Healthy PB+J Thumbprint Cookies

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on February 28, 2012

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.

[print_this]PB+J Thumbprint Cookies

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.[/print_this]

Leave a Comment

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Margaret December 19, 2012 at 11:12

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


2 Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes March 11, 2012 at 15:02

I like the look of these! They look great!


3 Rawkinmom March 8, 2012 at 12:53

these look great!!!


4 rachel March 2, 2012 at 13:07

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. 🙂


5 Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes March 2, 2012 at 13:05

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. 🙂


6 The Café Sucré Farine March 2, 2012 at 11:52

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!


7 Smita March 1, 2012 at 23:20

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!!



8 Heather March 1, 2012 at 15:54

Amazing ABSOLUTELY! If a cookie could be any healthier it would be a cookie disguised as kale- what a great recipe!


9 Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} March 1, 2012 at 15:29

I love these!! Perfectly healthy yet delicious!


10 Nicole, RD March 1, 2012 at 06:02

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!


11 Stephanie February 29, 2012 at 22:43

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!


12 Baking Serendipity February 29, 2012 at 20:51

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 🙂


13 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 29, 2012 at 20:14

So much good stuff rolled into one cookie!


14 Amy February 29, 2012 at 20:01

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!


15 Cara February 29, 2012 at 19:47

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!


16 Genevieve February 29, 2012 at 11:52

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!


17 Eat Good 4 Life February 29, 2012 at 10:11

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!!


18 Kathryn February 29, 2012 at 03:00

You’re such an inspiration with all your healthy treats, good job!


19 Marsha @ The Harried Cook February 28, 2012 at 20:28

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!


20 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 28, 2012 at 20:19

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 ;))


21 Gosia February 28, 2012 at 20:18

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?


22 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 2, 2012 at 11:24

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!


23 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 28, 2012 at 19:01

Oh my goodness–these have my name all over them!! I am definitely going to try these before lent is over.


24 Asmita February 28, 2012 at 16:48

These look so yummy! I wish I could eat some now.


25 Pure2raw twins February 28, 2012 at 16:39

look delicious! love that jam in the middle -yum!!!we love good chewy cookies!


26 Erin @ Texanerin Baking February 28, 2012 at 15:20

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.


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