Vegan Thumbprints

1/2 cup walnuts
2 t. flax seeds
1/4 cup water
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar from sugar beets)
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 T. liquid lecithin
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
raspberry of strawberry jelly or jam (or other flavor of choice)

In a blender or food processor, place the walnuts, and process for 30-60 seconds to finely grind them. Transfer the ground walnuts to a small bowl and set aside. In the same blender, place the flax seeds, and process for 1 minute to finely grind them to a powder. Add the water, process for 1 additional minute, scrape down the sides of the blender, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, arrowroot, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the reserved flax seed mixture, Sucanat, margarine, liquid lecithin, vanilla, and almond extract, and stir well to combine. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Using your hands, work in the remaining dry ingredients to form a soft ball of dough.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in the reserved ground walnuts to thoroughly coat it on all sides. Working in batches, place the balls of dough on ungreased non-stick cookie sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using your thumb, gently press indentations into the center of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven. Using 1/2 t. of raspberry jelly, fill the "thumbprints" of each cookie, return the cookie sheets to the oven, and bake an additional 2 minutes. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the "thumbprinting" and baking procedure for the remaining balls of dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

*Note: For a wheat-free and gluten-free version, substitute brown rice flour for the unbleached flour in the recipe.

Yield: 4 Dozen


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