thumbprint cookies with raspberry preserves

I am excited to share with you my second remake of another classic Christmas cookie (last week I shared rice cracker toffee). This particular cookie has always been my mother's favorite, so this one is for you mom! The first time I attempted this particular recipe, these cookies completely fell apart. All you had to do was touch them and they would crumble to pieces. I found out after a little research on GF baking that I was missing an essential ingredient- xanthan gum. This magical powder takes the place of gluten, helping to hold and bind the dough together as it cooks. This ingredient is NOT optional. Round 2 yielded much better results! While these cookies are slightly crumbly in nature, they all stayed together. As some of you know, my favorite dessert is anything with dark chocolate, but these little nuggets throw that claim out the window. They're sweet and salty, with a wonderful shortbread-like consistency. I think the secret ingredient, besides the xanthan gum of course, is the tahini. It adds the perfect flavor and texture. I hope you all enjoy this one!

ingredients:

  • 1/4 packed cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp of xanthan/guar gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • Real fruit jam or preserves (I used Trader Joe's Raspberry Preserves)

directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix coconut sugar, coconut oil, tahini, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip balls into egg white; roll in chopped nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet; press thumb deeply into the center of each cookie. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet carefully (they're a little crumbly!) and allow to cool. Fill thumbprints with jam/preserves. Makes about 1 dozen, store in air tight container.