Baking is so fun any time of year – not just in the winter. I live up here in the Pacific Northwest and pretty much any time aside from the hottest part of summer when I don’t want to turn on the oven is fair game for cookies. I’m kind of obsessed with jam and these vegan treats definitely highlight that love I’ve got. The best part about these? You get to use any type of jam you like the best. Orange is gorgeous but so is a deep purple or pink depending on the fruit or berry you’re using for these Vegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies.
Baking is ton of work but it can kind of relaxing, too, if you take it slow or do it with friends and family. Thumbprint cookies are one of my favorite varieties. They are just so beautiful with the bright colors on top. They’re also easy to make a little bit healthier without compromising taste or texture. They are simple and turn out fabulously – perfect for a cookie swap or gift. I used both apricot and pomegranate jams to mix it up a bit and they looked like little gems when they are first pulled out of the oven.
I think cookies may be underrated. They are so fun to make and they’re bite-sized and easy to freeze so you can revisit them when you want to in an appropriate portion, depending on your goals. They’re so fun to gift or bring to a friend in need. I love them for an afterwork snack or a little dessert treat in the evening. My No Bake Vegan Chocolate Haystack Cookie Bites are also trending right now and so I’ve got a few options up on the blog if you want to practice your baking skills. I recently made black bean brownies for a party and they were a hit so make sure to check those out as well.
Another thing I love about cookies is how you can add healthy ingredients. You can keep that ‘treat’ feeling while boosting nutrients with whole wheat flour, nuts and seeds, fruit, and even oats or other whole grains. I almost always cut back on the added sugar and I love to experiment with ingredients other than butter which is really high in saturated fat. Of course cookies are comprised of fat and sugar – and they definitely don’t always need to be healthy. But as a registered dietitian and recipe developer, I love to try and make all the food I eat delicious AND a little healthier.
Making Vegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies
There are a lot of reasons to make a recipe vegan and I’m talking about swapping traditional ingredients out for vegan ones here with Food&Nutrition magazine and they’ve also got my 8 traditional desserts made vegan friendly on the blog. Whether you’re entertaining vegan company or you have friends or family with food allergies that require vegan baking, I hope these tips make it a little more easy and a little more fun for you.
When you’re going to make theseVegan Jam Thumbprint Cookies, preheat your oven and get your baking sheet out. Honestly, I recently bought a silicone liner and it changed my life. I got cupcake liners, too, after an egg muffin incident that caused me to have to clean them for hours. You’ll be so happy at the time it saves when you get one for your next baking adventure. Trust me on this one. I went from not having one to using mine several times per week!
I love to keep cookie recipes simple. I combine the dry ingredients first. I do often blend whole wheat and white flour together. It will naturally make the product more dense but I’m actually ok with that. If you want a softer cookie, use only white flour (it’s ok! really!). If you’ve got a mixing machine, that makes your life even easier. I use that machine a couple times a week as well and I’ve found it’s really worth the investment. They’re so easy to clean and easy to use. They make baking such a lighter lift.
After you’ve got your dry ingredients blended, whip up the wet ones separately and add the sugar in that step so it’s creamy and smooth. Vegan butter is an awesome product that ‘acts’ much like regular dairy butter when you’re baking. If you’re not familiar, I think you’ll be really pleasantly surprised. For my non-dairy milk, I like using soy and oat. They’re both a little higher in protein and have a better fat balance for cooking. Soy is best of all for protein so this is one of my go-tos.
I just love using different spices in my baking so I found that both vanilla and almond extract were fun in this recipe. The cinnamon also adds a warmth. Get creative with trying different spices and various portions of them, too, to suit your taste.
The best part of these cookies is making the dent with your thumb and filling them with jam. Don’t crack the cookie as you make the dent and then use a small spoon to fill the inside with colorful jams of your choice. Have fun and let me know how these turn out!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup softened vegan butter
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup apricot or raspberry jam
- Heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flours, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter substitute until fully incorporated and fluffy with air. Add milk, vanilla and almond extracts to wet mixture and blend thoroughly then pour into dry mixture and stir well to create a dough. With your hands, roll 2 Tablespoons of the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until the sheet is full then use your thumb to make a large indentation in the middle of each cookie. Add about a teaspoon of jam to the center of each indentation. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on cooling rack 10-15 minutes.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.