Thumbprint cookies are little balls of dough that are indented with your thumb before baking. The indent is usually stuffed with a delicious sweetened filling. Fruits, jams, sweetened cream cheese, and preserves usually fill these delightful little treats.
Try these gluten-free Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel. These nutty cookies are made with almond meal, almond flour, and are coated in sliced almonds. To go along with the nuttiness, the thumbprints are filled with a homemade salted caramel sauce that will blow your mind!
These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are so tender and light from using fine almond flour. Almond flour is a high-moisture flour, so oftentimes you need more almond flour when substituting for all-purpose flour. You may need more almond flour in the cookie dough, depending on your brand.
The salted caramel inside is made with corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Heavy cream is stirred in at the end for a lighter, glossy look. Flaky sea salt gives a much-needed balance to the sweet caramel. Without the salt, these cookies would be supremely sweet. Even more crunchy sea salt on top makes these cookies irresistible!
Make these cookies for a cookie party, bake sale or the holidays. The delectable little thumbprints are so tender and nutty, and the salty caramel melts to a chewy candy texture when chewing. Everyone you know will want the recipe for these adorable cookies!
For the Thumbprint Cookies:
For the Salted Caramel Filling:
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the almond meal and egg and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to incorporate completely. Also, add the almond extract.
Sift the almond flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the creamed butter and eggs. Mix until the dough is just combined and the flour is hydrated. Do not overwork.
Scoop the cookies into 1-inch balls. Whisk the egg whites in a small bowl until they are homogenous and lighter in color. In another bowl, add the crushed sliced almonds. Roll each cookie ball in the egg whites, then the almonds. The egg will allow the almonds to stick to the outside. Place each rolled cookie onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Lightly press your thumb in the middle of each cookie to create an indentation. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set up.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the cookies from the fridge and place them in a preheated oven. Bake 16-20 minutes until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool while you make the salted caramel filling.
In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn syrup. Turn the burner to medium heat and bring the sugar and syrup to a boil. Heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Once it reaches temperature, shut off the heat.
Whisk in the butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and flaky sea salt. Allow the caramel to cool for 15 minutes.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, spoon 1-2 teaspoons of caramel into the center of each cookie. Optionally, you can sprinkle some more flaky sea salt over the top of each cookie. Allow the caramel to harden at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.