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Recipe: Thumbprint Cookies

A seriously sublime, allergen-free cookie recipe for the holidays from New York Times bestselling cookbook author, Danielle Walker.

Thanksgiving is a joyous time of year, when we unite with friends and family (far and near) to celebrate our bonds and give thanks for each other and our blessings. But for so many of us with food allergies—be it to grains, gluten or dairy—the time-honored traditions that we grew up with, particularly around food, can represent anxiety and loss. That’s what motivated Danielle Walker, the voice behind the popular blog,, to write an entire cookbook with gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo recipes that revolve around all the big celebrations in our lives, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, among 10 others.

Danielle Walker’s Against All Grains Celebrations, is the ultimate cookbook to turn to when you need a fabulous, special-occasion recipe for nearly every major food allergy. From Apple Sausage Stuffing with gluten-free bread to a Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots that substitutes the heavy cream, MSG, and gluten with a mushroom sauce made with cashews and ghee, you’ll be delighted by the swoon-worthy options that will ensure your Thanksgiving meal is still the time-honored one you grew up with. Besides recipes, you’ll also find a super handy ingredients glossary filled with substitutions for things like flour, milk, nuts, butter, white sugar—and more. Because cookies are such a huge part of the holidays, we’ve chosen Walker’s Thumbprint Cookies to share with you and your family: gluten-free shortbread cookies filled with fruit-sweetened jam, which uses almond and coconut flour instead of white flour. They’re as good as they look—and will have everyone reaching into the cookie jar for “just one more.”



Makes 12

These six-ingredient shortbread cookies filled with sweet jam make lovely gifts. The cookies are egg-free if you omit the optional egg wash.

6 tablespoons ghee (see recipe below), palm shortening, or grass-fed unsalted butter
1⁄3 cup light-colored raw honey
1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups blanched almond flour
1⁄2 cup coconut flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Unsweetened shredded coconut or sliced almonds (optional)
1⁄4 cup fruit-sweetened jam


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or using an electric handheld mixer, beat together the ghee, honey, and vanilla on medium-high speed for 1 minute, or until smooth and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, add the almond and coconut flours and mix just until incorporated.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, using about 2 tablespoons of dough for each. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. If desired, make the egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Roll the dough balls in the egg wash and then in the shredded coconut.

Moisten your thumb with water and gently press into the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1 inch wide and 1 inch deep. Spoon about 1⁄2 teaspoon jam into each indentation.

Bake the cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make It Ahead: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze, wrap the baking sheet of unbaked cookies tightly with plastic wrap and freeze in a single layer. Once frozen, place the cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Remove the desired amount of cookies from the freezer and defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as directed.


Makes 1 ¾ cups

1 pound grass-fed unsalted butter


Cut each of the sticks of butter into quarters and place them in a large saucepan. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to speed up the process. It should take about 4 minutes to melt completely. Bring the melted butter to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to keep it at a low simmer. White foam will appear on the top of the liquid but will dissipate. Continue simmering for 10 to 12 minutes, until the creamy white milk fat rises to the top. Carefully skim the white layer off the top and discard; you should be left with an opaque golden liquid below and some solid bits at the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat back up to medium and simmer again for 3 to 5 minutes, until any remaining milk solids have fallen to the bottom of the pan and browned slightly. Be careful not to let them burn or your ghee will have a burned taste.

Set aside to cool to room temperature then pour the ghee through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean airtight jar. Ghee can be used immediately in its melted state, stored in the refrigerator to become solid, or stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Recipe from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grains Celebrations ©Danielle Walker, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.







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