Do you love the combination of chocolate and mint? When the richness of the chocolate mingles with the refreshing taste of mint, it’s truly a magical experience! For years, bakers have created recipes that make the perfect marriage of these two flavors. But my current favorite is a recipe for gluten-free chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies. They are moist, flavorful, and the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea. Plus, the recipe is gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them!
Why We Love Gluten-Free Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies?
This recipe is a delightful combination of the rich chocolate ganache and peppermint’s bright and refreshing taste. It is super easy to make, and within an hour, you have the perfect holiday cookies ready to please everyone!
What I love about the peppermint chocolate thumbprint cookies is how they make the perfect addition to the holiday cookie tray. You can also give them away in cookie exchanges or just keep them for yourself to enjoy during the holiday season.
The Best Ingredients for Gluten-free Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Remember, there are always alternates for each ingredient. You can use almond or coconut flour for the gluten-free base of the cookie dough. I prefer vegan butter instead of regular butter for a dairy-free version. You can also use coconut oil as a replacement.
Maple syrup or agave nectar are good choices as a sweetener instead of honey. The aroma of peppermint extract is irreplaceable, but if you cannot find it, you can use other extract flavors, such as vanilla or almond.
For the chocolate ganache, use your favorite kind of dark chocolate. I love combining semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips, but you can also use just one kind or the other.
Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.
For Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Morsels: I used 1.5 cups of Enjoy Life Baking Dark Chocolate Morsels. If you like your chocolate milky and sweet, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Canned Coconut Cream: Among all the gluten-free, vegan baking ingredients, coconut cream is the star of this recipe. You will need 1 cup here. It’ll make the ganache perfectly creamy and irresistible.
Peppermint Candies: To add more texture, flavor, and sweetness to the ganache topping, use five peppermint candies. You can also use mini candy canes crushed into tiny pieces if you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do with Leftover Ganache?
If you have any leftover ganache, you can safely store it in the fridge for up to 7 days or freeze it for a month. Make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or use an airtight container.
Where Can I Use the Leftover Coconut Cream?
If you have any leftover coconut cream, you can easily use it for other desserts like puddings and pies. You can also add it to soups and pasta dishes.
Can I Use Another Flour Instead of Gluten-Free Flour?
If you’re not following a gluten-free diet, you can use all-purpose flour instead of gluten-free ingredients. The texture will be slightly different but still delicious.
For the Cookie
- Butter: Always use butter at room temperature to avoid lumps and to make sure the dough comes together nicely. 3/4 cup of butter is enough for this recipe.
- Honey: Use one tablespoon of natural honey for a richer flavor, but you can also use other sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. Adjust the sweetness accordingly.
- Peppermint Extract: Use one teaspoon of fresh peppermint extract for the classic flavor of these holiday cookies. But if you’re out of stock, peppermint oil works just fine too.
- Vanilla Extract: Your cookies need that little extra flavor and essence of vanilla. Use 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- Egg: One large egg at room temperature will ensure your cookie dough meets the right consistency.
- Organic Cane Sugar: Add 3/4 cup of vegan cane sugar to the dough for that classic cookie crunch. You can find it in most organic stores. The difference between regular sugar and organic cane sugar is minimal, so there are no taste issues.
- Cocoa Powder: Not all cookies are complete without cocoa powder. Use 1/4 cup for this recipe. It adds more flavor and texture.
- Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. But you can use whatever gluten-free baking flour you have. Use 1 3/4 cups of this all-purpose flour for the perfect texture.
- Baking Soda: If you like your cookies slightly fluffy and spongy, use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. You can skip it, too, but then your cookies will be flatter.
- Cream of Tartar: 1/4 teaspoon of this acidic powder helps to make the cookie dough rise while baking. I recommend not skipping this one.
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies?
A swift hand motion is all it takes to make delicious, gluten-free chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies. Simply beat and whisk all the wet ingredients like egg yolk, vanilla extract, honey, and peppermint extract together in a medium bowl. Set the setting of the electric mixer to medium speed. It’ll ensure that all the ingredients combine evenly.
Now, start adding the dry ingredients. You can also transfer the mixture to a large bowl to avoid spills and over-mixing. With a rubber spatula, stir the flour mixture with the wet ingredients until everything is combined. Use your hands to knead the cookie dough together until it forms a smooth ball.
Gluten-free flours, like almond flour and coconut flour, work especially well in this recipe. Make sure to sift the flour to eliminate any lumps or impurities.
Once your heavenly-smelling dough is ready, roll it into small balls and flatten them by pressing your thumb in the center. It is best to keep all the cookies of the same size and thickness. Bake the cookies in preheated oven for about 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
The estimated baking time varies according to the size of your cookies. But keep a close eye on them while baking, as they can go from golden brown to burnt in a matter of minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool while you prepare a delicious chocolate peppermint ganache.
Gluten-free chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup organic cane sugar *for rolling cookies
Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
- 1.5 cups dairy-free dark chocolate morsels
- 1 cup canned coconut cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 peppermint candies or mini candy canes crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add room-temperature butter and sugar and combine with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, honey, vanilla, and extracts and beat for two more minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the cocoa powder and gradually increase the speed to medium to combine well.
- Add gluten-free flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, and beat until combined.
- For even cookie sizes, use a 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure to separate the dough into evenly sized balls and place them on the baking sheets, keeping the cookies two inches apart. Optional- roll each ball in ⅓ cup sugar and place it back on the baking sheet. Then, using the end of a cooking utensil or your thumb, make an indentation on the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until dry and puffed up in the center.
- When the cookies are done, press the center of each cookie to reinforce the indentation with a measuring spoon. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
- For the ganache: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the dark chocolate chips. Set it aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the can of coconut cream until it reaches a boil, and turn it off. Pour 1 cup of the heated coconut cream over the chocolate chips and whisk together until melted. Whisk in the vanilla extract until a smooth consistency.
- Spoon 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of ganache into each indentation. Sprinkle ganache with crushed candy canes or crushed peppermint candy. Allow the chocolate to continue to cool at room temperature. The ganache will thicken inside the cookies, but will still be creamy when you bite into the cookies.