Gluten-Free + Vegan Recipe | Spiced Apple Butter Thumbprints

by Courtney West on December 21, 2013

tprints 7 Not being able to eat gluten has been sort of a savior this holiday season.  It’s prevented the typical sugar coma induced by all the sweets & treats available this time of year.  It seems like everywhere I turn there’s a plate full of Christmas-themed sugar cookies.  I tend to briefly lament over the fact that I cannot have one, then I get over it and tell myself I probably didn’t need one anyways because of all of the dark chocolate holiday bark I just ate…

In an effort to create both a gluten free and somewhat healthier cookie option this holiday season, I came up with these apple butter thumbprints.  Aside from being delicious and perfect for the season, they’re full of protein and fiber that will hopefully curb the need to eat 5 at a time.  They’re also free of refined sugars and flours that leave you with that run-down feeling.  If you want a little variety or you don’t like thumbprint cookies, I’ve included some directions in the notes below on how to turn them into a snowball cookie.

tprints 6

Spiced Apple Butter Thumbprints

notes: IF you don’t want to fill these with apple butter, you can fill them with your favorite jam.  The dough for these cookies can also be made into a snowball type cookie.  Increase the spices to 1/2 tsp each and flatten the balls of dough before baking instead of filling them with apple butter.  Once they are cooled, roll them around in powdered sugar.   Store them in an airtight container.  Makes 16-18 cookies.

tprints 4 Ingredients:

  • 155 g (1 cup + 7 tbsp) almond meal/flour
  • 30 g (scant 1/4 cup) arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) melted coconut oil
  • 85 g (about 5 tbsp) pure grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp golden flaxmeal
  • apple butter or jam to fill the thumbprints (about 1/4 cup total)

tprints 3 Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and flaxmeal.  Whisk to combine  everything then set it aside to thicken for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the almond meal, arrowroot, salt, and spices.  With the mixer on low, or by hand, add the wet ingredients.  Continue mixing until the dough thickens and starts to come together into a ball.  It should be somewhat stiff.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, scoop out the dough, then roll it into a ball and place it on your prepared sheet.  Continue with the remaining dough making sure to leave at least 1 1/2 inches in between each cookie.  Using a damp finger or thumb, make an indention in the top of each cookie.  Fill each indention with a bit of apple butter or jam, making sure not to pile it too high.
  5. Once every cookie is filled, put the baking sheet in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes until the dough is firm.
  6. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 23-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the baking time. The cookies are ready when the bottom edges are golden and the cookies are firm to the touch.

tprints 8

About Courtney West

Hi I’m Courtney! I'm the owner and creator behind Sweet Miscellany, a very small baking venture based out of Longview, Texas. I specialize in creating vegan, wheat free, and gluten free treats as well as seasonal jams and preserves. Originally I began with the intention of creating healthier sweets made from whole foods and "better for you" ingredients. As my brother, sister, and I had to give up gluten, I began to see the need for more gluten free, wheat free, and vegan baked goods. My baking evolved (and is still evolving) to be able to provide a wide variety of baked goods and desserts to those that may not be able to enjoy conventional sweets. Having to be gluten free or choosing to be vegan (or being both!) should not mean that you have to be deprived of anything, especially dessert! The transition to baking gluten free and vegan has been quite the learning process, but it has taught me that anything is possible as long as I keep at it.

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  • { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ellen Allard (Gluten Free Diva) December 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    These look great! I so appreciate your giving the amounts in both weight and volume. I’m going to give these a try with some homemade nutella (gluten free, dairy free). Great idea for holiday cookies! Thank you for sharing.


    Kortney Campbell December 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    We’d love to hear how they turn out!


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