Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints with Raspberry Chia Seed Jam (Vegan + GF)

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I was so excited when I found this bag of organic jelly beans free of artificial colors and gelatin at the grocery store (Fortinos, for those of you in Ontario).

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The ingredients list appeared to be vegan (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (including Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Confectioner’s Glaze, Carnauba Wax, Organic Sunflower Oil), but after I did a little research on the company’s website I discovered the jelly beans are vegetarian but not vegan (they didn’t say why so I emailed them to inquire). It turns out confectioner’s glaze is the culprit. It’s a clear coating used for candy (and other non-edible products under the name “shellac”) and is derived from secretions of the female lac bug. After a quick Google search I came across Vegan Sweets jelly beans. If anyone knows of any other vegan jelly bean brands out there, feel free to give them a shout-out below!

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Anyway, I discovered this little recipe snafu, of course, after making my lovely Easter macaroon nests. All the pictures were shot and edited and the post was written up ready to be published. Rather than giving you a recipe that wasn’t 100% vegan, I decided to go back to the drawing board and create something new. Thankfully, the answer came to me quickly – macaroon thumbprints. Since the “nests” already looked like the beginnings of a thumbprint cookie all I had to do was fill the well with jam. It just so happened that I had a fresh batch of chia seed jam waiting in the fridge. Last week, I made a batch using a bag of frozen raspberries. It worked like a charm!

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Love, love, love!

Macaroon thumbprints with raspberry chia jam, it is. You know what, I think I like these even better than the original recipe. Much more my style, anyway.

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The macaroon dough comes together so quickly. Then you simply shape the dough into nests (I just typed breasts – those work too!), fill with jam, and bake at a low temperature – 275F seemed to work nicely for me. Baking at a high heat can brown these babies long before they are cooked through so it’s best to take a slow and steady approach with the heat. I’m sure they would also work beautifully in the dehydrator if you have one.

Oh and one last thing I should mention. I used unsweetened flaked coconut as opposed to unsweetened shredded coconut (which I normally use in my recipes). I used the longer flakes because I thought it would yield a more rustic looking cookie, but if you only have the shredded stuff on hand that will work fine too.

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Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints with Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free, soy-free

Email, text, or print this recipe

Yield: 10 macaroons

For the macaroons:

1.5 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

1 cup almond flour (or almond meal)

scant 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut butter, softened (no subs- this binds the cookies together)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

For the chia seed jam (makes about 1 cup)

3 cups frozen raspberries

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

1. For the chia seed jam: Add frozen raspberries and maple syrup into a medium pot and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes or so, stir in the chia seeds. Continue to cook down the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill in the fridge for a couple hours to thicken it up even more.

2. Preheat oven to 275F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. If you have a non-stick mat, use it because it will help prevent browning on the bottom.

3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almond flour (or meal), and salt.

4. Melt the coconut butter over a very low heat. I suggest using a double boiler so it doesn’t burn.

5. Add the maple syrup, softened coconut butter, and vanilla into the dry mixture and stir very well until combined. The dough will be very wet and sticky, but this is normal.

6. Grab a couple tablespoons of dough at a time with your hands and drop it onto the baking sheet. With a wet finger, press a well into the middle and lightly shape the outsides if necessary. Repeat for the rest. Fill each well with jam. The macaroons don’t spread out so there’s no need to space them far apart.

7. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 10-20 minutes (I baked for 40 mins. total – but you may need less depending on your oven) until the bottoms are lightly golden and browned, but not burned. If you have a hot oven, I suggest watching it closely or even reducing the heat to 250F. Place pan on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes and then transfer each macaroon onto the cooling rack until completely cool. The macaroons will be very soft at first, but will firm as they cool. I enjoy them the most chilled, straight from the fridge.

Notes: You can probably swap the maple syrup for another liquid sweetener of your choice. Also, if you can’t have almonds, you might be able to swap the almond flour for oat flour. I haven’t tried this yet myself though so be sure to report back if you try it out.

Nutritional Info

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For no-bake chocolate macaroons, be sure to see this post.

I hope you have a great start to your (hopefully short) work week!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

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carol February 10, 2016

I realized what I did differently that made my cookie dough not sticky…I used shredded coconut. So in actuality I was using more coconut ?. It also yielded 22 cookies. So I guess I will use more coconut butter if I use shredded coconut again.

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carol February 9, 2016

I just made these and they tasted great but I had a problem with them holding together so I added extra coconut butter. They were still not sticky enough so where did I go wrong?
Help!! Would really like to make them again.

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ella December 4, 2015

Late to the discussion but hope someone can answer:
do you store these in the fridge? I’d like to make a day or two before …
also, has anyone made them without the jam, just straight macaroons?
and, I might prefer to use apricot “jam”– dried apricots blended with a bit of water — instead. Would it be alright in the oven?

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Jessica November 16, 2015

We can’t have maple syrup or any sweetener except Stevia… do you think it can be modified at all??? Thanks

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JoAnn September 22, 2015

Can this raspberry jam be made in bulk and canned? With a large family, I try to make everything in bulk. It seems like it would be an excellent gift idea too.

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Heidi June 17, 2015

I just made these for my Dad for Father’s Day. His favorite cookie is a coconut Macaroon. I didn’t expect much and have to say I was VERY pleasantly surprised. Such simple ingredients worked so well together. They even have that comforting sticky feeling that macaroons are known for. It’s a quick and easy recipe to make (other than waiting for them to bake). I did them in mounds without jam. For my kids I think I’ll drizzle a little chocolate sauce on the top.

I had never tried to melt coconut butter before. I saw your note about not getting it too hot or it would burn… and so it did. I then softened it in a makeshift double boiler. Does it ever really melt.

A+++ and thanks again!

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Denise February 24, 2015

Hi there, just happened upon this site, well done! Just wondering how long the Raspberry Chia jam will last in the fridge? I would like to use it for toast too :)

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Sherry February 15, 2015

Angela,

How long will the chia seed jam last in the fridge? I’m thinking about having that with my toast in the mornings and on almond butter sandwiches!

Thanks!
Sherry

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Denise February 24, 2015

Haha, I wish I had read your post first, I posted directly under you and asked almost the exact same thing – so funny, hopefully we get an answer :)

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Ashleigh January 30, 2015

Hi Angela!

I love your blog so much and recently purchased your book too! I’ve spread my love for your blog at the office and now, my coworkers and I love sharing which recipe we’ve tried recently!

Just wondering how long you think this jam will keep if you freeze it? I was hoping to make a big batch and freeze it for later use.. what do you think?

Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! :)

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Angelina December 30, 2014

Hi Angela,
Can I use fresh raspberries instead of the frozen one? I’m going ti make this fab recipe asap! ❤️

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Sara December 22, 2014

These don’t hold together at all. I can’t even form cookies, they just fall apart. Sad to waste 1/4 cup of my precious maple syrup and coconut butter.

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Jodie October 15, 2014

I just made these. I used coconut flour (only half a cup) in place of the almond flour as I refuse to buy yet another ingredient when it feels like I’ve purchased every one under the sun already :) I also used only 6 tbsp of maple syrup and then 2 tbsp of honey as I thought it might bind better. The “dough” was not wet at all, perhaps due to the coconut flour as I’ve read it can absorb liquids very well. I was able to shape my “dough” into mini “cups”. I filled some with blackberry chia jam and some with chocolate chips. I ate one but it was too hot, lol. I’ll have to let them cool. My fingers are crossed for a new recipe to add to my collection!

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Jodie October 15, 2014

Sorry, didn’t read everything you wrote, just skipped to the recipe :)

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Jodie October 15, 2014

Is the temperature really 275? Or is that a misprint?

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Monisha July 9, 2014

Some helpful young boy and his mom told me about yr bk.i met them at bulk barn as I was going through the organic section wanting to make jam for my gr.children .i asked him about guar gum and he said it was just a thickener and he doesn’t use it in any of hits cooking.that’s when he mentioned yr bk to me.ofcourse I went on yr web site as soon as I got home and I am going to try the rasberry chia jam.can I use ripe pairs and coconut sugar instead of the maple syrup?i am diabetic so I like to make these low glycemic treats.pl let me know, thks

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Tania March 30, 2014

I finally got around to making these (a year later). They are delicious!! I did use melted coconut oil in place of the butter and they came out very soft and chewy — my husband and 5 year old son (and me!) loved them. I will try making my own coconut butter per your suggestion, but I love oil version too. I’ll be serving these as my Easter dessert this year.
Thank you!

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Natalie March 2, 2014

Can I just say that these are my all time favorite cookies I have EVER made. I tried this recipe over a year ago and if it didn’t require things like coconut butter, I would make them all the time!!!! I love your blog and need your cookbook!
superfoodlife.blogspot.com is my blog, focuses on healthy eats :)

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Krista January 27, 2014

These are unreal.

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larissa November 9, 2013

I just made these and they are delicious!!! this is my first time making macaroons, and the first time using coconut butter. yum, yum, yum. thanks a bunch!

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