The first time I made thumb print cookies was many years ago and I remember just falling in love with the nutty texture and the burst of sweetness in the center (having grown up on pb & j, I have a huge fondness for jelly!). I had a feeling my kids would enjoy these even though they are not real big fans of nuts, and I’m happy to report they did!
Most recipes call for oil and quite a bit of sugar, both of which I thought would probably be unnecessary, and I was right. Replacing the oil with applesauce and significantly cutting back on the sugar makes these thumb print cookies healthier than most, without sacrificing taste.
These healthy cookies would make a great alternative to processed store bought treats for kid’s lunchboxes or afternoon snacks. Whole grains, whole nuts and applesauce add nutrients and fiber. I hope you and your family enjoys them as much as my family does!
- 1½ cups raw nuts (I used 1 cup almonds and ½ cup walnuts)
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 T chia or flax seed, ground
- 2 T sugar (may be omitted)
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t cinnamon
- ¼ t nutmeg
- ¼ salt
- ½ cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup real maple syrup
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ½ t almond extract (may be omitted)
- ⅓ cup jam (I used strawberry, raspberry and apricot)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place nuts and oats in food processor and pulse several times until it forms a course flour-like texture. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pulse a couple times to combine. Empty into a medium bowl.
- Add applesauce, maple syrup, and extracts and stir until combined.
- Scoop out onto a nonstick cookie sheet or parchment paper covered pan, leaving an inch or more between each. Using your finger or back of a spoon, make a small indentation in the center of the cookie. Add about a ½ - 1 teaspon of jam into each well.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until they are golden brown and the jam appears a bit dry.
With nuts as a base to the cookies, they aren’t particularly low in fat, and they do have some sugar. But remember, these are a “treat” and all treats need to be treated as such! They are a far better alternative to typical butter and sugar laden cookies, or highly processed, trans-fat-filled store bought kinds.