Soft and Chewy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Miso Cookies

peanut butter miso cookies with sesame | dailywaffle

It always makes me laugh that instant ramen is (dis)regarded as college food. It’s the savior for the days when you’re so broke you drink Keystone Light and survive on a 33 cent pack of noodles. You couldn’t possibly eat it because…you like it. But as with so many foods from my childhood, maybe initially born of necessity, they eventually became just the stuff you ate.  Take fried bologna (we said “baloney”) sandwiches on a hamburger bun. We probably weren’t always bologna-eating people, but if it’s what you’ve got, take a couple of slices, score ’em in three places and throw ’em in a frying pan.

I’d like to think these peanut butter miso cookies were created the same way.

peanut butter miso cookies ingredients | dailywaffle

While I have no evidence to prove it, I imagine peanut butter miso cookies were the accidental  invention of a Japanese mom in the 60s who was making peanut butter cookies for an after school snack and ran out of peanut butter. Ever resourceful she looks around the kitchen and says with a wave of her hand, “Eh, just top of it off with some miso.  They’ll never know.” Sounds like my grandma.  Years later, some enterprising baker recognizing the sweet-salty balance of miso and peanut butter will make something similar for a chefs event in San Francisco and sprinkle them with a bit of salt.  Well, wherever the idea came from, it’s a good one.

Adapted from a posting on,  this version is actually gluten-free, relying on cornstarch to bind everything together.  Texturally, they’re chewy and moist thanks to the peanut butter and unlike other gluten-free cookies I’ve made, they’re not sugar bombs, with just a touch of honey and brown sugar for sweetness.

peanut butter miso cookies | dailywaffle

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Miso Cookies

Print Recipe
Serves: 16 cookies Cooking Time: 22 mins


  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, your choice)
  • 3 T. white (shiro) miso paste
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • toasted or black sesame seeds to sprinkle



Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.


In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, miso paste, honey and brown sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add the egg, baking soda, vanilla and cornstarch and beat just until combined.


Using a small cookie scoop, drop by tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, 6 per sheet. The cookies will spread slightly. With the tines of a fork, press a criss-cross into the tops of each cookie. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Bake for 12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. They will be slightly soft in the center. Let cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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  • Neesha
    January 9, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve made these a couple of times now, and while they were delicious – I needed to add heaps more flour to the recipe. With the amount of cornflour recommended (4 tablespoons) they were ridiculously sticky and impossible to get onto the baking sheet. Any thoughts why this might be?

    • Michelle
      January 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Neesha – Hmm. I think there are a couple of possibilities. You mention cornflour, so I’m assuming you’re in the UK or in one of the commonwealth countries in which case cornflour does equal cornstarch in the US. If you’re in the US and using what we would call cornflour you might get a radically different result. Barring that, the only thing I can think is it might have to do with how runny (or not) your peanut butter is. I do call for natural PB, which could be runnier and oilier if you haven’t given any separated oils a good stir. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lauren Penney
    December 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    This is a delicious recipe, thanks so much! I burned my second batch, though, so caution people to watch them closely – take them out when they’re still jiggly in the center!

    • Michelle
      December 13, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Glad you liked ’em! Thanks for sharing the tip on watching them closely – I didn’t have problem, but every oven to seem to be a little different! And thanks for reading the Waffle! 🙂

  • miss mochi
    August 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    You’re right, I can totally see my grandmother or mother pulling a trick like that! I’ve made similar cookies before (not gluten free which is awesome) and they are delicious!

  • Hannah
    August 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

    These cookies sound truly amazing, Michelle! I can’t wait to bake a batch. 🙂

    • Michelle
      August 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks, Hannah! Husband called them “F-ing brilliant” – high praise when he’s not usually into the gluten-free thing. Later, I realized they’re not far off from those tahini cookies in Jerusalem!

  • Lynn @ The Actor's Diet
    August 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I often like to eat sweets with my nightly cup of miso soup – this would be perfect with it!

    • Michelle
      August 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      They definitely would, Lynn! I’m getting obsessed w/ the idea of miso in cookies…thinking miso fauxreos maybe?!

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