My kids have recently been requesting that I make cookies more often. I’m pretty sure part of growing up requires the fond memories of baking homemade cookies, right?! I don’t bake a whole lot any more but I do tend to bake more in the winter time. Years ago we picked up a cookbook at Borders (do they even exist anymore, thanks to Amazon?). It’s called, ‘Sweet Treats: 25 Delicious Recipes That Kids Can Cook‘.
My kids absolutely love this book. They often just enjoy looking through it, picking out recipes they want to try. The problem is: I bought this book prior to my real foodie days and pre-gluten-free era as well. There is not a single recipe I can make in the book, yet I still hang on to it. I’m pretty sure my kids would be upset if I got rid of it.
I decided to take on a little challenge of my own and oblige my kids by trying to recreate each and every recipe we possibly could in the book. After all, it’s only 25 recipes, how hard could that be? The first recipe up to bat ended up being the Thumbprint cookies. I needed a quick, easy recipe to whip up something for their lunches, using items I often have on hand already. This recipe has been 2-years in my post drafts, just waiting to be published by the way.
On the very first try, I nailed these suckers! And the cool thing is they are free of some of the top allergens: eggs, dairy, and gluten! I even cut the sugar from the original recipe in half and used maple syrup instead. The recipe also uses quite a bit of fat, so this is a great way to get some good fats into my kiddos. Another bonus to this recipe is that it can be made from pantry items alone.
- 2 cups Mama's Coconut Flour Blend or other gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon xantham gum (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder, homemade
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), or palm shortening - at room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup, plus 10-30 drops liquid vanilla stevia to taste
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- Any kind of jam you like (about ⅓ -1/2 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xantham gum, baking powder and salt until evenly blended. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter or palm shortening until it is soft and fluffy.
- Add in the maple syrup and stevia if using - if you do not wish to use the liquid stevia, you can add ½ cup of maple syrup.
- Add the orange and vanilla extracts. Blend well.
- Turn off the mixer and add half the flour mixture.
- Mix on low until just blended. Add the remaining flour and mix until blended.
- Using a measuring tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough and then use your finger to push the dough onto one of the prepared cookie sheets.
- Fill both cookie sheets with the dough.
- Dip your thumb in a bit of flour and use it to make a dent in each ball of dough.
- Fill each dent with a small amount of jam, scooping the jam with a teaspoon and pushing off just what you need with your finger.
- Place into the oven and bake about 18 minutes.
- Remove from the cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
I’ve even tried these cookies with leaf lard, so amazing! My current favorite flour blend to use is the sprouted gluten-free flour blend from To Your Health Sprouted Flour company. But for a little more ‘truth in advertising’ here – they don’t hold up quite as well and spread a bit more (as seen in the photo below). However, the crumb texture on them is amazing, seriously amazing! They don’t have a long shelf life, but who cares you’ll probably eat them all up anyway. But seriously, if for some reason you have more self control than most, I’d freeze them, else they will get too soft and lose their nice texture.
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