PB&J Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies

Wanting to improve on yet another childhood memory that's still vivid in my mind, I came up with these cookies. I've recreated many of my unhealthy childhood favorites in this book, only as healthy versions. What strikes me is how easy it is to make healthy desserts your kids will love without sacrificing taste. Instead of the hydrogenated fats and untold amounts of sugar that compromised the thumbprint cookies I ate as a kid every Sunday after church, I added naturally sweet honey, fiber-packed oats, and protein-rich peanut butter, then topped them off with fresh preserves for a tasty real fruit touch. My kids were excited when I put these fresh baked cookies in front of them, but the best part was watching Kenya react just as his mommy used to: by digging out the preserves first.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: about 60 cookies
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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant and not steel-cut)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup honey or agave nectar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup smooth peanut butter

About 2/3 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and honey for 1 minute on medium speed.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla, and peanut butter and beat 1 minute more, or until smooth.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing to incorporate as you go.
  6. Drop the cookie dough 1 tablespoon at a time onto baking sheets lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and use your thumb or index finger to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  7. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam, jelly, or preserves. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until firm. Cool on wire racks and serve. The cookies will keep in a covered container on the counter for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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