Healthy PB+J Thumbprint Cookies

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

I didn’t really know how to label these amazing little cookies.  Do I focus on the fact that they’re vegan?  Or is it more exciting that they don’t contain any added oils or sugars?  Or maybe that they’re 100% whole grain?  Or how about the fact that you don’t need a mixer of any kind to make these, just a spoon and a bowl?  Honestly, with all my ideas the titles would have been “Amazing, Whole Grain, No Added Sugar or Oil, Vegan, Peanut Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies”.  Um, that seemed like a little much.  But that’s exactly what they are.

Anyways, as usual with anything super healthy that I post, I feel the need to put a disclaimer – these are not your typical cookies!  These are dense and chewy but not dry.  If regular cookies seem too sweet to you, you’ll love these.  They’re sweet, but not enough to hurt your teeth.  I’ll admit, I used regular jam for these and I liked how sweet the jam was in comparison to the cookie, but I think a no sugar added jam sweetened with fruit juice(not artificial sweeteners, please!) would be just as good, if not better.

If you really wanted to go healthier, you could mix some pureed fruit, like strawberries, with some chia seeds until it made a jell and then put that in the center, but I think I would want it a little sweeter than that so try at your own risk.  That being said, I think these are my favorite cookies right now.  Just sweet enough, they store well in the freezer and then I pop them in the microwave for a couple seconds and I have a perfectly healthy treat.

I made a note in the recipe, if sweet dried cherries are hard to find or too expensive, feel free to use something else, like apricots or even raisins would be good, I think.  Just as long as it’s a sweet fruit(and not something like sour cherries!) because that’s where these cookies get their sweetness.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin @ Texanerin Baking February 28, 2012 at

These look awesome and I’ll definitely be making these! I love that they’re chewy. Unchewy cookies just aren’t any good unless it’s shortbread.

And I know what you mean with the title. I often feel the same way, wanting to throw in all the fantastic healthy features of a recipe but somehow I resist. I don’t want to sound too silly.
Erin @ Texanerin Baking recently posted..Chocolate Protein Truffles


2 Pure2raw twins February 28, 2012 at

look delicious! love that jam in the middle -yum!!!we love good chewy cookies!
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3 Asmita February 28, 2012 at

These look so yummy! I wish I could eat some now.
Asmita recently posted..Green mixed vegetables “Sai Bhaji”


4 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 28, 2012 at

Oh my goodness–these have my name all over them!! I am definitely going to try these before lent is over.
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5 Gosia February 28, 2012 at

They are gorgeous to look at and the healthy aspect has me humming. Do you think, Heidi, they would work if made with buckwheat flour instead of wheat. Somehow it seems the sticky-gooey addition of peanut butter and fruit purees could hold the cookies together without gluten. What are your thoughts?
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6 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 2, 2012 at

Thanks Gosia! I’m honestly not sure if these would work with buckwheat flour. They can be a little crumbly even using a flour with gluten if they’re too dry, but I don’t know what that would mean for using a completely gluten free flour. If you try it, let me know!


7 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 28, 2012 at

When it comes to cookies, thumbprints are actually my favorite. they’re so much fun to make, so simple and I love the bite full of jelly. The one family recipe I have for them is full of butter though so I love this healthy version (even if it has a lot of names ;))
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Lightened up spaghetti alfredo


8 Marsha @ The Harried Cook February 28, 2012 at

Love thumbprint cookies and these look so good! Love the photographs… but I especially love that they’re healthy… Great post… I am bookmarking this recipe!
Marsha @ The Harried Cook recently posted..Moist Carrot Cake w/ Coconut Milk Magic Frosting & A Giveaway!


9 Kathryn February 29, 2012 at

You’re such an inspiration with all your healthy treats, good job!
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10 Eat Good 4 Life February 29, 2012 at

Wow these look awesome. I just finished another batch of pb and oatmeal cookies trying to get the best possible healthier version…..I am still trying 🙂 Your cookies look really chewy and for sure they are super healthy. I love it!!
Eat Good 4 Life recently posted..Sesame shrimp with broccoli


11 Genevieve February 29, 2012 at

These are definitely my kind of cookie – dense, chewy, healthy and not-too sweet! I like the options for using different types of fruit purees and jams…I might even try them with almond butter too. Thanks for the recipe!
Genevieve recently posted..Indonesian Tempeh Stew


12 Cara February 29, 2012 at

I recently made some raspberry chia jam (which I think you saw on my blog, in the cupcakes!) I sweetened it with stevia and I think the leftovers would be perfect in cookies like these!
Cara recently posted..Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes for Love Your Heart


13 Amy February 29, 2012 at

Ha ha! I’m the same way. I feel as if I have to put out a disclaimer on healthy items as well. However, these look fantastic!


14 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 29, 2012 at

So much good stuff rolled into one cookie!
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15 Baking Serendipity February 29, 2012 at

Storing cookies in the freezer is an absolute weakness of mine. I always have something sweet in there! PS: I’ve bought dried cherries at Costco before and they’re a reasonable price. Glad for the new use for them 🙂
Baking Serendipity recently posted..Dark Chocolate and Coconut Popcorn


16 Stephanie February 29, 2012 at

ooh I love cookies made with dates in them! And cookies with jam on them (just posted about them actually) but yours look a lot healthier than mine!
Stephanie recently posted..Jam-Striped Lemon Cookies


17 Nicole, RD March 1, 2012 at

I love the date puree in these…yum! And lots of fiber! I am new to thumbprints as of this past holiday season and I am hooked! They’re so, so good!
Nicole, RD recently posted..Singapore Chili Crab & Pepper Crab


18 Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} March 1, 2012 at

I love these!! Perfectly healthy yet delicious!
Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} recently posted..Micro Green Fruit and Veggie Juice {Purple Juice}


19 Heather March 1, 2012 at

Amazing ABSOLUTELY! If a cookie could be any healthier it would be a cookie disguised as kale- what a great recipe!
Heather recently posted..almost raw lime cumin avocado tacos + Liebster!


20 Smita March 1, 2012 at

I came by your blog from I-don’t-know-where but I am hooked! Being a vegetarian from India, I love your easy and yummy veg recipes! I tried something close to your Broccoli stir fry for my hubby; and now I am off to make your version of the quesadillas for my son and me 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!



21 The Café Sucré Farine March 2, 2012 at

Heidi, these look so good! They’d be wonderful to take on a hike or bike ride and I”m sure would be heavenly for a treat along the way!
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22 Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes March 2, 2012 at

These are adorable! I love the flavor, they sound amazing! And they sound great not being too sweet- those kinds of cookies make the best snacks. 🙂
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23 rachel March 2, 2012 at

These look great! I absolutely love anything with jam. I’ve been known to eat pb&j on a spoon… No need to get bread involved. Let’s be honest, I’m really just there for the peanut butter and jelly. 🙂


24 Rawkinmom March 8, 2012 at

these look great!!!
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25 Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes March 11, 2012 at

I like the look of these! They look great!
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26 Mary Margaret December 19, 2012 at

Hi Heidi!

So glad to have found your creatively open website and recipe. I tried a variation on your theme and am quite delighted with the jewels and the packet! As I did not have whole wheat flour, I used 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 ground almonds—a delightful flour alternative I learned from French bakers. The pureed, dried fruit is marvelous!

Love, Light and Laughter,

Mary Margaret


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