Do you love classic thumbprint cookies, but are looking for a healthier option? Let me tell you, these Healthy Thumbprint Cookies are not only really tender and delicious but also healthier than the original.
I used a jam in this one, but you can also use my raspberry sauce for this, I have a post all about raspberry coulis. This sauce is perfect for filling cookies and cakes. Another one to use is my lemon curd recipe. I love using it in thumbprint cookies!
What Makes These Cookies So Good?
In this recipe I used whole wheat flour, this gives the perfect nutty flavor that I love with the cranberry spice filling.
These delicious thumbprint cookies are a tender cookie, which is my favorite kind. I like some cookies, crispy, but almost always prefer tender. Even with the whole wheat flour, you are going to find these are so tender.
You can make this cookie dough well ahead of time. I like to make the dough, form the cookies the indention. Then from here, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking! Perfect if you are hosting a get-together and will have limited time on serving day.
They are healthier cookies. I use whole wheat flour and have also reduced the amount of sugar. Not only the sugar in the cookie dough but on the outside. I used to roll the cookies in granulated sugar or sprinkle them with powdered sugar. I cut both of those out, but the cookies are still really good!!
- All-purpose flour- I like to use a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat as this is what my family and friends prefer.
- Whole wheat pastry flour- I love to use this lower protein flour as opposed to higher protein wheat flours. The whole wheat pastry flour gives it such a light tender, texture.
- Salt- it only takes a touch, but makes a big difference.
- Butter- A must in this recipe.
- Brown Sugar- You can also granulated sugar or even sucanat. I do not recommend a liquid sweetener as it will change the texture and consistency.
- Almond Extract- I love the almond undertones in these cookies.
- Cranberry Filling- I used my cranberry spice syrup recipe for this. It is a thick syrup that when it is chilled sets up really well. If you want something different, use whatever preserves you like.
How To Make These Healthier Cookies
Start by mixing your 2 flours and the salt in a small bowl and setting it aside.
Then cream your butter and brown sugar. To this add in your egg, vanilla, and almond extract. At this point, be careful not to overmix. You only want to mix to combine.
Then, add in your dry ingredients, and again, mix to combine.
Scoop your cookies and press with a small measuring spoon or your thumb to form the indention.
Chill the cookies for about 30 minutes. Fill with your filling, being mindful not to overfill. Although this is not the worse thing you can do :).
Bake until the cookies are a very light golden brown just at the bottom of the cookie. This is important to maintain that tender texture.
There are a few things to note for getting the best results on these cookies.
First, as recommended above, I prefer using whole wheat pastry flour. This is a low-protein flour and really is best for cookies.
Be sure not to overmix this dough. One of the biggest mistakes people make in cookie baking and especially with whole wheat flours is overmixing. When you cream the butter and sugar, this is okay to mix quite a bit, but once the egg is added and each step after, be mindful not to overdo it.
Some people like these cookies a little crispy, if you are one of those people, add a few minutes to the baking time.
This dough can hold in the fridge unbaked for at least 3 days. Just make sure you store them wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container.
It also holds well in the freezer for about a month. I would recommend freezing on a baking sheet, then storing a ziplock bag.
You don't. I designed this recipe so it can go either way. If you want to use all white flour, go for it.
I like to fill them before baking. You can fill them after if you prefer.
They do not. You can leave them at room temp. However, I LOVE mine chilled!!
Other Cookie Recipes
Healthy Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour If you are ready to go for an all wheat cookie, go for it! This is a great cookie for using whole wheat.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour I always use whole wheat pastry flour as opposed to a hard winter wheat flour. It is lower in protein and makes your baked goods so tender.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½-3/4 cup cranberry syrup or other preserves of choice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.Combine flours and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In another, medium sized bowl, add butter and sugar. I used a hand mixer for this one. Mix until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix only to combine. Scrape down the bowl. Add flour mixture. Mix again to combine. Scrape down and mix again if needed. Scoop cookies onto parchment paper. I baked 16 at a time, in 4x4 rows. 4 across and 6 down. Roll the cookies in a ball. Make an indention on the top of each cookie to fill with jam. I used my ½ teaspoon measuring spoon. It was the perfect size. Move the cookies to the fridge and chill for about 20-30 minutes. Fill each cavity with preserves. Mine took about 1 teaspoon per cavity. Place in oven and bake about 10 minutes. The cookies will spread a bit, and be a VERY light golden brown around the bottom edges. Remove from oven. With a metal spatula, remove from pan and place on cooling racks. The cookies are delicious eaten while they are warm. They are also good cooled. This dough can easily be made ahead of time. Simply mix the dough and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or store in the freezer for up to a month. If it is chilled, be sure to let it soften a bit before trying to scoop and roll. Same with frozen dough, make sure it is soft and pliable before you try scooping and rolling. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!