Jam & Sunflower Thimbles

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“I have a very high fever”, she mumbles with a raspy voice while trying to push a tear from her eye and at the same time figuring out which face she should put on to convince us that she is too sick for preschool. She actually did a pretty good job with that theater act. Almost had us fooled for a short while. That was until we called preschool and told them that she’d be home today. It took her literally two seconds to start jumping, laughing, pulling out all her toys and declaring that it was family play-day. After having turned the living room (aka our work space during the days) into an inferno of pencils, papers and toy horses while we snuck away to get some work done, we found her watching cartoon upside-down in the sofa and asked if she wanted to help us with a cookie recipe instead.

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This is a recipe that we have tried a few times. But for the shoot, Elsa actually did most of the work herself – so she calls them ”my cookies”. We wanted the recipe to be both gluten free and nut free without using a pile of hard-to-get ingredients. We obviously have a love for nuts and nut flours, but it felt good trying something else for once. Sunflower seeds and rolled oats are great ingredients when replacing nuts. After having experimented with a few different versions – both vegan and non-vegan – we finally decided to post two recipes for these. Both turn out great in texture and flavor. I personally prefer the richness in the butter & egg cookies, but if you are vegan I think you definitely will appreciate that version as well. Luise says she can’t taste any difference.

What we particularly like about making these munchies at home is that we get to use a not-so-sweet jam to top them. Less sugar actually gives more space for the flavor. We make our own jam by simply heating up frozen raspberries and dried prunes, but if you have a favorite brand of unsweetend jam, that of course works just as well.

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PS. Can you find the Valentine cameo cookie below …?

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Jam & Sunflower Thimbles  [Gluten free + Nut free]
Makes around 15 cookies

1 cup / 240 ml / 120 g finely chopped sunflower seeds
1 cup / 240 ml /90 g rolled oats, choose gluten free if intolerant
1/2 cup / 120 ml / 60 g buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot (or corn starch or potato starch)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp salt
5 tbsp / 75 g butter, room temperature
1/3 cup / 80 ml maple syrup
1 egg, separated

1/2 cup Raspberry & Prune Jam, recipe below (or jam of choice)

Set the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spread out the sunflower seeds on the baking sheet and let them roast very quickly in the oven, just a few minutes. Put half of the sunflower seeds in a high-speed mixer together with the oats and mix until you have a coarse flour. (If you don’t have a mixer you can chop the sunflower seeds finely and grind the oats in a mortar). Add the rest  of the dry ingredients the sunflower and oat flour and stir to combine. Whisk together butter, maple syrup and egg yolk (save the white for later) in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Scoop out about 15 portions of the dough and roll them between your hands into balls. If they crack easily you can add a splay of cold water to the dough. Whisk egg whites in a small bowl and chop the rest of the sunflower seeds coarsely. Dip and roll each ball in the egg white and then in the sunflower seeds. Place them on the baking sheet and use your thumb to carefully press into the center of each cookie. Fill the indents with 1 teaspoon jam (Elsa says 2 teaspoons is much better – whatever you prefer). Bake for 10-14 minutes. Let cool slightly before moving them to a wire rack. They can be a little soft and fragile at first, but firm up as soon as they chill. 

Vegan Jam & Sunflower Thimbles  [Gluten free + Nut free + Vegan]
This is basically the same recipe as above, but the methods are slightly altered for the vegan ingredients

1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water)
1 cup / 240 ml / 120 g finely chopped sunflower seeds
1 cup / 240 ml /90 g rolled oats (or oat flour), choose gluten free if intolerant
1/2 cup / 120 ml / 60 g buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot (or corn starch or potato starch)

1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp salt
5 tbsp (75 g) coconut oil, room tempered
5 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup plant milk

1/2 cup Raspberry & Prune Jam, recipe below (or jam of choice)

Mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and let stand 5-10 minutes until thick and gloppy. Set the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spread out the sunflower seeds on the baking sheet and let them roast very quickly in the oven, only for a few minutes. Put half of the sunflower seeds in a high-speed mixer together with the oats and mix until you have a coarse flour. (If you don’t have a mixer you can chop the sunflower seeds finely and grind the oats in a mortar). Add the rest  of the dry ingredients the sunflower and oat flour and stir to combine. Whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup and chia egg in a large bowl and beat until everything is mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Scoop out about 15 portions of the dough and roll them between your hands into balls. If they crack easily you can add a splay of cold water to the dough. Pour the plant milk in a glass and chop the rest of the sunflower seeds coarsely. Dip and roll each ball in the plant milk and then in the sunflower seeds. Place them on the baking sheet and use your thumb to carefully press into the center of each cookie. Fill the indents with 1 teaspoon jam (Elsa says 2 teaspoons is much better – whatever you prefer). Bake for 10-14 minutes. Let cool slightly before moving them to a wire rack. They can be a little soft and fragile at first, but will firm up as soon as they chill.

Raspberry & Prune Jam
This makes more than what you need for the cookies.

1,5 cup / 200 g raspberries, during winter we use organic frozen berries (no need to thaw)
4 dried prunes, pitted and chopped
a splash of water

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge until chilled and thick.

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77 Comments

  • These cookies look oh so pretty and yummy! I know my kids will enjoy making them tomorrow during yet another snow storm/no school day here in our corner of the world. Elsa is super adorable with her happy cardigan, glad to hear that she had a special play date with you guys making delicious cookies.
  • this looks good and I want to try this recipe with my elder brother. I just launched my newest food blog,well im a novice and amateur food blogger though..bt the thing is, I LOVE FOOD :) Hope you'll be able to check my blog @ samchewsit.blogspot.com and leave your comments. I'd love to hear it from you since im following you on my blog
  • I just had one for my little-morning-coffee-break and they are killing me !! In french we would say it's a "tuerie". Instead of raspberry, which I don't have here around, I made them with a Valhrona chocolate ganache : Just perfect !! I think they might be on a next post on my blog with a link to your's if you agree ;) Aurore
  • Savannah
    Can I use pistachios (no nut allergies here:) instead of sunflower seeds? Trying to use what I have on hand!! I also have enough almonds if you think that would pair better?
  • Prajakta
    Thanks for this Lovely recipe.. i have one question..i never used maple syrup and now want to start using..can you please tell me which brand you use or what do you look for in a maple syrup..i read online..and there can be lot of brands who dont sell original maple syrups.
    • There are many great brands out there, we use an organic grade A maple syrup. You can also use a good quality honey. Best Luise
  • Do you find that chia eggs are a good egg replacement? Do you add make other additions to account for the loss of leavening action of the egg? These cookies are so pretty!
  • These look scrumptious Elsa you did a great job :)
  • marina
    these look yum!! do u think you can substitute butter for almond butter or some other nut butter instead? or perhaps coconut oil?
  • Anita
    Omg Elsa is such a cute and pretty little girl! <3 Love the school & cookie story!
  • I'm excited to come across this recipe. It is my day to bring snack to my daughter's preschool on Friday and it's a nut-free school--this recipe looks perfect! Enjoy those "sick" days. :)
  • These look delish - i can't wait to try them! Sidenote - when I was growing up my mom was a stay-at-home mom. When I was in pre-school I pretended to be sick for two weeks straight and after than my mom asked me if I wanted to go to pre-school and I said no. I never went again and only went to half of kindergarten. Fast forward through the years and you could usually find me in accelerated classes. Moral of the story - beware of cute lil girls as they can be convincing. Another moral of the story - a couple sick days [or years] won't hurt b/c when they get older you'll never earn that time back. My mom passed when I was in high school so it all kind of worked out that I got a couple years extra with her when i was a wee young'in.
  • Elsa is the cutest! And these cookies look unreal :)
  • Oh, I've been reading so my Valentine's Day sweet recipes, but these look like perfection - gluten free, nut free, delicious, and lovely!
  • Caroline
    OMG sweetness overload about Elsa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • It was such a treat to read this! I loved reading about her theatrics, as kids these days seem to have such imaginations in the age of iPads and smart phones. I enjoy this recipe. Jam is something I make on my own with homegrown fruits, so it would be nice to put it into baked goods... since it's an ideal mid-day treat. And hello Elsa! :) x
  • Mmm, these cookies are exactly what I've been craving all week!! Does your cute cookie monster do home deliveries? ;-) Thank you for all your delicious recipes Luisa & David!
  • These look so flavoursome and so pretty! A great combination of textures. I love Elsa's yellow cardigan too. Adorable!
  • These look delish - i can't wait to try them! Sidenote - when I was growing up my mom was a stay-at-home mom. When I was in pre-school I pretended to be sick for two weeks straight and after than my mom asked me if I wanted to go to pre-school and I said no. I never went again and only went to half of kindergarten. Fast forward through the years and you could usually find me in accelerated classes. Moral of the story - beware of cute lil girls as they can be convincing. Another moral of the story - a couple sick days [or years] won't hurt b/c when they get older you'll never earn that time back. My mom passed when I was in high school so it all kind of worked out that I got a couple years extra with her when i was a wee young'in.

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