Peanut Butter Jelly Thumbprint Cookies turn the classic sandwich into a tasty cookie treat that makes a perfect sweet snack any time of day!Jump to Recipe
The classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly – what’s not to love?
These cookies marry those classic flavors and put a sweet spin on them. They start with a crispy yet chewy peanut butter cookie base and are topped with a healthy dollop of your favorite jam or jelly.
It’s pb & j perfection, in cookie form!
How to make Peanut Butter Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
This recipe mixes up in a snap, especially if you have a stand mixer.
But even if you don’t, you can go from ingredients to eating in less than 30 minutes.
Like all good cookie recipes, this one starts with a base of butters and sugars.
Mix together butter and peanut butter until combined. Add in 3/4 cup each of brown sugar and granulated sugar and then beat until light and fluffy.
Add an egg, one tablespoon of vanilla extract and two tablespoons of milk, and continue to mix together.
Up through this stage, you can not over-beat your ingredients. After I add the egg, vanilla and milk, I like to let the stand mixer run for about 90 seconds on medium speed just to get all of the ingredients fully incorporated and creamy/fluffy.
When you move on to the next step of adding the dry ingredients, you need to be much more mindful of over-mixing. This can cause your cookies to become tough and you definitely don’t want that!
While your wet ingredients mix together, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and oats) in a small bowl. Stir or whisk together for about 15 seconds.
Next, begin to add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in small batches. Mix after each addition, just until combined.
If you have time (and patience!), let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before rolling into balls and baking. This step is not needed, but it will result in cookies that are a little thicker since they will not spread as much when they bake.
When ready to bake, roll about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. (If you have one, use a cookie scoop for even-sized balls)
As you place the dough balls on the cookie sheet, make sure you leave enough space between as the cookies will spread a bit.
Once you’ve filled the cookie sheet, use your thumb to make a small indentation in each ball of dough. Then, spoon your jam or jelly of choice into each spot.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown and crisp around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
This dough freezes beautifully! I love to have a bag of these dough balls in the freezer at all times.
You have a few options for freezing the dough:
- Form the prepared dough into a flat disc, wrap with freezer paper and place in a freezer bag.
To use, let the dough thaw completely (at least 6 hours) in the refrigerator. Then, roll the dough into balls and proceed as usual.
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Then, flash freeze by placing the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. (Flash freezing will keep the dough from sticking together.) Place the frozen dough balls in a plastic freezer bag and return to the freezer.
To use, pull out as many peanut butter cookie dough balls as you want to make and place on a cookie sheet. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until soft enough for you to make the thumbprint indentation. Then, fill with jelly and bake as listed.
This freezing method is perfect for baking just a few cookies at a time!
I do not recommend freezing the baked cookies as the jelly thumbprint loses some quality when frozen and thawed.
How can I customize this recipe?
There are a few fun twists that you can use to make this Peanut Butter Jelly Thumbprint Cookies recipe your own.
Here are some of my favorite tried-and-tested options:
- Add an additional 1/4 cup of flour for thicker cookies that do not spread as much.
- Replace the jelly or jam with honey before baking.
- Replace the jelly or jam with Nutella or other chocolate-flavored spread after baking.
- Roll the dough balls in sugar before placing on a cookie sheet for a crispy, sugary bite.
- Replace the oats with granola or rice krispies for a crunchy bite.
If you try any other ideas, I’d love to hear about them and how they turn out for you!
Peanut Butter Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
- 3/4 cup Butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup Peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 3/4 cup Brown sugar
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 tablespoons Milk
- 1 1/4 cup Flour
- 1 tablespoon Baking soda
- 1/4 tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Oats
- 1/2 cup Jelly or jam of your choice
- Cream together the butter or margarine, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, vanilla and milk.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and oats just until combined.
- Refrigerate dough for an hour to make handling easier, if you have the time. (This is optional.)
- Roll about a tablespoon of dough into ball and place on a cookie sheet. When the cookie sheets are full, make an indentation with your thumb in each ball and fill with jam.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
- I recommend using jam instead of jelly since it is thicker and will not spread as much when baked.
- Increase the amount of flour by 1/4 cup if you want thicker cookies that do not spread as much.
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