These slightly soft pumpkin cookies with apple butter thumbprint and maple drizzle will melt in your mouth. They make it so easy to get a little bit of that pumpkin-pie-spice flavor.
These are gluten free in the way that doesn’t make you feel you are missing anything – just a great variation on an almond flour cookie! And — vegan!
And you only need to look a few posts ago to find this apple butter recipe.
Are apple butter thumbprint cookies healthy?
It seems a little silly to say a cookie is healthy when it contains sugar. But the almond and coconut flours are relatively low on the glycemic index. The coconut sugar is called an unrefined sugar, though strictly speaking, any sugar that is removed from its natural state is at least somewhat refined.
But these do taste more like the spices than the sweeteners! And they smell like Fall.
Plus, they are mixed up in the food processor for really quick prep. The order that works best is: 1) dry ingredients 2) coconut oil 3) wet ingredients, salt and spices 4) pulse until the dough gathers in the food processor.
You can also mix these cookies up by hand. If your coconut oil is softened, you can follow the same order of mixing of the ingredients. If you find the oil a bit hard to mix in, heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so will soften it enough.
Once all the ingredients are mixed, it’s just a matter of rolling the dough into similar-sized balls and making a depression in each one.
Bake for about 15 minutes and allow to cool. Once they are cool, spoon some apple butter into each thumbprint. You could stop there and they would be simple and delicious!
What toppings are good on apple butter thumbprint cookies?
Once each cookie has some apple butter, you can leave them as-is or continue to decorate: with the maple-sugar drizzle, or with pecan halves, or with Halloween decorations – all go well with this cookie, though maybe not all at once!
And, as the amount of coconut sugar in the cookies is fairly low, I don’t feel so guilty about adding a little powdered sugar from the drizzle.
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Other recipes you may enjoy
As always, if you make this recipe, please leave me a comment to let me know how it went!
Pumpkin Cookies with Apple Butter Thumbprint - Paleo, Vegan
For the cookie dough:
- 1 2/3 cups packed fine almond flour not almond meal
- ¼ cup organic coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice or ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil room temperature
- 1 flax egg 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 2 ½ tablespoons water (for a crisper cookie, or at high altitude, use 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup apple butter for thumbprints (recipe here)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or for more maple flavor, another teaspoon maple
- Other toppings to consider: 12 pecan halves candy corn, a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Measure almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt into your food processor. Process until well mixed, just a few pulses.
- Drop in the coconut oil and process until mixed in, about 30 seconds.
- Add the pumpkin puree, flax egg and vanilla extract. Process until well combined and the dough gathers up in one area of the food processor bowl.
- Allow dough to sit for 5 minutes for coconut flour to hydrate. The dough should be workable and not too sticky.
- Next divide and roll the dough into 12 balls of about 1 ½-inch across.
- Flatten each dough ball between your hands, keeping the cookies round. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet. To make a thumbprint, press gently with your thumb in the center until the cookies are about 1/4 inch thick in the center and about ½ inch thick on the edges.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes (at high altitude, bake for 15 minutes).
- Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before spooning a little apple butter into each well. Makes about 12 cookies.
- For the drizzle: In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, pure maple syrup and vanilla. If frosting is too thick to drizzle, you can add a teaspoon or two more maple syrup to make it drizzle-able from a spoon. Frost each cookie, then enjoy! Sprinkle top of frosting with a little cinnamon for a gorgeous look.
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