It’s been quite the year (right?!), and quite honestly, all we’re really wanting to do during this stay-at-home holiday is … make cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. And not to be greedy, but we want cookies that we don’t have to feel guilty about eating copious amounts of. As in, ones that happen to be low in sugar. And brain-boosting. And immune-boosting. And packed with wholesome ingredients and superfoods, too. Really, is that too much to ask for?
As it turns out, some holiday wishes can come true! Thumbprint cookies are an especially festive cookie for the holidays, and fun for the whole family to create (they’re a very “hands-on” recipe). And now, we can make them in a way that fully justifies reaching for this welcome treat any time of the day.
To start, we love incorporating nuts—in this case walnuts—into the dough. Not only do walnuts add their signature buttery flavor, but they also add brain-healthy fats, satiating protein, and digestion-friendly fiber. We also like to substitute as much sugar as we can with a non-sugar 1:1 monkfruit sweetner to reduce the sugar load without impacting flavor (although you can also just use low-glycemic coconut sugar or even cane sugar instead). Finally, we keep the remaining ingredients in the “best-choice” category: spelt flour instead of white flour, coconut oil instead of butter, and an all-fruit jam that’s made without refined sugar for the filling.
Of course, since we are always looking for places to add in the benefits of superfoods, we also work in a little chaga mushroom powder into the cookie dough for its immune-boosting power (no you can’t taste it!), as well as some anti-inflammatory and vitamin C-rich camu berry powder into the jammy filling. The result? A unique batch of cookies that will land on the “good” list in every way you can imagine.
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR WALNUT THUMBPRINT COOKIES:
Want more recipe videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE.
WALNUT THUMBPRINT COOKIES PREP TIPS:
Make your cookies the best they can be with these quick tips.
Substitute away. These cookies can endure quite a bit of ingredient substituting if you don’t feel like going to the store. Swap the walnuts for other varieties of nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios. Use a different kind of flour, like whole wheat or a gluten-free baking blend. Switch up the kinds of superfoods you add in (or choose not to use them at all – that’s fine too!) …You get the idea.
Mind the heat. Nuts burn easily, so keep a close eye on them while toasting them in the first step, as well as when the cookies are baked in the oven. Even a minute too much can cause them to burn, compromising the flavor. Go by color: lightly golden is good, dark brown is not.
Process gently. Use the pulse feature on the food processor to grind the nuts down into the size of coarse, small gravel. Over processing the nuts will release too much of their oil, making the cookies overly soft.
Get hands-on. A little bit of extra finesse shaping the cookies and fixing any cracks before baking will result in the best-looking results.
Save a little money. Luminberry loves working out special deals for our readers with high-quality, healthy companies. Use the coupon code LUMINBERRY to get 15% off chaga mushroom powder at Om Mushrooms, and get 15% all monkfruit products at Lakanto.
MORE SUPERFOOD BAKING WINNERS:
Superfood Walnut Thumbprint Cookies
These small, crunchy, snackable cookies have a festive feel, and get their low-sugar and immune-boosting credentials thanks to a clean ingredient set and added superfoods.
Prep Time: 90 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 50mins Servings: Makes 2 dozen Author: Julie Morris
1¼ cup walnuts
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup 1:1 monkfruit sweetner (or ½ cup coconut sugar)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chaga mushroom powder (optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons almond milk
Monkfruit powdered sugar, or regular powdered sugar
½ cup all-fruit jam (no added sugar)
1. Warm a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts, and toast for 3-5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and begin to turn slightly golden—be sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Remove the toasted nuts from the heat and transfer to a plate in a single layer to fully cool.
2. Add the cooled walnuts to a food processor. Briefly blitz the nuts until a coarse flour has formed, with some gravel-sized pieces remaining. Pour the ground walnuts into a small bowl. Measure out 3 tablespoons and set them aside separately in a little prep bowl for the topping.
3. To the food processor, add the flour, monkfruit sweetener, coconut sugar, flaxseed powder, baking powder, and salt, and blitz to combine. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, almond milk, and process just until the ingredients are incorporated, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides and bottom if needed to fold in any loose flour. Add the small bowl of ground walnuts (the one with the larger quantity of nuts), and process until just combined. Transfer the dough to a bowl, compact into a mound, and cover with a sheet of plastic, wrapping tightly. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
4. When the dough is fully chilled, heat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. A rounded tablespoon at a time, roll the dough into balls. Dip the tops into the bowl of reserved walnuts, and place the balls on the sheets, about 1-inch apart, flattening them slightly with your palm, and fixing any cracks that form. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven. Use the back of a small spoon (a teaspoon works well) to make small depressions in each of the cookies. Return the cookies to the oven, and bake until they just begin to turn golden, about 6-10 minutes longer—watch closely towards the end of cooking to prevent the cookies from browning too much. Let cool for a couple minutes on the pan, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack for 20 minutes to harden. Dust the cooled cookies with a little powdered monkfruit or powdered sugar.
5. Mix the jam and the camu powder together. Spoon in a small amount of jam (about ½ teaspoon up to 1 teaspoon) into the cavity of each cookie.
Cookies will be crunchy for the first day or two, and soften as they sit. Store filled cookies at room temperature for up to 4 days, or unfilled cookies for up to 1 week (filling just before serving).