19 March 2009

Best Vegan Thumbprint Cookies Ever!

From March 2009 Recipes, Reviews and Other Photos

My go-to vegan cookbook for cookies is now Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. I've made agave nectar versions of her cookies before with great success, but these are over the top.

Even though they're vegan they taste genuinely buttery. She uses maple syrup and brown rice syrup along with a little bit of sugar in her original recipe, so making the agave leap wasn't a big deal. However, I used a completely different technique to create the cookie.

From March 2009 Recipes, Reviews and Other Photos

I made two different versions of these -- one close to the original, with walnuts and a strawberry all-fruit spread for the middle; and in the other, I used almonds and a lovely plum all-fruit spread. Fantastic! The almond version is what I'm bringing to a St. Joseph's Feast celebration tonight, because traditionally, almond cookies are served (albeit, not ones like these) for dessert along with zeppoles.

From March 2009 Recipes, Reviews and Other Photos

The texture of the almond version is not as smooth as the walnut cookie, but slightly crunchy. I love that she uses barley and oat flour for these cookies. You can taste the oats much more in the walnut version than in the almond cookies. I'm definitely going to try these with other flours and nuts. I kept thinking that cashews would make an amazing cookie. With those, I'd probably make some kind of carob-y ganache to use as a filling.

Because I altered the recipe significantly, I'm publishing my version here. However, I strongly urge you to buy a copy of Dreena's wonderful Eat, Drink & Be Vegan for yourself.

The Best Vegan Thumbprint Cookies Ever (inspired by Dreena Burton's Jam-Print Cookies, from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan)

Yield: approx. 32 cookies


2/3 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
3/4 cup barley flour
1/2 cup walnuts (or almonds, or your choice of nut or seed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (I used olive)
Just under 1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Your choice of unsweetened fruit spread/jam


1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, grind up the oats until they are almost powder.
3. Add the nuts/seeds to the oats and grind until the mixture resembles crumbs.
3. Add the barley flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, then pulse for a minute until everything is well combined.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, agave nectar, and vanilla until well combined.
5. Add the liquid mixture to the food processor and process until the dough collects itself. This should take a maximum of 40 seconds (and that's long).
6. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the cookies, four to a row, evenly spaced, on the sheets. Place one of the sheets in the refrigerator.
7. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to a small bowl. You will use this to dip a small spoon into while you're making the depressions in the cookies for the jam. Dip the spoon into the water, shake off any excess water and use the spoon to gently make a nickle-sized depression (about 1/4 in. deep) into the center of your cookies. Wet the spoon each time. You'll need to do this and it makes it much easier, trust me.
8. Fill each of the depressions with your jam/spread of choice. Put that sheet of cookies into the fridge. Take the other sheet out and repeat step seven on those cookies while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
9. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, then switch the sheets' positions in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges.
10. Let the cookies cool on their sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. This is a very important step because the cookies could break if you don't.
11. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Those sound fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing--I can't wait to make a batch!


Vegetation said...

Mmmm they look amazing Deb!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks Courtney! You're gonna love 'em!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks also, Veg! They taste even better than they look. Mmm. Wish I hadn't given them all away.

Cheryl Harris said...

great minds think alike! I've been trying a hazelnut version for a while but haven't gotten it *quite* to my liking yet. but those look heavenly!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Cheryl. Hazelnuts would be great for these!

VeganCowGirl said...

mmmm. I love love love thumb print cookies. I will give this recipe a try for sure! Thanks!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks VCG!

The plum jam is lovely with the almonds, but there's nothing like a good strawberry jam. Good luck with yours!

Avachild said...

I recently found your blog while searching for chocolate free brownies. My sister-in-law is now allergic to chocolate and she misses my brownies I make. So I'm really excited to try out your Carob brownie recipes as well as your many other ones due to having friends and family that have other food allergies as well as a sister who is diabetic. Thank you so much for taking the time to make and post these recipes, you truly are a life saver in my case.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks for commenting, Avachild. Glad I could be of service to you and your family. I know how it is to be the only one not eating dessert at family functions. Good luck with your new blog!

EmbraceNatural said...

ooohhhhh yummy! Thanks for sharing!! I am looking forward to making this!! ") I am also a big fan of Agave syrup as well


Sanja said...

I love Dreena's cookies. :-)

Thanks for the tip about Mesquite; I have never tried it but will buy it when I'm in London next week. :-)

Anonymous said...

These cookies look great, thanks for posting! I found your blog searching for peanut butter agave cookies. Your site has a very old post about those cookies with a video that's no longer there, but no actual recipe. Any way you could send me that recipe, or direct me to it? I'd really appreciate it!

Deb Schiff said...

Yeah, sorry about the pb cookies movie (and all the others that aren't there because they were pulled from Brightcove -- everyone who didn't become paying customers had their videos ripped). I'm working on a player and will be re-posting them before the end of the summer.
If you post again with your email, I can send you the original movie. I won't post your comment publicly to keep your anonymity.

Anonymous said...

I've make these regularly and they are addictive. Seriously the best recipe I've tried for this! Thanks!!!