Once upon a time, this blog was filled with recipes and stories about food. It was, in the classical sense, a food blog. Lately, I have meandered off the beaten path into other topics, but today, I’d like to talk about food again. Specifically, these delightful little chocolate-raspberry thumbprint cookies. I meant to tell you about them a year ago, but the days go by so fast.
Which is a damn shame, because these cookies are awesome! Vegan, a little nutty, and not too sweet, to my mind, they are perfect lunchbox or afternoon snack cookies. I think of them like a decadent version of fruit and nuts: the fruit from the jammy filling and the nuts from the almond flour. They’re a snap to put together, too—no creaming of butter and sugar or cracking of eggs. Just measure, whisk, stir, and get your hands a little sticky when you form the dough into balls, make a thumbprint, and fill them with chocolate and jam.
I modified the recipe slightly to make them more of a straight-out-of-the-cupboard job. The original recipe calls for apple juice, but I don’t usually have that on hand. (Hard cider, though, is a different story. Maybe I’ll try this recipe with some hard cider and report back!) Instead of the apple juice, I use some sugar and water and it works just fine.
Adapted slightly from EatingWell (December 2006 issue)
Makes about 2 dozen cookies (and they freeze well, too, at least for a week or two)
1 cup almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat flour (I make this at home by whirling rolled oats in a food processor)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan chips if you want these cookies to be safe for vegans or dairy-free folks)
2 tbsp. raspberry jam or preserves
1) Put a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
2) Prep a baking sheet or two by spraying with nonstick spray or lining them with a Silpat or parchment paper.
3) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the three flours, baking powder, and salt. In a second bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, sugar, water, and two extracts. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together. You can use your hands to help the dough come together if that’s easier than mixing with a spoon. The original recipe says to add another 1-2 tbsp. of apple juice if the dough seems crumbly, but I never have this problem. It seems like useful advice to pass along to you, though.
4) To shape the cookies, form about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving about 2 inches between dough balls. Flatten the balls into discs, then make a thumbprint by pressing down in the center with your thumb to make a little well. Fill the well with 3 chocolate chips and about 1/4 tsp. jam.
5) Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15-17 minutes. My cookies never seem to change color, so I just time them and they bake beautifully. Allow cookies to cool on their sheet for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Share with your favorite people.