♫ Listening to: On My Own by Anamanaguchi & HANA ♫
These vegan peanut butter cookies can be quick and easy with only 5 mandatory ingredients. Or you can take them to the next level by making them hello kitty shaped and adding a chocolate ganache filling for soft chocolate peanut butter sandwich cookies. Given the love they got on instagram, I recommend going the extra step and making the hello kitty sandwich cookies. You won’t be disappointed.
These vegan chocolate peanut butter cookies are a healthier alternative to a traditional sandwich cookie, not only because they’re eggless and dairy-free, but also because the peanut butter replaces the oil or butter usually found in cookie recipes. When I was recipe testing these (I was mostly inspired by Julie from The Simple Veganista), I managed to eat 2 batches of them in less than a week, so I can attest that they’re phenomenal. They can also easily be converted to gluten-free by replacing the flour.
If you want to make a lot of vegan cookies for a christmas cookie exchange, you can simply omit the chocolate ganache filling and make twice as many peanut butter cookies. Or if you’re looking for an extra special treat to give to a few friends, then upgrade to the peanut butter chocolate cookies. Either way, they’ll be cute and delicious. The cornstarch helps them hold their shape making them fabulous gifts that won’t crumble or fall apart during delivery.
If you’re one of those over achievers who makes more than one cookie recipe for an event, here are some other cookie recipes. And if you’re just here because you love hello kitty, then you should probably check out my other sanrio recipes.
This recipe makes 19 hello kitty peanut butter chocolate sandwich cookies (or 38 hello kitty peanut butter cookies or 24 traditional round peanut butter cookies).
Vegan Peanut Butter Hello Kitty Cookies Ingredients
If you want to save time or prefer the traditional peanut butter cookies with the fork imprints, see the Tips and Substitutions section below for a modified version of this recipe that can be completed in less than an hour from start to finish.
- 1 cup (260g) creamy peanut butter (I use the organic one from Costco that just has peanuts and salt)
- 1 cup (220g) coconut, raw, vegan, or organic sugar*
- ½ cup (4oz/125ml/120g) nondairy milk or creamer
- 1 ½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon/6g) vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 cup (120-130g) flour (I used unbleached all-purpose, but you can use any kind, except coconut flour)
- 1 tablespoon (9g) organic cornstarch*
Vegan Peanut Butter Hello Kitty Cookies Directions
prep time: 7 minutes if you mix by hand or 10 min if you use an electric mixer + 1 min to stamp each cookie | bake time: 6 min for each tray x 3 trays
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper (optional, but makes for easier cleanup).
If you’re using a stand mixer
Mix 1 cup (260g) peanut butter, 1 cup (220g) sugar, ½ cup nondairy milk, and 1 ½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon/6g) vanilla extract in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: 1 cup (120-130g) flour and 1 tablespoon (9g) cornstarch.
Mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture, scraping the sides with a silicone spatula to make sure everything is well mixed.
If you’re mixing by hand…
Mix 1 cup (260g) peanut butter, 1 cup (220g) sugar, ½ cup nondairy milk, and 1 ½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon/6g) vanilla extract in a medium-large bowl.
Mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture: 1 cup (120-130g) flour and 1 tablespoon (9g) cornstarch.
Scooping the cookie dough
Set the outer ring of the hello kitty cutter on the baking sheet.
Press the cookie dough into the hello kitty cutter mold trying to get it even so that no areas are thinner or thicker than the rest.
Dip the stamp part of the hello kitty cutter into a small dish of sugar to keep the dough from sticking to it (I sometimes use a jar lid to hold the sugar).
Press the hello kitty cutter stamp down into the cookie.
Remove the outer ring first, and then gently remove the stamp from the cookie dough. The first one is always the hardest, and the rest get easier. This process took me about a minute per cookie. If you don’t want hello kitty shaped cookies and would rather save time, see the Tips and Substitutions section below for shortcuts.
Repeat these steps again until the entire baking sheet is full of cookies. Leave half an inch of space between each cookie.
Bake for 6-7 minutes using the rack that’s closest to the center of the oven. While they bake, start filling the next cookie sheet. I baked mine for 6 minutes, and they were super soft, but my oven does run hot. If you’re making traditional round peanut butter cookies, bake them for 9-11 minutes each.
Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
Continue until you’ve used up all the dough. For me, this took me 3 baking sheets and it made 38 hello kitty cookies.
Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Filling Ingredients
If you’re short on time, you can skip the filling and just eat the peanut butter cookies without chocolate. I did this with about 8 cookies in one sitting, and I still stand by that decision.
- 1 cup (6oz/170g) vegan dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) non-dairy milk
Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Filling Directions
You can make the filling in the microwave if you prefer that over using the stove. Just put the nondairy milk and chocolate in a microwave safe dish, cover it, and set the microwave to 30 seconds. Stir it, and if it isn’t completely smooth, try putting it back in for 15 seconds.
Heat 3 tablespoons (45ml) non-dairy milk in a small pot over low-medium heat.
Remove from the heat once it starts to bubble.
Add 1 cup (6oz/170g) vegan chocolate chips to the non-dairy milk, put on the lid, and swirl it around for a few seconds.
Stir the ganache until it’s smooth.
Spread the chocolate ganache thickly across the surface of one of the peanut butter cookies.
Gently set another cookie on top, aligning it with the bottom one as best as you can, and leave it alone for a few hours to set.
Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Here’s a video of our live stream when me and Caroline made these.
We took these to a vegan holiday faire in Berkeley and gave them to friends, and everyone loved them! Also, when the cookies came out of the oven, our foster dog Alvin pranced his cute butt into the kitchen to investigate. So, I think it’s unanimous amongst humans and canines alike that this recipe is a winner.
Tips and Substitutions
Tip 1: Cooling
Make sure you leave the cookies on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes after they come out of the oven. This will help them firm up so they don’t break. You don’t want your hello kitties to lose any limbs, or even gasp get beheaded!
Tip 2: Storing
Once the cookies have cooled completely, store them in a tupperware in the pantry or on the counter for up to 5 days. If you want them to last longer than that, I recommend freezing them. (Not to mention, they’ll be safer from being eaten if they’re hidden away in the freezer.)
Tip 3: Shortcut
If kawaii cookies and hello kitty aren’t your thing (don’t worry, there’s still time for you to acquire a new love for kawaii food), or if you’re short on time, you can make this recipe into the traditional round peanut butter cookies with the criss-cross hatch marks. Instead of the cornstarch, use ¾ teaspoon (5g) baking soda so they’ll be fluffy, as well as chewy. To make 20-24 round peanut butter cookies, roll your scoop of dough into a ball using the palms of your hands. Set the balls on the cookie sheet about 2 ½ inches apart, and use the back of a fork to flatten them in a crisscross pattern. Bake them for 9-11 minutes (the longer they bake, the crispier they will be). Cool the same way you would with the hello kitty shaped cookies. If you want to add a little extra cuteness, you can put some vegan sprinkles on top of them before you do the criss-cross hatching with the fork.
If you avoid nuts, substitute sunflower butter or tahini for the peanut butter.
If you don’t have any nondairy milk or creamer on hand, you can replace it with ½ cup (4oz/125ml/120g) water
If you prefer desserts that are less sweet, you can reduce the sugar from 1 cup to ¾ cup.
One year, for Valentine’s Day, I made the round version of these with baking soda instead of cornstarch, and I used melted chocolate to draw paw prints on them.
And then I wrote these dorky valentine messages on them.
- I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic (or non-GMO) version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.