Cocoa Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Chia Filling

These classic cookies are updated with a gluten-free dough made from brown rice flour.  Naturally sweetened with dates, these vegan treats have no refined sugars or syrups, letting the natural flavor of the cocoa shine through in this festive recipe.  A spoonful of Raspberry Chia jam makes the flavor pop.

MEDIUM            Servings: 12       Ready In: 30 min


For the Cookies:

3/4 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup cashew butter
2 tbsp ground flax meal
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp espresso powder
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use the good stuff, please)
1 tsp baking powder

For the Raspberry Chia Jam:

1/4 tsp salt
6 oz Raspberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup Diced mango, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp  vanilla extract
2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/2 cup water

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For the Cookies:
Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 F

Soak the dates in the 1/2 cup warm water for at least 10 minutes, to soften.  After 10 minutes, add the dates, their soaking liquid, cashew butter, flax, vanilla, and espresso powder to a food processor.  Purée until smooth. This might take 3-5 minutes
Add the remaining ingredients and blend.  The batter should start to clump.  If the mix doesn't hold, add a tablespoon of water, mix, and check again. Repeat, one tablespoon of water at a time, until the batter holds.  You shouldn't need more than 2-3 tablespoons of water.

To roll the Cookies: Empty the batter into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, pour a few tablespoons of brown rice flour. Measure about 2 tsp. of batter per cookie, and roll into a ball. Then place the cookie balls into the bowl with the brown rice flour. Roll around to coat. 
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet. Use your thumb to press a dent in the tops of the cookies.  Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy around the edges.  While the cookies bake, make your jam.

For the Raspberry Chia Jam:  Place everything in a small pot. Cover, bring to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and spoon about 2 tsp. of the jam into each cookie.  You might not use all of the jam...which is great for the next morning's breakfast!

Let set at least 10 minutes before serving.

Chef's Tip: You can roll the cookies in powdered sugar for sweeter cookies, or cinnamon or pistachio power for different colors.  The Raspberry Chia jam is a great filling but you can also use a store-bought jam or fill the cookies with halved cherries, chopped pistachios, or candied ginger.  Making these around the holidays, I use frozen raspberries and mango for my jam.  It's so easy and the fruit is packed with flavor.

Yield: 2 dozen

Cocoa Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Mango Chia Jam - Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, No Refined Sugar, Plant-Based, Vegan

Cocoa Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Mango Chia Jam - Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, No Refined Sugar, Plant-Based, Vegan

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving (2 cookies with jam)

Calories 187.58
Calories From Fat (27%) 50.59
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.04g 9%
Saturated Fat 1.23g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 94.82mg 4%
Potassium 289.97mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 32.38g 11%
Fiber 5.4g 22%
Sugar 9.41g
Protein 4.56g 9%
Calcium 7.56mg <1%
Iron 59.95mg 333%
Vitamin A 117.37IU 2%
Vitamin C 0.31mg <1%


Healthy, delicious gluten-free, vegan cookies? Yes, they do exist. This easy recipe avoids refined sugar or syrup with the natural sweetness of bananas. Applesauce keeps them oil-free. Whole grain oats are great source of vegetarian protein and plant-based fiber. These treats are delicious enough for dessert...and nutritious enough for breakfast.