Another Christmas season is upon us and I’m thrilled to have a new AIP cookie recipe for you to add to your holiday baking list! Even though this blog is dedicated to all sorts of dishes, I always have a special place in my heart for recipes that involve baking! And today’s new cookies will have a special place in YOUR heart once you taste them! 🙂
Naturally, as Christmas rolls around each year, I love getting back in the kitchen to make treats of all sort. And not even the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet can keep me from creating delicious desserts, like today’s AIP “Chocolate” Mint Thumbprint Cookies! I’m not even a chocolate mint fan, but these are absolutely incredible. Especially considering these are chocolate-free (notice the quotations in the title), thanks to AIP-compliant carob powder! The results are amazingly chocolate-like, with a light and refreshing sweetness from the peppermint frosting centers.
So, put on your favorite Christmas music, preheat your oven to 350, and get ready to try these soft, chewy, festive AIP Chocolate Mint Thumbprint cookies!
What’s something that makes you joyful at Christmas?
For me, it’s baking. (Probably doesn’t come as a surprise!) I love baking throughout the year, but especially around the holidays. And it’s not only because it’s part of my “job” as a food blogger! I love baking up new holiday treats and sharing them with loved ones. I love browsing the beautiful cookie trays at Christmas parties. I love decorating loads of Christmas cookies to enjoy while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Most of all, I love how baking evokes so many nostalgic, happy memories of my family. Particularly, of my Sitto (“grandma” in Arabic) and my mom – the two best bakers I know! My Sitto was known for her buttery Syrian bread and crispy, sweet baklava, which she always kept on hand for guests, neighbors, and of course, her beloved grandchildren! 🙂
My mom also had a passion for baking, especially at Christmas. She’d bake dozens of cut-out sugar cookies and patiently assist my brother and me as we drowned them in frosting! And instead of buying gifts for relatives, church friends, and neighbors, she would bake trays and trays of beautiful and delicious cookies. From simple peanut blossoms and crackle-top ginger cookies to decadent seven-layer bars and Sitto’s baklava, they would all get wrapped up with colorful ribbons in cute little baskets.Along with the numerous cookies, my mom would also bake the most incredible cheesecakes! There was almost always a decadent cheesecake for Christmas dessert to serve our guests. A favorite among them was a rich chocolate mint “Grasshopper” Cheesecake. As a child, I wanted to like this dreamy chocolate mint dessert, but I could never quite understand the mass appeal! Even now, I still shy away from the chocolate/mint combo if given the choice. But, when I was brainstorming ideas for a new AIP cookie recipe, the festive chocolate mint flavors from that Grasshopper Cheesecake came to mind and I knew I had to give it another try! And wow, I’m really glad I did!
These AIP Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies totally exceeded my expectations! Not only does the carob taste remarkably like chocolate, but the peppermint gives it a powerful punch without overwhelming everything. I must say, even peppermint itself is really growing on me. I’ve used peppermint essential oil as a headache cure and sipped peppermint tea often to ease digestive distress. After adding peppermint into this cookie recipe, I think I finally understand why so many people go crazy for chocolate and mint together!
So, for those who made my Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies last year, you already have an edge on this recipe! My AIP Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies require similar ingredients – Spectrum organic palm shortening, grass-fed gelatin, coconut flour, and arrowroot starch, with the addition of a few new items, like carob powder, peppermint oil, and my favorite Artisana Coconut Butter. (If you’re NOT on an AIP diet, feel free to use regular cocoa powder. Just note that carob is sweeter than cocoa, so you may need to add extra honey or coconut sugar if you make the swap.)
The basic method is the same as with my gingerbread cookies and you’ll end up with a soft, moldable dough that doesn’t spread much. Roll your dough into balls and then flatten slightly and imprint each center of the cookie with your thumb or a small spoon. You just want enough of an indent to hold the frosting after they bake!
Once baked, let your AIP Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies cool off while you mix up the frosting. One word of caution when making the frosting! Only use 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to start with. It’s SUPER concentrated (more than peppermint extract), so if you use too much, it’ll be bitter and overpowering. If you don’t have food-grade peppermint oil, then simply substitute peppermint extract and about 1/4 teaspoon or so.
These AIP Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies sit well at room temperature, but I’d imagine they’d keep beautifully in the freezer if you want to make a batch now and save them for a Christmas cookie exchange! Try them with a hot cup of peppermint tea or (if you can tolerate coffee) a frothy peppermint mocha. And don’t forget to share a few with the chocolate mint fans in your life!
If you’re looking for more AIP-friendly cookies to try, check out my Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies and my Paleo Matcha Lime Macaroons! Don’t be afraid to try new or unique flavors! Even ones you may not have liked in the past…like chocolate mint! 😉
Whether it’s baking cookies, eating cookies, or something totally non-cookie related, do something that makes you joyful this Christmas! And one thing we can ALL be joyful for is God’s gracious gift to the world, who was born in Bethlehem many, many years ago. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King!” Wishing you all a wonderful, joyful Christmas season!
- ½ cup palm shortening
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- ¼ cup carob powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 gelatin "egg" (1 tablespoon gelatin powder + 4 tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup arrowroot starch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, cream together the palm shortening, coconut sugar and honey. Add in the carob, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt and mix.
- In a small saucepan, make the gelatin egg by adding 4 tablespoons of water and sprinkling 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder over top. Let sit for a minute, then whisk over low heat until mixture is very foamy.
- Pour gelatin mixture into the cookie dough mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Add in coconut flour and arrowroot starch and mix. Lastly, add in apple cider vinegar and mix again until the dough holds together and doesn't stick to the bowl. (Add a pinch of extra coconut flour if it's too sticky.)
- Separate dough into 12 round balls and then flatten each one slightly on the prepared baking sheet. With your thumb or the edge of spoon, make an indent in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then let cool while you make the frosting.
- In a small bowl, stir melted coconut butter and raw honey together, then add in 1-2 drops of peppermint oil and stir.
- Once cookies are cooled, drop teaspoons of the frosting in the center of each cookie. Enjoy!
~If the frosting is too runny, put in the fridge or freezer to firm up a little. If it's too firm, add a ¼ teaspoon of melted coconut oil.
~Store covered at room temp or in the fridge. If not using right away, cover and freeze.
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