Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

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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.

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

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.

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!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

By Averie Sunshine
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients  

  • 1 ¼ 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
  • ¼ 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
  • ¼ cup strawberry jam, or your favorite flavor, divided

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 311kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Sodium: 188mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 15g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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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

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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. ;)

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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 :)

    1. 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! :)

  7. 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!!

  8. 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

    1. 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! :)

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. YUMMY! What another great recipe! I love it! This is one to make for the weekend!! Very creative, I love it!

  13. Oohh, these look so great! I love coconut cashew cookie part! Well, and the PB&J too, of course.

  14. 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! ;)

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  19. 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!

    1. 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!

  20. These look so fun! I love when you can make a cookie dough in food processor and not worry about creaming! Pinning!

    1. 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!

  21. I have to admit I was never a big fan of pb&j sandwiches growing up but these I could do!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

      1. I will take anything with peanut butter any day of the week! Just don’t add any jelly.

  25. 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!

  26. Keep up the vegan recipes! These look so yummy, I love anything peanut butter and jelly. Will have to try these soon

  27. 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.

    1. It was sort of an afterthought recipe…but the jam was so pretty in the light. I loved taking the pics!

  28. Any way I can have more peanut butter and jelly in my life, I’m DOWN. These look so fun, Averie!

  29. 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. :)

    1. 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

  30. 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!

  31. 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! :)

  32. 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?!

  33. 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.

  34. “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!

    1. 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!

  35. 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. ;)

  36. 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!

    1. 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!

  37. So fun! What a great alternative to the classic PB&J sandwich. I love that the cookies are no-bake and vegan too.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. Anything PB and J is classic! And usually delicious. I love this healthy twist–with no sugar or added oil. Sounds fabulous, Averie!

  41. 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!

    1. 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 :)