Whole Wheat and Almond Raspberry Thumbprints

by Beth on December 18, 2009

I don’t know about you, but after that cheesecake, I’m ready for something a little bit healthier. But just a little bit, because we’re still in the midst of cookiepalooza!

whole wheat and almond meal

So, for your consideration–Raspberry Thumbprint cookies, one of my all time favorites. What makes these healthier? Well for starters, almond meal, which gives the cookies their distinctive almond flavor (along with a splash of almond extract) and also provides body and a bit of protein, always good for helping you to fill up when you’re noming away at holiday parties. Second, the flour in these is whole wheat, and who doesn’t love whole wheat? And finally, when you top these with no sugar added raspberry preserves, you’re adding just a kick of fruity sweetness without all of that added sugar. Fantastic.

that's why they call them thumbprints!

As an added bonus, these cookies could easily be made vegan, since they are egg-free. Earth Balance is such an easy substitute for that one lonely stick of butter! And if you’re doing your holiday baking with little ones this year, this is another kid-friendly recipe. I guarantee they’ll LOVE smashing their thumbs into all these cookies!

And did I mention that they taste really, really good?

Whole Wheat Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from Pinch My Salt

After Thanksgiving I had half a bag of almond meal leftover from making Dorie’s All Spice wonder. So for the December holiday baking, I vowed that I would find a recipe to make use of the rest of the bag. I didn’t use quite all of it, but wow, were these cookies a good use! I only made one tiny variation to the recipe–I added about a tablespoon of milk to help the dough come together in my mixer. Again, if you were making these vegan, you could easily use soy or almond milk.


  • 1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
  • 1/3 C. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C. toasted almond meal or flour (toasted ground almonds)
  • Raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl, whisk together flour and almond meal then add to butter mixture and blend well. If your dough doesn’t come together, add one tablespoon of milk.

Put cookie dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes (I skipped this step).

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place on baking sheet; make an indentation with your fingertip in the center of each ball.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are just slightly brown. Let cool on wire rack. When cookies are cool, fill with raspberry jam. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can put the jam in a zip top bag and cut off a tiny piece of one corner, then squeeze the jam out of the cut corner.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies

filling cookies

As an aside, we’re expecting our first major snowfall of the year here in Baltimore this weekend. As always with these nor’easter style storms, our accumulation depends on where the storm tracks, but since the storm is going to hit on a Saturday, I’m rooting for 12 inches of instant winter wonderland! Woohoo! I’m already tuning up my Rosemary Clooney voice for a very stirring rendition of White Christmas with Noel (my very own Bing) on Saturday night! So do a little snow dance for me!

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Melinda December 18, 2009 at 7:48 am

Now those look awesome and a healthier way to do cookies. Love it!

Wendi December 18, 2009 at 8:35 am

Love, love, love jam thumbprint cookies. If the snow hits, I think I’m going to have to busy myself in the kitchen. Of course, that means slugging it out at the Giant this afternoon. Oh what fun…

Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two) December 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

Snow always inspires me to sing “Buffalo Gals’ Donna Reed-style from It’s a Wonderful Life.

Beth December 18, 2009 at 11:20 am

Wendi–I’m hoping the snow will give me an opportunity to break out the new cookie cutters I bought a few weeks ago at Williams-Sonoma. My coworkers still need gifts!

Ah snow carols :-)

Jennie December 18, 2009 at 11:58 am

Yummmm so good! :)

Astra Libris December 18, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Beth, thank you so much for your warm and kind words… You’re so sweet…

Your cookies look incredible!!! I love that they’re healthy yummy cookies – perfection!! YAY! :-)

Elizabeth December 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Love thumbprint cookies! I made some with hazelnuts this year!

Beth F December 19, 2009 at 8:16 am

Oh man those look good! With all the snow we’re getting today, I may just have to bake.

Beth December 19, 2009 at 8:21 am

We have about 6 inches of snow so far and they’re saying we could end up with 18-24 overall! That’s highly unusual for Baltimore in December, since our snowiest month is usually February. But I love it, and it gives me an excuse to do more baking!

caite@a lovely shore breeze December 19, 2009 at 8:51 am

They look lovely…and it is nice that they are a bit healthier than most cookies.

Hmmm…I should have bought more flour yesterday so I too could have taken advantage of the snow day to bake. Maybe I should just read and take a nap instead.

Sherrie December 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

Hi Beth,
Those Cookies look good enough to eat!!! And they sound so easy to make. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend and enjoy your snow.

Sherrie’s Stuff

Margot December 19, 2009 at 11:39 am

This recipe looks terrific. I’ve never made thumbprints with whole wheat flour but I’m going to give this a try. Your pictures make the cookies so tempting.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best December 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Oh my goodness! These are my favorite cookies of all time! You’ve made it look so simple to make. Great job!

Faith December 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

I love the almond extract and flour in these! My mom’s been looking for a good thumbprint cookie recipe, I’ll pass this along to her!

Dorothy December 20, 2009 at 9:57 am

Those look amazing! Short ingredient list too! They’d be a hit at work, where people generally accuse me of sabotaging their diets….

tiffany @ the garden apartment December 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm

It’s difficult to make a cookie healthy, but these seem as close as you might get! They sound delicious, too. I always love thumbprint cookies for the treat in the middle.

Kitchen Butterfly December 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I love thumbprint cookies. I would fill them with some ginger jam and crushed almonds….And I made it back from Cologne, crunching inches of snow, with car tyres (at least my friend who was driving did)!

Beth December 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Ozoz–We ended up with 18 inches of snow here at our house! That’s the most snow we’ve had since 2003, and more snow than the last three winters combined! This snow lover was very happy!

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