GF Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

ellen brown gluten-free christmas cookies
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 25 mins

This recipe was originally published in 2015.

Ed. note: The recipe below is an excerpt from Ellen Brown’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies. Published by Cider Mill Press in 2011, the book offers 125 recipes for holiday cookie favorites.

Christmas is not time to forget timeless favorites—just dress them up a bit. That’s the case with this cookie. The peanut butter dough is topped with a chocolate candy.


→ Substitute sweetened almond butter for the peanut butter, substitute pure almond extract for the vanilla, and substitute ½ cup almond meal for ½ cup of the amaranth flour.

→ Substitute ¾ teaspoon fruit jelly for the candy in the center of the cookies.


  • 1 ¼ cups amaranth flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 kiss-shaped chocolate candies, unwrapped


1Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.

2Combine amaranth flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk well.

3Combine butter and sugar in another mixing bowl and beat at low speed with an electric mixer to combine. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla, and beat for 1 minute.

4Slowly add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and beat until stiff dough forms.

5Roll dough into balls with your hands, and arrange them on the baking sheets. Chill dough if too soft to roll. Press an indentation in the center of each ball with your fingertip, and place one candy in the indentation.

6Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Cool cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer them with a spatula to cooling racks to cool completely.

Each serving contains calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, protein.