These sweet little thumbprints disappear within minutes. One person eats one, grabs another, nudges a friend who grabs a couple, and the next thing I know, they’re all gone. They are best served warm—preferably only minutes out of the oven—but they’re great at room temp, too.
I thought that I had invented this cookie, but as I was compiling these recipes, I googled “peanut butter and jelly thumbprints,” and of course I got a million results. There are no new ideas under the sun, especially when it comes to a classic flavor combination like peanut butter and jelly.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints
makes 2-3 dozen
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup smooth organic peanut butter (preferably no sugar added)
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons soy or almond milk
1 cup reduced sugar jam or preserves
Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream together shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt into the bowl, and mix on a low speed until flour is fully incorporated; mixture will be crumbly. At this point, you will want to add 2-3 tablespoons of milk, blending in one tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps together if you form a ball in your hand; don’t exceed three tablespoons.
Form balls the size of whole walnuts in your hands and transfer delicately to baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Use a small glass (a jam jar, perhaps?) to gently and uniformly press the ball down to help it spread. The sides will crack and that is fine; if you’ve made peanut butter cookies before, you know that is just par for the course. After flattening all the cookies, use the underside of a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to form an indentation in the middle of the cookie with one hand while “holding” the cookie together with the other hand. This is much easier to do than I’m describing it! Spoon jam into the indendation so that it’s level with the top of the cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store these in a container rather than in a bag, as they need a little extra loving care.