Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies – A fast, easy, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy twist on peanut butter and jelly – and on 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.
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.
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.
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.
After combining the ingredients and blending, the mixture will resemble something like this Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bar dough (below)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies
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.
- 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
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam (or your favorite flavor), divided
- Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g
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
Yummy ! ♡
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.
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!
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!
How many calories, I wonder???
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. ;)
Glad you saw them and they’re super easy to make!
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!
I hope you get your work done quickly so you can make these…so easy!
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!
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.
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 :)
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! :)
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!!
You and me both!
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
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! :)
Ok, so aside from sounding completely delicious, these are so freaking cute! Love!
Thanks, Amanda :)
These look amazing! I’m obsessed with peanut butter, I’d say a quarter of my posts include it. It always makes me happy when you post vegan recipes, especially ones with no added sugar.
Glad you like it as much as I do!
I look at A LOT of pictures of food (don’t we all?) and your pictures literally had me drooling over my computer. Now I want PB & J in a bad, bad way. But seriously, stunning pictures. I would visit a museum of pictures like this!
Thanks for your kind words and high praise about my photography, Shana! :)
Those look amazing! That cashew cookie base will be very useful in LOTs of different recipes, both Paleo and GF!
My thoughts exactly on the cookie base!
I love the looks of those little sandwich cookies! How awesome that they are all healthy and easy to whip together in the food processor! As you already know, we are definite fans of your thumbprints so we will have to give these a go, too!
OMG! Love this recipe! I might have to make this one soon! The PBnJ looks sinful
These are adorable!!! Totally bookmarking to make for my vegan friends! :)
YUMMY! What another great recipe! I love it! This is one to make for the weekend!! Very creative, I love it!
Oohh, these look so great! I love coconut cashew cookie part! Well, and the PB&J too, of course.
Wow! I wish I had these right now to snack on. Amazing.
First of all, these are adorable! Second of all, they HAVE to be good because anything involving peanut butter and jelly is automatically a winner in my book! ;)
Such a cute unique treat! Love no bake cookies like that. I made some similar not too long ago and froze them. They never froze very hard so I don’t think quickly chilling these would be an issue.
Sometimes with agave, things can freeze a bit solid. Generally if it’s just nuts/dates, not as much but sometimes the agave does it. It’s hard to tell so I always just play it safe for people.
Sometimes, like today, I just crave PB&J. These look mouthwatering.
YUM! These look delicious.
Your creativity inspires me! How do you come up with all these awesome recipes? My friend is a vegan and always complains how I never bake anything she can eat. Now I can and will.
The first 25 recipes on this page are mostly raw/vegan/gf/nobake with dozens more as noted on that page – there’s 200+ ideas for her :)
Looks amazing to me!
These are just too cook. A classic Averie circa 2 years ago recipe, but much more refined and sophisticated. I half expected to see you in some crazy ass yoga pose at the end of the post! I still see those in my mind’s eye every now and then. The backbend with your leg up….whatever that was called it was BONKERS.
Hi Averie. I just have to say that your photographs are so amazing lately. I was on foodgwaker the other day and saw your peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies and I swear, I wanted to grab one up right then and there. I also love the pops of raspberry in these cookies. I think I might even like these cookies alone, as they sound so yummy with all of the nuts in them. I took a 4 day mini-vacation from the computer so I have some catching up to do on your site.
Thanks, Jackie, and it’s nice to know that I made you want to reach out and grab a cookie right off the FG page :)
Wow, these look so incredible. Your photos are breathtaking! Thanks for sharing.
cashews = plant based butter. YES. Averie I LOVE cashews so much for their taste, but it’s their texture that I adore the most, especially blended! And unsweetened coconut ?!? I don’t buy the stuff. Always sweetened. I know you don’t like nuts in your baked goods, but I freaking LOVE them! Funny thing is is that I used HATE them. Loathe them. Picked them all out and got mad at my mom for baking oatmeal raisin cookies with walnuts. “eww!” I would say. Anyway… off topic… but I love nutty desserts and these ADORABLE little mini sandwiches (yes mini is better) are too good to be true. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I may like peanut butter and jelly more than peanut butter and chocolate. Please don’t ban me from your blog or your life. ;)
PS: I’m glad you linked to your cookbook at the bottom of the post!!! Make sure you do that on all your pb recipes girl!
I think I like PB & J better than PB & C…well, I dunno. It depends on my mood and time of day. At night, PB & C will win :) Midnight snack of champions.
And I still don’t like big nutty pebbles in things, i.e. a macadamia nut would KILL a white choc cookie for me, but blended like this, nuts are great. Cashews are vegan butter in so many ways!
And thanks for the comment about my cookbook and linking it :) And for the pin! You’re so sweet!
These look so fun! I love when you can make a cookie dough in food processor and not worry about creaming! Pinning!
The only thing is the food proc seems to have more plastic parts, pieces, blades, etc and so I have to decide if I want to wash dishes rather than cream butter. Lol Thank you for the Pin!
girl you make vegan and gluten free look HEAVENLY!!!!
I try :)
I have to admit I was never a big fan of pb&j sandwiches growing up but these I could do!
I love the photos with the jelly oozing out, so delightful! I’ve been getting into raw cookies lately and this looks a fantastic recipe to try.
Have you been to the PB&J restaurant in NYC? It’s called Peanut butter & CO and it’s in Greenwich Village, it’s so great.
And how cute are these? I love that they are vegan and gluten free.
No havent been there but it’s on my bucket list!
Boy do I wish that I was a fan of PB&J because these look delicious! I love peanut butter and I love jelly, but for some reason I can’t stand the two when combined.
You don’t like PB & J and you read my blog? Well…that’s more for the rest of us then! :)
I will take anything with peanut butter any day of the week! Just don’t add any jelly.
I love peanut butter and am stoked for your book, but I kind of want to smear some coconut butter and jelly on these! yum. And thank you for another fantastic vegan/gf recipe!
Coconut butter would be great too!
Keep up the vegan recipes! These look so yummy, I love anything peanut butter and jelly. Will have to try these soon
These look absolutely perfect to make for my vegan friends that recently moved to the city. The bright red jam is so beautiful! I wouldn’t be able to resist one or two of these.
It was sort of an afterthought recipe…but the jam was so pretty in the light. I loved taking the pics!
Any way I can have more peanut butter and jelly in my life, I’m DOWN. These look so fun, Averie!
Peanut butter and jelly is just about as good a combo as peanut butter and chocolate, in my opinion. There’s just something perfect about the sticky sweet jelly mixed with the creamy rich peanut butter. Mmmm. These sandwich cookies are so pretty and they sound really good too! Loving the bright red pop of color Averie. :)
I loved taking pics of these…that jam was so reflective and fun. I know you probably have those shoots where you love and others where…nothing you do works. Lol
Look at that jelly! I’m drooling!
I feel the exact same way about mini food and sandwiched food! These look so delicious with the bright, vibrant jam oozing out, and that perfect, simple raw cookie dough. I’m pretty sure I would love these!
Just came across your blog and I’m so glad I did! These look amazing! I love that there are no added un-needed extra ingredients (like sugar, oil and salt). Definitely my kind of PB&J! :)
Thanks for saying hi!
These look absolutely delightful!
These are just about the cutest things I have ever seen! And “no-bake, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, with no added sugar, and no added oil or salt”… what’s NOT to love?!
Why do you torture me through a computer screen! I need a new blade for my big food processor (I somehow broke the “normal” one and have been using my expensive food processor as a cheese grater for quite some time)– but this is definitely incentive. This sounds like, crazy good. PBJ sandwich cookies? Nutty cookie to sandwich it between? mmmm Drooling.
“Everything is better with peanut butter.” – you know, Averie, there is so much love and passion in this words that even I, person who doesn’t eat peanut butter, is willing to try it one more time! And yes, I did pre-order your book too. :)
Yesterday I was at food coop to buy some produce, and stumble upon a large bag of peanuts. I thought of you right that moment: Averie would love it! It was a big burlap bag. They just had it delivered and were shelling it. They did give me some to try and I have to admit that raw peanuts taste much better that what the other stores sell. Didn’t make me a fan of peanut butter yet, but raw nuts I can tolerate some. I guess there’s a lot to do with what you grew up with. Peanut butter and jelly doesn’t exist in our cuisine, we eat for breakfast what people in US eat for dinner. :) This sandwich makes a great snack when you go hiking. Keeping this recipe!
Thanks for the preorder! And for your note last night, too, about making things of mine and appreciating the attention to detail (your reply to my reply).
And yes, culturally based foods and childhood foods really shape us for life!
PB & J is a classic and these look so good! I too love anything in it’s mini version. You can eat more that way. ;)
The sandwich cookie part definitely reminds me of the raw vegan bites/ balls– one of my favorites is walnuts, cashews, dates, cacao nibs or powder. So many options for nuts, dried fruit and spices mixed in a food processor. This recipe makes me want to make a little batch of mango jam–I have instant pectin so could still keep this easy. I also loved the dark brown sugar coconut oil cookies–I made up the dough yesterday morning and satisfied a little cookie craving last night. I was impressed with how the coconut oil and brown sugar became so smooth and fluffy in the mixer and the flavor is great!
walnuts, cashews, dates, cacao nibs or powder = my very first blog post ever!! Raw vegan brownies. There was agave in there too and ironically I have thought about remaking them, modern day, with modern photography :)
And so glad you tried the cookies. I am in love with that dough. And yes, the fluffing in the mixer is pretty impressive. I have tried to recreate that dough with other flavors, ingredients, etc but that exact version is still winning in all my recipe trials and tests!
Absolutely pinning this one. Need to make these for my sister!
thanks for the pin!
Averie, these sound incredible! A grown-up version of PB&J :) Such a brilliant idea for cookies!!
So fun! What a great alternative to the classic PB&J sandwich. I love that the cookies are no-bake and vegan too.
These look amazing, Averie!
Well we both have PB&J on the brain today. These look GREAT Averie :)
these look so delish!
Oh these look great. Perfect for our upcoming food blogger bake sale. We only had a few vegan/gluten free items and they sold like hot cakes!
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2009/10/raw-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough.html The end-all be-all easy raw/vegan/gf treat!
Or the first 25 recipes or so on this page are all raw/vegan/gf
Wow! They look amazing! I was going to make one of your granola bar recipes today but I might have to change my plans. I have the perfect jelly for these, homemade raspberry rhubarb,yum.
These are more like ‘little cookies’ rather than true granola bars. Sort of splitting hairs but for a true granola bar taste, these are one of my faves of all time
um delicious! PB and J is the ultimate classic IMO. These look so yummy
Anything PB and J is classic! And usually delicious. I love this healthy twist–with no sugar or added oil. Sounds fabulous, Averie!
In all honesty, I thought to myself “Finally something I don’t have to add to the ‘To Cook’ list!” when I first read the title. And then I made the mistake of looking at the pictures and reading how easy it is to make! Even though I was about to hit the hay, now I’m up and hungry! Blarg!
I try to make raw/vegan/GF with no added sugar, salt or oil look as good as it possibly can. Glad I got you going :)