A classic Christmas cookie recipe, these Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are given a makeover with gluten free ingredients and a hint of amaretto for festive jam-filled cookies everyone will love!
The Best Cookies for the Holidays
I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me into the holiday spirit quite like baking my favorite Christmas cookies! Sure, I love getting out all the decorations and setting up the tree, but there’s something extra special about the warmth from the oven filling the house and the smell of freshly made cookies in the air. Admittedly, once I start baking for the holidays, I have a hard time getting myself to stop. Before you know it, I find myself making everything from Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Peppermint to Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies, and more. I love to experiment with new recipes each year. However, no matter what I decide to bake, Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are on the list!
I grew up making these cookies, and as an adult, they’re a staple in my household during the holidays. I mean, can you blame me? Just look at them! Full of raspberry jam and glistening with sugar, they practically scream the holiday season. Not to mention, they’re pretty dang delicious, too!
Unfortunately, the original recipe for raspberry thumbprint cookies is not very allergy-friendly and definitely isn’t’ gluten free. So, I took the liberty of revising it a bit to create gluten free and vegan thumbprint cookies everyone can enjoy. I even added a dash of amaretto for a bit of extra holiday cheer. Don’t worry, though, it’s optional! No matter which version you decide to make, this recipe is guaranteed to please!
What are Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies?
Originating in Sweden, Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies were originally called Hallongrotta (raspberry cave) and made out of butter, sugar, corn or potato starch, flour, yeast, and vanilla or cinnamon flavorings. Similar to shortbread cookies in texture, Hallongrotta were (and still are) often served with warm drinks such as tea or coffee. (Source)
Did you know?!
First appearing in the 1800s, Hallongrotta cookies were most often consumed during kafferep, or what is known to us as the afternoon coffee break. During this time, coffee was largely reserved for only the wealthiest of consumers, and coffee shops were exclusive to whom they allowed inside, never allowing women.
Therefore, people took matters into their own hands, organizing their own midday breaks amongst friends in which people gathered to drink coffee and consume pastries including thumbprint cookies.
Gluten Free Ingredients and Alternatives
While the ingredients for raspberry filled cookies are pretty simple, I’ve made a couple swaps to make them gluten free and included a few options to meet your individual preferences. To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Gluten Free Flours and/or Rolled Oats – I used a combination of oat flour and blanched almond flour from my Cookie Master Mix. However, if you don’t have oat flour, you can use gluten free oats to make your own.
Neutral Oil – Technically, any oil you have on hand will work, but for the best results, I highly recommend using a neutral oil such as refined coconut oil or avocado oil.
Optional Amaretto – If you don’t have amaretto or want to keep these raspberry thumbprint cookies alcohol-free, feel free to use almond extract instead.
Foodie Swap: If you can’t use almond extract due to a food allergy, vanilla can be used in its place.
Jam – Any raspberry jam you have on hand can be used. However, I like to use a naturally sweetened variety, when possible.
White Chocolate (Dairy Free option!) – To create a pretty glaze, use melted white chocolate to drizzle on top. Or, swap it out for powdered sugar instead! P.S Vegan white chocolate does exist! Check out my recipe here. Or, save some time, and buy it on Amazon!
Baking Tips for Vegan Raspberry Jam Cookies
One of the reasons why I love this recipe so much is because of how easy it is to make! All you have to do is follow a few steps, and you’re on your way to enjoying a tasty treat. However, to make the process even easier, I’ve gathered a few of my best baking tips below.
How to Make Oat Flour from Ground Oats
If you don’t have oat flour, you can use whole ground oats to make your own instead! All you have to do is add them to a food processor, and pulse until a powder-like texture is formed.
Press and Fill Before Baking
In theory, all you have to do to create an indent on your cookies is press your thumb into the dough. However, in practice, it isn’t always that easy! So, in order to achieve uniform thumbprint marks, I recommend using the backside of a tablespoon to press down the center of your cookies. After that, add the filling. I know that not all recipes recommend filling the cookies before baking them (due to the time it takes for the cookie center to bake), but I prefer it for several reasons!
For one, if you’re adding the amaretto to the jam, you’ll want that alcohol to bake out. Also, if you are using a thick jam, filling the cookies before baking allows the jam center to soften and set a bit.
However, if you’re not using the amaretto (or are using a thinner jam), add the filling to the cookies after 8 minutes of cooking. Then, place the cookies back in the oven for an additional 2-4 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Also, make sure to cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet before decorating with sugar or serving. Otherwise, the center won’t set!
How to Prevent to Prevent Thumbprint Cookies from Going Flat
Cookies often flatten in the oven due to either the dough becoming too warm or an excess amount of fat and not enough flour. To prevent this, try chilling the batter in the fridge before baking.
If this doesn’t work, the culprit is likely due to there not being enough dough to absorb the fat. Make sure to level your measuring cups or use a food scale to measure the proper amount of flour. Then, if your thumbprint cookies still spread, try adding 2 more tablespoons of flour to the dough.
How to Keep Dough from Crumbling
If your dough appears crumbly, don’t panic! Just keep mixing, and it should come together. However, if it doesn’t, add just a splash of non-dairy milk or oil.
How to Make Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Either work! Just make sure the consistency of whichever you choose isn’t too runny. Otherwise, it’ll slide right off your cookies!
If your cookies are cracking when you make the thumbprint impression, try rolling the dough into a ball once more and forming the cookies again. The warmth from your hands should soften the dough, preventing it from cracking.
Sure! Technically, they wouldn’t be raspberry jam cookies, but any flavored jam you prefer will work with this recipe.
How to Store Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
If you don’t eat these cookies in one batch, they can be stored several different ways!
Room Temperature: Place your thumbprint cookies in an airtight container, and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Refrigerator: Store leftover cookies in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer: For a longer-lasting option, place your cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: If you’re planning on baking these cookies to give to loved ones, I recommend freezing them as transportation can be a bit tricky due to the jam filling!
Did you grow up making Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, too? If not, what are some of your favorite holiday treats? I’d love it if you let me know in the comments below. Happy holidays!