If you are looking to sneak some extra protein into your life, you have to try these delicious protein cookies. They are made with protein powder instead of flour, but you’d never know just by tasting them!
Why You’ll Love Them
They taste amazing. My son tasted a batch of these cookies after school last week, and told me they are the “best cookies” I’ve ever made. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.
They may help to stabilize blood sugar. Research suggests that increasing your protein intake may help to improve your blood glucose response. Adding protein powder to the recipe doesn’t negatively impact the flavor, so these treats might help keep you feeling full, too!
They are allergy friendly. Inspired by my flourless peanut butter cookies, this recipe doesn’t require any butter, oil, or flour. The protein powder adds structure, along with the egg and peanut butter, so you don’t need any added gluten or dairy. (If you are serving someone with a nut allergy, try using sunflower seed butter, instead.)
They are easy to customize. Adding chocolate chips to these cookies makes them taste like the real thing, but you can skip the refined sugar by adding in crunchy walnuts, or a dried fruit like raisins, instead.
Ingredients You’ll Need
When shopping for a protein powder, be sure to look for one that is unsweetened for the best results. Vanilla and chocolate protein powders may negatively affect the flavor. (I tested a batch with vanilla protein powder, and my kids wouldn’t eat them!)
For the exact same results as you see here, try using Garden of Life Unflavored Plant-Based Protein Powder (affiliate link), which is what I originally tested this recipe with. It does not taste delicious on its own, since it has no added sweetener, but it is perfect in these cookies!
I imagine you could also use an unflavored whey protein powder, pea protein powder, or even collagen, if you keep one of those options on hand.
How to Make Protein Cookies
1. Mix the dough.
In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut sugar, peanut butter, egg, and baking soda. Mix well, until a thick cookie dough is formed.
Add in the chocolate chips (or any other add-ins you love) and mix again to distribute them.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the protein cookie dough onto the pan. This cookie dough won’t spread much on its own, so use your hands or a fork to flatten the dough, just like you would a traditional peanut butter cookie.
Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes, until they puff up and look lightly golden around the edges.
The cookies will be fragile when they first come out of the oven, so let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes. They will firm up as they cool, and then they are read to eat! (Pro Tip: Press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops while the cookies are warm from the oven, if you want them to look more appealing.)
You can serve them at room temperature for a more tender texture, or chilled directly from the fridge, if you prefer a slightly crispier cookie. These cookies will be slightly crumbly, since they are gluten-free, but the texture will melt-in-your-mouth. (Almost like a shortbread cookie!)
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Remove the cookies from the freezer the night before you plan on serving them, if you’d like them to soften up again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use any other nut butter you like, such as almond butter or cashew butter. If you need a nut-free option, try tahini or sunflower seed butter as an alternative. (Be sure to check the labels, to make sure there is no allergy cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.)
Yes, consider this recipe a general “blueprint” to follow, but you can always get creative with the add-ins. Add a splash of vanilla extract, if you like, or stir in some rolled oats, cinnamon, and even raisins instead of chocolate chips, for a batch of oatmeal protein cookies.
This recipe relies on a granulated sugar for texture, so you might not get the same results with a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup, agave, or honey. If you’d like to experiment with one of those, start off with just half the amount of sugar this recipe calls for. You may also be able to swap the sugar with a mashed banana, or a granulated sugar substitute (like monk fruit), if you prefer a lower-sugar option, but this will be an experiment since I haven’t tested those alternatives yet.
You’ll enjoy 5 grams of protein in each tablespoon-size cookie, assuming you get 18 cookies from the batch. If you are looking to sneak 10 grams of protein into your day, that means you can eat 2 cookies! Win win.
You can replace the egg in this recipe with a flax egg. The results will be slightly more fragile, but still totally delicious! Just mix together 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, and use that mixture to replace the egg.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut sugar, egg, peanut butter, and baking soda. Mix well, until the cookie dough looks thick and uniform. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using, or any other mix-ins you like.
- Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking pan, about 2 inches apart. (You'll need to use 2 pans, or bake these in 2 separate batches to cook all 18 cookies.) Flatten the cookie dough mounds with your hands or a fork, making a criss-cross pattern for a classic peanut butter cookie look.
- Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes. The baked cookies should puff up and look lightly golden around the edges. Let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes, so they can firm up. Then they are ready to enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Or freeze them for up to 3 months. They have a crispy texture when chilled, and are more tender when served at room temperature. (They will be slightly crumbly, almost like a shortbread cookie with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.)
If you try these high protein cookies, please leave a comment and star rating below! I always appreciate hearing your feedback, and any substitutions you try will help other readers.