As dawn’s golden rays peek above the horizon, I search for my apron. I find it huddled between the mixing bowls. Blue and faded, flour-stained and lovingly worn, I tie a familiar knot and get to work. Only it’s not work. Some people soak in lavender-infused baths to relax, others curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Some lose themselves in music, while others find a walk in the nascent hours of the day restorative. But for me, I bake, especially around the holiday season. Because after all, homemade cookies like these Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Orange Ganache make the best gifts, wouldn’t you agree?
Gently rolled in sugar and neatly readied for the oven, these gingerbread thumbprint cookies made from almond butter, spices and dark-sticky molasses make the kitchen air soft and warm. The smell of sugared gingerbread, lingers, inviting. They are the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. And then there’s the velvety dark chocolate orange ganache which pours warmly into the center. Orange zest is sprinkled atop each cookie for a finishing touch.
Baking, sharing and eating cookies around the holidays are simple pleasures that allows us to feel indulgent. These gingerbread thumbprint cookies are best served warm while cozying up by the fire with a warm mug of mulled cider or hot cocoa. But they also make neighbors, friends, and family feel spoiled when gifted.
These gingerbread thumbprint cookies with dark chocolate orange ganache make celebrating the most wonderful time of year festive and unique.Print
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used this brand)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup organic unsulphured molasses
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax seed plus 6 tbsp of water)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
- organic cane sugar, to coat
- 8 oz vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 tsp brown rice syrup
- 4 tsp non-dairy creamer
- 2 tbsp orange zest, plus more to top
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking power, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and sea salt). Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, almond butter, flax eggs, molasses, vanilla and brown sugar together. (Use the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer.)
- Add the dry ingredients and gently mixed until well combined and dough begins to form.
- Fill a small bowl with organic cane sugar. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of dough (you may wish to use a cookie scoop or melon baller to aid with this) and roll it gently in your hands until the dough is a round ball. Lightly roll the dough ball around in the sugar to coat. Add the sugar-coated, cookie dough ball to your baking sheet.
- Continuing scooping and rolling the dough, dusting with sugar and adding the cookie dough balls to your baking sheet; spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. (You will likely need more than one baking sheet for this.)
- Using your thumb, the back of a teaspoon, the end of a wood spoon or the tip of the cap from your vanilla extract bottle, indent the cookies half-way down to create a “thumbprint.”
- Place the thumbprint cookie lined baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before baking (this step helps the cookies maintain their shape).
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies are puffy.
- Remove the gingerbread thumbprints from the oven and re-indent the cookies in the center. (Do not burn your thumb! I recommend using the back of a tsp, etc., for this step.) Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wiring cooling rack.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate-orange ganache.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, butter and brown rice syrup together stirring frequently. Once the chocolate is melted (this should take just a few minutes), swirl in the orange zest and non-dairy creamer.
- Let the ganache cool for 5 minutes and spoon or pipe (using a piping bag) the ganache into the thumbprints.
- Garnish each thumbprint with a sprinkle of orange zest and let the cookies set for a bit before serving.
- Store the cookies (if there are any left!) in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
The ganache will thicken as it cools. If the ganache ever becomes too thick to pipe, gently warm it back up in a saucepan or a microwave. If you’d prefer to pipe the ganache but don’t have a piping bag handy, you may wish to use a large zip-top bag; snipping a small hole in one corner.
Last, here’s a helpful list of vegan sugar options in case you were wondering!