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Under My Thumb: A Loving Look at the Vegan Thumbprint Cookie

Vegan Apricot Thumbprint from Zoka
Can we talk about vegan thumbprint cookies for a moment?

These nubbly little jam-filled treats are a very popular vegan choice in Seattle (possibly beyond?). They've been available at Flying Apron (and since they wholesale, also at coffee shops and grocery stores which carry their pastries too) for years, but now there are several other shops and bakeries which also carry variations on this vegan cookie. What accounts for this cookie's popularity in vegan form, though?

Well, for one thing, they're an easy cookie to veganize without sacrificing any flavor. Though many classic recipes for thumbprint cookies include butter, many also use oil; so really, in some cases these cookies are inherently vegan. And to speak specifically to their popularity in the Northwest, they're a dense, oaty cookie, and Seattleites do tend to love those vaguely healthy tasting, granola-y treats.

For me, these cookies have been sort of a gateway drug into the world of vegan confectionery: they're dense and chewy and oaty; sweet but not cloying--the perfect type of cookie to eat for breakfast. Here is just a sampling of some that I've known and loved around town: 

Vegan Apricot Thumbprint from Zoka
The vegan thumbprints at Zoka Coffee are generously sized, generously dolloped with jam (apricot and I believe raspberry), and are wonderfully nutty.
The thumbprints at Flying Apron bakery (not pictured) are not only vegan but gluten-free too; they are made with a mixture of rice and garbanzo flour which gives them a nice flavor complexity; they're finished with a sweet apricot jam.

Vegan Thumbprint cookies
The vegan thumbprint cookies at Whole Foods in Seattle are wonderfully spiced and have a nice, slightly crunchy oaty texture. 


Vegan Thumbprint Cookie

The vegan thumbprints at PCC in Seattle are the chewiest of the lot, but plenty dense and flavorful--I especially love these ones for breakfast.

Want to make your own vegan thumbprint cookies? Here are just a few good-looking recipes online:

Do you have a great recipe to share or know of a good spot for vegan thumbprints not mentioned here? Leave a comment!


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Reader Comments (9)

I love thumbprint cookies and VwaV has a great recipe. I've made it several times and even posted about it once: http://everybodylikessandwiches.blogspot.com/2007/11/baking-under-gun-chocolate-thumbprint.html I love the idea of making an oaty thumbprint cookie though. It would be so great with the jam. Mmmmmmm!

July 6 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

Thanks a bunch for the lovely mention! Confidentially, the top cookies on my post were very nice and light, while the second cookies mentioned were, indeed, gorgeously dense. :)
My favorite non-veg thumbprints are: these insanely buttery pistachio linzer thumbprints from Sweet Melissa: http://alteredplates.blogspot.com/2008/03/book-review-sweet-melissa-baking-book.html.
Love your blog. I check it every day on my reader.

July 6 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Schiff

Oh wow, thanks for the education! Vegan or not, they all look great and I would totally love them for breakfast!

July 6 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

I love thumbprint cookies but never had a vegan cookie. They look delicious:)

July 6 | Unregistered Commenternutmegnanny

i love making thumbprint cookies. i have had them covered in coconut and they're so good. also, chocolate ones, awesome. thanks for the links!

p.s. i live in dc and i've never seen vegan baked goods there. must look harder.

July 6 | Unregistered Commenterveggievixen

I've seen these but have yet to try one. Wasn't sure about the jam in the middle. I guess making it myself will alleviate any concerns I have, especially since we don't have great bakeries around here. Thanks for the lines to the recipes.

"the perfect type of cookie to eat for breakfast" - I actually prefer to eat my cookies for breakfast, they go so well with coffee. [I also think cold leftover cake is a great breakfast too...especially the day after your birthday]

July 7 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I'm not sure if it was mentioned already, but this recipe from PPK is TO DIE FOR. One of my top-ten cookie recipes...I could live on these bad boys.

Thumbprint cookies for breakfast?! Yes, please!

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