Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

I had a patient a while back that told me she was treating her husband’s Alzheimer’s with coconut oil. I thought, “Hot diggity dog! I’m gonna get me some of that!”


What I really thought was, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This was closely followed by the thought, “Who am I to refute a claim for which I have no empirical evidence on either side of the issue.”

Actually, what I really thought was, “Oh. YUM!”

And there you have it.

The first jar of coconut oil that I bought was, at best, unimpressive. It didn’t really even have a coconut smell to it. However, I saw the mother load of all jars of coconut oil at Costco a few months later and had to buy one. It was extra virgin, organic and promised to be wonderful. Only the best will do for my future brain function, after all.

All joking aside, though, there was a noticeable difference between the two jars of coconut oil. The jar from Costco looked different, softer and somewhat more translucent, plus it actually smelled like coconut. Heavenly sigh.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

The first thing I did was to use some of it for popping popcorn. I tried some of the popcorn fresh out of the popcorn popper–no salt, no butter. It tasted lightly of coconut. I just kept eating the popcorn plain, handful after handful. “Aren’t you going to put anything on your popcorn?” my husband asked.

Politely, but firmly I responded, “I see no need for superfluous additions to popcorn which has clearly transcended such earthly encumbrances as salt or butter. Do not attempt to dissuade me with suggestions from your uneducated and misguided palate. Clearly, we are no longer compatible as popcorn companions. I shall remove this bowl of ethereal nectar from your presence and retire to my personal chambers with it.”

I talk like that all of the time. A veritable cornucopia of syllabically arranged consonants and vowels, all perfectly concise in their delivery.  I’m very sure of myself. Just ask anyone who really knows me. (Stop snickering, John!) (syllabically–keep that word in mind for your next round of Scrabble.)

To tell you the truth, I have been watching cartoons for hours today with my grandsons and I was testing myself to see if I had any part of me left that didn’t laugh at potty humor. In defense of these particular cartoons, Twisted Whiskers, they were really well done and quite funny, especially one with a dog who talked like Jack Benny…”Oh, Dennis…”. (Google Jack Benny if you are not familiar with him. Funny man.) Gavin (6) and I were belly laughing at some of the characters’ antics.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

Head shake. Okay, I’m back. Let’s talk about coconut oil in peanut butter cookies. Peanut butter cookies are my all time favorite cookies. It’s the one cookie that I cannot stop eating. When I decided to start experimenting with coconut oil in cookie making, peanut butter cookies seemed like the perfect fit.

Prior to adding the dry ingredients, the dough was quite loose; much more liquid than it is when working with butter or shortening. Although the coconut oil is solid when initially added to the dough, it quickly melts as it is mixed. After adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, the dough becomes stiff and looks oily. If you find the dough too oily or soft, simply chill it, covered, for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. I put my dough in the refrigerator for several hours, while I took care of other necessities–namely watching the afore mentioned cartoons. I also saved some of the dough and baked it the following day. It worked well on both days.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

Yield: Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious


  • 2 1/2 cups flour, spooned into the measuring cup, then leveled with a straight edged item of your choosing 🙂
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but excellent)
  • 7/8 cup coconut oil, (I used coconut oil in a soft solid state. It liquifies at 76 Degrees F.)
  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil and peanut butter.
  3. Add the eggs and beat. The mixture is going to be rather soupy at this point.
  4. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. It may be easiest to use your hands for this procedure.
  6. If the dough seems too oily or soft, cover and put it in the refrigerator to chill for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The dough can be kept covered in the refrigerator for several days.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  8. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 12 balls of dough, evenly spaced, on a standard sized cookie sheet. Press each ball of dough with the tines of a fork to make a cross-hatch pattern. The dough may be somewhat crumbly, give it support with the fingers of one hand while pressing the dough with the fork in the other hand. Reshape edges as desired.
  9. Bake for about 9-10 minutes for chewy cookies and 11-12 minutes for crunchy. 10 minutes in my oven gave the cookies a chewy middle with slightly crunchy edges.


Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a straight edged tool. Scooping causes the flour to be compacted in the measuring cup. This will cause too much flour to be added to the cookie dough, making a heavy, crumbly dough and cookie. This dough will store well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if kept in an airtight container.

Sorry. No step-by-step pics. I’m too busy watching cartoons and admiring Gavin’s artwork.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

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  1. says

    Coconut oil is widely used in Sri Lanka. But since I grew up here… I am not as used to cooking with it. I saw the big bottle at Costco as well… next time I may have to buy it. I cook a lot with coconut milk.. wonder if that has some of the same benefits. 🙂

    Hope you and the family are all doing well. Keeping Ander and his Mom in my prayers still. 🙂

    • says

      I was wondering the same thing. I Googled health benefits of coconut milk vs. coconut oil, but I only had a chance to read one article. I’ll do more research and get back to you with the information. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. Tricia and Ander are getting better every day. It looks as though Ander will get to come home in two weeks. We are so excited.

    • says

      Hi, Nancy. I’ve thought about your questions and there are two things that come to mind. First, it is possible that the cookies needed a little more flour. Although I stated an amount in the recipe, brands of flour differ from one another in structure and moisture content. Sometimes, in baking, the flour content in recipes has to be adjusted a little. The second thought I had is that perhaps the dough needed some refrigerator time. Refrigeration would have firmed up the coconut oil, which has a melting point of 76 degrees F. Additionally, allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will give the flour time to absorb moisture from the dough, making it firmer.

      I’m sorry that the recipe did not work for you (although lacey peanut butter cookies sound fun). I will try to make some of these cookies again over the next couple of days to see if I can identify any other reason for the cookies to have lost their structure. ~Terri

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