Irresistibly crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies. Optional dairy free.
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Irresistible Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Who doesn’t love cute Jam Thumbprint Cookies? They are irresistible little mouthfuls of joy. There’s something about these crunchy, sugar-coated baskets of gooey jamminess, that will leave you dipping a hand in the biscuit tin like a mechanical grab truck on a mission.
Perhaps it’s the deliciously tantalising contrast in textures between the sticky filling and its crunchy edible vessel… Or the teasing fun in nibbling around the edges and saving the centre-piece until the end… Maybe it’s the pull of popping the whole thing into the mouth at once and allowing the biscuit to crumble and melt, leaving a fruity, jammy chewiness. All of these are my favourite ways to eat them… What would be yours?
What are Jam Thumbprint Cookies?
Jam Thumbprint Cookies sound very American, but in fact originate in Sweden where they are known as ‘Hellongrotta’, meaning ‘raspberry cave’.
Often baked at Christmas and other seasonal holidays, they are a popular bake for kids, because they are super-easy and lots of fun. The name ‘Thumbprint Cookie’ comes simply from the way they are made… Being rolled into a ball before flattening and pushing a thumb into the centre to make a well for the jam. And let’s be honest… That’s lots of fun.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies are also known as Jam Thumbprint Biscuits (particularly in the UK), or simply Jam Biscuits, Jam Drops or Jam Thumbprints.
A Perfect recipe for Gluten Free Jam Biscuits
Whatever you want to call them, this recipe was a lucky strike… Utterly delicious and with a perfect Jam Thumbprint texture. Did someone say they’re gluten free? You have to be kidding me!
But why were they lucky? Well… Usually, I make a recipe three or four times, tweaking and amending to make it work, before posting it on the blog. But not with these!
Somehow, when I threw my ingredients into the bowl and started to stir, the cookie gods were with me… Willing the bowl of batter to a perfect consistency and the finished bake to a perfect crumb.
Just one attempt and these babies were spot-on delicious. Even the jam stayed put. And despite dolloping a rather generous spoonful into each ‘pond’ prior to baking, it didn’t boil and bubble itself over the edge. The making of these Jam Thumbprint Biscuits was Alchemist success.
What is the best Jam to fill Thumbprint Cookies?
Having got the perfect gluten free biscuit texture for the crunchy followed by melt-in-the-mouth experience expected when eating Jam Thumbprint Cookies, the jam was the next most important consideration.
Traditionally, Jam Drops are filled with raspberry jam. But with so many options, sometimes tradition is worth a wide curve. The ones featured here were made with my easy home-made Rhubarb Strawberry Jam with Cointreau. And boy, were they good. The sweet crunchiness of the biscuit was perfectly offset by the slightly marmalade-bitter fruitiness of the jam.
But you can equally use any good store-bought jar of jam for your Thumbprints. Just try to find one with a good ratio of fruit to sugar, as this gives the most intensely fruity flavour and may be less likely to bubble over or burn too.
Alternative fillings for Thumbprint Biscuits
But why stop at jam? Thumbprint Cookies are equally delicious with other fillings too… Like Nutella cookies or curd-filled cookies. You could even try my Nutella Thumbprint Cookies which have a unique hazelnut-chocolate biscuit ‘cave’. Or try using your own healthier, nuttier Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.
Do I need any special ingredients to make Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies?
Other than decisions about jam, these Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies are relatively straight forward. As always however, the flour blend WILL make a difference to the final texture.
The recipe was developed using Gluten Free Alchemist Rice Free Blend B with a little extra corn starch (available in UK supermarkets as Cornflour). The fact that a rice-free blend was used will absolutely have made a difference to the smoothness and meltiness of the texture.
Although they should be good to make with a basic supermarket gluten free flour brand (preferably one with a better balance of flours such as Doves Freee Plain White), be aware that the texture may be grittier and drier because of the rice flour content. And you may need to add a tiny drop of milk if the dough feels excessively dry.
Ready to make Gluten Free Jam Biscuits?
I do hope you love these Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies. Please let me know if you make them. It’s the joy of seeing my recipes being made by my lovely readers and followers that keeps me creating! Leave a comment, rate the recipe or tag me on Social Media #glutenfreealchemist so I can find you. Find me on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
And of course… Thank you so much for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Kitchen scales
- measuring spoons
- baking trays
- baking paper
- Mixing bowls
- electric whisk
- airtight container to mix dry ingredients (optional)
- wooden/ firm silicone spoon
- shallow bowl
- 150 g unsalted butter (or good DF alternative) softened
- 60 g icing sugar confectioners sugar
- 220 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA rice free Blend B (see NOTES)
- 20 g corn starch known in the UK as Cornflour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 large egg room temperature – beaten (UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’))
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp demerara sugar approx amount (to roll)
- 80 g jam of choice approx weight – good quality. thick and fruity
- Base-line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Mix together the flours, xanthan gum and salt in an airtight container and shake vigorously to blend.
- Add the dry ingredients, beaten egg and vanilla extract to the creamed butter-sugar mixture, and beat together with a silicone/wooden spoon until smooth and evenly blended.
- Pour some demerara sugar into a separate bowl, ready for dipping the dough-balls.
- Take spoonfuls of the dough and roll into balls with your hands, before rolling each in the demerara sugar.
- Place the dough-balls on the baking paper and using the flat of your thumb, make a deep dent in the centre of each.
- Fill each of the thumb-prints with jam (but be careful not to over-fill).
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops are golden and beginning to firm up.
- Turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven to cool as the oven cools.
- Once the oven has cooled, remove the cookies and store in an air-tight container.
© 2019-2021 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist