Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are soft and chewy with a luscious caramel center; you’d never guess they were completely grain free and healthier than the traditional Christmas cookie! These Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are made with a touch of almond butter with an oozing caramel center! They’re completely addicting!
| Paleo + grain free + gluten free + dairy free |
Confession: I’ve been holding out on you until just now.
I’ve probably said it a million times over but I mean it: these cookies are to die for.
These Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are totally irresistible; it’s SO hard to stop after just one! So it’s a good thing they’re small and cute. I’ve probably eaten more cookies than I really needed over the last month, and the baking frenzy has only just begun!
Over the last year, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at Paleo baking. It was difficult at first… I couldn’t get the ratios of grain free flours right to save my life. And then I tried baking with tapioca flour. The heck. After some serious fails, I ended up with thin, crispy cookies that just didn’t bake right and some overly puffy cookies that were more like marshmallows than cookies. But after a lot of trial and error, I think I’ve got it down now. Well, at least the cookie part of it!
I still haven’t experimented with cassava flour yet (mostly because I can’t find it). Have you? How do you feel about grain-free baking?
One thing I know for sure: the fun of Paleo baking led me to these Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies and I couldn’t be more excited! Lately, we’ve had a lot of Paleo treats around here: pumpkin pie truffles, dark chocolate cherry cookies, and the fudgiest peppermint brownies I’ve ever made in my life.
I guess it’s safe to say I found a way to combine my love for baking with my love of real, whole foods. Not that coconut sugar is really a whole food, but, well… you get the point.
These soft little cookies are just in time for Christmas!!
I’m thinking a GIANT platter of these puffy, soft little cookies are necessary at your holiday table. And my holiday table. Or just at the table in general. It doesn’t even need to be a holiday to indulge in cookies!
The cookie base uses a combination of almond flour and coconut flour. Coconut flour is super absorbent, so it generally requires an extra egg or two. The batter will be pretty thick and doughy, which is great because it keeps these cookies from spreading too much in the oven. The coconut flour keeps these cookies incredibly soft, just like your favorite regular ol’ chocolate chip cookie.
PLUS, for a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’, the dough is made with almond butter, too!
And you’d literally never be able to tell these cookies are grain free! Josh’s office at the entire 2 dozen cookies (enough for 2 per person) in just one day. I only got half of a cookie, and that was the one I bit into for the photographs!
You’ll want to chill the dough in the refrigerator for just about 15-20 minutes before rolling and baking. This keeps them from spreading too much in the oven. Roll out the dough balls and then press the rounded back of a teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon into the dough to create the “thumbprint.” Then bake away!
After the cookies come out of the oven, I did have to use that same measuring spoon to make the indents a little deeper. If you need to do that, it won’t ruin the cookies at all; it just creates a deeper well for all that sticky, luscious, gooey caramel!
Speaking of caramel…
While your cookies are chilling and baking, it’s time to start the caramel sauce!
Made with only 2 ingredients, the caramel sauce is paleo, vegan, and gluten free. Literally you need a can of full fat coconut milk and some coconut sugar! That’s it! (Okay, some vanilla extract and salt, too.) The caramel is slightly adapted from this recipe, but you can find similar ones literally all over the Internet!
The coconut sugar caramel simmers on the stove for about 30 minutes; you’ll want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let me assure you: it’s totally worth the wait! Don’t rush this gorgeous sauce!
At first, the caramel will take on a very light color, but once it cools down, it looks more like regular caramel. It also thickens up significantly during cooling, so don’t worry if it seems too runny at first. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when it’s done and ready to be removed from the heat.
Another common question is, “Does it taste like coconut?”. The answer is not really. Maybe just a tiny, tiny bit. But more than anything, it just tastes like sweet, sugary caramel without all the heavy cream like grandma used to make.
You can definitely make the caramel sauce a day or two in advance; leftovers will store nicely in the refrigerator for a few days. It will harden up, but that’s easily fixed by popping it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
You’ll likely have caramel leftover, so you can do a few things:
- Make more Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (you don’t know you want to)
- Drizzle it over ice cream!
- Drizzle it all over a skillet brownie (another Paleo treat!)
- Use it as a garnish on this Pumpkin Chai Layer Cake
Let the Christmas goodies BEGIN!
If you make this recipe, share it with me on Instagram! Tag me @well_fedsoul!
And make sure to pin on Pinterest for EVERY holiday!
Thanks for all your social media shares and comments! I love that you love these recipes 🙂
Pin these Paleo Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies for later!
These soft and chewy cookies are made with a hint of almond butter and a gooey 2-ingredient caramel center!
- 2 c. almond flour
- 1/3 c. coconut flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. coconut sugar, packed
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 c. natural almond butter
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. coconut sugar
- 1 (14-oz.) can full fat coconut milk, shaken
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, add the coconut sugar, melted and cooled coconut oil, and almond butter. Beat using a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well-incorporated, then beat in the vanilla extract.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; stir until well-incorporated. The batter will be thick. Place the dough into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 325 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into small balls (about 2 Tbsp) and place onto the cookie sheets. Using the back of a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon, press an indent into the center of each cookie, making a well.
Bake the cookies at 325 F for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven. If needed, use the same measuring spoon to gently press a well into the center of the cookie again. Cool 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the caramel sauce, add the coconut sugar and coconut milk to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces and thickens. It should smell of caramel and be thick enough to pull away from the bottom of the pan and coat the back of a spoon. Immediately remove from heat and add the vanilla and salt. Pour into a glass container or bowl to cool.
When the caramel has cooled and thickened slightly (it will thicken the longer it sits), use a spoon to fill the center of each cookie with caramel. Refrigerate the rest of the caramel you don't use. It will keep 3-5 days.
Nutrition information per cookie (using half the caramel sauce):
Calories: 145 Protein: 3g Carbs: 12g Fat: 10g