WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Toasted Coconut Caramel Thumbprints-dairy-free,gluten-free,corn-free, soy-lite

You just cannot have a tray of christmas cookies without the thumbprints!

One of our favorites in the past was a thumbprint rolled in finely minced pecans and filled with caramel and finally drizzled with chocolate.

No chocolate, no nuts but coconut and caramel really go great together! (Made a few plain blueberry filled too just incase no one liked the caramel/coconut combo!)

Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookie- (takes 1 egg, you could easily replace with substitute.)

1/2 cup palm shortening
1/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. baking powder(hain's)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
coconut shreds
egg white +1 teaspoon water


Cream together the palm shortening, coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the vanilla. Mix to combine.
In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, guar gum,salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, beating with the mixer on low until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Cover and chill the dough 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Use non stick cookie sheets, or sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Roll the dough into small ball. mix the egg white with the water well in a bowl. dip cookie ball into the egg white and then in another bowl filled with coconut shreds roll the dipped cookie until well covered with coconut. Place them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each ball making a deep impression.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown slightly.
If your cookies have spread or your "thumbprint" has filled in some, take the handle end of a wooden spoon(or something similar) or if like me you have nerve damage in your fingertips you can use your finger to gently press the center back in- not too hard or the cookies will crack.

Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Caramel Filling.
Here is the recipe I use, but I think everyone has their favorite, as long as it will firm up enough you will be fine. The original recipe with dairy is at Melskitchen Cafe. I "tweaked it" a bit to work for our allergies.
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk(just the hard stuff on top after you take a can out of the fridge)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

In a small, heavy saucepan, slowly combine the sugar and water, taking care not to let any of the mixture splash up onto the sides of the pan. Set the pan over low heat and stir the mixture gently until the sugar is dissolved, 6-10 minutes. Again, don’t stir vigorously or else the syrup will splash onto the sides of the pan which can cause crystallization issues later. To be sure the sugar is dissolved, I’ll dip a spoon in the sugar mixture and then gently slide my finger over the mixture on the spoon and take a taste. If the sugar is dissolved, the syrup will be smooth and not at all grainy. If you still feel grains of sugar, keep stirring over low heat until it is completely dissolved. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before letting the mixture come to a boil. If you notice any sugar particles on the sides of the pan, gently wash them down with a clean wet pastry brush. As the caramel boils, it can crystallize if those undissolved sugar particles get incorporated into the caramel.

Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to medium or medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Cover the saucepan and let the syrup boil for 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil, without stirring, until the edges start to turn golden brown. It is critical not to stir the caramel during stage while it boils covered and then turns a light golden color because this is where it is most likely to crystallize if it is going to do so. Again, the crystallization happens due to undissolved sugar grains and other possible substances that fall into the syrup while it is boiling. By not stirring, the syrup doesn’t move around as much which reduces the chances of any undissolved sugar granules falling into the caramel.

Once the syrup has turned a light golden brown, carefully and gently stir the syrup or swirl the pan until it turns a deep amber, caramel color. On my stove, this takes about 5-7 minutes. Do not stir vigorously or quickly and don’t scrape down the sides of the pan while stirring. Simply move the spoon or rubber spatula slowly over and around the bottom of the pan.

Remove from the heat and add the coconut oil. Gently stir until the oil is incorporated. Stir in the coconut cream. If the sauce becomes lumpy and isn’t whisking together, set the pan over the still-warm burner and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

Let caramel cool, but while still warm enough that it will spoon into your cookies fill your thumbprints. I pop my in the fridge to get them to set quicker.

I also had some blueberry jelly in the fridge so made some of the thumbprint cookies without coconut and filled with the jelly-

Fill really with whatever you would like. The coconut/caramel would be simply amazing with a drizzle of chocolate across the caramel if you can eat chocolate :-)


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