Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

gluten free hazelnut thumbprint cookies with jam centers

This is a wonderfully elemental cookie recipe. Using your thumb as a decorating tool, these little gems come together easily with ground nuts and some jam. Our favorite way to make them is with quince jelly; the flavor is an incredible compliment to the hazelnuts. Almonds work well too. Play around with any preserves you have on hand; raspberry, strawberry or apricot will all do nicely. With the holidays fast approaching, these jewel-like treats make a pretty gift tied up inside a glassine bag, or a colorful addition to a gluten-free desert platter. We have some additional Wild Apple Journal cookie recipes being featured on Epicurious, so be sure to check those out as well!

Makes about 6 dozen

  • 113cups hazelnuts (6 ounces)
  • 12teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12cup sugar (3.5 ounces)
  • 112cups rice-based gluten-free all-purpose flour* (8.25 ounces)
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 12cup brown sugar (3.75 ounces)
  • 4tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1large egg
  • 12teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12cup fruit jam or jelly
  • *Use a mix that does not contain xanthan or guar gums. See GF Basics for more info.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the nuts on a sheet pan until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  • 2
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooled hazelnuts, salt, and sugar. Pulse until mixture forms a coarse meal. Add the flour and baking powder, pulse until well combined. Add remaining ingredients except jam. Pulse, scraping bowl of processor a couple of times with a spatula to be sure all ingredients are very evenly combined.
  • 3
  • Roll the dough into 12-inch balls. It may help to wet your hands. Place them about 1 inch apart on an ungreased sheet pan. Flatten them slightly into disks and press your thumb deeply into the center to form a well for the jam.
  • 4
  • Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time. Cookies are done when tinged golden brown on the edges. While cookies are still hot, dollop 14 teaspoon jam into the well of each cookie. Remove from sheet pan to cool.