This post is sponsored by ALDI USA.
Who’s ready to make some cookies to share with Santa (or keep for yourself)? These chocolate almond butter thumbprints are easy to make and filled with a salty-sweet maple caramel. They’re perfect for sharing with loved ones who are following a grain-free or paleo diet!
This cookie dough is a paleo-friendly riff on the famous three-ingredient peanut butter cookies that are made with just peanut butter, egg, and sugar. I shopped at ALDI to get all the ingredients for this grain-free chocolate version. You just need almond butter, sugar, cocoa, egg, vanilla, and baking soda. ALDI has everything you need for your baking at great prices, so I’m making it my one-stop cookie ingredient shop this holiday season.
The batter for these thumbprints is super simple to make: just stir everything together in a bowl. You’ll get a bit of an arm workout toward the end since the dough is nice and thick. Next, divide the dough into balls and put a “thumbprint” in each one (I like to use a teaspoon measure for this, but your actual thumb will work, too!). After baking, reinforce the divots with the teaspoon measure (definitely don’t use thumbs here because the cookies will still be hot!).
While the cookies cool, whip up the maple caramel. This caramel gets all its sweetness from pure maple syrup and doesn’t call for any other sugar. Just boil the maple syrup until it thickens and caramelizes, then stir in a little ghee, cream or coconut milk, vanilla, and salt to round out the flavors. Spoon the maple caramel into the cooled cookies. You’ll probably have a little extra caramel, which is perfect for enjoying by the spoonful or stirring into your coffee.
To finish these cookies, sprinkle on some chopped pecans for nuttiness and crunch and a little sea salt to offset the sweet caramel.
Cookies as rich as these beg for a glass of milk, and I enjoyed mine with Friendly Farms Organic Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk. ALDI has so many kinds of milk and milk alternatives that there’s something for everyone, so no one has to miss out on enjoying milk and cookies this holiday season.
Stay tuned for even more baking essentials in 2019, when ALDI will be expanding its selection of alternative flours and sugars to help all of us enjoy treats tailored to our dietary preferences all year long! Connect with ALDI by visiting their blog and following along on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
- 1 cup Simply Nature Creamy Almond Butter
- ¾ cup Simply Nature Organic Cane Sugar
- ½ cup Baker’s Corner Baking Cocoa
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup Simply Nature Organic Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons Carlini Ghee Clarified Butter
- ¼ cup heavy cream or full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup Southern Grove Chopped Pecans
- Sea salt
- To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all cookie ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the dough into 15 balls about 1½ inches in diameter (I use a ¾-ounce cookie scoop) and arrange the balls two inches apart on the baking sheet. Use the bottom of a teaspoon measure to make an indent in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are dry but the center still appears slightly underbaked. Use the teaspoon measure to carefully reinforce the indent in each cookie, then allow them to cool on the pan for at least ten minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- To make the caramel, bring the maple syrup to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Allow the syrup to bubble away for 15-20 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until darkened in color and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (the caramel should measure about 325°F on a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the ghee, cream, vanilla, and salt.
- Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of maple caramel into the center of each cooled cookie. Sprinkle with pecans and sea salt to taste. Allow caramel to cool and set for at least an hour before serving.
This post is sponsored by ALDI USA.