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

  • fraeuleinsonntag
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe and for Elsa being so cute and focused making them. My friend and I have been looking at your post and dreaming about making these amazing pieces of baking. Today I thougt I make these as a Valentine's treat for my husband. I will never forget the lovely smell in my kitchen (I never thought that sunflower seet can have such a nutty smell to them)and the big smile on my husbands face. I guess the timbales will not last very long and tomorrow I will make some more also sending off some to my friend to make our dream come true. If you do not mind I will post some pictures on Instagram making a cross reference to your page. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you <3
  • So freaking cute!! Children can be so smart sometimes!
  • I wanted to make biscuits with jam for a while, as I don't live with jam lovers anymore but keep being offered delicious homemade jams. I've just found the perfect recepie to realise it, thank you very much Elsa & co!
  • Karen
    Thank you, these are perfect and healthy too.I'm making them tonight after work to take on the plane. Your baby girl is sooo clever!
  • Alicia
    Perfect timing! It is half term next week. kids will love making them.
  • michelle
    I just made these as a Valentine dessert for my husband and they are delicious! Thank you for yet another great recipe.
  • Beautiful post! These cookies and your pictures both are gorgeous!
  • I can't get over how beautiful these cookies are. Thank you for posting both versions, as I try to eat gluten-free, but I do love my butter and eggs. This will be the perfect application for the elderberry jam my mother-in-law gave us for Christmas. Can't wait. Ps. Elsa is too cute for words.
  • Such a sweet story. I love it and that little pumpkin of yours is just too adorable. I often let my daughter (11) sleep in and take her to school late. She works hard, gets amazing grades and is very involved in sports. I've never regretted keeping her by my side a little longer on particular days - you won't either (plenty more to come!).
  • Shayna
    Ohh hooray! These are just the perfect cookie for this week- I can't wait to make them tonight. And thank you for taking the time to provide the vegan version as well. I remember the richness that butter adds but as I can't tolerate it anymore and prefer dairy-free, I always appreciate the effort to include other options. Wondering if subbing just a spoonful of molasses for maple syrup might not add a touch of that "buttery-ness" to the vegan ones? I'll let you know how it goes! Else is adorable, too. Two thumbs up for more kids in the kitchen!
  • Those cookies are so pretty! They sound delicious and I can't wait to try them out. :) And Elsa is just too cute for words!
  • gillian bliss
    My daughter (6 years) and I made these after school last night. I used lemon curd for the filling and they were delicious! Thanks for all your great recipes.
  • These look just delicious and adorable! I'll definitely be trying them out soon :)
  • OMG, Ela is such a sweet girl! <3 Thank you for this delicious recipe!
  • What a wonderful story, you'll never regret the time you are able to cherish with her! And I love, what I call, thumbprint cookies so I'm always excited to encounter a new take. And the jam is sooo smart, I can't wait to try it!
  • These look super. Well done Elsa! I'm grateful for the vegan version and that they're nut-free (not because of allergies but because seeds are cheaper for a student like me!)
  • Beautiful gluten-free recipe!! Thank you for sharing! http://lifeandcity.tumblr.com
  • Oooer Elsa is so cheeky! I love the Valentine's cookie cameo and this recipe. Delicious and so nutritious too :D

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