These Buckwheat Jam Thumbprint Cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and have a sweet, earthy flavour and shortbread-like texture. They are made with buckwheat flour, almonds, extra virgin olive oil and pure maple syrup.
You make a little well in each cookie to cradle your favourite jam. I’ve made the cookies with raspberry jam and blueberry jam. Both are delicious. Apricot, strawberry or blackcurrant jam would also be nice.
The recipe is a variation of Lalo’s Famous Cookies from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter. The original recipe used barley flour and canola oil and also made about 60 cookies. I adjusted the recipe to use buckwheat flour and extra virgin olive oil, and reduced the quantity to make 16 cookies.
If you want to make more than 16 cookies, you can easily double or triple the quantities. But do so at your own risk – the cookies are addictive!
Ingredients for Buckwheat Jam Thumbprint Cookies
This is what you’ll need to make the cookies (with some notes on substitutions):
- Raw almonds: We process the almonds in a food processor or blender to turn them into crumbs. I recommend processing them quite fine, which makes a smoother dough. If you don’t have any almonds I imagine you could use walnuts, cashew nuts or brazil nuts instead (although I haven’t tested this). I’d love to hear if you try!
- Buckwheat flour: Buckwheat flour is needed to hold the cookies together and keeps them gluten-free. The original recipe used barley flour, so you could you that instead. If you’re looking for ways to use buckwheat flour, you might like to try my savoury Buckwheat Zucchini Muffins. They also make a great breakfast or snack.
- Fine sea salt: Salt brings out the flavours in whatever you are baking. I like to use fine sea salt because the fine grain distributes more evenly throughout the mixture. You could use regular fine table salt if you prefer.
- Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon adds to the earthiness of the cookies. Since we only use a small amount, it doesn’t make the cookies taste like cinnamon. You can leave it out if you prefer.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Since this is a sweet recipe, I use Cobram Estate ‘light flavour’ extra virgin olive oil. It’s cold pressed and made with olive varieties selected for their less robust flavours. This is different to a ‘light olive oil’, which is light in colour and refined via heat processing. You can use any olive oil that you like. I would just avoid robust and peppery varieties here, as their flavour may be too overpowering.
- Pure maple syrup: I think maple syrup is the perfect sweetener for this recipe. Its earthy sweetness blends well with the buckwheat flour. You may be able to use rice malt syrup or honey instead (although I haven’t tested this). Just keep in mind that rice malt syrup won’t taste as sweet and honey tends to make everything taste like honey.
- Your jam of choice: I used raspberry jam here, but feel free to use whichever jam you like. I’ve also made the cookies with blueberry jam, which was delicious.
Why you need a digital food scale
I highly recommend that you weigh your ingredients in grams using a digital food scale. The first time I made these cookies, I measured 1 cup of buckwheat flour by dunking my cup into the bag of buckwheat flour and scooping it out. This method ended up giving me too much flour and the cookies came out dry and crumbly.
I tried again, measuring out the flour by gently spooning it into the cup. This resulted in closer to the correct amount. However, after doing some research into how many grams of buckwheat flour are meant to be in 1 cup, I realised that an Australian cup measures 250ml, whereas an American cup measures approximately 237ml! Not a huge difference, but when baking it can actually affect your final result.
If you really can’t bring yourself to buy some scales, just make sure you spoon the buckwheat flour into your cup measure. Also avoid tapping the cup on the bench, which will pack the flour more tightly and result in too much.
Buckwheat Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Serves: 16 cookies
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
- 3/4 cup (98g) raw almonds
- 1 cup (120g) buckwheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (60ml/54g) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60ml/85g) pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (70g) jam of choice (I used raspberry jam)
- Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced/180°C/350°F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Whiz the almonds in a food processor or blender to turn them into fine crumbs. Place them in a mixing bowl and add the buckwheat flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Add the olive oil and maple syrup and mix well until you get a dough.
- Press the mixture into 16 balls and place them onto the lined baking tray. I do this by pressing the mixture into one large sausage, splitting it in two, then splitting each half in two, then repeating this twice more on each portion to get 16 portions. Use your fingers to flatten each ball and make a well in the centre of each cookie. If the mixture cracks around the edges, use your fingers to smooth it out. The cookies will stay pretty much the same shape as they bake.
- Spoon some jam into the centre of each cookie. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the tray. The jam will bubble up in the oven so you need to let the cookies sit and cool before eating (otherwise you’ll burn your mouth!).
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I use Cobram Estate ‘light flavour’ extra virgin olive oil in this recipe, which is cold pressed and made with olive varieties selected for their less robust flavours.
If you are measuring your ingredients in cups, make sure you gently spoon the buckwheat flour into your cup measure (see discussion above). Using the cup to scoop the flour will pack the flour too tightly, resulting in too much flour and dry cookies!
Serving size: 1 cookie
Energy: 498kJ (119Cal)
Total Fat: 6.9g
Saturated Fat: 0.8g
Total Carbohydrate: 13.8g
Dietary Fibre: 1.5g
* Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.