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These almond thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday treat with a healthy twist. They contain just 6 ingredients, and homemade jam makes them extra special. With a crumbly, soft base and a sweet berry filling, they are insanely addictive and delicious!
Thumbprint cookies are classic cookies that many people remember from their childhood. What’s not to love about buttery shortbread cookies dotted with a sweet spot of jam? They look incredibly pretty, are chewy on the outside, and soft in the middle. The homemade jam gives them just enough sweetness without overwhelming your taste buds.
Made with a few simple ingredients, these cookies are a fun treat to make. And this thumbprint cookie recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and super easy to make. I adapted the base from these delicious almond crescent cookies, but I removed the orange zest, as I found it a bit overpowering with the berry jam.
They are the perfect Christmas time recipe for cookie exchanges, as pretty much everyone can eat them, and they take very little time to bake. Add them to your holiday dessert table, or enjoy these buttery cookies as a simple dessert with a warm mug of tea, coffee, or homemade healthy hot chocolate.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the cookies:
- Fine almond flour: This flour is made from ground almonds. It gives the cookies a nutty almond flavor, and it’s rich in healthy fats and fiber. Almond flour is also naturally gluten-free!
- White almond butter: White almond butter is made with blanched almonds. Although you lose a bit of fiber from the almond skin, it helps to keep the cookies paler in color, like the original version that uses butter. You can also use cashew butter if you can’t find it. Or use regular almond butter: your cookies might end up a bit darker. but still delicious.
- Maple syrup: To naturally sweeten these cookies.
- Vanilla powder: To infuse the cookies with a warm flavor of vanilla. You can also use vanilla extract if you can’t find vanilla powder.
For the jam:
- Frozen Berries: Making the jam with your favorite frozen berries is an easy way to keep the cookies fresh and use the natural sweetness of berries along with their healthy fiber and antioxidants. I used mixed berries here, but you can also make raspberry jam or strawberry jam with the same method.
- Maple Syrup: Instead of sugar, we will use a bit of maple syrup to make this jam delicious but not too sweet.
How to make almond thumbprint cookies
- Prepare the homemade jam: If you decide to make your own jam, you’ll want to do that first. Add the frozen berries and maple syrup into a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium. Stir the mixture and bring it to the point where it starts to bubble, and the berries break down. Reduce the heat and stir while mashing the berries down with a wooden spoon until a thick jam texture is achieved. Remove it from the heat and let it thicken while you make the base of the cookies. This should take around 10 minutes.
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 320F (160C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Make the almond cookie dough: In a large bowl, add the almond flour, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla powder. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a small ball of dough forms. You can also use the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed.
- Shape the cookies: Divide the dough into 16-20 pieces depending on how big you want the cookies. I usually make around 16 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Press them down gently with your hand to flatten them a bit, then make an indentation with your thumb in the center of each cookie to create a small well.
- Add the berry jam: Using a small spoon, fill each cookie with a teaspoon of jam (or just enough jam to fill the hole).
- Bake and cool: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. They are ready when the edges become golden brown on the outside, even though the rest of the cookie may look pale. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool before serving.
How to store
Once the jam thumbprint cookies are completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Make sure they are in a single layer to prevent the jam from sticking to the other cookies. They can be divided with parchment paper or wax paper.
To freeze, place the cooled cookies in a flat airtight container where the cookies can be stacked. Layer the cookies along with a layer of parchment paper or wax paper. Freeze them for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw them on the countertop for 1-2 hours or until defrosted.
Use storebought jam: Although making the homemade jam is super simple, you can also use storebought jam to save you time. Try and buy a jam that has little sugar, to keep these cookies healthy.
Almond flour: There are many different types of grind sizes when it comes to almond flour. For this recipe, it’s best to find a really fine almond meal to keep the cookie texture soft and buttery.
Letting the cookies set and cool properly: When you first remove the cookies from the oven, it may seem as if they are not fully baked. These cookies are best removed when the dough is soft in the center. While cooling, the cookies will set properly, and the jam will thicken.
Other filling ideas: Instead of jam, you can fill these delicious cookies with a chocolate ganache for a decadent treat. You can make a simple chocolate ganache with dark chocolate and coconut cream. Or you can use lemon curd as a refreshing alternative. If you do, you can also add some lemon zest to the dough to complement the flavor. It’s delicious!
Why I love these almond thumbprint cookies
- My favorite cookies to have with tea during cold afternoons!
- Soft, delicious, buttery almond cookies without any butter!
- Made with just 6 simple ingredients.
- You can flavor them with any berry or fruit jam you enjoy.
- A great holiday gift or comforting snack.
- Made with gluten-free and vegan ingredients: perfect for those with food sensitivities.
More healthy cookie recipes you’ll love
- Almond Crescent Cookies
- Healthy Breakfast Cookies
- Chocolate Hazlenut Cookies (No Sugar)
- Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
- Hazelnut Gingerbread Man Sandwich Cookies
- Chocolate Bounty Balls
For more plant-based cookie recipes, check out this list of 25 Vegan Christmas Cookies for the holiday season!
If you try this easy recipe for almond thumbprint cookies, let me know in the comments!
Almond Thumbprint Cookies
For the cookies:
For the jam (homemade):
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the jam (store-bought):
- 1/3 cup berry jam
Make the jam:
- If making your own jam, place the frozen berries and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to medium heat. Once bubbling, reduce the heat slightly and keep stirring while mashing the fruit using a wooden spoon. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes, occasionally mashing the fruit to combine, until you reach a jam-like consistency. Then set aside, and let it cool while you prepare the cookies.
Make the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 320F (160C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until it all comes together into a soft dough ball.
- Divide the dough into 20 equally-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a-1 inch ball. Place onto the baking sheet, flatten each ball down slightly with the palm of your hand, then press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, 1/2” deep. Fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of berry jam or enough to fill the hole.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden. The cookies themselves will still be quite pale.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on a cooling rack before enjoying them.
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