• Gutsy Baker

Paleo Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Valentine's Day or just SPREAD THE LOVE COOKIES. These little cookies are just the sweetest, aren't they?!

I made some 3 ingredient shortbread cookies over the holidays that were loved around here. They were a bit softer in texture and filled with chocolate centers. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to remake a version of these in a pretty red jam filled shortbread cookie. I altered the recipe a bit so these shortbreads have more of a “short” texture, a crumbly crunch, rather than a chewier texture. This is done by substituting liquid sweetener with powdered sugar. Powdered sugar gives cookies a nice short crumble.

I’ve also learned this by watching The Great British Baking Show. I have been binging this since Christmas. I am rewatching the ones I watched years ago but I can appreciate it so much more now that I bake 24/7. I learn tips and tricks and how to prep certain types of doughs and batters. It’s a little trickier baking paleo and gluten free, but it’s the same chemistry overall. Baking is such an art, it’s amazing how one change can alter a whole recipe.

I find it challenging but I love it, and it’s so rewarding to see my hours spent creating and testing recipes come to life and be remade by my followers and readers. There is really nothing more rewarding!

This is my first year “blogging” during the winter months. I love to play with seasonal ingredients and more importantly, themes. I’ve always loved baking for holidays, but more so now that I have an audience to share with. It’s much more fun than baking just for yourself. So I created these cute little heart shaped thumbprint cookies. They’re a slightly sweet buttery shortbread cookie filled with a tart raspberry jam. They’re little bites of heaven that pair perfectly with a cuppa tea or morning coffee. If you are looking for a gut healthy dessert that is also paleo and vegan, these little cookies are the perfect fix! And as always, I work within guidelines so they are safe for a low fodmap diet.

These raspberry thumbprint cookies are paleo, vegan and low fodmap!

They are just a few simple whole ingredients. Made with almond flour, lightly sweetened with unrefined powdered sugar (I prefer coconut sugar), and vegan butter. Filled with a homemade raspberry jam that can be made in 5 minutes! They’re safe for most diets but good news -- still tasty and delicious!

Are these raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies easy to make?

So easy to make, easy level baking. No chilling the dough and one bowl. It’s an easy dough to work with, so rolling and cutting is painless. No sticky mess. If you do not want to cut out the cookies with a cookie press, you can simply roll them into small balls and push your finger in the center to create an indentation for the jam. They bake in 10 minutes.

How to store paleo raspberry thumbprint cookies:

They keep well on the counter on a covered plate or dish for 2 days, then transfer to the refrigerator or freezer. I find they keep their crunch better when cold. I like to eat mine frozen. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days and freezer for 3+ months.

What is in these raspberry thumbprint cookies?

Almond Flour: This is the main flour in the shortbread cookies. It gives them a nice nutty flavor and keeps them low carb and safe on most diets

Non Dairy Butter: The buttery flavor and texture in your shortbreads. Any non-dairy butter works here, I prefer Miyoko’s

Unrefined Powdered Sugar: Your sugar must be powdered in these cookies. I make my own by placing any granulated sweetener in a blender for 30 seconds

Raspberries: Fresh or frozen, or any berry will work!

Vanilla Extract: Hint of vanilla in your cookies. If you that traditional almond flavor in your cookies, sub this for almond extract

Tapioca Flour/Starch: This gels up your raspberry puree to a jam consistency. Can sub for arrowroot starch or even corn starch if you’re not following paleo

Sea salt: A hint of sea salt in baking balances out sweet

How do I make my own unrefined powdered sugar?

To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I use my Vitamix and place the sugar in my dry container. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.

What special kitchen tools are needed?

  • Any thumbprint cookie press! I use these thumbprint cookie presses from William Sonoma. But any thumbprint cookie press would work, or you can push your thumb into the centers if you do not have a thumbprint cookie press.

  • A rolling pin


The cookie:

  • 1 cup of fine almond flour

  • 3 tbsp of non-dairy butter or grass fed butter

  • 3 tbsp of unrefined powdered sugar see notes

  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

  • Sprinkle of sea salt

The filling:

  • 3/4 cup of raspberries fresh or frozen

  • 1 tbsp+ of maple syrup, coconut sugar or sweetener of choice**

  • 1 tbsp of tapioca flour

  • 1 tbsp of water

How to make the almond flour thumbprint cookies:

Make the filling:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, boil down berries on stove, smash them until puréed. Add in sweetener and mix until dissolved. Taste and add more sweetener if you’d like. Remember these will be paired with a sweeter cookie so a little tart is preferred.

  2. In a small cup, mix together the tapioca flour and water until tapioca is dissolved. Mix this into your berries and stir well. Once heated and fully mixed, remove from stove and let cool. It’ll gel up. I didn’t strain mine, I kept the seeds/skins but strain if you’d like!

  3. Set aside.

Make cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the cookie ingredients until a dough forms. If the dough seems sticky and not rollable, place in fridge for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Roll the dough out to about 1/4” thick and cut out cookies to your liking. I used this thumbprint cookie press by William Sonoma as seen in the photos. You can get creative. If you do not want to use a cookie press or cutter, roll the dough into 1” balls and press down in the middle with your thumb to create an indent.

  4. Once your cookies have been all cut/rolled and ready, line them onto your baking sheet. You can place them close together, they won’t spread.

  5. Now carefully spoon your filling/jam into the centers. Roughly 1/4-1/2 tsp in each cookie center. Repeat until all centers are filled

  6. Bake 8-12 minutes. Depending on the thickness or type of thumbprint, they make take longer or be done sooner. Bake until edges are golden brown.

  7. Let cool on baking sheet or transfer them to a cooling rack. Store on counter on a covered plate or dish for 2 days, then transfer to the refrigerator or freezer. I find they keep their crunch better when cold. I like to eat mine frozen. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days and freezer for 3+ months.

  8. If you have leftover jam, store in an airtight container in fridge. It stores well and can be used to spread on crackers or toast.

  9. Dip in tea and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

*To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I prefer coconut sugar but any will work. Traditional white powdered sugar works too.

** Any sweetener will work in the jam. I actually did not sweeten mine and they tasted perfect with the sweeter cookie. I suggest to taste and add more to your liking.

***I have not tried to substitute the flour here. I think the best sub would be another nut flour such as hazelnut.

For a chocolate version of these thumbprint cookies, here are my paleo chewy 3 ingredient shortbread cookies!

If you make these cute little Valentine's Day cookies, leave comments below! It's appreciated and helpful for others. And be sure to tag me @gutsy_baker on Instagram of your creations!

xo Stephanie