Ginger Thumbprint Cookies with Maple Caramel Glaze

Ananda Headshot Ananda Kaplan

Do you seek a delicious holiday cookie recipe that also happens to be healthy?  Look no further. Our tasty, crunchy, chewy, (and even a little gooey) Ginger Thumbprint Cookies are a healthier option that doesn’t sacrifice any of the flavor we all love from holiday cookies. An added bonus to this recipe is the simplicity of preparation: mix all the ingredients in one bowl and voila!

Unless you choose to add an optional sprinkle on top, these cookies are free of refined sugar. They are also gluten-free, vegan, and packed full of warming anti-inflammatory spices. The almond flour and flaxseeds provide a tasty earthy nuttiness that adds protein and omega-3s. The thumbprint is filled with a luscious cherry that adds a touch of sweetness and a balance to the bold spices. On top of being delicious, cherries are immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory, with anticancer properties.

The maple caramel drizzle is a healthier version of traditional caramel sauce. We have exchanged the refined sugar for unrefined maple syrup and the heavy cream has been replaced by non-dairy milk. The result is so gooey and delicious that you would never know it is not classic caramel. You will have more sauce than you need for this recipe—drizzle the extra onto sliced apples or pears.


Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Makes: 15 cookies


  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  •  2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 8 fresh or frozen cherries, de-pitted and cut in half. (If using frozen, make sure to thaw them.) If you do not have fresh or frozen cherries, you can also use ½ teaspoon of jam

Maple Caramel Ingredients

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice (I used hazelnut milk)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt


  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease and set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flaxseed with the water and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  4.  Add the oil, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla and whisk together.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for the cherries.  Use a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients together, and mix until fully combined.
  6. Place cookie batter in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Form a rounded tablespoon-size of the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. The dough will make approximately 15 balls.
  8. Flatten the cookies slightly with the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand, and then, using your thumb, press halfway down in the middle to create an indentation.  Make sure to not press all the way through the cookie.
  9. Fill the middle thumbprint of each cookie with half a cherry, cut side down (or ½ teaspoon of jam).  Optional: Sprinkle the top of each cookie with cane sugar if you like.
  10.  Bake the cookies for about 16-18 minutes in the middle of the top 1/3rd of the oven to ensure the bottom does not brown too quickly.
  11.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Then using a spatula, transfer to a rack to cool.
  12. While the cookies are cooling make the maple caramel. Combine the maple syrup and milk in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat.
  13. Bring the maple syrup mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Boil for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, whisking often to ensure it does not burn. The caramel is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Pour caramel into a bowl, mix in a sprinkle of salt, and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the cookies with the sauce. It will continue to thicken more as it cools.
  14. Enjoy!

Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

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