Upgrade your classic Jam Thumbprint Cookies with peanut butter in the dough making them a delight among PB&J fanatics. You won’t be able to resist these nutty and jammy little gems. Plus they’re super easy to make!
Whether you enjoy your peanut butter straight from the jar, or in sweet treats like peanut butter cups and peanut butter brownies, you’ll love these peanut butter and jam thumbprint cookies. They can be made with store-bought or homemade peanut butter, rolled in chopped peanuts for another layer of nutty crunch and filled with your favorite jam for a hint of nostalgia.
How to make PB&J Thumbprint Cookies
This thumbprint cookie recipe is not quite the typical shortbread thumbprint cookies I usually make. But it still combines a classic flavor combo in a classic cookie recipe that you can make year round and is festive enough for when the holiday season rolls around.
- Add the softened butter, peanut butter, and sugar to a stand mixer bowl. Beat until creamy.
- Then add the egg and vanilla extract.
- Beat again until incorporated, light and fluffy.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add the mixture to the wet ingredients.
- Stir until the dough forms. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Divide the dough into 1 oz portions.
- Roll the dough in finely chopped roasted peanut.
- Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and make indentations with a teaspoon.
- Fill with jam and bake for 13 minutes.
Tips for perfect Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
How to keep thumbprint cookies from spreading?
I tested this recipe multiple times and then made it once more before I post it for good measure. This dough has just enough liquid ingredients to stay soft but also enough dry ingredients to stay firm. I’m adding gram measurement along with cup measurement in the recipe card so you can get precise if you want to.
Whenever possible, using a scale to measure out your ingredients will ensure the texture of your cookies will come out on point. Adding too little flour will make the cookies too soft, which causes it to spread easily. Adding too much flour will make the cookies too dry and hard.
Make sure your oven temperature is not too hot, hotter oven temperature will melt your cookies before it has a chance to set. And similarly, don’t place your dough on a hot baking sheet, it will melt before it has a chance to bake.
If you need to bake in multiple batches, which you will, use a fresh cool baking sheet, or rinse the hot one under cold water until it cools down completely.
My thumbprints crack when I make the indentation. How do I fix it?
This one is such a pain in the indentation. This dough is slightly softer than a shortbread dough, but still firm, which allows you to form the dough right away and bake without chilling. You can avoid cracking with softer dough, but you can run into the spreading issue.
Make sure you roll the dough into smooth balls. When ready to form the indentation, press gently and slowly with a teaspoon to avoid cracking. If you see the dough starting to crack, use your thumb and finger to cup around the dough to prevent it from spreading out into weird directions and press the dough back together to fix the cracks.
When to add the jam?
I prefer to add the jam to these peanut butter thumbprint cookies before they go into the oven. As the cookies bake, the jam spreads and fuses right into the cookies; it becomes super jammy and delicious.
When adding the jam during baking or after baking, you’ll need to re-indent the cookies. And the jam doesn’t become “one” with the cookies.
You can use any flavor of jam, obviously. I made these with strawberry and blueberry (not pictured). But make sure you use jam or preserve. Jelly won’t work because it is too watery since it is made with fruit juices.
Storing and Making Thumbprint Cookies Ahead
Do thumbprint cookies need to be refrigerated?
These cookies can be safely stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days. I have shipped these cookies in a care package, and they arrived safe and sound. But if you plan to keep them longer than 3 – 4 days, refrigerate them.
To keep them even longer, you can vacuum seal them, or wrap well in plastic and foil, then freeze. Allow refrigerated or frozen cookies to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Can I make and refrigerate this dough ahead of time?
Yes, this dough can be refrigerated for 3 – 5 days before baking. You can refrigerate the dough at any stage, before you portion it into dough balls, after you have formed the dough balls, after you have created the indentation, and even after you have added the jam.
To prepare for the busy holiday season. You can even freeze these cookies prebake. I suggest making it all the way through to filling the thumbprint with jam, then freeze. This way when you are ready to bake, just pop them into the oven. When baking from frozen, you’ll need to increase the baking time by 2 – 3 minutes.
More thumbprint cookies for your holiday baking
- Guava Jam Thumbprint Cookies with a shortbread dough and rolled in coconut flakes
- Pandan Cookies with pandan curd filling in the thumbprints and also rolled in coconut flakes.
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies not quite the typical thumbprint cookies but chocolate and peanut butter is still a favorite flavor combo!
So is it peanut butter and jelly time? Even if it’s not, these peanut butter and jam thumbprint cookies are a classic that everyone will love. Why not make a batch and share them at the office. Or freeze some instead for your impromptu late night snacking needs.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Peanut Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (188 g)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 oz unsalted butter (room temperature, 56 g)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (129 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (45 g)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar (tightly packed, 53 g)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup peanut (roasted & chopped, 66 g)
- 19 teaspoon jam (4.5 oz or 126 g)
- Roast the peanuts in a skillet over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes until lightly brown and nutty. Finely chop the peanut and allow to cool on the cutting board.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add softened butter, peanut butter, and sugar to a stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until thoroughly incorporated, and creamy, about a minute. Add egg and vanilla extract, stir to mix, then slowly increase mixer speed to medium and beat until thoroughly incorporated, light and fluffy, another minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Pour the dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl and stir until the dough is formed.
- Divide dough into 1 oz portions using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon. Roll the dough in the chopped peanut to fully cover it.
- Place dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Use a teaspoon to make an indentation in the dough. Fill it with jam and bake for 13 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool to the touch on a wire rack before moving the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely.
- Both store-bought or homemade peanut butter will work in this recipe.
- If your cookie dough starts to crack when making the indentation, use your thumb and finger to cup around the dough to prevent it from spreading out into weird directions and press the dough back together to fix the cracks.
- Make sure to use jam or preserve. Jelly won’t work because it is too watery since it is made with fruit juices.