Flourless Thumbprint Tea Cookies
After my morning yoga class and before picking up Gabriel from school today, I worked quickly to make these cookies and ate some of the batter along the way. Bad, bad me. The recipe should make 16 cookies but mine only made 12. What a craving I had for these when I woke up today. Luckily I had all the ingredients in the kitchen drawers so it was just a matter of putting them together. When Gabriel got home he looked up on the counter and saw the shiny amethysts sitting on top of the pretty almond clouds. “appy birthda mama?” “No baby, it’s not mama’s birthday today but we can certainly celebrate anyway!” I said all of this in Spanish in hopes he will be bilingual.
It was around 4pm and G would be my tea partner today. He sat on his booster seat with a glass of soymilk and me with a cup of twig tea. Little hands and big hands both dug in. John got home to only 5 cookies left on the plate…something is better than nothing.
Thumbprint cookies, although their history is sketchy, have always been a classic and one of my favorites. I love chewing around the cookie first and then dipping for the middle. These cookies are flourless since their base is only ground almonds. I use to grind up my own almonds but now I can easily find the flour in my local supermarket. Years ago I became gluten intolerant and almond flour baked goods literally saved me. I wasn’t sure what I would do when I had to give up regular flour since it was a major staple of my diet. I searched for almond flour recipes but they were limited at the time. Eventually I found Lucy’s Kitchen and Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Both books inspired me to try different recipes that included tarts, muffins and cookies all made with ground almonds. The texture of almond flour is grainy but moist and this is what makes it is a great flour for any bread, muffin or cookie where you want to minimize the oil.
Baking these thumbprints is actually not necessary as you could eat them raw and I seriously vacillated whether to bake them or not. My husband would probably not eat more than one though if he knew they were raw. The decision to bake my thumbprints came when I felt the chill in the air after I picked up the mail downstairs. I ate one warm right from the oven and burnt my tongue but I wasn’t sorry. The hot chewy middle hit the spot.
Truth be told, I learned to love thumbprints from drugstore cookie tins that my abuelita Zina used to buy for tea time. The cookies always seem to melt in my mouth. I didn’t think much about where the cookies came from really. All I knew is that I was having tea time with my abuelita and that was sweet enough for me.
I can’t imagine eating a tin cookie anymore (maybe), although if Zina were alive I would certainly indulge her and happily eat one, or two, or three…
- 2 cups of almond flour
- ⅓ cup of maple syrup
- ¼ cup of coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of blackberry or raspberry preserves
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- Cover baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl
- Whisk together almond flour and coconut flakes in a medium bowl
- Add in maple syrup and vanilla to almond flour and combine well with a fork or with your hands. The mixture will be thick and sticky
- Form tablespoon size balls from the dough with your hands gently flattening each one half way and then placing them on the baking sheet.
- Make an imprint on each cookie with your thumb
- Drop small amount of preserves in the center of each cookie. Distribute ¼ cup of preserves among the cookies.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will be golden. Be careful to not over bake as these will turn brown very quickly.
- Dry on drying rack or ceramic plate
- Makes about 16 cookies