Peanut Butter Jam Thumbprints

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.

peanut butter jam thumbprints

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. 😉

Sallys Cookie Addiction Cover

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

peanut butter jam thumbprints

How to Make Peanut Butter Jam Thumbprints

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream the wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. The dough is extra soft.
  4. Refrigerate cookie dough. 1 hour is ideal.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1 scant Tablespoon of dough each.
  6. 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!
  7. Chill the indented dough. 2 hours is best.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake. The cookies take about 12-13 minutes.
  10. Drizzle with peanut butter white chocolate. See below!

peanut butter cookie dough

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

peanut butter jam thumbprints rolled in peanuts

peanut butter thumbprints before baking

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.

peanut butter jam thumbprints

‘Tis the season to be… jelly!

peanut butter jelly thumbprints

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peanut butter jam thumbprints

Peanut Butter Jam Thumbprints

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 32 cookies
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. 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.
  10. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

39 Comments

  1. I have a question. If the recipe calls for peanut butter and peanuts, if I were to use Just crunchy PB wouldn’t that work? I know you say it makes them more crumbly but shouldn’t that work?
    Thanks for your great blog! I’ve learned SOOOO much!

    1. Hi Sherry! The cookie dough balls are rolled into the peanuts– the peanuts aren’t in the cookies, if that makes sense. Crunchy PB works, but it’s thicker and isn’t as creamy, so the finished cookies are a bit crumbly.

      1. Sherry Gammon says:

        Makes perfect since. Should have seen that when I read the recipe! Thank you!

  2. Hello Sally, I made the recipe from your book several times the past year but it spread every time (of course I chilled the dough and even longer than the required minimum). As another of your recipe (that I hadn’t tested yet) spread also this week, I really hope with this kind of updated recipe of your book I won’t have the same surprise! Can’t wait because it tasted great though. Thanks for the recipe as I was looking for a Christmassy PB cookie 🙂

    1. Hi Eva! These cookies spread out, as all cookies do, but they shouldn’t completely flatten out. My suggestions for you are to make sure your butter isn’t too warm (see my room temperature butter post– it is vastly helpful and makes a difference!) and try adding another 2 Tbsp of flour to the cookie dough so it’s a bit stronger. I hope these help!

  3. Could I substitute Nutella for the peanut butter in these cookies, and perhaps roll them in crushed hazelnuts and fill with more Nutella? Someone in my family has a peanut allergy so of course we have to avoid peanut butter, but Nutella and other nuts are perfectly okay 🙂

    1. Hi Erin, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work! They would be pretty sweet but so delicious! Please let me know if you try it!

  4. These look delish! Could I sub salted butter (it’s what I have on handling and omit the salt?

    1. Sure can! No need to omit the salt in the recipe.

  5. These were a huge hit! I did omit rolling them in crushed peanuts. Instead I made a graham cracker crust recipe and rolled them in that. Amazing!

  6. Normally, I wouldn’t bother making a cookie like this, because my picky sons wouldn’t like the peanuts on the outside. BUT, since I was going to a get-together for women, and needed to bring a dessert to share, I made these. I love these unique, little cookies. They’re so different from what I usually make. I loved the texture of the peanuts on the outside, but what I think really makes them special is the white chocolate PB drizzle. I love that you can freeze these as well! These are delish! Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  7. Tried these this evening. All looked good till I baked them off. Not sure what happened. They flattened out on me. Followed directions to a t, even fridge times. Maybe I should have left them in fridge longer. Now most of them look like a flat cookie so
    It’s a blob of jelly on them. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Patrick! A few things that can help for next time. The 3 tips I have for you are to make sure your room temperature butter isn’t too warm (check out this post). Also be sure you are chilling the cookie dough both times. Chilling for longer after the cookies are shaped will definitely help. The colder the cookies, the less they will spread. And finally, use processed peanut butter. I usually use Skippy or Jif for these.

  8. Thanks for the response!
    I will be making these again, the flavor was great even though they weren’t pretty.
    I will defiantly try your suggestions and I may try to add an extra tablespoon of flour. But today is all about molasses cookies. I’m going to try your recipe today!
    Thanks again for the suggestions.

  9. Excellent recipe. The best peanut butter cookie I have ever made !!

  10. Denise Henderson says:

    These were a huge hit with everyone that tried them. They are adorable and delicious! I used 1 preserve and 1 jam, both turned out amazing. I can’t keep my husband out of them!

  11. Georgia Massey says:

    Great recipe! I reduced the flour to 3/4 cup and added 1/2 cup of PB2 or powdered peanut butter for additional flavor and protein and also added 1/2 tsp of baking powder. I rolled them in sugar, not crushed peanuts, and then I baked them at 350 degrees convection for 9 minutes. They did not flatten.

  12. Cheryl Reed says:

    These are amazing! They came out perfect! I’m a cookie fanatic and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. My husband and I also made your chewy chocolate chip cookies. I love your tips and advice with each recipe.

  13. Oh oh oh so good! I closed my eyes and was instantly 6 years old again, transported by peanut butter and jelly cookies. These are delicious!
    I’m that person: the one who can’t follow a recipe without tweaking something.
    I only buy natural peanut butter, and reading the notes about “dry and crumbly”, I added an extra egg. I also added sugar, a pinch of salt, dash of Vietnamese cinnamon and a healthy grind of nutmeg to add to the crushed peanuts before rolling. Adds a nice grown up touch.
    I am also spoiled rotten and have harvested 35 pounds of strawberries so far this year, so I used a jar of homemade jam. Can’t beat that!

  14. Hi Sally. Is it possible to use gluten free flower? Or a wheatfree flower (like rye, spelt, oat etc)?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kat, We haven’t tested this with different flours. Let us know if you try!

  15. If I’m chilling the dough balls is step 4 for up to 2 days do I place them right on the cookie sheets line with parchment or silicone baking mat or should I wait for them to come to room temp it placing them right on the mat from fridge how long do they bake for ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, The dough should be cold going into the oven so that the cookies maintain their shape – so no need to let them come back to room temperature! If you chill them for 2 days they will likely take closer to 13 than 11 minutes to bake but every oven is different so keep your eye on them and remove when they are lightly browned on the sides.

  16. OMG, forgot to mention that I baked these yesterday and they are amazing thanks, Sally.

  17. JENNIFER EVANS says:

    Any idea in the nutrients in this cookie

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  18. This recipe is great! I made these with raspberry/black raspberry jam – will probably use preserves next time as I prefer the consistency. The only thing I would change is that I needed about half as much of the drizzle as the recipe calls for. Delicious!

  19. Sally’s peanut butter recipes are always perfection and this one is no exception! I filled mine with the chocolate ganache from Sally’s Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies, but I omitted the peppermint extract. The result was FANTASTIC! These turned into the much fancier cousin of peanut butter blossoms. PS: I did not bake the ganache but filled the cookies after they had cooled. I did have to re-indent after baking, but this was no big deal.

  20. Sally, I’ve baked so many of your phenomenal treats and they always turn out perfectly! You really are my go-to! I’m also a fairly adept baker and I followed the recipe to a tee, including the chilling time. Unfortunately, these spread like water and the jam turned out to be more of an icing on a flat cookie rather than in the hole. Now, that said… the flavor and consistency are fantastic! So I wonder whether I could chill them in the freezer instead for a better result? I’m disappointed but I’m willing to risk it again!

    1. Hi Claire, I would LOVE for these thumbprint cookies to turn out for you. I’m sorry you had so much trouble. See if reducing the butter by 1 Tbsp helps (less butter, less spread– use 7 Tbsp). Additionally, freezing the shaped cookies before baking (with the jam in the center) will definitely help them hold shape better. I recommend 20-30 minutes in the freezer. Let me know how it goes!

  21. Hi: I tried these cookies, but was not successful. I’m assuming (hoping) my butter was too soft AGAIN!! This was my second attempt. Can I use mini cupcake pans instead of “thumb print”?
    Thanks for your help.
    Elaine

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elaine, I would LOVE for these thumbprint cookies to turn out for you. I’m sorry you had so much trouble. We haven’t tested these in a mini cupcake pan but it should work. You can also see if reducing the butter by 1 Tbsp helps (less butter, less spread– use 7 Tbsp). Additionally, freezing the shaped cookies before baking (with the jam in the center) will definitely help them hold shape better. I recommend 20-30 minutes in the freezer. Let us know how it goes!

      1. I tried this recipe in the mini cupcake tins. They did come better, but the jelly/preserves seemed to have melted into the cookie dough. Although I had trouble with this recipe, not a cookie is left in the tin! I’ll definitely try them again.

  22. Help!!! Please. I’ve made these over and over and they are so loved by the people who try them. My problem is the peanuts. How on earth do I get peanuts chopped small? If I very carefully use my KitchenAid processor I get peanut butter. So I sit and hand chop (ugh) piles of peanuts. No matter how I try I can’t get peanuts to stick to the raw dough ball. I work so hard and TRY so hard but I can’t get the chopped peanuts to stick to the dough. Please, if there anything I can do? I’m about to give up on these great cookies.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nancy! We’re so glad these cookies are a hit for you. To chop peanuts, we use a large, sharp knife and a cutting board – it can be a little tricky! Are the peanuts not sticking to the dough because the pieces are too big? Rolling the dough ball in your hands to warm it up a bit will help the peanuts stick better. You can always skip the crushed peanut coating if desired as well. Hope this helps!

      1. Many thanks. What I’ve been doing ( ~blush~blush~ ) is cutting/chopping each peanut with a paring knife, one at a time. I just wait for a good TV program and start cutting a big jar of peanuts at a time and store in the freezer. I’ve bought every little chopper I see in a store or ebay. Useless. I’ll try again with a big knife on a cutting board.

    2. Hi Nancy, I put my peanuts in a ziplock bag and pound them with a meat tenderizer or something heavy.

  23. Thank you for this recipe, and all your recipes, with excellent and specific guidance. Sally’s is my go-to for technique and because it’s so clearly and carefully laid out, I tend to have great success even when I make my own creative substitutions. I had a half-used jar of biscoff spread in my cupboard and was planning to make the biscoff blondies (and still kind of want to) but when I realized that I had a jar of opened artisanal jam in the fridge that was on the verge of spoilage, thumbprints were the answer. So I subbed the peanut butter for biscoff spread (offset by a little tahini for complexity and salt), went a tad light on the white sugar, and omitted the chopped peanuts. Both my batches spread a bit (I think I’d use a tbs less butter next time, especially since there’s so much palm oil in the biscoff spread) but the cookies still came out cute and delicious. The butter temp and chilling periods were definitely critical and tips I’ll continue to use in other baking projects.

  24. These turned out perfect! I baked them from frozen and filled them with homemade guava jam. I saw Libby’s comment that they add an extra egg because they only buy natural peanut butter, and it worked out well. (I have a deep prejudice against Skippy! )

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