Don't wait for the holidays to make these vegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies. They're great any time of the year. I love that they don't contain any refined sugar. This means that they satisfy that cookie craving in a healthy way.
History of the Thumbprint Cookie
Another name for thumbprint cookies is "hallongrotta." These cookies first appeared around the 19th century. Hallongrotta is Swedish for "raspberry cave." Thumbprint cookies go by other names such as butterballs, bird's nest cookies, and Polish tea cakes. I geek out over food history, so if you want to read more cookie history there is a fun article HERE.
Types of Thumbprint Cookies
Let's just say that there are a lot of variations to the thumbprint cookie! To name a few, there are:
- Chocolate thumbprint cookies
- Shortbread thumbprint cookies
- Thumbprint cookies Hershey Kiss style!
- Thumbprint cookies with icing
- Thumbprint cookies with cream cheese
- Almond flour thumbprint cookies
- Jam thumbprint cookies
I told you it was a lot! Well in this post I'm going to share with you how to make my personal favorite, the jam thumbprint cookie recipe. And it's vegan and gluten-free!
Vegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies Flavors
There are lots of jam filling flavors to choose from. My mom LOVES apricot. Raspberry jam thumbprint cookies are my brother's cookie flavor of choice. And my personal favorite is wild berry. Of course, there's also strawberry, blueberry, peach and fig. To sum it up, any jam you like works in these cookies.
I recommend using all-fruit jam without added sugar. These jams are sweetened just with fruit juice concentrate. So you get all of the fruity flavor and no refined sugar!
Other ingredients you'll need
Rolled oats - I prefer the gluten-free rolled oats. You can also substitute quick oats if you want.
Flour - Use either unbleached white flour or gluten-free flour.
Nuts - Walnuts really work well but you can also use pecans or other nuts with a soft texture.
Oil - For the oil I chose avocado oil since it's a nice high heat oil. But macadamia nut oil can work too, as well as coconut oil.
Pure maple syrup - Go for 100% pure maple syrup for the best flavor. I find the cheapest price on a 32-oz. jug at Walmart.
Orange juice - Personally I like to squeeze this fresh but bottled orange juice is fine to use too. You will need zest though so if you're not using fresh oranges you could use dried orange peel. But trust me, the fresh version is best in these cookies.
Vanilla extract - Just like with my maple syrup, I'm a purist about my vanilla extract. No vanillin or vanilla flavor for me!
How to form the cookies
Use a mini ice cream scoop to make this easy. I scoop up one rounded teaspoon of cookie dough per cookie. With moist fingers flatten the balls into a nice cookie shape. Then move on to the thumbprint part!
Press your thumb in the center of each cookie to make a well. My wells are larger than usual, as you can see. I like to maximize the jam to cookie ratio so you get some in each bite. But feel free to make the thumbprint smaller if you want.
Next, fill each thumbprint with a spoonful of jam. This is where you can have fun choosing the flavors you want to use.
It can be nice for variety to use a few different flavors and colors. Try some apricot, raspberry and strawberry to make a crowd-pleasing batch.
To carefully get the jam in the middle, I find using two small spoons is helpful. One spoon scoops up the jam and the other pushes it off into the well.
Watch the video below to see what I mean. If you're like me, sometimes you just need to see it to get it!
Baking the cookies
Finally, we're going to bake the cookies. So in a 350 degree F. oven I baked my cookies for about 12 minutes. Depending on your oven this might be or less. I check on them by carefully lifting one with a spatula to see if the bottom is lightly brown. So you can do this too to test for doneness.
One of my favorite parts about baking these cookies is to see the jam melt down and create a lovely jewel-looking filling. They are so pretty and make your kitchen smell great too!
This recipe makes about 20 cookies so you can feel free to double it as they go fast! Especially if you want to share them as gifts or you have a big family, you want plenty to go around.
So I hope you enjoyed learning how to make these Vegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies! I think they'll become a favorite in your home too.
Comment below what your favorite flavor is for these cookies.
And if you're looking for more dessert recipes, try these:
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!
- Vegan Peach Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping
- Easy & Simple Vegan Cinnamon Rolls