Vegan Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies are an irresistibly nutty twist on your classic Jam Thumbprints with protein-packed peanut butter in the dough! A must-try for PB&J fanatics. 7 ingredients. Super easy. Gf and Nutfree options. No added oil!.. Jump to Recipe 

overhead shot of vegan pb & j thumbprint cookies on a white plate

Peanut Butter & Jelly Fans, gather – you won’t be able to resist the nutty and jammy little gems I have in store for you. These yummy Vegan PB & J Thumbprint Cookies turn our favorite childhood sandwich into a tasty lunchbox treat. Perfectly paired with a glass of plant-based milk, these easy vegan cookies are a delight for the kid in every one of us.

If you are a regular here on Vegan Richa, you know that I’m into vegan peanut butter desserts.  I made these ultimate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, I’ve curbed my ice cream craving with these Peanut Butter Popsicles and don’t get me started on this Peanut Butter Cake.

I’ve also experimented with the peanut butter and jelly flavor combination. Remember this oatmeal bake recipe? So GOOD and pretty easy and straightforward. Just like these Thumbprint Cookies, which are my latest peanut butter foodie crush

This cookie dough comes together in minutes and once made, you just have you chill it for 15 minutes only and you’re ready to portion it out and bake your cookies.
side view of a plate with vegan pb & j thumbprint cookies

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies are an irresistibly nutty twist on your classic Jam Thumbprints with protein-packed peanut butter in the dough! A must-try for PB&J fanatics. Super easy, 7 ingredients, gluten-free option, nut-free option, no Added oil

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time11 mins

Chilling15 mins

Total Time36 mins

Course: Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: American

Keyword: peanut butter cookies recipe, thumbprint cookies recipe, vegan peanut butter cookies

Servings: 20

Calories: 74kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (129 g) smooth peanut butter ( use almond butter or cashew butter for peanut free) see notes for nutfree
  • 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp (29.57 ml) warmed non dairy milk such as almond, soy, oat or coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (93.75 g) flour I use a mix of all purpose and wheat. Use oat flour or gf blend for glutenfree
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp fruit preserves Raspberry, strawberry, cherry etc as needed

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a bowl mix the peanut butter, warmed (to almost hot) milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined and smooth. It will take about a minute to fully come together.
  • Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl, then add 3/4 cup of the dry mix to the wet and make a soft sticky dough. Depending on your peanut butter and flour you might need to add a bit more flour. The dough will be soft but shouldn’t be too runny/sticky. It will get more handleable on chilling. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 mins. If still too sticky then add more flour.
  • Shape the dough into about an inch wide balls. Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheetz Make dents using a Measuring spoon or end of a spatula. Warm the preserves and mix with a spoon so they are not lumpy. fill the dents with warmed preserves or jam. (Warming the preserves makes it easy to fill the cookies cleanly).
  • Bake the cookies for 11 mins.
  • Cool completely before storing. Store on the counter for up to five days Or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Notes

  • You could use vegan lemon curd, dulce de leche or chocolate hazelnut spread to fill the center. It would not be a pb&j cookie anymore, but still pretty dang delish.
  • Warming the preserves up a bit makes it easier to fill the thumbprint cookies without making a mess.
  • The bigger the indent, the more jam you can fit in. Now, no such thing as too much jam, right? Careful with that – do not overfill these or you’ll have a mess.
  • Nutfree: . Use sunflower seed butter.Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the milk before using. Sun butter can bake up green because of reacting with baking soda and the lemon juice helps reduce that chance of reaction. They are edible even when colored.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

Amount Per Serving

Calories 74 Calories from Fat 18

% Daily Value*

Fat 2g3%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 92mg4%

Potassium 65mg2%

Carbohydrates 12g4%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 6IU0%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 12mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients needed for making PB & J Cookies:

  • smooth peanut butter – crunchy peanut butter adds chunks as well as a more crumbly texture. I recommend using smooth and creamy in this recipe.
  • maple syrup – the nutty sweetness of maple syrup goes perfectly with the peanut butter flavor.
  • warmed non-dairy milk, such as almond, soy, or coconut – we need it warm-hot  to “melt” the peanut butter enough to get a smooth batter.
  • vanilla extract, optional but recommended.
  • flour –  I use a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat.  For gluten-free, you can use oat flour or a gf blend like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free blend.
  •  fruit preserves (raspberry, strawberry, cherry, etc) – fill them with your favorite jam, jelly, or preserve for a hint of nostalgia.  I usually use raspberry preserves and/or strawberry jelly because that’s the classic pb&j combo and we always have both on hand. But anything goes– grape, blueberry, blackberry, peach, you name it.

Ingredients for making vegan thumbprint cookies on a marble counter

Tips and Substitutions:

  • You could also use vegan lemon curd, dulce de leche or chocolate hazelnut spread to fill the center. It would not be a pb&j cookie anymore, but still pretty dang delish.
  • Warming the preserves up a bit makes it easier to fill the thumbprint cookies without making a mess.
  • The bigger the indent, the more jam you can fit in. Now, no such thing as too much jam, right? Careful with that – do not overfill these or you’ll have a mess..
  • Nutfree: Use sunflower seed butter.Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the milk before using. Sun butter can bake up green because of reacting with baking powder and the lemon juice helps reduce that chance of reaction. They are edible even when colored

How to make this thumbprint cookies recipe:

Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

ingredients being mixed in a white bowl to make peanut butter thumbprint cookies

In a bowl combine the peanut butter, warm milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined. It will take about a minute for the mix to come together.

dry ingredients being added to wet ingredient to make thumbprint cookie dough

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl then add 3/4 cup of the mix to the wet and make a soft sticky dough. Depending on your peanut butter and flour you might need to add a bit more flour. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 mins. Add some chilling time if it still feels too soft or if your fridge is not very cold.

cookie dough balls being indented and filled with jam to make thumbprint cookies

Shape the dough into about an inch wide balls. Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Indent each cookie.  This is easiest using the a measuring spoon, or end of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. This way your thumbs stay clean and no dough gets under your nails PLUS you obtain a perfect uniform indent in each cookie. Of course, you can still use your thumb if that’s easiest for you!

jam-filled pb&j vegan thumbprint cookies on a cookie sheet ready to be baked

Fill each cookie with a small amount of jam. Do not overfill or the jam will run right out and make the cookies look messy. Warming the preserves makes it easier to fill the thumbprints cleanly. Bake the cookies for 11 mins.

Cool completely before storing them.  These Thumbprint Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

overhead shot of a cookie tray with freshly baked pb&j thumbprint cookies

Can these be made ahead of time?

You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Unbaked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Freeze without the preserves. Add preserves in the dent before baking.

Baked thumbprint cookies, with jam filling, freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and bring them back up to room temperature, before serving.

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