Filled with a chewy caramel center, these gluten free chocolate cookies are the ultimate dessert recipe. They’re ready in under 20 minutes and can easily be made vegan!
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Raise your hand if you’ve been eating cookies up the wazoo for the past two months?! Because same. I don’t even know how many different types of cookies I’ve cycled through, but they’ve been my go-to whenever I feel like baking.
These gluten free chocolate cookies are taken to the next level with a gooey caramel filling. You have a chewy chocolate cookie base that takes all of 20 minutes to make, and a luscious vegan caramel filling that really takes this recipe to the next level.
How to make this recipe
If you haven’t already, prep the caramel and stick in the fridge to thicken. You want it to be on the thicker side for these cookies, so be sure to let it cool completely for best results. You can even stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to speed this up. If you do that, careful not to leave it in for too long because you don’t want it to be total frozen.
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg, sugar, oil, almond butter and vanilla. Beat until well combined, about 30 seconds.
Add in all dry ingredients, measuring the cocoa and flour by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off the top. The cocoa powder can sometimes go flying, so start the mixer on a low speed.
Beat again until a dough forms. It should be pretty thick, see the photo below for reference.
Use a small cookie scoop or about 1- 1.5 tbsp and roll into balls. These cookies are best a bit smaller, so avoid making them too big.
Take the bottom of a flat cup or bowl and press down on the cookies slightly, just to flatten a bit. They won’t spread a ton while baking (just slightly) so you want to flatten them slightly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, closer to 8 if you want them to stay chewy. They should be soft to the touch with cracks on top.
Remove from the oven and take the bottom of a small object. I used a cork from a bottle of wine, but any nickel sized object will work, or even your thumb (a true thumbprint cookie)! You want to do this while they’re still warm and malleable, so don’t wait for them to cool.
Press down into the center of the cookie, pressing about halfway down. The cookie will spread and crackle a bit more while you do this.
Let cool completely, then fill with the caramel sauce and sprinkle on top some salt flakes. You’ll want about 1 tsp worth of caramel per cookie, though it will depending on the size of your cookies.
Once prepared, these gluten free chocolate cookies will keep for about 5 days. Let them cool completely, then transfer to an air tight container and store at room temperature.
You can warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds, but this will obviously melt the caramel slightly. It’s totally delicious this way, just a heads up!
Tips and F.A.Q’s
- If caramel isn’t your thing, you can totally leave it out! Bake the cookies as usual, but once they come out of the oven, just let them cool as is instead of pressing wells into the center. You can also throw in some chocolate chips to the batter if you’re going to leave out the caramel.
- Generally with baked goods I use avocado, coconut or vegetable oil when the recipe requires oil. However, in the case of chocolate recipe, olive oil actually works really well! It adds a deep rich flavor and pairs really well with the caramel. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
- The cornstarch is a key ingredient for the chewy and fluffy texture of these cookies. You can use tapioca or arrowroot, but the result will be slightly different.
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Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (make sure it has xanthan gum)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oil (vegetable, avocado, even olive oil works)
- 1/4 cup runny almond butter
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Vegan caramel sauce for filling (cooled)
- If you haven’t already, prep the caramel and stick in the fridge to thicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg, sugar, oil, almond butter and vanilla.
- Beat until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add in all remaining dry ingredients, measuring the cocoa and flour by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off the top.
- Beat again until a dough forms. It should be pretty thick.
- Use a small cookie scoop or about 1- 1.5 tbsp and roll into balls.
- Take the bottom of a flat cup or bowl and press down on the cookies slightly, just to flatten a bit. They won’t spread a ton while baking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, closer to 8 if you want them to stay chewy.
- Remove from the oven and take the bottom of a small object (I used a cork from a bottle of wine, but any nickel sized object will work, or even your thumb!
- Press down into the center of the cookie, pressing about halfway. Repeat on all cookies.
- Let cool, then fill with the caramel.