A perfect little sweet treat that's vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and so much fun to make! These Vegan Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies make a great after school snack, everyday dessert, or festive cookie for the holiday season! Just 6 ingredients.
I have very clear memories of eating Pepperidge Farm thumbprint cookies as a kid. Apricot-raspberry was my favorite. The buttery, slightly salty shortbread cookie combined with the slightly tart fruit jelly in the center...everyone loved them, right? I mean, I'm someone who chooses chocolate and vanilla desserts over fruity desserts 9 times out of 10, and even I loved them.
Now some bad news. I just pulled up the Pepperidge Farm website to check out the ingredients in their "Distinctive" thumbprint cookie collection. Not good, folks. Not good. This is why homemade (and vegan) cookies are the way to go!
Almond Flour Cookies
Since almond flour has such a naturally buttery flavor, I knew it would be perfect for making oil-free cookies. Obviously the texture of these cookies isn't exactly like a butter-filled, classic thumbprint cookie, but I'm okay with that because these have other perks. And I have a feeling you're going to love them, too.
Use your favorite jam, jelly or preserves - strawberry, apricot, orange, raspberry - anything goes! For refined sugar-free, choose a store-bought, all-fruit jam or make your own simple, naturally sweetened jam at home. See the blueberry jam below? All you need are two ingredients and about 10 to 15 minutes to make it! Seriously easy. The fruit flavor becomes SO concentrated and delicious.
How to Make Your Own Jam for Thumbprint Cookies
In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup of frozen fruit such as blueberries, cherries, blackberries, or raspberries (chop larger pieces of fruit) with 1 tablespoon of sweetener (I used maple syrup). Bring to a low simmer, and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Voila! You now have refined sugar-free jam! One cup of fruit will make a tad more than you need for filling these thumbprint cookies. Just store the leftover jam in the refrigerator, and enjoy it over the next few days.
The photo above shows what the cookie dough should look like after you've mixed the wet and dry ingredients together. It should be very moist, slightly sticky, but not wet. If you accidentally add too much water, just mix in a bit more almond flour.
I used a small cookie scoop to measure out the dough, which makes it really easy to get uniformly sized cookies, but you can also use a tablespoon. Scoop up about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie.
These thumbprint cookies don't spread during baking, so you'll be able to fit all of them on one small baking sheet. Next, use your thumb to create an indentation in the center of each cookie. After the first impression with my thumb, I like to use my index finger to even it out. Fill it up with jam and bake. It's as simple as that!
The photo above is what the thumbprint cookies look like before going into the oven. And below is how they look when done.
Thumbprint cookies are classic treat to share during the holidays, but I think they should be enjoyed year-round!
I hope you enjoy these Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies! If you do try them I would love for you to come back and give the recipe a star rating. You can also leave a comment below to let everyone know how they turned out.
More healthy vegan sweet treats:
Vegan Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies (oil-free, too!)
- 1 ½ cups almond flour (168 g) Pack into measuring cup like you would when measuring brown sugar.
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour (40 g)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- approx. ¼ cup jam of choice I used fruit-sweetened orange and raspberry storebought jam and a homemade, 2-ingredient blueberry jam (see Notes for recipe).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Combine the almond flour, tapioca, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- In a mug whisk together the water, vanilla and maple syrup. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until fully combined.
- The dough should stick together but not be overly wet. With a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop up 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie and place on cookie sheet. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie, and fill with jam.
- Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. The cookies will be soft right out of the oven; allow to cool on the baking sheet.