A Thumbprint Cookie Recipe that’s Gluten, Corn, Soy, and Dairy-free

Also called an Irish jam drop.

thumbprint cookies, jam drops, gluten free

Thumbprint cookie recipe: Make a gluten free Irish thumbprint cookie recipe this holiday. The thumbprint cookie is called a Jam Drop Cookie in Ireland. They are quite popular there. But here in the U.S. we call them thumbprints. There is a funny back story as to how this recipe made its way into our Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day traditions.

While we were on holidays in Ireland, I took my 3 1/2 yr old with me to the local shop. He got very excited when he saw a picture of jam drops on a packaged box and was excited about getting them. I had never attempted to make a thumbprint cookie recipe, but I knew they couldn’t be difficult. Thumbprints are a lot like kolacky cookies.

I explained to my son at the shop that those jam drops had wheat, and that we couldn’t get them. He pointed his finger at me and said exuberantly, “But YOU could MAKE them!”

I muddled through the store wondering how I would pull such a feat off. I didn’t have a clue. I hadn’t yet been able to make a good ‘sugar cookie’ batter and was at a loss until I found David Harris, one of the most vocal foodies on the Celiac Society of Ireland’s forum. He had made a beautiful recipe that I really thought I could use.

Thanks to David, the thumbprint cookie recipe was a major hit. The family absolutely loved them. I did have to make a few changes to David’s original recipe to accommodate our son’s corn allergy, and I have since been back a few times to see what’s cooking in Dublin at The Irish Coeliac.

He offers fantastic recipes that can be easily adapted from metric units to American measuring units by visiting The Metric Kitchen. Of course, if you are like me, you’ll invest in a weighing scale for your baking.

It’s  important that you make the thumbprint in each cookie truly large enough. You also need to add just a small amount of filling. Jam drop cookie fillings are prone to leak over the sides of the cookie if you add too much, or don’t make the hole deep enough.

Thumbprint Cookie Recipe Ingredients:

2/3 cup of all-purpose GF flour (we like Better Batter, but any mix you like is fine)
1 cup of powdered confectioner’s sugar

NOTE: Powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar is a possible source of corn. Please read the labels carefully. Trader Joe’s sells powdered sugar made with tapioca flour rather than corn starch during the holiday season.

2/3 cup of rice flour
1/4 cup of ground almonds or almond flour
1/2 cup of spectrum palm oil or Ghee (or butter if you are not dairy-free)
1 egg beaten
1/4 tsp of Hain Featherweight aluminum free baking powder (It’s gluten and corn free baking powder.)

To make your own baking powder check out a Homemade Corn-Free Baking Powder recipe on our website.

Directions for Thumbprint Cookie Recipe:

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift flour, sugar, rice flour, ground almonds, guar gum and baking powder. Add spectrum palm shortening and mix until the batter is crumbly. Mix in beaten egg. When dough is fully formed, place in saran wrap and refrigerate one hour. The thumbprint cookie dough should form a nice workable ball. If it is too crumbly add 1-2 Tbs of additional palm shortening/ghee/butter– whatever you are using.
Shape into 1″ balls and if you’d like, roll in chopped nuts of your choice. (We skipped the nuts). Place about 1 1/4″ apart on a silacon baking sheet. Flatten with a fork or your hands and make an indentation with your thumbprint.
Place a small amount of preserves (be sure they are corn free– no citric acid or pectin, unless you check with the manufacturer) in the center of each cookie. Be sure to follow my tips on how to make your depressions in this thumbprint cookie recipe.
Bake for 20 – 25 mins or until edges are lightly browned.
Allow to cool before serving.
For a peek at David’s original recipe, check out: David’s Jam Centered Nutty Cookies.

 

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6 Comments on A Thumbprint Cookie Recipe that’s Gluten, Corn, Soy, and Dairy-free

  1. I’m sorry to tell you this recipe is not corn free. Baking powder and powdered sugar both have corn starch. I am searching for corn-free recipes for my MIL, but these 2 ingredients threw up a red flag.
    Sorry! Please correct for others with corn allergies!
    Thank you, though!

    • Sarah,
      Thanks for the comments. Sorry for the delay. I was on holidays. We make our own powdered sugar with tapioca starch and have bought corn-free powdered sugar through Miss Roben’s. I also use Hain’s Featherweight Baking powder, which is corn-free. To make your own baking powder is simple and I have posted a recipe on the blog at: http://healthy-family.org/caryn/80. Thanks for commenting. I have since updated the post.

  2. Hello,
    I want to start off by saying thank you for this WONDERFUL website this website has helped me soooooo much. I am over seas at the moment and I have NEVER had problems with gluten nor corn. I did’nt even know whaat gluten was until my docotor told me that I am sensitive to it. After researching and trying to find out what I can eat, I was so overwhelmed because EVERYTHING has wheat in it, well the things I like to eat anyway. Than after excepting the gluten issuse maybe two weeks later I found out about the sensitivity to corn. I really was not happy than because these are the main two food items that seems to be popular. Well back to researching I stumbled across your website and I was so thankful because I finally found a person that truly understand. Well while looking at this particular recipe I see that the all purpose flour that you said was pretty good was betty hagman’s and as I was researching so I could order this particular flour it showed that out of the four flour blends cornstarch is one of them. I just really want to find a good all purpose flour blend. If not I will make my flour from scartch but what will work well togather. Thank you in advance any information will help!!

    • ArmyWife,
      I looked online to see what brand was advertising Bette Hagman’s blend in a mix. I saw one by Authentic Foods and I see what you mean. I found a website that lists her original recipes and shows how to make her all purpose mix by combining her two other mix recipes. ( 1/4 cup of her gluten free recipe: Gluten-Free (GF) Mix – from Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Gourmet 3 c. rice flour, 1 c. potato starch (NOT potato flour), 1/2 c. tapioca starch, Mix well. )
      and 3/4 cups of her feather lite recipe: (Featherlight Mix – from Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread 1 c. Rice flour, 1 c. cornstarch, 1 c. tapioca starch, 1 Tbs. potato flour (NOT potato starch) Mix well.)

      Is this what you are referring to? Cornstarch is often used because it makes the gluten free baked bread light and airy and it doesn’t have a strong flavor. But my intention was not to use her all purpose mix specifically. So I altered the recipe to clarify that. If you substitute cornstarch for tapioca starch your bread might be a bit gummy. You could substitute cornstarch for arrowroot starch, though, whenever a GF recipe asks for cornstarch. Check out Bob’s Red Mill products for Arrowroot starches. I’m not sure where you need these flours shipped to, but it is manufactured in the United States, India, and Asia.

      Also, if you have a lot of digestive issues with corn, try adding apple cider vinegar to your homemade salad dressings daily, or if you can, before meals. You may have low stomach acid, too. And be sure to get a good probiotic to help your intestinal health.

      But for this recipe, Bette Hagman’s original Gluten Free Mix is all I’ve ever used and that doesn’t include cornstarch in it.

      And thanks a million for serving our country overseas! Happy Holidays!

      P.S. Here’s a good page for learning about all the gluten free flours and how to use them!

      Gluten Free Baking from Colorado State

      • Thank you so much for EVERYTHING, you have truly been a big help too me. This is the start of a new lifestyle for me I just pray that it will be alot easier once I am back stateside.

        Yes that was the all purpose flour that I had saw on Bette Hagman’s site. It is great to know that I can just use arrowoot as a substitution. I will make sure that I order these products. As for the shipping there will be no problems. I’ll just order these items from amazon.

        Thank you also for the tip on the apple cider vinger I wll be sure to use that more in my foods in general. As for the probiotic foods what are they. I did look it up and I saw yogurt as the prime food. I use to love yogurt but don’t know which one to eat now because of the corn issue. Any suggestions or other foods other that will be a good probiotic?

        Overall thank you again and I am proud to be an American esspecially helping our families back home to stay at peace!

        Happy Holidays to you and your family as well! Thanks again!!!

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