PB&J Graham Cracker Thumbprints

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Baking sheet filled with homemade Vegan PB&J Graham Thumbprint Cookies

Ahhh! It’s officially Christmas cookie season and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Consider this my first of many efforts to make your holiday season a little bit more simple and  delicious. The great news? This just happens to be a 1-bowl, 7-ingredient,  30-minute recipe! I love (baking) simplicity.

Jar of peanut butter for making peanut butter cookies

Measuring cup filled with brown sugar for making Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

The ingredients list for these cookies is simple:

Peanut Butter
Graham crackers
Flaxseed
Brown Sugar
Unbleached flour
Vegan butter
Jam

That’s it! I can almost bet you have all of these items on hand. I love it when that happens.

Whisking sugar into the Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookie batter

Using a wooden spoon to stir Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

In addition to the ingredients being minimal, the process is about as simple as it gets. Simply mix your wet ingredients in one bowl, add in your dry, mix and you’re good to go! Just roll those babies out and them give them a thumbprint. Playing with your food = so much fun.

Baking sheet with balls of Vegan PB&J Thumbprint Cookie batter

Making a thumbprint in cookie dough balls to make Peanut Butter Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Drizzling jam into the center of Vegan PB&J Thumbprint Cookies

After a short 10 minutes in the oven simply top them with warmed jam and they’re ready to eat. I sprinkled mine with a bit more graham cracker crumbs and thought it the perfect finish to a perfect peanut butter cookie.

Sprinkling crushed graham cracker onto Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Batch of our Vegan PB&J Thumbprint Cookies recipe

The important stuff: What do they taste like? Kind of incredible.

A little crisp on the outside
Oh-so tender on the inside
Packed with PB flavor
Not-too sweet
& The perfect combination of flavors.

I mean, peanut butter, jelly and graham crackers are kind of meant to be together.

Close up shot of a delicious Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookie for a vegan treat

Even better news? They travel well and somehow get better the second day! I love it when that happens.

They’re also fairly customizable. If you aren’t a peanut butter fan, sub almond butter. And if you don’t like jam (who are you?), sub Nutella, a mini PB cub or a square of dark chocolate! Dream big and eat (cookies) often this December. Happy baking, friends!

Batch of Vegan PB&J Thumbprint Cookies on a dark background

PB&J Graham Cracker Thumbprints

Tender vegan peanut butter thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam graham crackers. Just 7 ingredients, 30 minutes, and 1 bowl required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Baking sheet filled with Vegan PB&J Thumbprint Cookies
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 (cookies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (layered between parchment paper)
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup natural salted peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter (softened // or coconut oil)
  • 1 batch flax egg (1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 ½ Tbsp (37 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 10 Tbsp jam of choice (I used strawberry)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C)
  • Prepare flax egg. Set aside.
  • Beat peanut butter and butter together until light and fluffy. Add flax egg, brown sugar and stir.
  • Add graham crumbs and stir to combine. Then add in flour a little bit at a time until a firm dough forms - you don't want it to be crumbly. It should take about 1/2 cup (as original recipe is written).
  • Scoop out 1 packed Tbsp worth of dough and gently form/roll into balls. Moisten your hands with olive or canola oil if they aren't molding easily. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Flatten balls gently with the bottom of a glass and use your thumb or finger to make an indention.
  • Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. The indentions should've puffed up, so press them back down a little and pop them back in the oven to brown up a little more - 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown. Be careful not to over-bake or they'll be too crunchy.
  • Let rest on pans for a few minutes then transfer to cool on wire racks. Once the cookies are cooled, heat your jam until warm and pourable in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Then spoon small amounts (~1 tsp) of your jam into the middle of each cookie. Sprinkle with a few more graham cracker crumbs and serve immediately.
  • Let cool completely before covering. To store, cover and keep at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 20 servings)

Serving: 1 cookies Calories: 112 Carbohydrates: 13 g Protein: 2 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 52 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 4 g

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  1. Alex says

    I used a small cookie scoop and it made 29 cookies the only thing I did differently was to add 2 tsp vanilla. I topped them with a tart homemade raspberry jam to balance the sweetness. Oh MY! My wife said they were the best cookie I’d ever made! THANK YOU DANA!!!!!!!

  2. Tina says

    I have no idea where I went wrong but these didn’t turn out for me. I followed the recipe exactly, using coconut oil, not vegan butter. Instead of measuring the flour with a cup, I actually weighed it and put in 60 g, which should be equivalent to 1/2 cup. I baked these as directed but they *completely* spread out on the cookie sheet. They were wafer thin and exceedingly crumbly. I couldn’t even pick one up off the parchment paper without it falling apart!

    That being said, the flavor was awesome, sooo I took my crumbly mess of cookies and pressed them into a tart pan. I baked that for about 3 minutes, pulled it out of the oven, and spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top of that. I popped that in the freezer while I boiled 1 cup of cashews (ain’t got time to soak, haha). I drained the cashews and blended them with a 6 oz container of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a dash of salt until creamy. I poured that on the chilled cookie/peanut butter crust, and then I swirled in more peanut butter, and used the reserved graham crackers intended to top these cookies to have an aesthetic dusting along the rim of the tart. I topped that with pieces of cookie dough I had saved for my partner. It’s in the freezer now, for a quick chill, and then I’ll transfer it to the fridge before serving.

    And there you have it, peanut butter cookie cheesecake! Lol. Not the original intention but really, what a springboard!

    I’ll have to try these cookies again. Any idea where I went wrong? I might be inclined to blame the coconut oil, but I do prefer using coconut oil just because it ends up being so much cheaper than vegan butter!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha! Glad you turned it into something tasty! As an FYI coconut oil creates more of a crumbly cookie vs vegan butter, which creates a more moist, tender cookie. That’s probably what happened!

  3. Marcy says

    I made these for friends and they were super successful! I subbed extra flour for graham crackers (last minute realized I didn’t have any) and coconut sugar for brown sugar. They were really easy and I was able to make them in my dorm kitchen. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Sylvia Isler says

    This recipe looks great! Can’t wait to try it. Do you think it would be ok to substitute apple sauce for the oil?

  5. Kupala says

    Hi! I love your recipes. This particular one I’ve made twice now, but for some reason they keep coming out really oily. I used the natural peanut butter, stir it, blend with the sugar and both times the balls at the end are so oily I can literally squeeze the oil out. Any fixer thoughts? Thanks!

  6. Silvia says

    Can the flour be replaced with oat flour or almond flour or coconut flour? And if so, which substitution do you recommend? Also, can I replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar? Thanks!

  7. Molly says

    When I was a kid my mom would make peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss in the middle during the holiday season and they were one of my favorites. These cookies instantly reminded me of those and I decided to give them a shot with a square of dark chocolate in place of the jam (and the non-vegan hershey kisses). They were amazing! I brought them to work and one of my coworkers even asked for the recipe, so I sent him the link back to your recipe!

    An added bonus is how easy they are to make, nothing better than an easy recipe that produces a delicious cookie. Thank you for another great one!

  8. Galit says

    Is there a way to make this without graham crackers? Replace with flour maybe? I will never find them where I live and I really REALLY want to make these cookies!!! Thanks in advance.

  9. rachel says

    Ok…I seriously have an addiction to peanut butter. It is pretty much my favourite food. I made these for the holidays, and my non-vegan friends and family were also huge fans of these cookies. I will be making these often! :)

  10. Leigh says

    There is something about the thumbprint cookie that screams Christmas to me. Add to that PB, J AND Graham flavours together how could it be anything but sensational! I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for all these great, easy to make recipes and beautiful step-by-step photos too!

    As a side note to Grace from Australia – making your own graham crackers would be worth the effort! They are very yummy! Should you want to try this cookie RIGHT NOW (like I do) you could probably substitute a digestive type cookie and maybe add a pinch of cinnamon.

  11. Grace says

    According to Web, Graham Cracker is like a whole-wheat flour, unsalted butter, brown sugar with honey and cinnamon. There is nothing like that in a pre-packaged biscuit in Australia! Maybe I will have to learn how to cook Graham Crackers.

  12. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    I am loving the combination of flavors here! The cookies are so adorable and look totally delicious and addictive. I absolutely love graham crackers in anything. This cookie dough (unbaked) looks like something I could eat definitely get used to eating with a spoon.
    Pinning!

  13. kris says

    I want to make these but im not sure what natural pb you mean, is it the kind with the oil on top that you have to mix in or is it the kind that says natural but you dont need to stir before using? Thanks so much

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, natural PB as in the kind that you have to stir. But really, any kind should be fine as long as it’s not the sweetened stuff or one with hydrogenated oils. You really just want peanuts and salt. Hope that helps!

  14. Cindy says

    Oh my goodness! They are mmmmmmmmm GOOD! Love the crunchy texture and the way the jelly adds a bit of pizazz. Can’t wait to try them with a dab of chocolate, my favorite food group!

    Thanks for the recipe. :o)

  15. Tara@PNWRunner says

    These look amazing! Perfect if you are craving a PB&J or PB or Jelly or whatever! haha! I bet it would be yummy to put chocolate on top instead of jelly. :)

  16. Brie @ Entrée the Giant says

    My brother-in-law and his girlfriend and both vegan, but the BIL’s got a bad nut allergy – thinking these would still be delish with some sun butter subbed in for the pb though :)

  17. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} says

    Aaaahhh simplicity is just what this mama needs. These look like the perfect Christmas cookie to make with my 5 year old. Can’t wait to try it! :)

  18. Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily says

    I’m loving the simplicity of these cute guys! The texture looks amazing! My little PB&J monsters will devour these {me too :}