Thumbprint cookies are one of the tastiest cookies in my opinion. Hard to go wrong with a sweet chewy cookie with a delicious gooey jam filling...
This recipe combines the nuttiness of almonds with the lovely deep flavor (and pretty color!) of cherries for a super quick and extra delicious little cookie treat. The cookie lover in your life will adore these :)
I kept it simple within the recipe and specified to use just almond butter. That would make a classic cherry almond thumbprint cookie.
But... I have to confess that I absolutely loved these with an almond-hazelnut butter as the base. So if that's available in the shops near you (Nuts to You Nut Butter makes it here in Canada) go for it.
You can also make your own (if you want to learn the ins and outs of delicious homemade nut butter making, check out Unconventional Treats).
Or stick with plain almond butter as planned. Either way, these will be a winner.
For the jam, you can use your favorite store-bought cherry jam (St. Dalfour makes a fruit-sweetened version, for example), or you can easily make your own quick refined sugar-free jam at home. Here are a few recipes you can try out:
- Cherry Jam (to stick with the recipe theme here)
- Mirabelle Plum Jam (for a pretty orange filling; apricot jam works great too)
- Spiced Plum Jam
- Raspberry Jam
Jam flavor is up to you, but cherry almond is pretty classic in my books. And I just love the pretty red clarity of cherry jam in these.
Quick tip: don't use a jam that's very chunky (unless you like that) -- as you'll have a hard time getting it to settle into the cookies neatly.
Deliciously chewy almond thumbprint cookies with cherry jam in the center. Gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, oil-free recipe.
- 6-7 tablespoon white rice flour*
- 2 tbsp smooth natural almond butter**
- 2 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- approx. 1 ½ tablespoon cherry jam***
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and set aside.
2. Process all cookie ingredients (starting with 6 tablespoon rice flour only) in a food processor until the mixture begins to form a ball****. Form the mixture into a ball with your hands and knead briefly.
3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each one into a little ball with your hands. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Space them out a few inches apart on the tray. Flatten them very lightly with your palm. Then use a small vanilla extract bottle to create indents for the jam in each cookie by flipping the bottle over and pressing the cap in the center of each ball of dough. Alternatively you can just use your thumb to create an indent that way (the cap is more even and makes prettier cookies, while actual thumprint is more rustic). Here's what they should look like when indented with the extract bottle cap:
4. Fill each cavity with a tiny bit of jam -- don't overfill and go higher than the actual indent.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approx 12 mins until the cookies become nice and golden and the jam begins to bubble slightly. Remove from oven and cool the cookies on the tray on a wire rack (they’ll firm up a touch as they cool). Enjoy!
*You can use brown rice flour, oat flour, or regular all purpose flour if you prefer.
**Also very good with almond hazelnut butter -- my personal preference. Note: whatever nut butter you use, make sure you stir it up really well first (don't use the dry end leftovers at the bottom of your jar -- fresh and smooth nut butter works best here).
***You can use a cherry jam of your choice here, like a fruit-sweetened store-bought version or you can make your own (see links above recipe for refined sugar-free recipes). A thinner jam works better here.
****The texture of the dough can be different depending on the peanut butter used. For example sometimes you might get a batch that’s more “oily” other times one that’s more dry + brands vary, etc. The dough should be soft and pliable. But if the mixture feels too sticky to be rolled up into a ball at this point, add a bit more flour and process again to incorporate; if too dry, add a bit more maple syrup.
P.S. If you're looking for other cookie recipes, check this collection of the best vegan & gluten-free cookies from the blog.