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almond thumbprint cookies


There are so many cookie recipes that have struck my fancy over the years.  They’ve been added to the list.  The  “to-be-tested” list, that is.  Seriously. Talk about a weakness. When I came across several thumbprint recipes recently this cookie marched past the others all the way to the front of the line.  I adore baking holiday cookies. What I do not enjoy is the ugly sugar buzz that inevitably follows their consumption.  Which is why I insisted on fiddling  with the recipe (ultimately to give you my healthier take on it).

My mom used to make a version of these when I was in high school. They’re exactly my kind of cookie. Not too sweet. Slight nutty crunch. Yum. I used 100% organic fruit (no sugar added) apricot jam and wild berry jam. Feel free to choose whichever jam you prefer. Not that I or anyone else needs an excuse, but you could always use chocolate (say, 70% cocoa).  Hope you enjoy!

for the dry ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2  tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut sugar
pinch salt

for the wet ingredients:
6 tblsp unsweetened applesauce
6 tblsp coconut oil (slightly softened)
8 drops liquid stevia
1 egg (room temperature)
1 egg yolk (room temperature)

for the finishing touches:
place remaining egg white in a small glass bowl
place 1 cup diced almonds in a small bowl
1/4 cup apricot jam (organic 100% fruit)
1/4 cup wild berry jam (organic 100% fruit)

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

3.) Whisk the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Word of caution: if your eggs are not warm enough, they will harden the coconut oil.

4.) Fold dry ingredients into the wet ones using a rubber spatula . The dough will not seem wet enough at first – but keep on stirring.

5.) Using your hands, take a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll in into a ball.  Dip each ball into egg white (coating it) then gently roll the ball in the diced almonds. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper, spaced 2 inches apart.

6.) Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, create an indentation in the top of the cookie – slightly larger than the size of the tip of your pinkie finger.

7.)  Bake 12-15 minutes.

8.) When the cookies come out of the oven, gently place one half teaspoon full of jam into the opening on the top of the cookie. You can use all one kind of jam or mix it up with 2+ kinds.  Cool at least 20 minutes before eating.

Makes about 24 cookies.

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16 responses to “almond thumbprint cookies”

  1. Stephanie said:

    Ooh, this looks like a keeper. I’ve been tempted to make thumbprints this year, and it’s always nice to find a recipe where I own all the flours :) I have all the ingredients except coconut sugar. I guess I could sub in turbinado sugar – a step up the glycemic index, probably, but it shouldn’t change the result too much, I’d think… Or would brown sugar be better?

  2. Stephanie said:

    Hi Stephanie!

    I think either would work fine. But, the texture of coconut sugar most resembles turbinado – in my opinion. I would go with that. If you try them, let me know. I’d love to know how it works out and if you enjoyed them!


  3. Stephanie said:

    These look perfect! I am excited to try. Thanks for keeping it refined sugar free too!

  4. Stephanie said:

    thanks stephanie – this is the stephanie comment corner today – too funny!

    I don’t know about you but I get a little cranky from too much sugar. Plus, my dad is diabetic so I am careful, preferring to stick with refined sugar alternatives most of the time. If you try these, I’d love to know what you think!

  5. Maeve said:

    I just stumbled across your blog and I am just drinking this all up. I’m wheat, dairy, sugar, and soy free and damn is it hard finding recipes that are, if nothing else, GFCF _and_ lacking tons of sugar. Plus, what more refined and granulated sugars you do use (as opposed to just the sugar in fruits) are in smaller amounts I feel comfortable mucking about with. As opposed to, say, a recipe with a cup or two of sugar… it’s so much an ingredient itself (mostly in baking) that I can’t just take it out.

    Anyhow, thank you for these inspiring recipes. As well as hopefully being delicious, they give me something to base my own experiments on. :)

  6. Stephanie said:

    Hi Maeve,

    I am so glad you stumbled upon the site – welcome!

    You are right – so many recipes tend to be based on sugars themselves. Strangely enough, most GFCF food (packaged that is) seems to be ridiculously high in sugar. Probably in an effort to mask the taste ? Personally, I feel that home made goodies taste so much better than store bought anyway. My dad is a diabetic (and so are several others in my extended family) so I really try to keep what sugar we do use to a minimum. (I will try my hardest to avoid that fate :) After living refined sugar free for years now, I don’t seem to miss it much. Do you ?

  7. Maeve said:

    Even on most of the various food blogs I read, the recipes are full of sugar. There isn’t much processed food I can have anymore, though the gluten-free ginger snaps that Trader Joe’s has are an occasional guilty pleasure. I wasn’t much of a baker before changing my diet, so trying to shift to wheat, dairy and sugar free all in one recipe is tricky for me.

    I don’t often miss sugar, though I’ve only been doing it for, what, a year or two? What I miss is the ease of eating. This gluten and sugar free thing is a relative new thing for me (I’ve been dairy and soy free for near on seven years, but the wheat, sugar and alcohol free is only in the last year or two… I was finally diagnosed with candidiasis). I still like my sweet things, but take them far less sweet now. But say, before finding your blog, trying to find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that wasn’t sugar filled was… difficult to say the least. So, I just did without. I still do, mostly, but I’m eager to try out some of your recipes this weekend. Well, if my body cooperates with me… I’ve been ill with something like the flu + headcold for the last week. I _think_ I’m getting better, but my nose is still unhappy with me, and trying new recipes when I can’t properly smell is tricksy. I do think I’ll make up a simple clafoutis (so glad to see you’re familiar with them, too) though. I’ve got a ton of apples to go through, and it’s a nice little dish to nosh for dessert or breakfast. I don’t add any sugar to my batter, as the apples make it sweet enough for me. :)

    I’ve got my own blog which I haven’t updated in _months_, but it’s got a few recipes of mine on there. At this point, I can’t do some of them now (I seem to not tolerate oats anymore, sadly, and I have to be careful with how much ginger I use these days), but still, there it is. ;)

  8. glutenfreeforgood said:

    This looks like a perfect substitute for all the “too sweet” stuff I’ve been sampling lately. Geez, this time of year is crazy with sugar and your little thumbprint cookies look delicious without any (except the coconut sugar and there’s not much of that). They are SO cute, too! Love the idea of using different jams. I’m definitely printing out this recipe — thanks! And Merry Christmas!

  9. Stephanie said:

    Hi Maeve,

    I’ve been hearing good things about Trader Joe’s gluten free selection. We don’t have one here. But, I’m happy that stores are stepping up to the demand. Typically, we gluten free folks often have multiple allergies or sensitivities. Which makes most of the packaged stuff off limits. Btw, I am sorry to hear that you are not tolerating oats or ginger anymore.

    I, too, sometimes feel the frustration – and sometimes the envy – of how freely others eat. But, then I remember that I’ve never felt better in my life – and that by choosing to take care of my body and giving it all the nutrition I can – I am light years ahead. I saw a great quote this morning…something about turning obstacles into opportunities. Loved it.

    Your blog is lovely – thanks so much for linking. Let me know how your baking extravaganza turns out !

  10. Stephanie said:

    Hey Melissa – and thanks!

    I totally understand the sugar overload – it’s everywhere! The reason I fell in love with these little gems is because they taste more substantial than typical cookies. Does that make sense? If I am going to splurge on holiday cookies at least I feel like I am getting a little more whole grain bang for the buck. I can talk myself into the fact that cookies are *good* for me anyday :) …. I liked both kinds of jams but the apricot was my favorite. Then again, anything apricot is right up there.
    Merry Christmas to you too!

  11. Cecelias Marketplace said:

    That recipe sounds awesome. I love almonds and would much prefer to eat those in cookies than peanuts or another nut.

  12. Linda said:

    Your cookie look delightful! I used to love thumbprint cookies. For some reason I have never tried making them gluten free (that I can remember). That was on my list of cookies to try this year. I have a cookie challenge going on this month and would love for you to link this recipe to Gluten Free Wednesdays at my blog. Each week I highlight the entries that correspond with the monthly challenge.

  13. Stephanie said:

    Thanks Linda !

    Oh, great idea! I’d be honored to link in this recipe. Thanks for letting me know. Like you, I had grand plans for trying my hand at more holiday cookies this year. I simply haven’t found the time to work it in – but there are plenty of wonderful gluten free recipes out there to try. And they are not going anywhere, right? Who’s to say I can’t try some for Valentine’s Day? I’m certain I wouldn’t get any complaints in my house!

    Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season, Linda

  14. Kate said:

    These look delish! I was reading Martha Stewart’s LIVING magazine yesterday, and looking longingly at her thumbprints. I’m so glad to see your recipe – now I can enjoy it on my gluten-free regime. Thank you and Happy Holidays! Cheers, Kate

  15. Stephanie said:

    Hello Kate – thanks so much for stopping by!

    Oh, how I love looking at Martha Stewart’s Living. The photos are so beautiful (the styling isn’t half bad either :). Even though we can’t eat what’s in her magazine I still so enjoy perusing the pages for ideas. There’s no reason why we should have to feel deprived, right? Thumbprints for all!

    Have a wonderful holiday

  16. Most Delicious Jam and Almond Thumbprint Cookies! « said:

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