thumbprint cookies with plum jam, gluten free

thumbprint cookies with plum jam, gluten free

Spiced or citrusy?

That was the question our neighbor J asked as she handed us two separate jars of homemade plum jam. J was fortunate enough to have a plum tree in her backyard. Toward the end of summer you could be certain to find her holed up in the kitchen making batches of plum jams, jellies, and catsup. And as long as I'd known her, she'd been tweaking and fine tuning her jam recipe.

The jar labeled number 7 was a bright ruby-colored, orange-scented jam that contained oranges (juice and zest) from our yard. 

The jar labeled number 8 was a deeper garnet color and contained spices like cinnamon and allspice. 

Patrick and I sampled each jam moving back and forth between the jars. Both were delicious. Thinking a pairing might help me decide, I got out some plain vanilla ice cream and spooned the jams on either side. It didn't. 

I eyed the jams wondering what else I could make with them that might help break the tie. Maybe if I baked them in a cookie? A thumbprint cookie perhaps?

I set to work and found the perfect thumbprint cookie recipe in Jeanne Sauvage's new book, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays. For those of you who haven't heard, Jeanne will be coming to the bakery for a book signing party! Yay! For details see

The resulting cookie, was rich, buttery, and was the perfect complement to the two types of jam that we were evaluating. 

We decided one jam was summery and one jam was more fall. 

We sent J a quick note saying we were sorry that there was no winner and we adored them both. And if she needed more taste testers for batch 9 and 10? Well she could just send them right on over. :)

thumbprint cookies with plum jam, gluten free

recipe from Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays by Jeanne Sauvage

makes 5 dozen cookies


  • 3 1/2 cups/490 g Jeanne's gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups/340 g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup/240 ml jam of your choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  4. Scoop out 1 tbsp pieces of dough and roll into balls with your hands. Please the balls on the prepared sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 in apart. With a finger. make a deep indentation in the center of each ball. 
  5. Bake until the cookies just begin to brown, about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill each indentation with a heaping 1/2 tsp jam. Continue to bake until the jam starts to melt and the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown, about 9 minutes longer. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Let the sheets cool completely and repeat with the remaining dough. 
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


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