If you guys are anything like me then you might have gone a wee bit overboard on the sweets and drinking over the holiday season. And if you’re like me, that holiday season dragged on and lasted til way past the New Year (aka up until a few days ago). Now this isn’t something I say often, but my body needs a serious break from all that sugar. So while I’m all about trying to eat a little healthier this week, I still need some kind of treat. Cause let’s face it……this girl needs her cookies and going completely cold turkey from desserts is just not realistic.
When it comes to food, I’m a firm believer in moderation and not labeling things as “good” or “bad.” A healthy relationship with food is far more important than sticking to some crazy strict diet. So instead of feeling guilty about all the delicious, amazing desserts I ate over the past few weeks, I’m going to look at the holiday season for what it was. A fun time to indulge in baked goods and share them with loved ones. But now it’s time to get that balance back…..and still get my cookie fix.
That’s where these Walnut-Pecan Thumbprints are key. These cookies are as healthy as it gets when it comes to my baked goods. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar free. The thumbprints are lightly sweetened with maple syrup with a beautiful, delicate warmth thanks to the toasted pecans and walnuts and addition of cinnamon. And the combination of gluten free oat flour and brown rice flour creates a cookie that is hearty, but still tender. They’re the ultimate healthy treat and are my go-to fuel for hiking season. The husband meanwhile loves to eat them for breakfast…..and who doesn’t love cookies for breakfast??
One quick note – if you want to keep the thumbprints refined sugar free, it’s important to find a fruit spread that has no added sugar.
Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut-Pecan Thumbprints
Makes approximately 20 cookies
¾ cup walnut halves
1 cup pecan halves
½ teaspoon kosher salt (if using regular salt cut back to ¼ teaspoon)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 ⅓ cup gluten free oat flour
½ cup brown rice flour
Fruit spread or jams of your choice (ideally refined sugar free ones)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the walnut and pecan halves on the baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven for about 6 – 9 minutes or until they smell nutty and fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
Once the nuts are completely cooled, add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground (about 12 – 18 quick pulses).
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the ground nuts, oat flour, brown rice flour, salt, and cinnamon. Then add in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until everything comes together in a thick dough.
Roll roughly 2 tablespoons worth of dough into a ball and place onto your prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb, gently press an indentation into the middle of each ball and then fill each indentation with approximately ¾ teaspoon of jam.
Bake for 11 – 14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.