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.