These peanut butter jam thumbprints combine extra soft peanut butter cookies, salty peanuts, and a sweet jam filling. Use your favorite jelly flavor like strawberry, grape, or raspberry. Add a simple drizzle of peanut butter white chocolate for extra flair. Chilling this cookie dough is imperative, so make sure you follow the recipe closely.
Welcome to day 7 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza! I am SO excited to share these peanut butter jam thumbprints with you for a couple reasons.
First, I don’t know if it’s because I make my daughter peanut butter & jelly sandwiches all the time, but I can’t get this flavor combo out of my mind. I know chocolate is supposed to be “the best” with PB, but give me raspberry jam and peanut butter any time of day, any day of the year. (No offense, peanut butter brownies.)
And second, this recipe is from my cookbook Sally’s Cookie Addiction! Easily one of the best cookies in the book, these peanut butter & jelly thumbprint cookies are extra soft with mega peanut butter flavor. Have you tried them yet? I didn’t stray from the recipe much, but I did add a white chocolate peanut butter drizzle because I’m over the top. 😉
Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Jam Thumbprints
Let’s rewind. I have two basic peanut butter cookie recipes. My traditional peanut butter cookies have extreme peanut butter flavor with crumbly crisp edges. My peanut butter blossoms, on the other hand, are melt-in-your-mouth soft– like a peanut butter truffle or buckeye candies. We’re using the same base recipe as my peanut butter blossoms.
Here’s why you’ll love them:
- Extremely soft
- Irresistible peanut butter flavor
- Sweet jam filling
- Salty crushed peanuts
- Peanut butter white chocolate topping that sets
How to Make Peanut Butter Jam Thumbprints
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Cream the wet ingredients together.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. The dough is extra soft.
- Refrigerate cookie dough. 1 hour is ideal.
- Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1 scant Tablespoon of dough each.
- Indent each cookie. Use the end of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Remember when I taught you that with my chocolate peppermint thumbprints? This way you don’t dirty your thumbs or get dough under your nail AND you obtain a perfect uniform indent in each cookie. Of course, you can still use your thumb if that’s easiest for you!
- Chill the indented dough. 2 hours is best.
- Fill with jam. You can fill the indented cookies with jam before or after you chill them. I’ve done it both ways, no problem. You need 1/2 teaspoon of jam for each.
- Bake. The cookies take about 12-13 minutes.
- Drizzle with peanut butter white chocolate. See below!
Chill the Cookie Dough for 3 Hours
I wrote a post on how to prevent cookies from over-spreading. If you have trouble with your cookies spreading, I highly recommend reviewing it. My #1 tip is to chill the cookie dough. Since this cookie dough (and the baked cookies) is so soft, you actually need to chill the cookie dough twice. It sounds more dreadful than it actually is.
- First Chill is 1 Hour: After you mix together the cookie dough, cover it and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Do yourself a favor and make the cookie dough the night before, so it’s one less step to do the day you bake the cookies. Roll the dough into balls, roll into crushed peanuts, then indent them.
- Second Chill is 2 Hours: Chill the shaped cookie dough for 2 hours. Place all of the shaped dough on a baking sheet or a few plates, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3 hours total chill time isn’t so bad, it’s just that you need to break it up. I’ve tested this cookie recipe numerous times, both when I was writing my manuscript and again last month. At least three hours of chilling is the ONLY WAY to guarantee your beautiful PB&J thumbprint cookies hold their shape.
Best Peanut Butter & Jam to Use
- PB: Like my traditional peanut butter cookies, the best peanut butter to use is processed peanut butter, preferably Jif or Skippy. (Those are my preferred brands for baking.) It’s dessert, you’re allowed to use the processed stuff. Natural-style is my choice for eating, but it doesn’t produce the same type of cookie as its processed counterpart. Natural peanut butter lends dry, crumbly cookies.
- Jam: No rules here! Use your favorite flavor jam, jelly, or preserves. I usually use raspberry preserves and/or strawberry jelly because we always have both on hand. Anything goes– grape, blueberry, blackberry, peach, you name it.
Peanut Butter White Chocolate Topping
This is totally optional, but if you want to dress up your peanut butter jam thumbprints, add a drizzle of peanut butter white chocolate. Melt 4 ounces of pure white chocolate, then stir in a heaping Tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Drizzle all over the cookies. I always use a squeeze bottle for drizzling, but a spoon works too.
‘Tis the season to be… jelly!
What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?
Sally’s Cookie Palooza is my annual Christmas cookie countdown tradition. First starting in 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 new cookie recipes. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂
Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!
These peanut butter jam thumbprints combine extra soft peanut butter cookies, salty peanuts, and a sweet jam filling. Use your favorite jelly flavor like strawberry, grape, or raspberry. Chilling this cookie dough is imperative, so make sure you follow the recipe closely.
- 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (115g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (195g) creamy peanut butter*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (110g) finely chopped salted peanuts*
- 6 Tablespoons (120g) jam*
Peanut Butter White Chocolate Drizzle
- one 4-ounce quality white chocolate bar (113g), finely chopped*
- 1 heaping Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. On medium-high speed, beat in the peanut butter and vanilla until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick and soft. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour (and up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into balls, 1 scant Tablespoon of dough each. Roll each ball into crushed peanuts. Indent your thumb or the bottom end of a rubber spatula or wooden spoon into the center of each dough ball to make a crevice. Place each on 1 or 2 large plates or a lined large baking sheet. Loosely cover the dough balls and chill for 2 hours (and up to 2 days).
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Remove dough balls from the refrigerator and arrange on the baking sheets 3 inches apart. Spoon heaping 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indent.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The jam won’t look completely set, but will set as the cookies cool. Mine usually take the full 13 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Optional White Chocolate Drizzle: You can melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Stir in peanut butter and drizzle lightly over cookies. Allow the drizzle to set completely at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Up to 2 days in step 3 and up to 2 days when chilling again in step 4. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then roll in peanuts, make an indent into each, and continue with step 5. Baked cookies, with jam filling and with or without drizzle topping, freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
- Peanut Butter: It’s best to use a processed peanut butter like Jif creamy or Skippy creamy. I do not suggest using natural style, oily peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter adds peanut chunks as well as a more crumbly texture. I recommend using creamy in this recipe.
- Peanuts: For a salty/sweet cookie, I recommend using roasted salted peanuts. If desired, you can use unsalted or raw (not roasted) peanuts. You can skip the crushed peanut coating if desired, too.
- Jam: Use any jam, jelly, or preserves you enjoy with peanut butter. I usually use strawberry jelly and/or raspberry preserves, whichever I have on hand.
- Optional White Chocolate Drizzle: For the best results, use a 4 ounce “baking chocolate” bar found in the baking aisle. I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. Do not use white chocolate chips for the drizzle, as they contain stabilizers preventing them from melting into the proper consistency.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: peanut butter, jelly, jam, cookies