Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

I’ll never tire of peanut butter and jelly in any combination.

This combination is no-bake, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, with no added sugar, and no added oil or salt. And it actually tastes better than good.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

I think mini food or sandwiched-food of any kind automatically tastes better anyway.

The cookie dough comes together in about 1 minute in the food processor. Simply combine cashews, walnuts, coconut, agave, cinnamon, and blend. That’s your cookie dough. It’s a small batch recipe, yielding just 8 sandwiches. Something fun to munch on, but no worries of lingering leftovers.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Normally I don’t like whole nuts and big chunky pebbles in my desserts, but when they’re blended in submission and used to create a raw vegan dough, I’m all about them. In this recipe I used both cashew and walnuts. I think of cashews as plant-based butter. Smooth and creamy, soft and easily blended, with fairly neutral flavor that can be played up or played down, and mixed with just about anything else to give a richness like you’d get from butter. Walnuts are much bolder and have a more distinct flavor, and they’re a softer nut, full of natural oils, and are easy to blend.

You can likely mix and match the nuts used, but I recommend keeping in some cashews for their highly blendable, buttery, richness. Peanuts are fine but have a distinct, discernible flavor. For their neutral-flavor status and all around smooth blendability, cashews are hard to beat.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Almonds are not my favorite in no-bake cookie dough recipes because they’re harder, firmer, and are like trying to blend up rocks. They do ultimately break down, but don’t have that same buttery, smooth, rich flavor that cashews, walnuts, or macadamia nuts have. Use softer, fattier nuts for best results.

I used sweetened shredded coconut. You may use unsweetened, but the only sweetener added to the entire recipe is just one-quarter cup agave; so minimal. Therefore, the dough isn’t very sweet and is more on the natural, nuttier side, and the sweetness from the sweetened coconut flakes helps the cookies taste like cookies rather than a bland mass of nuts.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

After combining the ingredients and blending, the mixture will resemble something like this Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bar dough (below)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

The dough should come together in a well-formed mass. It’s a good sign if turns into a ball that slaps around the food processor like a tennis ball in the dryer. Because ingredients vary and not all nuts and coconut have the same moisture levels, you may have to play around with the ratios slightly, adding a pinch more coconut or more nuts, or an additional drizzle of agave.

Proper dough will be dense and when squeezed between fingers, it should hold it’s shape, not fall apart, nor be crumbly. The goal is a dough that is dense, thick, holds it shape, can be packed into a pan, and when sliced, will hold it’s shape in bar form. Because the nuts release their natural oils after being blended, don’t be alarmed if it seems a touch oily, which diminishes in time.

As a reminder, make sure not to set-it-and-forget it with your food processor, because after 45 seconds you’ll have have nut-based cookie dough for the sandwich cookies. And after 4 minutes, you’ll have nut butter. I’ve accidentally made Peanut Butter and have frequently accidentally make cashew butter.

Homemade Peanut Butter averiecooks.com

Transfer the dough to a foil-lined and cooking sprayed 8-by-8-inch pan. With your hands or a spatula, press it down, packing it into the corners, and smooth the top with a spatula. The dough layer will seem a bit thin and skimpy, but remember it’s later doubled up for sandwich cookies. You don’t want to make it too thick now, or it’ll be quite the wad to bite into later. Make sure you use an 8×8 pan and not a 9×9 pan, or the dough will likely not fully cover the pan.

Refrigerate the pan for at least two hours, or overnight, until dough firms up and can be sliced. You could probably shortcut this by placing it in the freezer briefly; just don’t let it freeze.

pb&jsandwichcookies-15Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Slice dough into 16 equal-sized 2-inch square pieces. You could theoretically slice them after assembling and filling them with PB & J, but the splooge-out risk is higher, and I slice before assembly.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Add a layer of peanut butter to half the pieces. Add your favorite jelly to the other half. Pair them up and make sandwiches. The thicker the smears of peanut butter and jelly, the messier, but also the tastier, they are.

The slip-and-slide factor increases, but that’s what napkins are for.

pb&jsandwichcookies-16Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

The cookies are loaded with earthy, nutty, robust flavors from both the walnuts and coconut, with the walnut flavor dominating. If you like texture, these are jam packed with tons of it, and you’ll find yourself picking coconut flakes and tiny, nutty pebbles out of your teeth hours later. There are worse things.

The cookies themselves are very chewy, dense, and not too sweet. The overall sweetness of the sandwiches as a whole comes from the sweet jelly. Use your favorite flavor, but something about strawberry jelly and peanut butter is always a winner for me.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

The creamy, smooth, rich peanut butter adds more nutty flavor to an already nutty-flavored dessert. Everything is better with peanut butter.

My new favorite way to eat PB & J.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) averiecooks.com

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) - Healthier peanut butter cookies that are so easy to make! Great on their own but even better as sandwich cookies!

Print Print Recipe

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)

These healthy, all-natural little sandwich cookies are make quickly and easily in a food processor, by blending nuts and coconut, before filling them with peanut butter and jelly. The cookie 'dough' is made from nuts, coconut flakes, and agave. It's full of rich nutty flavor, and packed with texture from the coconut flakes and nuts. It's just lightly sweetened, making it the perfect canvas to be layer with creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly. A fast, easy, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy twist on peanut butter and jelly - and on sandwich cookies.

Yield: 8 small sandwich cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups cashews (I use raw, unsalted from Trader Joe's)
1 cup walnuts (I use raw, unsalted from Trader Joe's)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/4 cup agave nectar (honey may be substituted)
1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch salt, optional and to taste
about 1/4 cup peanut butter, divided
about 1/4 cup strawberry jam (or your favorite flavor), divided

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To the canister of a food processor, combine 1 cup cashews, walnuts, coconut, agave, cinnamon, vanilla, optional salt and process for about 30 seconds, or pulse as needed until mixture breaks down and combines. Mixture will likely be on the wet side and if so, add the remaining 1/4 cup of cashews and pulse to incorporate.
  3. The dough should come together in a well-formed mass; it's a good sign if it's slapping around the food processor like a tennis ball in the dryer. Because ingredients vary and not all nuts and coconut have the same moisture levels, you may have to play around with the ratios slightly, adding a pinch more coconut or more nuts, or an additional drizzle of agave, for dough to combine. Dough will be dense and when squeezed between fingers, it should hold it’s shape, not fall apart, nor be crumbly. The goal is a dough that is dense, thick, holds it shape, can be packed into a pan, and when sliced, will hold it’s shape in bar form.
  4. With your hands or a spatula, press dough into prepared pan, packing it down, pushing it into the corners, and smooth it with a spatula. Dough layer will seem a little thin and a bit skimpy in the pan but is later doubled up for sandwich cookies. Refrigerate pan for at least two hours, or overnight, until dough firms up and can be sliced. You could probably shortcut this by placing pan in the freezer briefly; just don't let it freeze.
  5. Slice dough into 16 equal-sized 2-inch square pieces. Add a layer of peanut butter to half the pieces. Add jelly to the other half. Pair them up and make sandwiches. Cookies will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature, or up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. I store mine in the refrigerator.

Related Recipes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – No need to even turn on the food processor. Mix everything together in one bowl by hand in minutes before stuffing with jelly

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies – So dense and rich, they’re almost like eating peanut butter fudge. Very fast and easy to make, no mixer required

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars –  The crust and streusel topping is made using the same mixture which saves time. Layers of apricot jelly and caramel are baked right in to these texture-filled, sweet and easy bars

Strawberry Jelly Rolls – Full of jelly and a sneaky shortcut is used so these are ready from start to finish in under 15 minutes

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) – Made in the food processor in minutes. Skip or reduce the chocolate and they’re a very healthy, easy, vegan granola bar

Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Sunflower seed butter is one of my favorites, and is used in these easy, no-bake, healthy granola bars made in the food processor in minutes

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (no-bake, vegan, GF) – One of the most popular recipes on my site since 2009, usually either the most or second most popular recipe, every year. Made with cashews, oats, agave, and they taste so similar to real cookie dough, but they’re vegan and you’d never know it. They freeze well and I always have a frozen stash for cookie dough cravings

Do you have a favorite no-bake recipe?

I love tossing nuts, dates, coconuts, oats, agave, peanut butter and various combinations thereof in the food processor and making no-bake bites, balls, and bars. So easy and there’s no wrong way to combine ingredients. Sometimes I use peanut butter, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I use only oats and dates, no nuts; just depends what I have on hand and what I feel like.

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter and jelly?

All peanut butter recipes here

All peanut butter and jelly recipes here

And I wrote a Peanut Butter Cookbook here

   

103 Responses to “Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies”

  1. #
    51
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Ok, so aside from sounding completely delicious, these are so freaking cute! Love!

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Valerie — February 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I think I would eat the cinnamon oatmeal date-bar dough before forming it into sandwiches (it looks too irresistible!). Love these! Yay for smaller batches!! :D

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 21st, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      You know as a blogger, we do not NEED things that make dozen(s) and dozens of treats. 1 dozen of anything, max, is perfect! :)

      Reply

  3. #
    53
    ATasteOfMadness — February 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Haha, I’m also a sucker for mini food. Trouble is I never know when to stop eating because I think “well, they’re so small, just one more..” This looks great!!

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Ginny Simon — February 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’m back! I had to make this, could not stop thinking about it. And let me tell you, if you haven’t rushed out to get the ingredients for this recipe you need to drop what you are doing. It MELTS in your mouth! Loved it! Thanks :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Thanks, Ginny, for coming back to LMK you made them and with great success and what a sweet comment letting people know you’re a happy camper! Thanks so much! :)

      Reply

  5. #
    55
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — February 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Thankfully my local store is closed or I would be running to pick up peanut butter to make this! I agree with you, peanut butter and jelly is a combo that I will never get tired of.

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Lauren @ Dallas Duo Bakes — March 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I love no bake treats, and these look amazing!!! I be the cashews and walnuts create a delicious nutty flavor that pairs well with the strawberry jam. I’ll definitely be trying these!

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    EA-The Spicy RD — March 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I am trying, oh-so-very-hard, not to run to my kitchen right this minute and whip up a big batch of these amazing looking cookies!!! I have work to do, so they will have to wait. But not for very long!!! Fabulous!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 27th, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      I hope you get your work done quickly so you can make these…so easy!

      Reply

  8. #
    58
    Katy @ Katy's Kitchen — May 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

    How did I not notice these were vegan and gluten free? How did I miss the coconut!! Pinned! Also, slight confession: I may be addicted to coconut. I’ll go nuts when you do another coconut roundup. ;)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 17th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Glad you saw them and they’re super easy to make!

      Reply

  9. #
    59
    Jo Anne Franzenburg — July 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

    How many calories, I wonder???

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Janna — August 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    These look yummy! Peanut butter and jelly is a staple in our house, but we are trying to move away from all the wheat. However, we will be using it with honey… I want to point out that agave is really bad for you. It actually contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup!
    http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 3rd, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      To each their own. Vegans would say honey is really bad for you. Some people think tofu is healthy, others think soy is the devil. We all have to do the best we can and make our own decisions. I hope you enjoy these cookies however you choose to make them!

      Reply

  11. #
    61
    Nicole — March 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Oh wow, these look and sound delicious! One question – any idea about what other nut could I substitute for walnuts? I know it’s odd, but I have a intolerance to walnuts.

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    Chéri — April 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Yummy ! ♡

    Reply

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