In high school, I obtained a copy of what I consider to be the definitive cookery bible. Forget Nigella, Jamie or any other chef-lebrity. If I had to live with one cookbook for the rest of my days, it would be the red-and-white gingham Better Homes & Gardens classic.
Every house had one. Pages would get dog-eared. Recipes would go missing. Words would get stained with remnants of sauces, batters or soups long forgotten. And when I had my very own, there was one recipe to which I clung – to the point that I could very nearly recite it word-by-word.
To this day, page 218 of my BHG cookbook is littered with peanut butter smudges and crusted flour. I honed, perfected, and baked their peanut butter cookie recipe so many times that I’m surprised no one begged me to stop. Instead, I chocolate-dipped them, gifted them, and well…ate them. A lot.
So as a connoisseur of pb-related confections, I was entirely too sceptical about a vegan variety. But if you’re looking for a veggie-friendly alternative, this recipe’s got it all: the taste, the texture, and most importantly, the added bonus of a jam centre. It’s nuts.
Vegan Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints
YOU’RE GONNA NEED: cookie sheets, parchment paper, a piping bag*
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup jelly, whichever you prefer (I used strawberry)
1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper*.
2. Whisk together flour, oats and salt. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar, peanut butter and oil until combined. Gradually add the water.
4. Beat in the flour, until just combined. It should now be a soft (not sticky) dough that can be shaped.
5. Using a teaspoon, roll dough into balls (you should get roughly three dozen) and place onto prepared cookie sheets about an inch apart. Press into each with your thumb, making an indent.
6. Pipe jam into each indent using the piping bag. Bake for 11-15 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges and firm.
Okay, you don’t need a piping bag. It just makes it a little neater than spooning it onto the cookies. Don’t want to buy one? Do it DIY-style with a snack bag: just spoon the jam into the bag, snip off the tip of one of the corners, and hey-presto. Or, you know, just spoon it on.
Again, you don’t absolutely have to do this. I’ve baked these with and without parchment paper, and have never had a problem with pesky stuck-on cookies.
Cookie recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.
Store these in an airtight container and eat within 3 days (they have a tendency to get quite hard otherwise).