Cookie Exchange

Each year its something else for the holidays and I never want to miss a party! This year, I was invited to a cookie exchange and thought EEK I do not like baking or eating (most) cookies so I am going to have to RSVP YES and then get my butt into gear and do what I ask my clients to - UPGRADE a recipe!

Exchange the ingredients for ones you have learned are better for our bodies!

I searched far and wide, stumbling upon one of my favorite teacher's from nutrition school's blog where I got a killer paleo/GF/vegan recipe for the kids and I to try out. They were of my FAVORITE childhood Christmas cookie jelly thumbprints that I remember making each year with my mama and sister. I haven't eaten them since we moved out, and this year it's about time!

Enjoy the recipe below if you are a lover like I am - perfect for any party, in cute baggies for co-workers or to leave by the tree Christmas Eve. Santa will appreciate the ease these ingredients will have on his digestive system, trust me!

Thumbprint Jelly Cookies

You can make them with raspberry, apricot, blueberry, or your favorite jelly—or mix them up and make several of each flavor. I used jam instead of jelly.


  • 2 cups almond meal

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons almond meal for dusting

  • 2 tablespoons your favorite jelly, no added sugar (I used Whole Food's 365 brand)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a cookie sheet.

Combine the first three dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add in the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and coconut milk. Mix all ingredients together until they form into dough.

Roll dough into a large ball, then separate into 18 equal parts.

Roll each section into a small ball and dip half of each ball into the almond meal. Place the balls on the cookie sheet with the sides dipped in almond meal facing up. Press your thumb into the center of each ball, leaving a small indentation in the center of the cookie.

Fill the indentation with jelly or jam.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Try stacking two cookie sheet to prevent burning the bottoms.

The cookies will still be very soft when they come out of the oven. Carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. As they cool they will become firmer, but will remain soft and chewy.

Sprinkle with almond meal.

Makes 18

Additional Reading and Resources:

Photography: Neven Krcmarek

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I help busy mamas go from burnout to mental vigor using the gut brain axis.


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