I’m starting to really dig into recipe development and try different exercises for coming up with original ideas. This is easier said than done because recipes are ALL OVER THE INTERNET. You get stuck on things you see all the time, things you really want to try but haven’t yet. And it can be so hard to generate new ideas when your brain is full of unoriginal ones. Thus these thumbprint cookies were born.
I honestly don’t know what exercise it was that caused the idea to come to life. I think I sat down and thought about all the different ways I could use peanut butter and jelly. Then thumbprint cookies came to mind so I thought about peanut butter cookies with some jelly in the center. The idea didn’t stop there though. I don’t like to buy jelly or jam because of the sugar content, and my homemade jam didn’t seem appealing enough for these cookies.
Why Apple Butter?
I had a lot of apples on hand and since apple + peanut butter is almost a daily snack for me, I chose to go the “apple jelly” route. Which reminded me of when I dated my college boyfriend and he swore by eating apple jelly with peanut butter. It’s how he was raised. I tried it once at his grandparents’ house and like it enough to eat it, but it was no grape Smucker’s to me.
Tangent aside, I made an apple “jelly” with sauteed apples – in coconut oil and cinnamon. And then I blended them with my date syrup to sweeten it even more. The quantity wasn’t enough to blend it well so I threw in additional unsweetened applesauce. More apples would be the solution to that problem.
The peanut butter cookies are rather improvised. They’re protein cookies so it’s pretty basic but they bake nicely. I actually want to make just those cookies one day, flatten them out more, and see if they get a little crispy.
Peanut Butter and Apple Jam Thumbprint Protein Cookies
Chewy peanut butter protein cookies filled with naturally sweetened apple "jam". Satisfies that peanut butter craving and provides a healthy does of protein for a perfect pre-workout snack.
Apple Butter Filling
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 apple medium sized, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce alternative: a second apple
- 1/4 cup date syrup
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
mix flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes to thicken. It helps to put it in the fridge.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
Slightly melt peanut butter and stir in date syrup, vanilla, and flax egg.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to incorporate
Form heaping tbsp sized balls of cookie dough, place on the cookie sheet and press the middle in with your thumb.
Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on rack completely
While cookies bake: heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee apples, sprinkled with a little cinnamon until soft. You can skip this step and simply use 1 cup of applesauce but I like things to be less processed.
Add softened apples to a blender. Add additional applesauce if desired and date syrup. Maple syrup can work as a substitute here but I highly recommend incorporating date syrup into your fridge staples.
Blend until smooth. Fill baked cookies with about 1 tsp of the filling each. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.