Nothing says simplicity like reducing your diet to fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy for a week — which is exactly what we did recently, when we temporarily cut out grains and sugar from our daily meals (even the good kinds). In the beginning, I felt hungry, but by the end, I felt fantastic.
And today, whenever I eat something sweet, I start craving a vegetable. I see that as a very good thing.
So last Saturday, it was in the midst of this experiment that we were planning a movie/dinner date with good friends and wanted to bring something to snack on. If you’re also the type to sneak treats in at the movie theater, I’m sure you’ve been where we were: you want something easy to transport in your bag, easy to share, totally non-sticky, and totally appropriate with the jug of water you’ve also got shoved in your purse.
So for us, this usually means cookies. The only problem last week was that meant a cookie without flour (or at least with only a little flour — come on, we were allowed to cheat a little), which reminded me of some adorable little thumbprint cookies I’d seen online and saved on Pinterest last month.
Reminiscent of kolachkys but made with ground almonds (or almond meal) rather than flour, these little desserts look like baby danishes and smell like bakery doughnuts, featuring dollops of fruit preserves right in the center. (Speaking of fruit preserves: If you’re looking for a good jelly, whether for peanut butter sandwiches or baking almond thumbprint cookies or something else, let me give a shout-out to Trader Joe’s, who makes an excellent organic jelly sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar. We picked raspberry. It is excellent.)
We made a batch Friday and it was almost gone by the next day, so we made a second batch Saturday, that time subbing whole-grain spelt flour for part of the ground almonds when we ran out.
Both times, these little cookies were just what we were after: small, sweet, and, best of all, so simple: simple ingredients, simple baking process, simple enjoyment — whether in the movie, at coffee or grabbed off the counter in the kitchen.
Almond Thumbprint Cookies
(also known as “little Danish cookies”)
Makes about 20 small cookies
Since the only changes I made to this recipe were using almond meal (Trader Joe’s) instead of grinding almonds and combining everything in a bowl with a hand mixer rather than using a food processor, I’m just going to point you to the full recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet.
While you’re there, look around. I love Kimi’s focus on nourishing ingredients and whole-foods recipes.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.