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Vegan Raspberry-Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies cooling in the sunroom

So I got the original of this recipe in my email (I must’ve subscribed to recipe updates from what is essentially a cookware catalog). Usually I take one look at the recipes and think, “umm, no”, but I read this one and realized that it was vegan, so I decided to try it.

I made a couple of changes – no whole wheat flour – I think that would’ve been just too healthy – and I used thawed, undiluted apple juice concentrate. These are still no-processed-sugar cookies, except for what’s in the jam and the chocolate chips.

1 cup whole almonds
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup oat flour – I bought mine at the co-op, but you can make pretty good oat flour by grinding up some oatmeal in a food processor or blendor
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light oil, such as safflower or canola
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips, preferably bittersweet
2 tablespoons raspberry preserves

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

Grind the almonds in a food processor in until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the flour, oat flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the oil, maple syrup, apple juice, almond and vanilla extracts – a spouted glass measuring cup works well for this. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough together; add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional apple juice if the mixture is too crumbly.

Form level tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Make an indentation in the center using your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon. Place a few chocolate chips in each indentation, then cover with 1/4 teaspoon jam.

Bake the cookies, one batch at a time, until golden around the edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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