These Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are super easy to make with only 6 ingredients total! The tender gluten-free and Paleo shortbread cookies are filled with a no-cook vegan caramel and topped off with a dark chocolate drizzle and flaky sea salt. They’re perfect for the holidays!
Oh man, I am so full right now. Like, so so stuffed to the brim, full of delicious food. Tis the holiday season, right? I’m just a week ahead of Thanksgiving with the over-eating.
Monica from The Movement Menu came over to my apartment today to do some baking and photo-shooting together, and as soon as she arrived and saw the restaurant that’s in my building, she insisted we go there later for dinner. I’m already a frequent patron of theirs and happily obliged.
We were starving after a long day of baking pie and chocolate lava melting cakes (coming soon!!!!) and were one of the first people in the restaurant at 5 p.m., practically salivating for some food. Naturally, as starving food bloggers do at a delicious restaurant, we over-ordered a bunch of things to share.
And then, we over-ate. We started with life-changing brussels sprouts – I’m seriously obsessed with these brussels because they’re so flavorful and unlike any I’ve ever had. They’re Mexican-inspired, with tortilla strips and cojita cheese and tossed in a jalapeno vinaigrette. Seriously like veggie candy.
Followed by the Mornay Fries…topped with a garlic aioli and fried egg egg. Holy cow. Then came the pork spring rolls with cilantro sauce. And finally, the pork sugo, with polenta and fried sage and asiago. We were stuffed before the pork sugo even got to us, but it was so magical that we ate it all anyways, and rolled out of the restaurant, happily stuffed.
Now I’m sitting here stuffed to the brim, and I thought I didn’t want to talk about food because of how full I am, but now I’m just excited about all the deliciousness around! And you don’t wanna hear anymore about my meal – you wanna hear about the cookies staring at your face, right?!
These salted caramel thumbprint cookies couldn’t be much easier. For the shortbread cookies themselves, you only need three ingredients! Blanched almond flour, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup. Stir together, and voila – you have cookie dough. The dough is shaped and baked off, and then filled with the easiest ever vegan caramel.
If you’ve tried my Homemade Twix Bars, this caramel filling will seem familiar. It’s so easy to make, and there’s no cooking required. It’s a simple but delicious mixture of almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can switch in peanut butter if you’d prefer, too. If you want to avoid any coconut flavor, I’d recommend using refined coconut oil.
After the cookies are filled with the vegan caramel, they’re drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. After a brief stint in the fridge to firm up, they’re ready to be devoured!
These salted caramel thumbprint cookies are tender, flavorful, and melt in your mouth! When Monica tried one today, she noted that the cookie itself tastes just like traditional shortbread, usually full of gluten and sugar, and she’s right! They do, but way healthier.
They’re gluten-free, Paleo, vegan, and perfect to add to any and all holiday dessert tables, cookie platters, and holiday gifts. With the chocolate drizzle and touch of sea salt, they’re elegant as well as scrumptious. No one would ever guess how easy they are! Enjoy :)
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
For the caramel
For the drizzle
- 2 oz. dark chocolate chopped or chips
- Flaky sea salt
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, melted coconut oil and maple syrup and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.
- Form 15 balls with the dough, about 1 tablespoon each. Make an imprint in the center of each cookie with your thumb.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes for until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and use a small teaspoon to press down lightly on the thumb imprints again, to make sure theres room for the filling in case they puffed or spread in the oven at all. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth. Fill each thumbprint with the caramel.
- Place chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Put the melted chocolate in a small zip bag, snip the corner, and drizzle over the cookies. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, to taste.
- Place cookies in the refrigerator to set. Keep stored in the refrigerator.
Use refined coconut oil if you don't want any coconut flavor.
Recipe adapted from my Jam Thumbprint Cookies.