Cardamom Thumbprints with Peanut Butter Caramel

Cardamom thumbprints with peanut butter caramel are a wholesome vegan cookie with a decadent filling. Perfect for having with coffee or tea.

Overhead shot of cardamom thumbprint cookies with peanut butter caramel centers.
Overhead shot of a spoon in a peanut butter jar.
Overhead shot of peanut butter caramel filling in a grey bowl on a pink linen background.

It’s our third and final cookie of the week! If you missed them, we also had no-bake chocolate mint cups and some grain-free ginger molasses softies.

These cardamom thumbprints with peanut butter caramel are super simple to make and they come together with ten ingredients. Thumbprints are always the first cookie I go to on a holiday dessert plate. I love them with jam, a dab of vegan lemon curd, little bits of chocolate, and in this case: a quickie batch of peanut butter caramel.

This cookie is also super wholesome. Spelt flour and almond flour form the base and there’s only a tiny touch of maple syrup in the cookie itself. Aside from the little caramel dollop, these cookies aren’t overly sweet. They’re a perfect coffee/tea/hot chocolate companion. The peanut butter caramel indentation gives us the tiniest edge of decadence.

And really, caramel should be in quotes here because we aren’t caramelizing any sugar. I personally do not have the patience or emotional fortitude to make caramel with traditional methods, so we’re doing a bit of a cheat today hehe. It’s just a simple mix of maple syrup, peanut butter, non-dairy milk, and a bit of salt that tastes amazingly caramel-like. Sometimes simplicity and speed wins over everything else!

Hope you enjoyed our celebration of holiday treats this week! A part of me wants to do the same thing with appetizers or some other extremely important holiday food category next week, but I think we’re just going to go back to our usual once a week schedule. It was fun though! :)

Overhead shot of thumbprint cookies before they go in the oven, on parchment paper.
Overhead shot of cardamom thumbprint cookies with peanut butter caramel on a white speckled plate on top of a pink napkin. There are 2 cups of creamy coffee and a festive felt garland on the side.
Overhead shot of cardamom thumbprint cookies with peanut butter caramel centers.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Cardamom Thumbprints with Peanut Butter Caramel

Cardamom thumbprints with peanut butter caramel are a wholesome vegan cookie with a decadent filling. Perfect for having with coffee or tea.
PREP TIME20 mins
COOK TIME12 mins
TOTAL TIME32 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 15 Cookies
Author: Laura Wright

Ingredients

PEANUT BUTTER CARAMEL:

  • 2 tablespoons smooth and well-stirred natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • pinch of fine sea salt

CARDAMOM THUMBPRINTS:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup light spelt flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Make the peanut butter caramel. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and salt. Once it’s smooth and slightly fluid, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, almond flour, cardamom, and sea salt. Then, add the thickened flaxseed mixture, maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir this mixture until a slightly sticky dough starts coming together.
  • Portion out tablespoons of dough out onto the baking sheet with an inch of space around each one.
  • Then, roll each portion of dough into a ball. Using the bottom of a ¼ teaspoon measure (or your finger), carefully press an indentation into the top of each cookie, using your other hand to hold the cookie together.
  • Spoon about ¼ – ½ teaspoon of the peanut butter caramel into each indentation. Slide the cookies into the oven and bake until bottoms are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool completely. If you have leftover peanut butter caramel, carefully spoon a bit more onto the baked caramel indentations of each cookie and top with flaky salt if you wish

Notes

  • Your peanut butter has to be SUPER smooth and well-stirred for the caramel to have the right consistency–none of that gritty stuff at the bottom of the jar ;)
  • I like to put about ¼ teaspoon of the caramel into each little indentation, bake the cookies, let them cool, and then top the little dots of baked caramel with the remaining caramel, and then add flaky salt on top! This step is very extra :)

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