Gluten Free + Passover Friendly Almond Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Passover is around the corner. In the past, thinking about cleaning out my cupboards, omitting all the Chametz (anything made with wheat, barley, rye, spelt, or oats or any product that is made with these grains and left to stand raw for longer than eighteen minutes) was a daunting task. No cereal, bread, waffles, pancakes, and most cookies for 8 days. Matzoh is the “grain” of choice and there are only so many ways one can eat matzoh (before it totally clogs up your system – and we all know how that goes).

Over the past few years I have become much more rigid in observing Passover. Mostly because I wanted my children to respect the holiday, understand what it means to sacrifice, and hopefully teach discipline through our values and our heritage.

Regardless, it can be a constant struggle. Yet, by the 3rd day, they all settled into the challenge at hand (not dissimilar to a cleanse) thus, their consciousness rises to the occasion. This year it is going to be much easier. Most of what we give up for Passover has already been omitted and almost forgotten as we lean more toward a gluten free lifestyle. But still, gluten free means we can eat rice, legumes, and most grains. Not the case during Passover.

The proteins and the vegetables, obviously, are the easy part. It’s the sweets, the carbs, the “glue” that my kids happen to love and adore. And in the past, Passover desserts have left much to be desired. Last years flourless chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow meringue frosting and a carrot cake cupcake were two very successful winners. The obvious coconut macaroons, flourless chocolate cake, and hazelnut puddle cookies were also acceptable favorites. It’s all trial and error and I have my share of failures.

In searching for some new ideas, I found these Hazelnut Thumbprints via Smitten Kitchen. Although they were Passover friendly, they were not gluten free(matzoh meal isn’t gluten free). In trying to develop the recipe, I reached out to Aran from Cannelle et Vanille. She responded quite quickly, with a wonderful alternative, but I was impatient and had already had a batch of my version in the oven. Taking a suggestion from Shauna on how to substitute most tradtional recipes into gluten free versions, I came up with a blend and replaced 140 grams of my gluten free mixture, with the all purpose flour in the recipe. I am proud to say, these are a cookie I would eat year round. This is just what I needed to prove to myself that I can create my own recipes. I am so excited to start experimenting with some of our coveted family favorites that the boys have been missing.

Before filling the centers of these cookies with chocolate, I had to taste test them. Between you and I, they stand on their own. The chocolate is simply a bonus!


Gluten Free + Passover Friendly Almond Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies


for the cookie:
1 cup (4 ounces | 115 grams) almond meal
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces | 135 grams)  organic, natural sugar
140 grams gluten free flour mixture (see below)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces | 114 grams) unsalted, organic butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
for the chocolate filling:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I use Callebaut)
.75 ounces organic, salted butter


to make the cookies:
• in a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, sugar, gluten free flour, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and Celtic sea salt. set aside.
• in a small sauce pan, melt butter. cool slightly.
• in a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla.
• add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. mix to combine. this may seem really dry and you may be inclined to feel the need for
more wet ingredients, but it will come together.
• form dough into a ball. wrap with plastic wrap and press into a disc. chill dough until firm, about an hour.
• preheat oven to 350*.
• using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scooper, form balls and place on parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. chill for 10-15 minutes.
• using the back of 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, press into the center of each dough. line cookies on parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
• bake 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the rim of the cookie is just starting to turn golden.
• cool completely on wire racks.
to make the chocolate:
• place both chocolate and butter in a glass bowl set over a small saucepan (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). stir occasionally until all chocolate and butter are melted and combined.
• drop a small amount of chocolate into each of the cooled cookies. let set completely before eating.
• store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for 1 week.

note: if you want to make a double batch but don’t want to cook all the cookies at once, shape into balls and then create the thumbprint. flash freeze on parchment lined baking sheets until completely frozen (about 3 hours). store in the freezer in an airtight container. use within two months.

All Purpose Gluten Free Passover Flour



• sift all ingredients into a large bowl. store in an airtight, glass jar and use when needed.

The Urban Baker /

More Passover Desserts Around the Web:
Homemade Gluten Free Matzoh – Gluten Free Canteen
Flourless Chocolate Cake – Gratinee
Spiced Apple Cake – Hungry Rabbit NYC
Passover Brownies – Hippo Flambe

Showing 24 comments
  • Amanda

    All of these amazing treats are wonderful!! Thanks for sharing… I need a one stop shopping post like this for our Holiday festivities!

  • Lucy Lean

    We are going to have start calling you the GF Urban Baker – you really should have more confidence in your own abilities to bake absolutely anything! Go Susan!

    • Susan

      thanks for the vote of confidence, Lucy! It’s kind of like exercise, once you realize how to do it, there is no turning back!!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    WOO HOO!! There is absolutely nothing better than figuring out how to adapt a recipe – and it looks and sounds like this one was a true winner! Love having your site as a resource for my GF friends!!

  • Reply

    Susan, your gluten free recipes are the best! Do I see a book in the future? 🙂

  • Reply

    Those look excellent! I’ve always had a soft spot for thumbprint cookies.

  • Kim

    These thumbprint cookies celebrating Passover or not looks pretty pretty good!

  • Reply

    There is something so satisfying about creating or adapting a recipe to suit your and your family’s needs. In the process, you found something worthwhile and proved to yourself that you can do it. And do it well.

    I don’t have any GF requirements in my house. But that hasn’t stopped me from dabbling with the different flours. And it won’t stop me from making these cookies. They look really, really good!

    • Susan

      There truly is something fabulous in accomplishing something that seems oh-so challenging. For me, I simply need to just read more, take knowledge from the experts, and be okay with “failure”. Lori, if gluten isn’t a problem, I believe the original recipe is on the Gourmet website! Have a great weekend!

  • Marla

    How awesome for you to provide us with GF flour for Passover! Love the thumbprint cookies Susan.

  • Esi

    These cookies look so good. Passover or not!

  • Rachel Kaganoff Stern

    I not only love the recipe, I love the process you went through. My own recipe development feels much the same. GUESS WHAT? I’m obsessively putting together a second volume of my own recipes to self-publish. I can’t wait to be done!!
    Miss you,

  • Kristina Vanni

    This recipe is perfect for anyone! I love the variation on a classic. Yum!

  • Audrey

    Looks yummy. Can’t wait to make these for my GF friends. One question though. The directions mention adding xanthum gum, yet it is not listed with the ingredients (I’m also not certain that xanthum gum is kosher for Passover(; A few websites list it as kitniyot.

    • Susan

      Hi Audrey! I have started omitting xanthum gum from all of my recipes and I have not noticed any difference in taste or texture. Sorry for the mistake and thanks so much for pointing it out! Susan

  • sally

    These really look delicious Susan. We’ve been GF for almost 1 1/2 years now. As we do not have kids, I just don’t keep sweets and treats in the house. Too tempting. I bake occasionally. Sugar is the real thing I’ve eliminated, so much baking has been put aside. You are encouraging me to do a little baking again, develop a few recipes in my head. As you said, baking can be so hit and miss, but test we will. These look so good and I love almond meal. It’s a treat to be enjoyed! Great post!

    • Susan

      Sally – I know this is a long time a coming, but I am back! I hope you tried these and I am hoping you liked them. This recipe is one of those recipes that I bake and freeze. My kids like a little treat in their lunch box and this one works really well. Miss you tons! Let’s block out some time in the new year to get together. It has been way too long! xx

  • Laurie

    So appreciative of Audrey’s comment — I was trying to figure out if I needed Xanthum gum or not. Baking these cookies today for my parents who are coming to visit! Thank you ladies!

    • Susan

      Hi Laurie – I have actually omitted Xanthum gum from all of my recipes without any real failures. I hope these turned out for you. These cookies I actually make and freeze and my kids eat them all year round!

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