No Bake PB & J Thumbprints

I don’t know about you, but weening myself off of sweets can be a real struggle, especially after the holidays. Though going cold turkey may be the smart thing to do, I prefer the slow and steady approach … using a bit less, switching to liquid sweeteners, and adding in some wholesome ingredients … for conquering my sugar cravings.

Thankfully, “healthy” treats can be every bit as (if not more) delicious and satisfying … and such is the case for these simple no bake bites that can be whipped up in mere minutes. The recipe is short, sweet, and quite forgiving, allowing you to make substitutions for your special diet wherever needed.



No Bake PB & J Thumbprint Cookie Bites

This is a mini-recipe, making just 6 cookie bites, a generous little snack for two people. Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if you want some chillin’ in the fridge on demand. They should keep for a few days in the refrigerator, and for several months in the freezer.

This recipe is Dairy-Free and Egg-Free, and it can be Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, and/or Soy-Free.

  • 2 Graham Cracker Sheets (I used New Morning Cinnamon Grahams, but you can use your favorite brand, which may be vegan, gluten-free, or both!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter (I use creamy, unsalted; you can substitute another nut butter or even Sunbutter for nut-free)
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut or Palm Oil, melted (This helps it to firm-up when chilled)
  • 2 Teaspoons Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave Nectar, or Brown Rice Syrup (I used maple)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Jam, divided (your choice, I used raspberry; all-fruit spread would be the most virtuous choice)

Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs or a powder. You can do this with the old ziploc and mallet method, or as I prefer, pop them in one of those cheap little spice grinders, and whiz away. You will get about 1/4 cup of fine crumbs/graham powder.

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the nut (or seed) butter, oil, and sweetener, until a nice thick paste forms. Divide it into six portions and roll each into a ball. Using the back of a measuring teaspoon, press an indentation in the top of each ball, causing them to flatten on the bottom, and form your thumbprint shape on top. If the mixture is too sticky to handle, toss it in your fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up a bit.

Once shaped, place the cookie dough thumbprints in the refrigerator or freezer (if you are impatient like me) for 15 minutes or longer to firm up. Place a dollop of jam in the depression of each cookie bite (I used about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie) and serve.

Yields 6 no bake treats

PB & J Thumbprints - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free - your choice!


Giveaways and Notes:

Wildbars from Chocolate-Covered Healthy – These bars cost a small fortune (definitely worth winning!), but are so good.

28 thoughts on “No Bake PB & J Thumbprints

  1. o.m.g. Those look craaaazy good!! I’m picking up some graham cracks at the store next week to whip these up! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Ooh yummy! You had me at “No Bake”!

  3. The crust just looks so moist (I mean that in the best way….NOT DRY! I hate dry food!!!!) and poppable. As in down the hatchet! Could pop many!

    And anytime I hear the words No Bake my ears perk up!

    I love that I can get GF Grahams. I havent had them in yrs and all of a sudden in the past 5 days I have seen a few links for them. COOL!!!!!!!!!! These look awesome!

  4. Thanks Alisa!
    And the thumbprints look awesome 🙂

  5. Averie – yes, Kinnikinnick and Health Valley both make GF grahams that are also dairy-free and I think both are vegan. I know you like things on the sweet side, so if they do dry out too much on refrigeration, add a wee bit more sweetener – it certainly won’t hurt!

  6. These are delish! Perfect and quick too 🙂 Just what I need

  7. Yummy looking little treats!

  8. I love no bake sweets- its like eating cookie dough which is awesome! These look fantastic. Love how easy the recipe is too!!

  9. OH….I could just grab one of those right now….very NICE!

    Enjoy and Happy Holiday!

  10. Usually I can control myself around treats but this Christmas, I went kind of insane. As of right now I am giving them up cold turkey for a bit…until I can muster up some kind of self control. I may have to make an exception for these though. You know I can’t resist anything with peanut butter!

  11. I could not be more with you on finding the right balance between a sweet treat and a healthy treat! These look delicious!

  12. Ok I’ve been avoiding the post because I thought it would make me crave 8million more cookies just reading it 🙂 I agree I have to do a slow walk away from the sugar rather than cold turkey and I LOOOOOVE small batches so this is great

  13. wow these sure do look delicious!! PB & J always makes the best combo!

  14. Oh my, those look SO good!! Thanks for sharing ; )

  15. I am going to the grocery later this day and I am going to pick up the ingredients! I want to try this one! It looks delicious!

  16. Wow, that looks fabulous! I never thought you could make a no-bake version of this! Fantastic!

  17. These thumbprint “no bakes” look great! I have made every effort this holiday season to stay on track with my very low sugar intake. Stevia has helped me loads to satisfy a very big sweet tooth. You are so right, once you get on that sugar train, it is so hard to re align the taste buds! These cookies sound like a great treat!

  18. Perfect quantity for a post-holiday wean off heavy sweets–they look fantastic!

  19. Those look fantastic! I definitely had to ween myself off the sweets. I didn’t even have that many this year, but knew I had too much when I was getting headaches each day.

  20. My favorite graham crackers are the brand “Midel” which doesn’t use refined sugar. I think the main sweetener is molasses and they are whole wheat.

    This recipe looks easy and delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

  21. This is a fantastic looking recipe! I love PB&J and no bake cookies so this is perfect. Seems really versatile too! Thanks!

  22. What a great, fun, healthier treat. I am experimenting with recreating a “raw ball” recipe that my local natural food store calls raw donut holes to help me ween me off the holiday sweets too. 😉

  23. Ah, a mini recipe–what a great idea! Cold turkey or weaning … yeah, I’m not sure which is better. After returning from our warm Key West vacation (where we did a lot of walking and ate pretty healthy actually), the cold temps here are making we want to eat comfort foods. I just decided we’re having chili for dinner … not exactly light fare. LOL Anyway, these no-bake cookies of yours are adorable!


  24. ooh, this sounds wonderful! and i am especially loving that it makes just a few 🙂

  25. These look so amazing!!!

  26. Wow! These sound so good…what a great concept! 😀

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