Paleo Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

24 cookies
25 min

If you’re looking for a paleo dessert that is easy to make and delicious, this cookie recipe is for you! These Paleo Thumbprint Cookies with homemade raspberry jam and a dark chocolate drizzle are the perfect sweet treat.

An Easy, Allergy-Friendly Dessert

There are countless reasons to fall in love with this paleo dessert recipe. From the refined sugar free raspberry jam that’s made from scratch to the shortbread-like texture of these cookies. And, of course, that dark chocolate drizzle! Combined, it is truly the perfect bite!

Another reason I love this recipe is because it is easy. Often times, paleo recipes can become complicated. This recipe is very straight forward and yields a result so delicious that you wouldn’t even know these cookies are paleo! As well, one of the perks of these cookies being paleo is that they’re allergy-friendly. There is no refund sugar, gluten, dairy, or nuts here!

These cookies are crumbly, sweet and so delicious!

The Guidelines of Paleo

Over the years, more and more people have begun to follow the “ paleo diet“- either due to allergies or because of preference. This way of eating is also called the Paleolithic diet, or the caveman diet. The idea here is that you can only eat food consistent with what caveman had available during the stone-age. It’s believed to be an ancestral approach that prioritizes eating whole, nutrient-dense food.

The paleo diet includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. If you follow the paleo diet, you cannot have processed foods or modern day indulgences, such as soda. As well, following the paleo diet means you refrain from:

  • Gluten: Not only can you not have gluten, but also other grains such as oats or corn. The reasoning claims that gluten is an inflammatory property and falls under processed foods.
  • Refine Sugar: It should come as no surprise that modern day sugar isn’t permitted on the paleo diet. Instead, you can replace cane sugar with natural sweeteners, like maple syrup or honey.
  • Dairy: As animals were not yet domesticated during the Paleolithic Age, dairy dos not fall under the paleo diet. Like gluten, dairy is believed to the promote inflammation in the body.

While there are a number of other guidelines to the paleo diet, those are just a few of the key takeaways. As this thumbprint cookie recipe is paleo, that means that this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free.

Have you guessed how the thumbprint cookie got its name?

What Is a “Thumbprint Cookie”?

You may have already guessed why the thumbprint cookie is called that. Its name gives away the idea behind the cookie. Essentially, the indentation in the middle of the cookie is made with the thumb. The indentation can also be made with a small teaspoon.

The thumbprint cookie, also called the ‘ Hallongrotta‘, is a common Swedish pastry that originated in the 19th century. The translation of the name means “raspberry cave” in. These shortbread cookies are filled with raspberry jam, or another fruit filling in the center of the dessert. In the United States, the name ‘ thumbprint cookie‘ was adopted, while they are known as ‘ jam drops‘ in Australia. The cookie also goes by: bird’s nest cookies, butterballs, or Polish tea cakes.

Despite the many different names, the structure of the cookie recipe doesn’t change much from country to country. In the United States, the fruit filling is sometimes swapped for Nutella. No matter the filling or name, the cookie remains a holiday staple throughout the world.

These cookies are too good to be reserved for the holiday season!

The Raspberry Jam

While you can buy store-bought jam to fill your thumbprint cookies, most jams sold in the United States are made with cane sugar. If added sugar is used, the recipe is no longer paleo. So, I suggest using this easy and simple, refined sugar free raspberry jam recipe!

Start by washing two cups of raspberries, then add them to a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high, and use a potato masher to pulverize the berries. Once boiling and smashed thoroughly, add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir consistently. Next, add half a cup of honey. Honey is a great natural alternative to added sugar, plus it helps thicken the jam faster.

Stir for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Once the jam sticks to the back of a spoon, pour the mixture into a glass jar and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes. This jam is one of my favorite aspects about the thumbprint cookies, but it is also delicious in other desserts too. Add it to my Healthy Chocolate Mousse recipe for the perfect indulgence.

This homemade raspberry jam is delicious in other desserts too!

Time for the Dough

For the dough, start by adding three cups of gluten-free baking flour, two teaspoons of psyllium husk powder, and one teaspoon of salt to the cookies. Psyllium husk powder is often used in gluten-free baking as a thickening agent. As shortbread cookies can be crumbly, this powder helps to hold the cookie together so that it doesn’t crack and crumble when baked. Furthermore, unlike most lesser recipes, there is no baking powder or baking soda used here. Baking powder encourages the dough to spread, but we want these thumbprint cookies to maintain their shape.

Next, mix together one cup of melted coconut oil, a third cup of maple syrup, and a third cup of honey. Make sure to use a sugar-free maple syrup! Honey and maple syrup are both natural sweeteners and paleo safe to use in place of cane sugar. Once combined, add two large egg yolks one at a time, then one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Egg yolks are more tender and rich than using a whole egg or egg whites. Next, sift in the dry ingredients. Combine with an electric mixer, then roll into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet.

You just can’t beat the texture of these cookies!

Fill, Bake & Decorate

Now it’s time for the fun part! Once all of the cookie dough is rolled and placed on the prepared baking sheet, we can make the signature indentations. You can use your thumb or the back of a teaspoon. If you opt for the teaspoon, I would suggest lightly greasing it. This prevents the teaspoon from sticking to the dough. You may have to grease the teaspoon a few times throughout the process.

After all the indentations are created, you can add a teaspoon of the homemade raspberry jam to each cookie. Carefully fill each cookie, but be sure not to overfill it. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes until slightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool for roughly ten minutes before drizzling with the dark chocolate. To make the dark chocolate drizzle, combine half a cup of sugar and dairy-free dark chocolate chips and one tablespoon of coconut oil to a microwave-safe glass. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir again and then allow to cool.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the dark chocolate over each cookie. Wait 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to dry and harden before serving the cookies. If you’re in a pinch, you can also place the cookies in the refrigerator to quickly harden the dark chocolate and serve faster. They only need about five minutes in the refrigerator before they’re ready!

Paleo Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe details
  • 24  cookies
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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For the Raspberry Jam
  • 2 cups raspberries, washed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
For the Cookies
  • 3 cups of gluten-free baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Dark Chocolate Drizzle
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

For the Raspberry Jam
Add the raspberries to a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high
Use a potato masher to pulverize the berries
Once boiling, add the lemon juice and then reduce the heat to medium-low
Stir in the honey and continue to stir while the jam simmers
After 10-15 minutes, remove from heat and continue to stir until the jam coats the back of the spoon
Pour into a glass jar and allow to cool
For the Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, psyllium husk powder, and salt
In another bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup
Add one egg yolk at a time, then add the vanilla extract and beat to combine
Sift in the dry ingredients and combine with the mixer
Roll into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets
Use the back of a teaspoon to create an indentation in the middle of the cookie
Add one teaspoon of the raspberry jam, then bake for 15-17 minutes
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes
For the Drizzle
Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave-safe glass
Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and microwave again for 30 seconds
Stir, then cool for 10 minutes
Once both the cookies and dark chocolate has cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the dark chocolate over each cookie
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days
Arianna Litrenta
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