Sourdough Discard Spiced Peanut Butter Cookies

If you are tired of wasting your sourdough discard, these sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies are perfect for you. Made with a handful of wholesome ingredients, these spiced peanut butter cookies will become your family’s favorite snack. They have a great chewy and soft texture with a slight crumble and are packed full of flavor. Not only that, you get the health benefits of sourdough. This is the perfect way to use up your excess sourdough starter

A stack of sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies

​I am an avid sourdough baker and I am always looking for ways to utilize my sourdough discard. I love that sourdough tang in my desserts as it complements the sweet flavors perfectly. Plus, a sourdough starter helps with the consistency and texture of baked goods. 

​I wanted to create a guilt-free and healthy recipe that my whole family would enjoy. My kids are big peanut butter lovers, so I decided to make peanut butter cookies. I also added a bit of a flavor twist to them. I didn’t want to make plain and boring peanut butter cookies. And the best way to do that would be to use spices that complement the peanut butter’s nutty flavors and the tanginess of the sourdough discard. And as a final touch, some orange zest for freshness and extra flavor. Needless to say, these have become my favorite cookie to make.

A stack of peanut butter cookies on some small metal trays

Why These Sourdough Discard Spiced Peanut Butter Cookies Are The Perfect Snack:

  • Protein-rich and high in healthy fats: Peanut butter is a fantastic source of protein and is high in monounsaturated fats.
  • Low in Sugar: unlike store-bought cookies, this recipe uses only brown sugar sparingly, making the cookies a healthier alternative without compromising on taste.
  • Sourdough Goodness: the inclusion of sourdough discard adds nutrients and beneficial bacteria for gut health and improves digestion.
  • Spice Up Your Health: Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and orange zest are not only aromatic but also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, and have anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Delicious Taste: These cookies have a delightful blend of flavors, including the rich nuttiness of peanut butter, the tanginess of sourdough discard, and aromatic spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and orange zest.
  • Gluten-Free Option: By using a gluten-free alternative to sourdough discard these cookies cater to individuals with gluten intolerance or those seeking a gluten-free diet.
  • Quick and Easy to Make: With just five minutes of preparation and fifteen minutes of baking, these cookies are a convenient and time-efficient snack option.
  • Versatile: The recipe allows for customization by adding mix-ins like chopped nuts or chocolate chips. This versatility lets you tailor the cookies to your preferences and experiment with different flavors.
  • Portion Control: The size of the cookies can be adjusted easily, so you can control your portion size and indulge in moderation.
  • On-the-Go Snack: These cookies are perfect for a quick on-the-go snack, whether you’re heading to work, going for a hike, or simply need a pick-me-up during the day.
  • Family-Friendly: The cookies are sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike due to their irresistible taste.
  • Reducing Food Waste: Utilizing sourdough discard in the recipe helps reduce food waste and saves you money.
Peanut butter cookies on a small metal tray

Choosing your peanut butter:

I recommend going for a natural peanut butter without anything added. The peanut butter I’ve used in this recipe is made with only roasted peanuts. It is palm-oil-free and sugar-free.

I went for smooth peanut butter but you can choose chunky peanut butter if you prefer.

Achieving perfect texture with sourdough discard

Ever wondered how to get that perfect chewy yet slightly crumbly texture in your peanut butter sourdough cookies? The secret lies in the use of a seemingly unlikely ingredient – sourdough discard. This humble byproduct of the sourdough starter process, often overlooked, is actually a game changer when it comes to cookie baking.

In essence, using this clever little trick can elevate your homemade treats from good to absolutely mouthwatering. But let’s delve deeper into why exactly this works so well.

The science behind it all: how does sourdough improve cookie texture?

Sure enough, there’s science behind these delicious results. You see, during its fermentation process, natural enzymes within the dough break down gluten structures which ultimately result in easier digestion and lower gluten content compared to regular wheat flour-based recipes. Now you might be thinking – what does all this have to do with my cookies’ texture? Well… quite a lot.

This enzymatic action leads not just towards healthier bites but also contributes significantly towards achieving our desired chewiness without losing out on that delightful crumble we all love about freshly baked peanut butter cookies.

Storing and freezing your sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies:

The art of preserving the freshness of your sourdough peanut butter cookies is all about proper storage. Using a cookie tin or a cookie jar with an air-tight seal can extend their shelf life up to a week, ensuring you get that delicious taste every time.

In our hectic lives, having pre-prepared goodies on hand is simply miraculous. One such trick involves freezing dough balls for later use. Start by placing each prepared dough ball on baking sheets and freeze until they’re solid as ice cubes.

This method not only offers convenience but also flexibility in portion control – bake just one when sweet cravings strike late at night, or prepare an entire batch if unexpected guests drop by. And here’s the best part: there’s no need for thawing.

You heard it right; straight from their icy state onto the oven tray – add just another minute or two at bake time and voila. Warm fresh-from-the-oven cookies are served.

Ingredients needed for the sourdough discard peanut butter cookies:

  •  smooth peanut butter (natural, no palm oil, salt, or sugar added)
  •  sourdough discard
  •  light brown sugar
  •  egg
  •  vanilla extract
  •  ground cinnamon
  •  ground ginger
  •  allspice
  • orange zest
  • salt (if the peanut butter doesn’t have salt added)
Ingredients needed for sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies laid on a table

If you don’t have a sourdough starter yet, learn how to make an easy sourdough starter in this step-by-step guide:

Easy Sourdough Starter Recipe

How to make these sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies:

  • Preheat your oven to 338°F (170°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Mix until well combined.
A photo collage with the process of making peanut butter cookies
  • Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each cookie (I like to make mini cookies, but you can make them larger). The cookies will not spread as much as normal cookies.
  • Flatten each cookie slightly with the back of a fork, creating a crisscross pattern on top (if you want that classic peanut butter cookie pattern). If not, just make dough balls and flatten them a bit with your hand or the back of your spoon (make sure to press them down gently as they do not spread like other cookies).
Making criss cross patterns on peanut butter cookie dough balls
A photo collage with the process of shaping sourdough peanut butter cookies
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
  • Once done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve and enjoy with a cold glass of milk and/or with some strawberry jam!

Tips for making the perfect cookies:

  • If you want to make the peanut butter cookies crispy instead of chewy, replace the brown sugar with white sugar. Also, you can make the cookies thinner when you shape them. And if you choose to do the fork marks, you will get crispier cookies. These cookies don’t spread out as much as normal cookies.
  • To create the perfect peanut butter cookie dough, make sure you mix the ingredients until you achieve the right texture. It should look like normal scoopable cookie dough.
  • If your dough is slightly thinner you can put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes. If the consistency is the same after cooling time, you could add a bit of corn flour or arrowroot powder to thicken it. Just a bit at a time and mix really well for best results.

Peanut butter cookies with criss cross pattern stacked on a plate

FAQ

 What is sourdough discard, and why is it used in this recipe?

Sourdough discard refers to the portion of sourdough starter that is removed and discarded during the feeding process, either during the establishing period of a brand new starter or when feeding of an established sourdough starter is needed. The more active your sourdough starter is, the better your sourdough discard is for being used in recipes. It is used in this recipe to add a tangy flavor, improve texture, add health benefits to the cookies, and make use of the discard instead of wasting it.

Is it possible to substitute the brown sugar with a healthier sweetener?

 Absolutely! You can replace the brown sugar with alternatives like coconut sugar or maple syrup. Keep in mind that the sweetness level may vary, and you need to adjust the liquid levels accordingly.

Are these cookies suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance?

Sourdough discard might be well tolerated by individuals with gluten intolerance. No extra wheat flours are used in the recipe.

How long can I store these cookies, and how should I store them?

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, consider refrigerating them for up to two weeks or freezing them for up to three months.

Can I make these cookies vegan-friendly?

Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe to be vegan by using a vegan egg substitute, such as a flaxseed meal or chia seeds mixed with water, instead of the regular egg. 

My cookies turned out too dry. What could be the reason, and how can I fix it?

You either baked them for too long or your sourdough discard is really thick. Also, be careful if you choose to use corn flour or arrowroot powder to not use too much of it.

My dough is too sticky to handle. How can I make it easier to work with?

If your dough is too sticky, try refrigerating it for about 30 minutes before shaping the cookies. Chilling the dough will firm it up, making it easier to handle and shape. Also, make sure you mix the dough really well. The better you mix it, the harder it gets.

Can I make these cookies gluten-free?

You can replace the sourdough discard with 2 tbsps of corn flour/ arrowroot powder or 1 tbsp psyllium husk. Add a bit of yogurt for that tangy taste. Alternatively, use a gluten-free sourdough starter.

Is sourdough discard still healthy?

Yes, it is. Sourdough discard retains its probiotic benefits and can be easier to digest than regular wheat flour due to the fermentation process.

Can I make these sourdough discard cookies nut-free?

​If you or a family member have a nut allergy, you can choose from the options below. 
1. Sunflower Seed Butter
2. Tahini
3. Coconut butter
Please adjust the ingredients as the texture and taste might differ.

Five sourdough spiced peanut butter cookies stacked on top of each other and slathered in strawberry jam.

I hope you enjoyed making this sourdough discard peanut butter cookie recipe! Next time you bake some sourdough bread, use that precious sourdough starter discard to make a good peanut butter cookie.

Here are some more cookie recipes that you might like to try:

Sourdough coffee cookies with mascarpone filling

Crunchy chocolate chip and hazelnut oat cookies

Soft and chewy white chocolate and lemon cookies

A stack of sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies

Sourdough Discard Spiced Peanut Butter Cookies

AndreeaB
These sourdough discard spiced peanut butter cookies are the perfect way to use up your precious left over sourdough starter discard. Not only that, they are packed full of flavour and have a delightful chewy texture.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 21 small cookies
Calories 113 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g smooth peanut butter (pure, without added ingredients) (approx. 1 cup)
  • 60 g sourdough discard (straight from the fridge) (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg (straight from the fridge)
  • 1 zest from one orange
  • 100 g light soft brown sugar (or dark soft brown sugar) (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if your peanut butter is unsalted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice (can be replaced with nutmeg, if you prefer)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 338°F (170°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Mix until well combined.
  • Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each cookie (I like to make mini cookies, but you can make them larger). The cookies will not spread as much as normal cookies.
  • Flatten each cookie slightly with the back of a fork, creating a criss cross pattern on top (if you want that classic peanut butter cookies pattern). If not, just make dough balls and flatten them a bit with your hand or the back of your spoon (make sure to press them down gently as they do not spread like other cookies).
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
  • Once done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve and enjoy with a cold glass of milk and/or with some strawberry jam!

Notes

  • If you want to make the peanut butter cookies crispy instead of chewy, replace the brown sugar with white sugar. Also, you can make the cookies thinner when you shape them. And if you chose to do the fork marks, you will get crispier cookies. These cookies don’t spread out as much as normal cookies.
  • To create the perfect peanut butter cookie dough, make sure you mix the ingredients until you achieve the right texture. It should look like normal scoopable cookie dough.
  • If your dough is slightly thinner you can put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes. If the consistency is the same after cooling time, you could add a bit of corn flour or arrowroot powder to thicken it. Just a bit at a time and mix really well for best results.

Nutrition

Serving: 23gCalories: 113kcal
Keyword 5 minutes peanut butter cookies, all natural peanut butter cookies, brown sugar peanut butter cookies, chewy peanut butter cookies, easy peanut butter cookies, palm oil free peanut butter cookies, sourdough discard peanut butter cookies, spiced peanut butter cookies
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5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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