These are the BEST almond thumbprint cookies. They’re perfectly chewy, made with almond flour and featuring a homemade jam and easy icing drizzle! Vegan variation included.
Are you a thumbprint fan? Alex and I have got a fresh spin on the classic that’s so good, we’ve called it “the best”. And we think you’ll agree! These almond thumbprint cookies are made with almond flour, homemade berry jam, and sweetened with maple syrup. If you’d like, add our easy powdered sugar glaze, which takes them from good to amazing! With just the right chewy texture from the almond flour, these cookies are a healthy spin on the traditional but taste even better. Ready to get started?
The highlight: the homemade berry jam!
The highlight of these almond thumbprint cookies is the homemade jam (similar to our Easy Strawberry Jam). The flavor is incredible: it tastes like pure berry. And it’s made with maple syrup, so it’s refined sugar free and just sweet enough. While you could substitute a store-bought jam, we recommend making the homemade version because it brings the perfect sweetness and berry flavor to these cookies. It takes only 15 minutes to whip up, and for easy prep you can make it in advance.
Frozen berries work well for making homemade jam: though you could use fresh if you have them! Any variety of frozen berries work, but these cookies work best with mixed berries or raspberries. The photos show our version with mixed berries. Using raspberries would give them an even brighter red color, which would be perfect for the holidays and Christmas cookie trays!
Almond flour makes the best almond thumbprint cookies.
What makes for the best almond thumbprint cookies? Almond flour! Almond flour is finely ground blanched almonds: it’s often used as an alternative flour in gluten free baking. (Here are all our almond flour recipes: it’s perfect in cookies and cakes!) Be careful not to confuse it with almond meal, which is a coarser grind and contains the almond peels.
Almond flour makes for the perfectly-textured almond thumbprint cookie. It results in a chewy cookie texture, versus a crumbly shortbread. Also note that this recipe does not include almond extract, so it doesn’t have an almond flavor essence: it’s simply made with almonds.
Are they healthy?
Are these healthy almond thumbprint cookies? Well, no cookies are really health food. However, we consider these to be a healthy spin because:
- The dough is 2/3 almonds, which equals more nutrients and less refined flour.
- The jam and dough are lightly sweetened with maple syrup, making them refined sugar free. While this is still sugar, it’s a gentler sweetness. It’s also just sweet enough, not a sugar bomb.
- The jam is homemade with real berries, making it have a small dose of actual fruit. (OK, it’s not a lot, but more than most cookies!)
Can you make these thumbprint cookies gluten free?
In these almond thumbprint cookies, we’ve used 2 cups almond flour and 1 cup all purpose flour. Using the mixture that includes all purpose flour makes for the perfect texture. Using 100% almond flour can result in a very dense, crumbly cookie.
If you’d like to make these gluten free, use your favorite 1 for 1 gluten free flour in place of the all-purpose flour. We wouldn’t recommend doing all almond flour.
Can you make these vegan thumbprint cookies?
You can! Just substitute coconut oil or vegan butter for the butter. The texture is such that they’ll work the same way!
Easy powdered sugar icing—in 1 minute!
To take these easy almond thumbprint cookies over the top, we’ve used our favorite trick: powdered sugar icing! I grew up eating a cookie called Swedish raspberry cookies that was iced in a similar way. Once we added the icing on top, we knew we had a hit.
We made these cookies with Alex’s mother in law. I mixed up the icing and was back in 1 minute ready to drizzle it on. “Wait, you already made it?” she exclaimed. She was excited about how easy this icing was to make! All you have to do is:
- Mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon milk.
- Whisk until all the lumps dissolve and the icing is smooth.
- Use a fork to drizzle on the cookies! Using a fork helps to get a thin drizzle, whereas a spoon can be too chunky.
Looking for more great cookies?
And that’s it, the very best almond thumbprint cookies! Let us know if you try them out in the comments below. We usually make them as a Christmas dessert or for holiday cookie swaps, but they work any time of the year. When do you make them?
If you’re looking for more healthy-ish cookie recipes, here are some of our favorites:
- Gluten Free Russian Tea Cakes (Snowballs): These snowball cookies are also made with almond flour, and heightened with cozy chai spices.
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies: These cookies use almond butter to replace most of the butter, wheat flour for a few extra nutrients, and applesauce to keep them soft.
This almond thumbprint cookies recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten free or vegan, see the recipe below for substitutes.Print
These are the BEST almond thumbprint cookies. They’re perfectly chewy, made with almond flour and featuring a homemade jam and easy icing drizzle!
For the jam filling
- 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries or mixed berries
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the almond cookies
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup all purpose or 1-for-1 gluten free flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons melted butter (sub coconut oil or vegan butter for vegan)
For the glaze (you’ll use about 3/4 of this)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk (or oat or almond milk for vegan)
- Make the homemade jam: Add the berries, maple syrup, and cinnamon to a small saucepan. Cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes until the berries break down. Run the mixture through a mesh strainer into a clean bowl, mashing the berries with a spatula. Return the sauce to the same saucepan, then add the cornstarch and heat on low 2 more minutes until bubbly and thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while making the cookies. (This step can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week before making the cookies.)
- Bake the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and kosher salt in medium bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until well combined.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take about 1 tablespoon of the dough and roll it into small balls, about 12 for one tray, 24 in all. Start with one tray only, then refrigerate the dough for the second tray. Gently press your thumb into the center of the ball. (You can re-form the cookie with your fingers if it cracks a little.) Then add about 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each cookie.
- Bake the first tray 13 to 15 minutes until browned on the bottom. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then place on a baking rack to cool. Meanwhile, prepare and bake the second tray and allow it to cool (baking the trays separately allows for the most even bake).
- Ice the cookies (optional – if freezing, add after): Once the cookies have cooled to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes), make the powdered sugar icing. Stir together the confectioners’ sugar and milk (start with a little less if using non-dairy milk) until a smooth sauce forms and all lumps are dissolved. Place the cookies on parchment paper, dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle in a zigzag pattern. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze is dry, about 15 minutes.
- Store at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerated for 1 week. To freeze, place baked cookies without icing in an airtight container and freeze for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the icing after thawing to room temperature.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Cookies
Keywords: Almond Thumbprint Cookies, Easy Thumbprint Cookies
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.