Typically, when I receive an enticing cookbook to review, I have trouble choosing the first recipe to trial. Making those small decisions has never been my strong suit. But the cookbook, Vegan Desserts, made this task a little bit easier for me, by breaking down the recipes by season.
This irresistible labor of love is from the vegan baking queen herself, Hannah Kaminsky. Hannah’s first cookbook, My Sweet Vegan, was a top seller as the vegan diet hit its stride, and I expect no less for this equally appealing collection. In classic Hannah-style, every recipe is coupled with a full color photo and the book is arranged in a very specific fashion. So I have no reason to doubt that when Hannah places a recipe in the “Spring” chapter, then spring is when it should be made.
Last week, as I turned through (and drooled on) the pages of Vegan Desserts, I quickly narrowed my spring choices down to a few “must-try” recipes. From there, the decision was easy, since I had everything on hand for the Coco-nut Macaroons, which I transformed into peanut butter chocolate thumbprint macaroons!
I followed Hannah’s ingredients closely, only making two substitutions and one addition. However, I kind of went off on my own with the process, style, and baking of these wonderfully tender gems. So while the recipe and concept is essentially hers, I rewrote the directions from scratch to stay true to the chocolate thumbprint macaroons recipe that came from my kitchen.
Whether you try my chocolate thumbprint macaroons recipe, or get a copy of Vegan Desserts to give the original recipe a go, I think you will agree that these chewy bites are a just-sweet-enough treat that’s perfect with afternoon tea, coffee, or a big glass of cashew milk.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Chocolate Thumbprint Macaroons
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For peanut-free and nut-free chocolate thumbprint macaroons, simply substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. If tree nuts are okay, but peanuts are out, you can substitute a “safe” almond or cashew butter.
- ⅔ cup peanut butter (I used smooth, unsalted) + extra for the tops of the cookies
- ⅓ cup plain, unsweetened, or vanilla milk alternative (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
- ½ cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup potato starch
- 5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- Dairy-free chocolate chips for topping, about ½ cup
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and line a couple of baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, blend the ⅔ cup peanut butter, milk alternative, maple, sugar, vanilla, and salt until nice and smooth. Mix in the potato starch until smooth. Stir in the coconut by hand. It will get pretty darn thick.
- To shape, I used about a tablespoon and a half of dough per cookie by pressing the dough into a tablespoon measuring spoon in a billowing, rounded style (see picture in post above). As an alternative, you can roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls. Place the cookie dough scoops or balls on the prepared baking sheets, and using either the back of the measuring spoon (may want to lightly spray it with oil) or your thumb, press a well in the center of each cookie.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes (I bake one sheet at a time and rotate them, or simply bake one batch and freeze the rest). Remove from the oven and place about 6 chocolate chips in each well. If the wells have filled in, just give them another gentle push down.
- Bake for another 2 to 6 minutes. Mine needed more time, but Hannah’s sounded as if they finished more quickly. Remove from the oven and swirl in a wee dollop of peanut butter with the chocolate chips (they should now be melted).
- Let those cookies cool for at least 5 or 10 minutes before attacking.