Peanut Butter Thumbprints


October 4, 2010 by Flora Dawn

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A childhood staple for so many reasons; they’re cheap, tasty, and inexpensive. Well, you go gluten free and you realize that PB & J is one of things you took for granted.  Sure, you can make a sandwich on gluten free breads, but let’s face it they really need mustard and some meat and cheese to make them good, peanut butter and jelly just doesn’t quite work (at least not at my house).

I recently posted a recipe for gluten free thumbprint cookies. They were very good, but somehow I was thinking that peanut butter cookies with jam or jelly in the center would be even better, especially for the kids. A reader asked me for a good gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe, and well… is what I came up with for a PB & J cookie. They are quick, easy, gluten free and best of all, very tasty.

I love flourless peanut butter cookies and I use my favorite version for these as well. I love the fact that they are super easy and with no “weird” gluten free ingredients they are relatively inexpensive to make.

The only problem I had, if you could call it a problem, is that the cookies “puff” while baking. To keep the well-shape I simply used a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon (a baby spoon would also work well) to gently press down the center after the cookies were removed from the oven. I am guessing if you have the time and want to refrigerate the dough they would hold their shape better while baking, but I haven’t actually tested this theory.

Although I am particularly fond of berry jams, whatever jam or jelly you prefer will work here. So grab the kids and a glass of milk and enjoy peanut butter and jelly again. It’s not a sandwich, but I doubt you’ll hear any complaints.

Immediately after baking.

Creating a more defined well for the jam.

An entire batch ready to fill with jam.

Peanut Butter Thumbprints!

Peanut Butter Thumbprints

I like to just estimate the peanut butter amount, since measuring is so messy. But make sure and error on the side of too much peanut butter if guessing.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Roll into small, about 1 tablespoon sized, balls. They are a bit sticky, but they will roll.
  3. Place on baking sheets and gently make indention with your thumb or finger, creating a well in the center. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and press down the center if it “puffed” during baking. Allow cookies to cool several minutes before removing to a wire rack. Fill indention with your favorite jam or jelly.

11 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Thumbprints

  1. Lynn says:

    This is a great idea. I wish I could make some, but somehow I don’t think they would be the same with a pb alternative.

  2. Flora says:

    Well, maybe you could make a small batch of sunflower butter ones 🙂 And the rest of the family could have the regular cookies.

  3. Ilene says:

    Flora, these look great, I am sure they are.!!!!
    What is not to like with peanut butter and Jam. I already
    know a few of my friends that will enjoy these. Thanks.

  4. Annie says:

    I just tried to make these cookies, because the first time I made them they were great, the indents even stayed. But every single time after I tried to make them again, the cookies just go flat, and I don’t know why. This is really upsetting me because I love peanut butter and jam. We have no regular sugar so I used a full cup of brown sugar, which i didn’t think would change anything. But, again the cookies went flat. Can someone help me here? How do I keep the cookies from going flat so I can enjoy my peanut butter jam cookies?!?

    • Flora says:

      It could be the sugar. I know brown sugar and white sugar have different properties and that is why most cookie recipes have both. Did you use the same type of peanut butter? I know I have used the healthier no stir variety and they don’t turn out as well as the typical Skippy or Jiff batches.

      You could refrigerate the dough before baking, this typically helps cookies retain their shape. You could also try adding some baking soda or cream of tarter to the dough, this might make them fluffier.

      Another thought is the type of cookie sheet you are baking them on. Did you change pans? I know that sounds odd, but different pans tend to cook differently as does greasing or not greasing the pan.

      • Annie says:

        I think we have Skippy, and I haven’t changed the pan. I didn’t try refrigerating the dough, but I could try that. But if I were to add baking soda to the recipe you have, how much should I add?

        I had to change recipes because the recipe I usually use is on my old phone, and there’s a lock on it and I forget the password because I’ve had this new phone for about two months now. But I do know I used a full cup of regular sugar.
        But thanks for suggesting some things!! I’ll definitely will try refrigerating the dough!

      • Flora says:

        I think it would be best to use the brown sugar and white sugar together, but if want them fluffier I think adding 1 teaspoon baking soda would help.

      • Annie says:

        Yeah, for the second batch I did’t use my thumb, and I’m all out of peanut butter and we now have white sugar, funny how it works lol. And I’ll make sure to add the 1 tsp next time I make peanut butter thumbprint cookies! Thank you so much!!!

  5. Annie says:

    I just tried making them again, but i took out the egg yolk and i think that might have helped, I am not 100% sure, and i put them in the fridge for about 45 minutes and they still had a little bit of a well, but it still didn’t look like yours. The first time i made them i used Kaft, but recently we switched peanut butter brands.

  6. Annie says:

    I finally got it to work!!! I used the recipe above, but before I threw them in the oven, I added only a little bit of jam, like a drop or two. And it worked perfectly! Not the fruity part though, the watery part of the jam. It didn’t completely cook in the centre, but I let it cool and sit for ten minutes and they’re fine. Thanks sooooo much, Flora!!!

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