I feel like it’s been for.ev.er (say it like the sandlot, do it) since we talked about cookies.

Grown Up PB + J Cookies I howsweeteats.com I howsweeteats.com

Pretty sure it’s because I get super weird about cookies in the Spring. It’s like I make tons of them over the holidays and then am totally cookied out. Well – at least cookied out to the point of baking them. I sure do eat my fair share, but the thought of baking them is the last thing on Earth I want to do. I mean, I made the cookie s’mores but those were totally store-bought cookies. It happens.

Like lots of other people, I can be oddly picky about my cookies. I don’t loathe store-bought, but if they actually TASTE like store-bought? Then yeah, gross. Chocolate chip cookies are probably my favorite but also the most frequent offenders of not always being delicious. If I want a cookie, I want a good cookie. Or like ten good cookies. You know what I mean.

The thing is though, that I almost always love every single peanut butter cookie that I taste. Probably because it can be challenging to mess that one up – sugar, peanut butter, butter, maybe some flour… can’t go wrong. They are soft but dense. Major hearts.

Grown Up PB + J Cookies I howsweeteats.com I howsweeteats.com

A few years ago I made some pb & j cookies… but they were kind of cop out cookies. Like pb cookies with j on top. Or simply sandwiched inside. These ones? We’ve got the j swirled inside the dough. Yes, I actually used my hands and a rather large spoon and smashed some preserves inside my peanut butter cookie dough. It was a sticky mess and 100% worth it. AND.

I used grown up j. Yes I did. At least grown up j for… well, me. And my family.

I was burnt out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by kindergarten but my brothers still ate them for years. We’ve never passed go, never collected $200 and definitely never ventured outside of jarred grape jelly. Or strawberry, if I ever got my way. (Which was often since if you haven’t picked up, I’m a brat.)

My husband is totally the same way, still. As in, TODAY. He doesn’t stray from grape and maybe, just maybe, when we’re in Michigan each summer I can convince him to try some other favorites at American Spoon, but never combined with peanut butter.

So this is my grown up j, for myself.

Grown Up PB + J Cookies I howsweeteats.com I howsweeteats.com

Dried figs are one of my favorite snacks. I fell into them accidentally when a (very… annoying… it’s true? you have them too.) coworker gave me one years and years and years ago. Up until then, my only fig interaction came from fig newtons, which I didn’t even care for. Maybe at some point I pretended that they were healthy cookies or something but then you just realize… the jig is up. These are not cookies AND they kind of taste like crap. And that was that.

So after discovering how much I loved dried figs, I discovered things like fig butter and fig jam and fig everything.

Then I basically freaked the heck out and binged on all things fig.

I was pathetically sheltered and naive for most of my life. Wouldn’t have it any other way though.

Anyway, to sort-of-but-not-really completely change subjects, I rarely eat in the morning before I workout but if I feel especially drained, I’ll have a few figs and occasionally even spread some peanut butter on them. (I also think in constant run-on sentences.) It’s like the grown up version of my fruit + peanut butter go-to that I’ve been eating all my life. It’s also my perfect afternoon pick me up.

And these are the cookie version. Pre-workout cookies? I think so. Let’s do that.

Grown Up PB + J Cookies I howsweeteats.com I howsweeteats.com


Peanut Butter + Fig Preserves Cookies

Yield: makes about 20 cookies

Total Time: 1 hour


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of fig preserves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the peanut butter and butter first so it has time to cool - I melted them together, microwaving for about 30 seconds, stirring, and then 30 seconds more, stirring again until melted. Set aside until cool.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Add in eggs, mixing again until combined, then stir in vanilla extract. Using a large spoon, gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, stirring well and using your hands if needed to bring the dough together (I do this!). Just keep mixing - it will come together! It may be a bit crumbly. At this point, I add the fig jam to the dough and sort of "fold" it in with my hands, mixing it up. Once the dough is combined, I stick it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Roll the dough into balls that are slightly smaller than 1 inch in size. The dough will still be sticky but damp hands help and just roll them up as best you can. Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart, baking for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

[adapted from these puffy peanut butter cookies]

Grown Up PB + J Cookies I howsweeteats.com I howsweeteats.com

I like it!

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112 Responses to “Grown Up PB + J Cookies.”

  1. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — May 16, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    What a wonderful combo! The inside looks perfect!


  2. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 16, 2013 @ 7:14 am

    Lol when I read ‘grown up pb&j cookies’, I figured you’d put booze in them! I don’t even think I’ve ever tried fig preserves but I’m intrigued now. I can definitely get on board with cookies that have a good j swirl going on!


  3. #
    Molly @Bakelette — May 16, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    I like these, I really like these! I have never had fig jam….will have to look for it!



  4. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 16, 2013 @ 7:21 am

    Oh I bet the fig preserves makes them so moist and soft and dense and they’d be the perfect cookie for me! But like you, PB cookies can do no wrong. I’ve got about 15 versions on my site and wrote a whole book about them :) and I could hardly narrow it down for that! And now, I want to try these! I have lots of no-bake PB things with dates/date paste and that’s sort of a cousin to figs, right!


  5. #
    Cate — May 16, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    If I had any eggs, I’d be in my kitchen right now making these! I love me some fig preserves (especially with goat cheese)!


  6. #
    Patricia Scarpin — May 16, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    These look AMAZING! I love the idea of swirling the jam into the cookie dough – genius!


  7. #
    Paula — May 16, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    I’m running a half marathon on Sunday morning. If I can muster the energy to bake afterwards, I’m making these — and then I’m proceeding to eat as many as I can fight my fiance for.


  8. #
    Tieghan — May 16, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    Holy smokes! Look at that bite of of that thing. It looks amazing. Perfectly moist, dense and chewy! I would have never used figs, but you make it look so good! Really though I would eat any PB cookie, like you said they are pretty much all delicious!


  9. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 16, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    SO happy you’re back to making cookies!! Yum!


  10. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — May 16, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    I luuuurve anything involving fig preserves. And peanut butter. And cookies.

    I’m thinking I just might like these.


  11. #
    Quinn Cooper — May 16, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    WOW these look amazing!
    I’m a huge thing of anything fig as well. i would have never thought of pairing peanut butter with fig. Sounds like an awesome pairing.
    Can’t wait to try these cookies out.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style


  12. #
    Lauren @ The Highlands Life — May 16, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    I have recently fallen in love with for preserves. Who knew how delicious? I’ve always been tried and true to my strawberry jam life.


  13. #
    Katie — May 16, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    I love fig preserves….way, way, way more than I like figs. I bet I’ll like these ev en cookies way, way, way more than the preserves.


    • Katie — May 16th, 2013 @ 8:02 am

      ohmy. I obviously haven’t had my coffee yet. There are too many typos in that comment to even correct. Just accept my apologies and know that I love these cookies.


  14. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — May 16, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    I love me some figs & I love me some peanut butter , but I’ve never had them together! These cookies look delish. You are so dang clever.


  15. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 16, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Oh YES. Love the fig in these scrumptious lookin’ cookies! They wouldn’t last long in this house!


  16. #
    chelsy — May 16, 2013 @ 8:29 am

    I can’t even deal right now. Seriously on my to-bake list today. I’m cookie crazy…oh, and well…yea, peanut butter :)


  17. #
    Tricia — May 16, 2013 @ 8:40 am

    Darn! These look good, except the only food allergy I have is to FIGS! Can we talk about how random that is? Of all the things to be allergic to? I continually tried to prove to myself that I wasn’t, but that always ended in catastrophe. Maybe I could try some homemade tomato jelly in there instead.


    • Jessica — May 16th, 2013 @ 9:35 am

      oh my gosh. that is sad. !


  18. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — May 16, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    Fig preserves are super special and I make them a lot – can’t wait to try these cookies!!! Yummy for sure!!!


  19. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — May 16, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    Fancy cookie! I’ve never wanted fig so bad!


  20. #
    erin @hooleywithaz — May 16, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    fig preserves are the nectar of the gods. i hoarded a jar i brought back from uruguay for way too long. i need to go find some again…


  21. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — May 16, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    I love figs, not so much preserves, and adore a good pb+j… I think I’ll be a fan of these cookies.


  22. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — May 16, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Love this pb & J adult version! :)


  23. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — May 16, 2013 @ 9:25 am

    I do not think you can ever too big for PB and jelly. Such a nice variation using figs instead of strawberry or raspberry. Definately the cookie i have been craving


  24. #
    Maria — May 16, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Ummm….I never get cookied out! So I will take a dozen. Thanks friend!


  25. #
    Jess — May 16, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    I thought boozy PB cookies too, but heart the fig preserve added!!, I just finished Nashville and can’t wait till your Tuesday things to say OMGOSH!! I can’t wait for the finale but the. I don’t want it to end!! I won’t say anything else in case you haven’t watched it yet! Oh yeah and Scarlett’s outfit in the first scene is just hideous, she’s too beautiful to be dressed that way! Haha off to make these cookies!!


    • Jessica — May 16th, 2013 @ 9:35 am

      ummmm OF COURSE i watched it! totally dying. sad that things will prob fall apart with my fave couple-to-be but i guess that’s what has to happen for a successful show right? i assume he will hate rayna for a few seasons after he finds out the truth and then eventually they will get together for life? let’s hope.


      • jess — May 16th, 2013 @ 10:12 am

        Totally dying is right! I know!!! R+D=Forever RIGHT!!! Love them, and you mean a few series, not seasons or i would totally die! haha yeah i need a life! ! I even got a little teary eyed for Juliette!! Well onto Scandal tonight!! EEEEEE can’t wait!

    • Stephanie — May 16th, 2013 @ 11:39 am

      Okay just saw this comment … I agree I totally cried for Juliette too. So sad. And next weeks season finale looks insane. I hate to see Deacon relapse!


  26. #
    Brittany B — May 16, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    have you seen the (new?) pb&j candy bar at TJ’s?! totally reminding me of these stellar-looking cookies.


    • Jessica — May 16th, 2013 @ 9:39 am

      i have! been afraid to try it though as i’m not sure i like pb&j with my chocolate. have you tasted it?


      • Brittany B — May 16th, 2013 @ 10:28 am

        not yet – I almost went for it yesterday but talked myself out of it. I’m a big fan of a little chocolate + pb&j though so I’m sure when I inevitably give into my impulse I’ll dig it!

      • Angie B — May 16th, 2013 @ 10:44 am

        I got one and was kind of skeptical…but it was good!

  27. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — May 16, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Oh yum. Fig? Awesome. It makes them so fancy!


  28. #
    Katie @ Butterlust Blog — May 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    Confession: I STILL eat PBJs for dinner, fairly frequently. Ok, I had one last night. These cookies are RIGHT up my alley. I have a weakness for fig preserves (typically when combined with brie and pastry) but I’ve never tried them with PB. Great idea!


  29. #
    Lauren — May 16, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    UGH. No you didn’t with these cookies. I eat an entire fig ring in one day. I can’t even buy them anymore because eatng an ENTIRE ring in less than 24 hours does not make your stomach feel good. Not at all. Jeez, now I need to go by fig jam.


  30. #
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen — May 16, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    PB&J was all I ate for school lunches- 12 years of constant sandwiches. And when I started working, PB&J was pretty much all I ate on breaks. I have a problem with it, clearly. I love this recipe and those cookies look so gooey and fudgy!


  31. #
    Miriam — May 16, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I’ve got to try these!

    I think that your husband will eat them if you don’t tell him whats inside… But I am guessing this might me difficult when you have a food blog with the whole recipe written! lol ;)


  32. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — May 16, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    YES!! These are our type of cookie!


  33. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — May 16, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    I was totally all about the PB and Strawberry jam as a kid too – but somehow my sandwiches always seemed to have grape jelly in them.

    Like the idea of using fig jam in these!


  34. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — May 16, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    OMG just look how chewy they are inside! Dying.


  35. #
    Janine | sugarkissed.net — May 16, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    It’s peanut butter jelly tme for sure now!


  36. #
    Stephanie — May 16, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    How in the world did you not mention last nights Nashville in this post? OMG I’m dying over here!!!!!!!! So sad ….
    And these cookies look amazing!


    • Jessica — May 16th, 2013 @ 11:32 am

      i’m always a little hesitant to mention it the morning after because a lot of people haven’t got a chance to watch it yet!


      • Stephanie — May 16th, 2013 @ 11:43 am

        Yes, that’s true. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
        So sad for Deacon and also Juliette! As much as I don’t like her character that episode brought tears to my eyes.

  37. #
    Michelle — May 16, 2013 @ 11:36 am

    I’ve been swooning over all kinds of fig preserves lately [and fig fennel chocolate bars, but that’s a whole different story]. This might be the only time it’s okay to be an adult [plus the whole alcohol thing].


  38. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — May 16, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Fig preserves in cookies….yes!! I’m all over these babies


  39. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — May 16, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    Ok first off, I say “for.ev.er” just like the Sandlot! WAY too often! Almost every time one of my friends’ husbands do something stupid, I usually turn to her and say “for.ev.er” and it really cracks me up! (yes, I’m so kind like that)
    AND Have you tried Trader Joe’s Fig Butter?! I call it Fig Crack Butter because seriously, it’s sinful. I like to put it on my yogurt or blob it on my oatmeal and let it melt in. Seriously, just the most delish thing ever. So, yeah, you have to buy it. Now. (and I don’t have a TJ’s! I drive 5 hours to visit my parents and hit theirs every time)


    • Jessica — May 16th, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

      yes, adore it!


  40. #
    Larry — May 16, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

    Next to oatmeal raisin (I know, I KNOW, I’m a weirdo) peanut butter is my favorite type of cookie. And these… these… look absolutely divine. I just want an ice cold glass of milk and about 5 of these things… I’d be a happy camper.


  41. #
    Jennifer — May 16, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    If I didn’t eat all of my fig preserves with brie last night, I would totally make these tonight! Guess I’ll have to go to the store ASAP. :)


  42. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — May 16, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    OMG. Nashville! I haven’t watched it but am oh so excited. And I like the for.ev.errrrr! I used to hate fig newtons as a kid but love them now. So I’ll love these cookies, obvi.


  43. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — May 16, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    I feel like all my favorite bloggers are bringing their major A games this week! I have soooooooo may recipes I wanna try now. I think this one tops the list though. Those cookies look so ooey gooey in the center that I’m just dying.


  44. #
    Rachel — May 16, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    These look awesome! Not sure if you know of the comedian Gary Gulman but he has this hilarious skit about figs, “I wouldn’t know a fig if it walked through the door. I’d say sorry fig I didn’t recognize you without your cookie covering.” haha


  45. #
    Kelly — May 16, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    Those sound incredible!!!!!


  46. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — May 16, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Ooh these look so delicious, love the idea of using fig preserves – definitely grown up j!


  47. #
    Christianne — May 16, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    Speaking of figs, I had this pizza recently and I cannot stop thinking about it.


  48. #
    Michelle R — May 16, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

    These look Terrific, I can’t wait to try. I know what you mean about fig newtons, they definitely taste like crap. Can’t wait to get all the ingredients so I can try these.


  49. #
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — May 16, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    I love cookies! These sound like a perfect combo!


  50. #
    Eileen — May 16, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

    These cookies sound fantastic! And I have a jar of fig jam just sitting around in my cupboard and everything. :)



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