Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

November 12, 2009 · 25 comments · Print This Post

in Baked Goods, Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

One of the things I always enjoy when I visit my mother is looking for new recipes in the big stack of magazines that she subscribes to. I used to receive all sorts of magazines but then I found that they just sat around my apartment collecting dust and looking very slick, pretty, and unread. So I stopped getting everything but Coastal Living — because I will have my own beach house someday if it kills me. Granted I’m three months behind on reading that magazine too.  Last night Watson kindly reminded me of this by chewing half the cover off the most recent edition that has been decorating the coffee table for a few weeks.

Due to the time change the evening before I unfortunately woke up insanely early on this particular Sunday morning in Maine (5 AM?!). So I had plenty of quiet time to go through oodles of shiny magazines. I found a butternut squash curry recipe and carefully tore it out, then I gleefully removed a page of clever instructions detailing how to make a series of focaccia ’tiles.” I even managed to sneak away with a coupon for 50 cents off a bottle of McCormick spice, and then I stumbled upon a page of cookies that intrigued me. Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint cookies stared back at me and I couldn’t look away. Typically I’m not a fan of fruity cookies. I’d rather have chocolate chips any day of the week, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe and all the funky preserve possibilities that you could top them with.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

Originally I wanted to use grape jelly when I made the cookie recipe, but then I discovered a jar of Carrie’s homemade raspberry jam in the fridge while I was cleaning. Oh the treasures you’ll find when you organize that great frozen behemoth in your kitchen…So onto the puffy peanut butter balls went tiny spoonfuls of seed-studded ruby red goodness. They were simply delicious and elicited the perfect taste memory of jam sandwiches housed in childhood lunchboxes covered in She-Ra characters. While the raspberry jam was delightful I definitely want to try topping these treats with other jams and jellies. What do you think would be the best combination?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints
Originally published in Martha Stewart Magazine

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat peanut butter and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugars, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients, and mix until combined.

Scoop level tablespoons of dough, and form into balls. (Erin’s Note: Or you can use a cookie scoop and make 14 large cookies, instead of 40 tiny ones, and call it a day). Roll each ball in granulated sugar, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies are puffy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and make indentations in centers by pressing with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven, and bake until edges are golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely.

Heat jam in a small saucepan, stirring, until loosened, about 30 seconds. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation. Cookies can be stored in a single layer for up to 1 week.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nicole spaz November 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm

These look darling. I am not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies but the addition of a fruity jam might sway me. I love jams- can eat it right out of a jar. I wonder how this would be with an orange marmalade….


2 Dani November 12, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I made some flourless peanut butter cookies for my grandkids last summer – some plain, some with mini chocolate chips, and some with raspberry jam. Mine didn’t look nearly as good as yours. I just don’t think they’re meant to be made without flour. I’d love strawberry preserves or blackberry jam, too, I think. In fact, yours look so good that I think I need to go make some now!


3 Elina November 13, 2009 at 8:16 am

How adorable! I also have a hard time catching up with my magazines. I can’t seem to be able to stop renewing them 😉
Your pictures always make me want to make whatever you post about, despite the fact that I usually like to cook only healthy things. Oh well – I’m saving this one too (I think I’m making your blondies this weekend 😀 )


4 kristina November 13, 2009 at 8:57 am

I’ve just been catching up on my magazines and spotted this recipe! Yours look dee-licious. K x


5 Tabby K November 13, 2009 at 9:30 am

Those look yummy, I just love peanut butter cookies. I myself have an insane amount of magazines around the house that are still unread but they are such nice decoration!


6 dawn November 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

love these! one of my fav’s to sit and eat with hot milk & tea.


7 Dolce November 13, 2009 at 11:07 am

I would definitely give a strawberry jam a try on these and may want to experiment with apple as well, or a banana-something-jam. These are good combinations with peanut butter!


8 Elaine November 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

How about a nice spicy apple butter……… ?


9 Nicole (dishin') November 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Oh yum! Looks delish 🙂


10 carrie November 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm

oooh.. I’m late to the party, but yum-oh! LOVE that you used my jam! I’ve never (like EVER) been a fan of grape jelly, especially with PB. I’ve always opted for strawberry or raspberry on my sandwiches.

as for a variation on these cookies… I’d be piping a big ole pile of ganache on there… assuming, of course, I didn’t just dip the whole darn thing in chocolate.

or how about caramel ‘thumbprints’ and THEN dip it in chocolate?

oh brother. I feel the need to go raid my pantry now. thanks. thanks a LOT.


11 Hanni November 15, 2009 at 10:43 am

These look really, really good Erin. Raspberry and peanut butter is one of my favorite combinations. For a Christmas twist (b/c let’s face it, tis the season), I might make these with cherry preserves. yum!


12 [email protected] November 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I have a similar problem with food magazines…I would tear recipes out and then never make them. I stick to the fashion magazines that require no reading and then just rip pictures out of them. And for recipes I just stick to the internet and cookbooks these days.


13 Valérie November 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm

The cookies look adorable! I’ve made Martha’s Chocolate Thumbprints, and they’re quite good. I used to think I didn’t like fruit-flavoured cookies, but now I find that there are lots of exceptions…


14 Chaya November 15, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I grew up on two kinds of sandwiches, cream cheese and jelly and then peanut butter and jelly. I can still taste the peanut butter and jelly blending together. I have always wanted to make a cookie that might give me a taste of what it was like, as a child and this might be the answer.


15 Monica H November 16, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Ooh, these are pretty. I love PB and plum jam on oatnut bread- that’s my fave. I bet these are nice with a tall glass of cold milk too.


16 Shannon November 17, 2009 at 6:55 am

peanut butter jelly time 🙂 i’d have to say strawberry is probably my go-to for pb&j’s, but maybe throwing almond butter in the base and topping it with a plum jam?


17 Vivian November 18, 2009 at 3:49 am

These look so good! Shortbread thumbprint cookies are a favorite cookie in my household. Thanks for the recipe!


18 Jelli November 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I also love going through my mother’s cooking mags. I usually sneak outside to recycle a few 10 year-old editions that keep piling up in the living room too. She’s not too fond of that part. Cookies look great!


19 April November 18, 2009 at 8:15 pm

These look like boobies! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) 🙂

I’m wondering if the batter is the same for these types of cookies:


20 [email protected] November 25, 2009 at 9:52 am

I’ve been looking for just such a recipe. These are so pretty. They would be so perfect for Cooking Red to Remember, something I’m doing Dec. 1 for Aids Awareness Day. You might be interested in joining us.


21 Bren December 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm

my mom snatches recipes from the back of of magazines at the Dr’s office! Hilarious! She stacks and saves them for me when I visit! Nice looking dessert.


22 Lisa March 10, 2010 at 4:57 am

Those will be the death of me- they are just too good! Finger-licking-good! Eating-the-whole-batch-alone,then-feeling-ashamed-good


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