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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Almond and Oat Thumbprint Cookies for One

These tasty treats may seem simple, but the amount of flavor in these little guys packs a big wallop.

¼ cup whole raw almonds
½ cup old-fashioned oats
Pinch of salt
3 TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 ½ TBLSP coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
1 ½ TBLSP maple syrup (or agave nectar)
Jam, apple butter, or marmalade of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can do these during Step 4, the “letting it sit” step.
  1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they are chopped fairly small. You don’t want them pulverized into flour, though. You’ll want the chunks. Move the chopped nuts to a small bowl.
  2. Now grind the oats and salt in the food processor. You can go pretty small on this one, if you want, or leave a few larger pieces for texture.
  3. Put the oats and salt into the bowl with the ground nuts along with the all-purpose flour, the oil and maple syrup. Give it all a good stir. This will make a very soft dough. If it seems too loose, like pancake batter, add a little more all-purpose flour.
  4. Let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. It will stiffen up a bit and be workable.
  5. Form the rested dough into balls about 1-inch across and place them on the parchment-covered baking sheet. You should get five or six balls. Give them some room, as they will spread.
  6. Use your thumb, a finger, or the back of a small spoon to make an indentation in the top of each cookie. Fill each indentation with jam.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown slightly. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely (or devouring) or they will crumble into an unholy mess.

They don't have to all use the same filling. Why not shake things up? In the photo, they're filled with (clockwise from the top left) raspberry jam, raisins and sliced almond, chocolate chips and sliced almond, white fig jam, and apricot jam. 

  • Use whole wheat instead of all-purpose flour for a more substantial cookie.
  • Stick 5 or 6 chocolate chips into the indentation instead of jam.
  • Use another sort of nut, like walnuts, pistachios, or pecans for a different flavor. Nuts have different amounts of fat in them, though, so be prepared for a Big Change (such as spreading more in the oven, a less crispy mouth-feel, and, of course, the taste).
  • Dot the tops with slivered almonds or raisins instead of using jam.
  • Toss a little coconut into the mixture.
  • Swozzle the tops with melted chocolate. Mmmm. 

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