These Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies taste like your childhood favorite, but in a more sophisticated package! The peanut butter cookies are classic – soft, and thick – with raspberry preserve filled centers. These cookies require no chill time, but can be fully assembled a day before baking. They’ll be a hit everywhere you take them!
This recipe comes from my cookbook, “The One-Bowl Baker” – out February 2022! Click here for more information about the book and to pre-order. Thanks for supporting my small-business!
Let’s dive in to these fabulous cookies! They’re classic but with a modern twist, and are so, SO easy to make. Plus – they’re a one-bowl wonder.
How to Make Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies:
Start by creaming your butter in a large mixing bowl. Then, mix in your creamy peanut butter until combined with the butter.
Next, cream the sugars with the butter and peanut butter – I like using a mix of brown and white here for the best flavor and soft texture. Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix until just combined. I always recommend real vanilla extract for the best flavor, too. (I know it can be a bit more pricey, but Trader Joe’s has a very nice vanilla that’s a good size bottle and reasonably priced – not sponsored, just a fan!).
Finally, mix in your dry ingredients – the baking powder, salt, and flour. No need to dirty a second mixing bowl – I never do for a recipe like this!
How to shape Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints
Then, roll the dough into balls that are about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (40 grams) in size. Roll these in a bowl of granulated sugar, then press that classic criss cross design in with a fork. (Notice that I forgot to roll the balls pictured below in the sugar, haha).
Press down into the center of the cookie lightly with a clean finger or with the rounded part of a teaspoon to make an indent. Fill this with 1 tsp of raspberry preserves. (That might not sound like much, but it’s the perfect amount for these cookies!).
At this point, you can place the assembled cookies in an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours before baking. Or, you can go straight to the oven! I find that these don’t need chill time, but they do hold their shapes just a bit better if you chill them first. It’s completely up to you! I usually pop one pan in the oven, and stick the second in the fridge while the first bakes.
Once your cookies are done, let them cool for a bit, then dig in! I like these with a tall glass of cold milk – such a classic combo! I highly recommend adding these to your Christmas or holiday cookie plates this year – they became an instant favorite when I added them to ours last year!
More Christmas Cookies to bake right now:
Best Ever Soft Gingerbread Cookies – Ultra thick and soft, full of classic gingerbread flavor, and incredibly easy to make! A simple trick makes rolling out the dough easier, too.
Perfect Peppermint Mocha Cookies – Thick, soft, rich, and full of chocolate and peppermint flavor, with no dough chilling!
Cranberry White Chocolate Slice & Bake Cookies – Made with just 5 ingredients, these beautiful cookies are tender and buttery in the middle, and perfectly crisp around the edges.
Funfetti Christmas Cookies – These are soft, so easy to make, and loaded with white chocolate chips and festive sprinkles.
Cherry Pie Cookies – Made with a simple 5-ingredient dough, these cookies are beautifully festive and have no dough chilling!
Cinnamon Spiced Maple Cutout Cookies – Perfectly soft, lightly spiced with cinnamon and flavored with maple, and they always hold their shape when baked!
Happy baking, and Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you!
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies taste just like your childhood favorite, but in a more sophisticated package! The peanut butter cookies are soft & thick - with raspberry preserve filled centers. These cookies require no chill time, but can be fully assembled a day before baking. They'll be a hit everywhere you take them!
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature (8 tbsp or 113 grams)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 18-ounce jar raspberry preserves See note below
- granulated sugar, for rolling
Prep: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Make the Cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until nice and creamy. Add the peanut butter and mix until it's just combined with the butter. Add the granulated and brown sugars, and mix until well creamed together with the butters. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add the baking powder, salt, and flour and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, just until the last streaks of flour disappear into the dough.
Roll the dough into balls bout 1 1/2 tablespoons (38 to 40 grams) in size. Add some extra granulated sugar into the measuring cup you used for the flour or sugar earlier on. Roll each ball in the sugar and place onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to lightly press the traditional crisscross design into the cookies. Use your thumb to gently press an indent into the center of each cookie on top of the crisscross, and spoon in about 1 teaspoon of preserves into the center of each cookie.
Bake: Bake the cookies for 8 to 9 minutes. The edges will appear just set. Let cookies cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
You do not need to chill this cookie dough! However, I sometimes find that the second pan spreads a tad more since it sits out while waiting for the first pan to bake. So, I usually pop the second pan in the fridge while the first bakes. (I prefer baking one pan at a time in my oven).
Serve + Store: Enjoy with a cold glass of milk! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or 7 days in the fridge.
Make-Ahead Tips: The cookies can be made, fully assembled (with the jam in the centers) and refrigerated on the baking pan (tightly covered with foil, etc.) for 24 hours before baking. Bake straight from the fridge.
Raspberry Preserves: I recommend using preserves vs. raspberry "fruit spread" - the flavor is much better with preserves.
Yield: This recipe can easily be doubled if you need to make more cookies.
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