Peanut Cookies, a Gluten Free Recipe from World War I

Peanut Cookies, a Gluten Free Recipe from World War I
Peanut Cookies, a Gluten Free Recipe from World War I

Peanut Cookies is a small batch, gluten-free cookie recipe and a fun variation from a typical peanut butter cookie recipe.

To continue the thought introduced in my last post….

I prefer using old cookbooks in my kitchen. One of the reasons is that the recipes use common ingredients, many of which I grow in my garden, just like the cookbooks’ readers would have. Another reason is that the recipes use those common ingredients in creative ways. During World War I, U.S. residents were encouraged to limit their use of wheat, meat, and sugar, and increase their use of fruits and vegetables. A century later, we’re playing the same tune…

gluten free peanut cookies

Peanut Macaroons is a recipe I found several years ago in a wheatless cookbook originally published in 1918. I’ve made it many times and like this variation of a regular peanut butter cookie. They’re unmistakably peanutty, but light and crispy. Even if you don’t need your peanut cookies to be gluten-free, they’re delicious.

Normally, peanuts (or nuts in general) aren’t considered a frugal ingredient, but for the housewives in 1918, peanuts would have been a crop many could grow in a home garden. This wouldn’t be the case with many other cookie ingredients, especially wheat-free, gluten-free flours. In my case, Walmart put all their baking nuts on clearance after Christmas. I paid less than $1 a pound, which is cheaper than most non-wheat flours.

Peanut Macaroons

a 1918 recipe, created during WWI as an alternative to wheat-based cookies
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies (approx.)


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1 c. peanuts
  • 1/2 t. vanilla


  • Chop or blend the peanuts into finely ground. Beat egg white until stiff, slowly add sugar, salt, peanuts, and vanilla. Drop by tablespoon on a greased pan and bake in a slow oven (300-325 degrees) for about 30 minutes or until brown.

1 Comment

  1. These sound quite yummy so I’ll give them a try. Peanuts are very cheap (one of the main crops, along with sugar cane, pineapples, mangoes and bananas in my state of Queensland).

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