

  8. These look awesome! Full and delicious peanut butter flavor!!!

  9. How yummy looking. I like the idea of using the unrefined sugar. Will certainly be giving these a try!

  10. I’m trying to cut down on the white flour, so these would be perfect! It doesn’t hurt that I really really love peanut butter. I feel like I need one of these cookies right now!

  11. The cookies look lovely! Glad to be in SRC with you.

  12. Looks great! SCR is turning out to be lots of fun — so many new recipes to try!

  13. I questioned a whole tablespoon of sea salt and wish I had reduced it ~ I threw out the batter after tasting cookies from the first tray. Way too salty for us. Maybe it’s because we don’t add salt to our food? But unfortunate. I was looking forward to making these a staple.

  14. Candice,
    I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ll take another look at my recipe this evening just to make sure I transcribed it to the web correctly. But I will admit to liking my desserts on the salty side, to balance out the sweet. Did you use sea salt, or perhaps was it kosher or table salt? They all have different salty-ness levels to them.

  15. Ok, so I commented quickly, but looked at the recipe again – the tablespoon of sea salt is for dusting the tops of the cookies before baking, not mixing it into the dough. I just do a few small flakes on each cookie, but you could totally remove the ingredient if you wanted.

  16. That’s what I get for reading too quickly ~ thanks for the feedback!

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