Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thumbprint Cookies with a Twist

We are a household who will eat pretty much anything and we have few food allergies or intolerances, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t try and please those who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. We know quite a few people who prescribe to those diets and I think food should be just as tasty for them as it is the rest of the world.

For some time I have been hunting for a decent vegan cookie. One that I myself would eat and that wouldn’t take ingredients not already in my pantry. I finally found upon a recipe, that I modified slightly and am proud to blog about.

These thumbprint cookies use almond meal instead of flour. (Almond meal, as well as coconut oil, is available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.) The almond meal holds up well and provides for a sweetness that negates the use of traditional sweeteners. The small amount of maple syrup is just the right touch. Best of all, these are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free!

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup jam

In a small bowl, combine almond meal, salt and soda.

In medium bowl, mix together the oil, syrup and vanilla. Slowly add in dry ingredients and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. (You can use either a mixer or do this by hand, both work equally well.)

Cover and chill for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

Using small ice cream scoop, scoop out portions and place on baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Depress a cork into the center of the cookie, almost to the bottom. This will be your jam well. If the cookie become too misshapen or cracks in the well, just use your fingers to push the dough back into place. Fill each well with jam.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies begin to brown around the edges. Cool on baking rack.

 Yield: 2 ½ dozen

Notes: You can use a medium ice cream scoop for larger cookies (bake 10-12 minutes). You can also replace jam with a Hershey’s kiss.

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