The story of these chocolate chip Peanut Butter Protein Cookies begins the way so many unplanned yet critically important purchases do: in the aisle at Target. I was shopping for protein bars (and nothing else that had mysterioƒusly made its way into my cart) when I passed a huge display of shiny wrapped peanut butter protein cookies.
Made with whey protein and covered in promises to be low carb, high fiber, and delicious, these protein cookies sounded too good to be true.
Upon closer inspection, I discovered that not only did most of these protein cookies contain nearly as many calories as a full meal (well beyond my needs for a cookie), they cost almost $3 each and the ingredient list left quite a bit to be desired. I couldn’t pronounce half of them.
Rather than spend a small fortune, I decided to see if I could come up with my own recipe for protein cookies that delivered the same qualities promised on the wrapper—high protein, peanut butter packed, soft, chewy, delicious—but wouldn’t blow my grocery budget or eat up my daily calorie count if I decided to have more than one.
And I don’t know about you, but I usually want more than one cookie…
Say hello to my healthy homemade protein cookies!
They are just 112 calories each and contain 7 grams of protein. Eat two and you are up to 14!
These are also EASY protein cookies.
One bowl, a spoon, and a little oomph is all you’ll need.
Protein Cookies—An Easy, Healthy Treat
These cookies are soft, chewy, and taste reminiscent of an old-fashioned peanut butter cookie. (These Peanut Butter Protein Bars do too!)
They’re sweet enough for dessert but wholesome enough to qualify as an acceptable post-workout snack.
- In addition to the peanut butter and eggs, the majority of the protein in these cookies comes from the use of whey protein. I use this brand of vanilla whey protein powder.
- If you are in the market for a chocolate protein cookies recipe, I think these cookies would be delicious made with chocolate protein powder too.
- I haven’t tried a plant-based protein powder yet, but a few readers have reported that pea protein powders have yielded delicious results. If you decide to play around with the recipe and test it out, I’d love to hear how it goes!
These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies are naturally gluten free, as the whey protein and coconut flour replace the wheat flour. (Coconut flour is also high protein and high fiber too; you can read all about it in this post for Coconut Flour Cookies; this is the brand I buy.)
If you’ve never purchased whey protein powder and aren’t looking to (though I’d hope that any of these recipes with protein powder would convince you), you can check out my original Oatmeal Protein Cookies, which are made with peanut butter, quinoa, and banana.
They are more reminiscent of a healthy muffin-like cookie than an ooey-gooey peanut butter cookie but are still a yummy, relatively high-protein option.
How to Store and Freeze Protein Cookies
- To Store. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months, then thaw a few at a time. I don’t recommend microwaving the cookies, as this tends to dry them out.
Other Healthy Cookie Recipes
Peanut Butter Protein Cookies with Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or nut butter of choice, I used shelf-stable natural peanut butter—see notes if using refrigerated/drippy nut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder (36 grams)
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, coconut sugar, salt, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Mix briskly until ingredients are well blended. Sprinkle the baking soda over the top. With a rubber spatula, work in the protein powder and coconut flour until well combined. The will seem very dry first but will continue to come together as you stir and push. Fold in chocolate chips.
- At this point, judge your dough, as the amount of moisture may vary based on the brand of protein powder and nut butter you use. It should be slightly sticky but not a total mushy mess. If you need a firmer dough, add a bit more protein powder. For a looser dough, sprinkle the batter with a bit of milk (or almond milk) and with a spatula, fold it in until the dough comes together.
- With a small cookie scoop or spoon, portion the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls and drop onto your prepared baking sheet (you will have 12 to 14 cookies total). With your fingers, gently flatten the tops of the cookies, as they will not spread but will puff up during baking.
- Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the edges are barely golden brown and dry to the touch but the middles seem fairly doughy. Do not overbake! Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring them directly to the wire rack to finish cooling.
- The consistency of the dough may vary based on the brand of protein powder and nut butter you use. It should be slightly sticky but not a total mushy mess. If you need a firmer dough, add a bit more protein powder. For a looser dough, sprinkle the batter with a bit of milk (or almond milk).
- No other flour can be substituted for the coconut flour. Coconut flour is incredibly unique and thus needs to be used in this recipe.
- I haven’t tried this recipe with vegan or plant-based protein powders yet, but I have heard from readers that have had success with pea protein. If you decide to try them this way, I would love to hear how it goes!
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months, then thaw a few at a time. I don’t recommend microwaving the cookies, as this tends to dry them out.
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