Perfectly moist and delicious gluten-free, grain-free almond thumbprint cookies with immune supportive elderberry Jam.
(I received Elderberry products from the awesome folk at Norm's Farms in North Carolina to make this recipe. The opinions are all my own.)
Cookies are a big deal in my family. A really big deal. On average my mom bakes 10 different types of cookies each holiday season plus 3 kinds of Hungarian kolache (sort of like a nut roll, but the best one you've ever tasted). Each cookie is unique and incredible, I'm not talking about your chocolate chip variety, I mean holiday cookies! Lebkuchen, anise glazed, chestnut fingers, thumbprint, butter spritz, light as air Hungarian kifli cookies, and the list goes on.
This weekend I sent her a “bossy daughter” message. “Mom, you have to cut down on the number of cookies. It's out of control and too much work for you.” She pretended like she cared and graciously agreed with me, we decided on only 4 varieties this year. Without a doubt I will come home to even more cookies this year, my Mom does what she wants, it's called the Hungarian way.
I dare not interfere with moms holiday cookie tradition, any further, but I do love the idea of adding one healthier cookie to the mix.
I found it.
I found the cookie worthy of a new holiday cookie tradition.
Gluten-free, grain-free, buttery soft and fluffy thumbprint cookies with elderberry jam.
I. Am. In. Love.
I have a tiny obsession with taking a simple recipe, like a cookie, and adding in as many functional ingredients (read: super good for you) as I can while still maintaining the over the top delicious factor. Elderberry was calling my name this holiday season and so elderberry is the current functional food of choice.
What is so Good about Elderberry?
- Elderberry is a fruit that is chock full of vitamins A, B, and C plus iron and potassium. It is also an excellent source of anthocyanins, a class of potent antioxidants.
- Elderberry helps to support good health every day, due to its high content of health-supportive nutrients, but is best known for its ability to support your body during cold and flu season.
- Elderberries have the ability to inhibit the replication of the flu virus, which means you have fewer viruses to kill, i.e reducing severity and duration of the flu.
During the holidays when stress levels are high it's important to add supportive foods to your diet, and elderberry is certainly a supportive food.
I used an elderberry jam in this recipe from Norm's Farms in North Carolina, a small elderberry farm that produces excellent health supportive products. The various jams and jellies (there are 4 to choose from) are DELICIOUS! Elderberry tastes like a more floral and slightly more bitter blackberry. I absolutely love the flavor. Yes, the jams and jellies contain some sugar, but you are still getting the excellent antioxidants and immune supporting benefits.
The rest of the ingredients in this quick and easy gluten-free thumbprint cookie recipe are all simple real food ingredients. Sweetened with only maple syrup (and the sugar that's in the jam), the cookies are the perfect combination of buttery and sweet with a nutty almond finish (thanks to both the almond extract and almond flour).
I did use butter in this recipe, and I think it certainly adds to the light and fluffy texture of the cookie, but I am sure that coconut oil would work equally well. I would suggest using a refined coconut oil that does not taste like coconut.
Elderberry Thumbprint Cookies
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/8 cup elderberry jam
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, whisk to combine.
- In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients, whisk to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Allow to rest for a few minutes (this allows the coconut flour to absorb more liquid and results in a more tender cookie).
- Roll dough into golf ball size, arrange on the cookie sheet with several inches between balls. Using your thumb gently press down into the center of the dough creating a crevice.
- Fill each cookie center with a small spoonful (about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp in each cookie) of elderberry jam.
- Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until slightly browned on the bottom. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. The cookies will firm up a bit as they cool.
- For a vegan version replace the butter with refined coconut oil (refined oil coconut oil does not taste like coconut)
- The almond and coconut flour cannot be replaced with other flours.
- If you do not have elderberry jam raspberry, blackberry, or blueberry also work quite well
Elderberry Info References:
Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. Journal of International Medical Research, 32(2), 132-140.