Friday, May 11, 2012

sweet (clean-eating) treat: jam thumbprint cookies (gluten, dairy, refined sugar free)


I ran into a mom friend at the supermarket today who mentioned that she'd recently gone gluten-free. She was about to head home to try baking a treat with her son, and I promised to share a recipe from my recent "clean eating" week that I knew she would enjoy. As I mentioned a few days ago, I successfully did a 7-day "clean eating detox" (to be clear, this was nutritious food, not just juice), and took my family along for the delicious, healthy ride. My goal was to lighten up, figuratively and literally, but I didn't want to cook two different meals. It took some creativity, but I created 7 days worth of delicious "clean" family-friendly meals. This was the only sweet treat I made all week, and it won rave reviews. In fact, since then, I have made another batch because they are so yummy-- in addition to be relatively "good for you" as far as treats go.

Jam-Filled Thumbprint Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies
(gluten, dairy, egg + refined sugar free)

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup*
2 cups raw nuts of choice (I used 1 C walnuts + 1 C almonds)
1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder
3 Tablespoons cinnamon (optional)
dash of sea salt
about 1/2 cup 100% fruit jam (I used Dalfour brand)


Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the coconut oil to room temp. Cream the coconut oil and maple syrup (or other sweetener) together using a mixer. In a Cuisinart, process the nuts until they are a fine meal. Add the arrowroot powder, cinnamon and salt, then pulse to combine all dry ingredients. Blend the dry ingredients into the oil/syrup mixture. Batter will still be kind of crumbly, but it will come together in your hands as you shape 24 (or so) balls of dough and place them on the cookie sheets. Using your thumb (get it, thumbprint cookies!) make a divot in each ball of dough, then fill with a dollop of jam. Bake for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

*I used maple syrup as the sweetener, but you could substitute agave or raw honey, if you are looking for a sweetener with a lower glycemic index.  Here is the recipe in action, for those who like to follow along visually:


After melting the coconut oil a bit from its' solid state, I creamed the coconut oil and maple syrup (or other sweetener) together using a  hand mixer. 


In a Cuisinart, I processed the nuts until they were a fine meal. 


Then, I added the arrowroot powder, cinnamon and salt, and pulsed it a few times to combine all of the dry ingredients.



Then the dry ingredients were blended into the oil/syrup mixture using my hand mixer. The batter was still kind of crumbly, but it came together in my hands as I shaped 24 (or so) balls of dough and placed them on the parchment lined cookie sheets.



Using my thumb (get it, thumbprint cookies!) I made a divot in each ball of dough, then filled with a dollop of jam. (I made half of them strawberry and half of them apricot.) Then I baked them for 12 minutes, or until the edges were lightly browned.



They will store well in an airtight container for up to 5 days... if they last that long! Hope your family enjoys these cookies as much as my family did!

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