Updated: May 2, 2021
PB&J Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Servings: 8-16 (depending on size of pieces)
Cook time: about 30 minutes total
Additional time: 2+ hours of refrigeration
Total time: about 2.5 hours
Shelf life: 1-2 weeks, refrigerated and covered
9''x13'' baking sheet
6.5''x9.5'' baking dish (something about half the size of the baking sheet)
vegan butter or margarine, melted 1/2 Cup/1 stick
brown sugar 1/2 Cup
cane sugar 1/2 Cup
molasses 1/4 Cup
almond milk (or other plant-based, non-dairy milk) 1/2 Cup
ground flaxseed 2Tbsp
baking soda 1tsp
baking powder 1/2 tsp
flour 2 Cups
oats (I used quick oats) 2 Cups
strawberry preserves (or any fruit preserves/jelly/jam of your choice!) 1 Cup
lime juice 1 Tbsp
sugar 1 Tbsp
water 2/3 Cup
agar agar powder 1 1/2 tsp
Peanut Butter layer
peanut butter 1 Cup
chickpea flour 1/4 Cup
sugar 1 Tbsp
salt 1/2 tsp
canned coconut milk 2/3 Cup
agar powder 1 tsp
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine your melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, and molasses in your mixing bowl until well combined and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
2. Mix in everything else except for the flour and oats, they will be added last. I did this to make sure the flaxseeds got enough moisture on them to hold everything together.
3. Add the flour and oats and stir well, until there are no dry spots in the mixture. It will be thick but wet and sticky.
4. Line your baking sheet with parchment and lightly coat/spray with oil. Spread your oatmeal cookie mixture over the entire thing. Use a spatula or your hands if it's too sticky for the spatula, or try spraying the spatula with oil.
5. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Check the center of the cookie and if it's still wet, not just sticky but actually wet, keep baking for about 5 minutes. It should be soft, a little fluffy, and moist when finished baking. Set aside to cool completely.
6. Combine water and agar powder in a saucepan and whisk until dissolved. Continue to mix with the whisk and bring to a boil.
7. Remove from heat and pour in the remaining ingredients. Mix until combined evenly.
8. Pour into your smaller dish, one about half the size of your baking sheet. Set in the refrigerator until firm. Don't start making the peanut butter layer until this jelly layer has set, about 45-60 minutes minimum.
Same steps as the jelly layer :)
9. Combine coconut milk and agar powder in a saucepan and whisk until dissolved. Continue to mix with the whisk and bring to a boil.
10. Remove from heat and pour in the remaining ingredients. Mix until combined evenly.
11. Pour on top of your jelly layer and smooth it out evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least an hour.
12. Once your giant cookie is cooled to room temp and your PB&J is chilled, it's time to build! Using a large knife or pizza cutter, carefully cut your cookie into 4ths, onc cut through the middle, another crossing through the other side. Half of this large cookie will be your bottom slice of "bread," and half will be the top. I cut it in fourths to make it easier to work with. Depending on the size of your pans, you may have some excess cookie that you will end up slicing off. I cut off about an inch on all sides to make it fit together with the fillings, which gave me extra cookie bits to snack on.
13. To get your fillings out of their pan, gently slip a flexible spatula around the edges to loosen it. Place a cutting board over the top and while holding it firmly, flip the pan over and allow the fillings to fall onto the cutting board. Now you can easily slice it. Cut it in half through the thinner middle to give you two even rectangles roughly the size of a fourth of your big cookie.
14. Lay down one piece of oatmeal cookie and carefully pick up one half of your layered PB&J section and set it down on the cookie. Stack on your second cookie layer. Repeat this step with your other two cookie pieces and PB&J layer.
15. Cut to your desired size and enjoy! Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, sealed.
When I was a child, my diet consisted mainly of sugar. When I got a job at 14 years old, my paychecks were spent on gummy bears and chocolate frosting that I would eat for lunch (don't tell my parents, I'm still ashamed of these choices). Because of my poor eating habits growing up, whenever I think of nostalgia and food, I think of sweets, treats, and Little Debbie snack cakes.
I decided to recreate part of my brother's favorite snack cake, the Oatmeal Cream Pie. I say "my brother's" favorite because it was also my favorite, but he would always hide them from me so he could eat a majority of them, leaving me to starve and scoop into a can of chocolate frosting with my hand like a bear.
To put my own spin on this treat, I wanted to replace the cream on the inside with my favorite sandwich, a classic peanut butter and jelly. The jelly filling is a nice, soft gelatinous texture with an addition of lime for tartness to make it pop alongside the peanut butter cream. Activating agar powder in coconut milk is something I'd never tried before but it works great and adds that creaminess to the peanut butter layer that it needs. Adding chickpea flour to the peanut butter layer makes it soft and fluffy like you'd expect from peanut butter, but thanks to the agar powder it still holds its shape without being gummy like the jelly layer. I hope you enjoy it!