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Thumbprints use whole grains, maple syrup

Wed., Sept. 19, 2012

“Vegan Family Meals” somehow escaped detection for more than a year among the piles of books on my desk.

However, I recently appeared at the Kitchen Engine and I wanted to bring samples of a modern recipe filled with whole grains and made without processed sugars to contrast the longtime favorite from the Dorothy Dean recipe archives I was also baking.

The Almond-Jam Thumbprint Cookies from “Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone,” was perfect and well received by tasters. The book itself (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $25) would be a nice gift for anyone.

I made the cookies about half this size for small samples.

Almond-Jam Thumbprint Cookies

From “Vegan Family Meals, Real Food for Everyone” by Ann Gentry. Andrews McMeel Publishing. Copyright 2011.

2 1/2 cups raw whole almonds

1 1/2 cups oat flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or barley flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (such as canola, grapeseed, safflower or sunflower)

2 teaspoons almond extract

About 1/4 cup raspberry preserves, apricot preserves or apple butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in food processor until they form a fine flour with some small speckles of nuts still visible. Leave some small bits of the almonds for a nice crunchy texture.

Stir the ground almonds, oat flour, pastry flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the maple syrup, apple juice, oil and almond extract in a medium bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until blended.

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), scoop the dough in mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. (If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, just roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball for each cookie.) Using the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation about 1/2 inch in diameter that goes to the bottom of the cookie, but not through the bottom. Spoon the preserves into a pastry bag or a small resealable plastic bag with a bottom corner cut off. Pipe the preserves into each indentation, mounding them just above the top of the cookie (the jam will melt down as the cookies bake).

Bake the cookies until they puff and become pale golden on the top and bottom, about 25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool. Cookies will keep for two days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: About 32 cookies


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