Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jam Thumbprint Cookies

I actually made these cookies over Reading Week, put just kept putting off posting them until now...I kind of hoped I would have a chance make them a second time before I posted, but it doesn't look like I'll have time before the end of school. Anyways, I'll just post them now and add edits if I find anything different when I make them again.

Over Reading Week, my mom and I went to Bulk Barn so I could get the ingredients to make my dad these peanut butter cookies. I have posted about these cookies before, but they are really so good that my previous post really doesn't do them justice.

As we were browsing the bins, I spotted Coconut Flour and, it smelled so good, I decided I had to buy some and incorporate it into the peanut butter cookies.

I Googled information about baking with coconut flour and, for the most part, learned what I needed to know from this website about baking with coconut products. What was most applicable to my recipe was...

1. Coconut flour contains no gluten, so if you're substituting it for a wheat flour, you also need to substitute the binding powers of gluten.
2. Coconut flour is very fibrous and "thirsty," so for every additional measurement of coconut flour you add, you should add an equal amount of liquid.

There are many more particularities about coconut flour, but those were the most relevant, and I decided to add an egg, both to replace the gluten and add liquid.

I did a little Googling about the role eggs play in baking, to make sure it wasn't a dumb idea, learning the most for these websites:
To summarize: eggs are a structural ingredient, like flour. They help bind and leaven the baked good, mostly using the protein of the egg whites, which also help incorporate air, thus adding to the texture. Egg yolks are fatty, and meant more to add texture, taste and colour. There's more to know...but this was a fine start.

On a whim, I also decided to make some of these into thumbprint cookies with jam topping. I loved the idea of topping a cookie with fruit from making Strawberry Filled Thumbprint Cookies and thought jam was a natural companion to peanut butter.

As usual, I weighed the ingredients as I baked, though I forgot with the spelt flour, woops. I'm sure that is not good form in baking, but oh well. Anyways, after all my Googling, I finally got about to making the cookies and the recipe ended up as the following...

Peanut Butter & Jam Thumbprint Cookies
(adapted from 101Cookbook's Peanut Butter Cookies)

For Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour*
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) coconut flour
  • 1 large size egg
  • 240 grams (1 cup) natural peanut butter
  • 160 grams (1/2 cup) maple syrup
  • 240 grams (3/4 cup) honey**
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
*I forgot to write down the weight of the spelt flour...ugh.
**Ideally, I would use all maple syrup, but I know it's expensive stuff.

1. Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. 
2. Combine wet and dry, then refrigerate the dough for about an hour, or longer.
3. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
4. Roll cookies into balls and press with a fork, or create an indent with a wet finger or spoon and fill with your jam filling.
5. Bake for  about 10 minutes until they are just golden on the bottom—just make sure you don't over bake them.

For Jam:
(refined version from Strawberry Filled Thumbprint Cookies)

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced small
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • vanilla
  • honey (optional)

1. Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat on medium heat.
2. Continue to cook until the berries are soft and release their juices and add honey (optional—to balance out the tartness of the lemon if it's too strong for you).
3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Combine arrowroot and water, then stir into strawberries.
4. Continue to stir as it cools and until the jam thickens. 
5. Fill your cookies.

Trying them straight out of the oven, I was a little disappointed in these cookies. They didn't taste nearly as sweet as they normally did. I assumed this was because of the honey I used because I have found, with previous batches, that they don't taste as good when I substituted maple syrup with honey. I just didn't have enough syrup this time.

The texture was also different—thicker and more cake-like, because of the egg. I can't really say which texture is better, because some people prefer fluffier baked goods, others like flat...I happen to like both. I will say, however, that their thick texture means they soak up milk like crazy.

Anyways, I let the cookies sit overnight, and tried them again the next day. First of all, they softened (moistened) quite a bit (I think from the moisture from the jam topping). Second, they tasted so much sweeter. I don't know why this would be, but my dad said the same thing. It reminded me of my Oatmeal Cookies, where they are so much sweeter after having time to set. Maybe they just needed to cool and set for their flavour to fully come out...if that is even a possibility?

About the jam topping, I loved it and so did my dad. I really love the contrast in taste and texture between the cookies and the topping.


  1. These are the most delicious looking cookies I have ever seen.

  2. Omg I love these! Well, I used to make them in preschool and they were so good! Your recipe is more advanced and probably even better though!


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