Recipe: Vegan Peanut Butter & Jam Cookies

There are some people who aren’t vegan that have a stigma that vegan food isn’t delicious and vegan baked goods leave a lot to be desired. But just like any other type of food that exists in the world, not everything will suit your tastes and there are some really delicious things out there. When I worked on creating this recipe, I wanted to make something delicious that everyone would enjoy eating. I also wanted an easy recipe with simple ingredients that didn’t require special ingredients that are used as substitutes for eggs or butter. These cookies are made with pantry staples that I always have around the house.

This recipe got the stamp of approval at work with several coworkers being shocked to find out that there were no eggs or butter in the recipe. For all they knew, they were eating a delicious, regular cookie! And that was my goal. These cookies are also perfect if you don’t have butter or eggs in the fridge, but are craving cookies.

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The ingredients include: light brown sugar, all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, water, fruit preserves, and of course…the star ingredient…PEANUT BUTTER! Make sure you get the type that doesn’t have sugar in it, or you’ll end up with an overly sweet cookie. You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter, it doesn’t matter. I like to use extra crunchy because I like the texture of the peanut pieces in my cookies.

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You start by creaming together the peanut butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes, that way the sugar begins to dissolve. Next, you mix in the vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, and flour until it becomes a sandy and crumbly texture.

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Next, you add water and mix with your hand until the dough forms a ball that holds together easily. It shouldn’t be sticky when you touch it. The amount of water you add is going to depend on the type of peanut butter you’re using. Some brands are thicker, so it’ll require more water. Other brands are more lose and won’t require as much. If the dough isn’t holding together, keep adding water a little bit at a time and mixing well. Just keep in mind if you add too much water and the dough is sticky, just sprinkle in some more flour.

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Once you let the dough rest for little bit, form them into little disks. Then press a little divot into them and fill it up with jam of your choosing. Strawberry is a classic and my favorite, so that’s what I went with. You could use jelly if you want, but I like the bits of fruits in jam or preserves. If you want plain peanut butter cookies, skip this step and just cross-hatch them with a fork then bake them off.

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Bake then in the oven for a bit, then let them cool on the baking pan. They come out delicious and tender and everything your heart desires when it comes to peanut buttery goodness. They do spread out a touch, but not very much.

Pixie’s Vegan Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups no sugar added peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ of a cup all purpose flour
  • room temperature water

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter and brown sugar for at least 3 minutes so the sugars begin to dissolve.
  3. Add vanilla, baking soda, and salt into the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Mix flour into the peanut butter mixture until well combined and crumbly.
  5. Add water a couple tablespoons at a time until the dough forms a ball that holds together easily and isn’t sticky to the touch. Notes: The amount of water is going to depend on the type of peanut butter. Some brands are thicker, so it’ll require more water. Other brands are more lose and won’t require as much. If the dough isn’t holding together, keep adding water and mixing. Just keep in mind if you add too much water and the dough is sticky, sprinkle in some more flour and knead well.
  6. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  7. Form dough into evenly shaped balls and flatten slightly after placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Note: If you want plain peanut butter cookies, skip the next step (#8) and cross catch the top gently with a fork.
  8. With a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, gently press it down into the middle of each disk of cookie dough to leave an indentation. If the sides of the cookies split too much, gently reform and press the dough together with your fingers. Fill each divot with any fruit jam or preserves of your choice. It’s okay to overfill a bit as the cookies will spread a touch when baked.
  9. Bake in the oven for 16 minutes, 20 minutes if you want them crunchier instead of chewy.
  10. Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes on the pan once they’re removed from the oven. If you try to move them before they set, they’ll fall apart.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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I have not attempted to make these cookies gluten-free, so I’m not sure what the texture would be if non-wheat flour is used or if other ingredients would need to be adjusted.

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