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.
Adapted from the September 2010 issue of Alive Magazine
Makes approximately 13 cookies
- 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C cherry puree(or puree from another sweet dried fruit)
- 1/4 C date puree
- 1/4 C smooth, natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 C no sugar added jam(I used a plum jam, but strawberry would be even more delicious I think)
Start by making the dried fruit purees. I use 1 C of dried fruit in a small saucepan and just barely cover the fruit with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed – only about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree until smooth. This puree does last in the fridge for a while and can be frozen, but if you don’t want as much left over, consider cooking less than that, but be careful not to add too much water or the puree will be too watery and not as sweet.
Preheat the oven 375 degrees.
In a medium sized bowl combine the fruit purees with the peanut butter and vanilla. To that, add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix well. The mixture should be fairly dry, but if it’s too dry and crumbly, consider adding a tablespoon more of either fruit puree. Form into about 13-14 small balls, roll till smooth and then flatten slightly with your hands. Using a teaspoon measurement, or something equal in size, make an indentation in the center of the cookie and fill with jam. Place in the oven and bake for 13 – 14 minutes, being careful not to over bake as they will get dry. When done, cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack and cooling completely.