Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

April 1, 2015

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

In spite of its faults, the New York Times is arguably one of the best all-purpose newspaper in America and probably in the English-speaking world (I know some Londoners might argue this, but still.)
It takes itself seriously, it’s taken seriously (sometimes too much so), and it’s undeniably my favorite newspaper.
Amidst all the media that I consume, The New York Times holds a disproportionately influential place in my life.
Even if trying to read it all feels like climbing Mt. Everest sometimes. Honestly, it’s (almost) impossible to read it from the first page to the last — especially the Sunday edition.

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

But my love for the Times doesn’t stop at the newspaper. I must look at The New York Times online at least 50 times a day.
No kidding.
The Sports, Health, and Food, are my go-to sections. I devour them, every day.
In fact a number of topics I discuss on this blog have been reflections on an article that I read in the Times. It’s that influential for me.
And there are some great recipes too. Such a great source of inspiration.

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

I read about this Macaroons for Passover With a Difference last week, and my gut told me to Make This. Make This Right Now. My brain — my incredibly stubborn brain —told me I’d find it unpleasantly sweet and to avoid it.
My brain can be so lame sometimes, especially when it wins.
But on Monday night my gut told me again to make these almond macaroons. And this time I listened.

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

My brain is no longer allowed to make baking decisions for me. These macaroons shut it down and kicked it out of the room.
What are these macaroons, you ask? They are essentially nuts, almonds and walnuts, that have been ground into powder, mixed with (coconut) sugar, egg, and egg whites and baked into sweet and chewy cookie type of thing.
And if you’ve wondered, it’s macaroons with two O’s.
Which in my book is different from the French macarons — those colored meringue type things sandwiched together.
Maybe less pretty, but definitely nothing short of showstopping and delicious.

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

I didn’t make a lot of changes from Joan Nathan’s original recipe. I just swapped sugar with coconut sugar. Because you know it’s paleo and because, why not?
Honestly I think that using coconut sugar makes for a less sweet macaroon and it complements better the nuts too.
But if you don’t care for it, just use regular sugar. Your call.
Other than that, these are some awesomely delicious, 6-ingredient easy, grain-free, and gluten-free macaroons that everybody will love.
And I’m not the one who says it, it’s the Times!

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons                                                               Print this recipe!
Adapted, just barely, from Joan Nathan at The New York Times

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

1 ¾ cups / 8.8 oz / 250 gr blanched almonds
1 ½ cups / 4.4 oz / 125 gr walnuts
1 cup / 7 oz / 200 gr coconut palm sugar*
1 large egg
2 egg whites
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional, but recommended)
Raspberry jam (make your own paleo raspberry jam with this recipe)

*If you don’t care about the paleo thing, brown sugar or sugar would probably work in place of the coconut sugar


Place almonds in the bowl of a food processor with a blade attached and pulse until powdered. Transfer to a large bowl.
Place walnuts in the food processor and pulse until mostly powdered.
Add the walnuts to the almonds.
Add sugar, egg, egg whites, and cardamom (if using). Mix until well combined.
Cover the bowl with a towel and let the mixture sit for at least 4 hours (8 hours or overnight for best results).
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Fill a bowl with cold water and with dampened hands scoop one scant tablespoon of dough at a time, pressing it into walnut-size balls.
Place them on the lined baking sheets and flatten them slightly. Use your thumb to make an indentation on the middle of each ball.
Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
If the indentation has disappeared (as it happens to me every time) make it again with your thumb (but dip your thumb in cold water before doing it!).
Working quickly put ¼ teaspoon of raspberry jam in each thumbprint.
Bake for further 10 minutes or until golden and firm.
Transfer to a rack and let cool before removing.

Nutrition facts

One cookie yields 77 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein.


  1. Another huge fan of NYT - I get their food newsletter by mail, it's great

    lovely thumbprints, that is a type of cookie I've never made, actually

    on a side note, FINALLY made your cauliflower tortillas a couple of days ago, and they shall be blogged about next month, definitely. Even hubby approved them!

    1. I can't wait to hear all about your experience with cauliflower tortillas, I'm so curious!

  2. Amazing cookies, they look incredible!

  3. I'm a big fan of the NYT too. And I would be a big fan of these macaroons as well!

    1. Aren't you supposed to be a Boston Globe fan???
      Just saying...

  4. Mike, you're pictures are impeccable. I'd read the NYT for a batch of them even though I remember telling my mate when I was over there it was a waste of money ;) I bite my words.

    1. I like being called impeccable, so thank you for that! ;)

  5. I suggest that you open up a bakery, Mike! Call it the Wolfpack Sunrise. And in there you could just have a big stack of NY Times and trays upon trays of these macaroons. They look incredible! I'm digging the fact that it's all ground nuts. Insane, I say. Oh, and you'd probably want to have some coffee in your bakery. Just because coffee is required when you have a newspaper and delicious cookies. Well done, my friend! #WolfpackBakes

    1. Let's join forces and open the Wolfpack Sunrise Bakery together. You'll brew the coffee and I'll make cookies.
      We'll hire Shashi because she's adorable and will probably attract a lot customers.

    2. Whoa whoa whoa... am I being shut out of this partnership? I could be useful... maybe, kinda. I can play music in the corner or something. #wolfpackbusinessopportunities

  6. I am not comment stalking or anything - but I couldn't help seeing David's comment - and I gotta agree - but I have another request to add on - instead of just a coffee and macaroons bakery, you could also serve those awesmazing adapted Thai dishes you used to feature on here quite often - what'd ya think?
    Btw, cardamom is one of my favs - IMO it works so well with nuts. I bet these macaroons would travel well to Atlanta - send 'em over now! Please.... :)

    1. I dunno about cookies, coffees, and adapted Thai dishes in a sounds a tad weird. Don't you think?

  7. I love that you swapped coconut sugar, it gives baked goods such a nice rich caramel like flavor! These look like the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee!

    1. I love coconut sugar, it's just too bad that it's so expensive... :(

  8. Sounds like I need to start reading the NY Times!! When I went to Thailand, I got to see local women making coconut sugar by hand (well, long wooden was hot). We go to try some and it was SO yummy! I regret not buying any to take back here.

  9. These are looking good brother, love the simplicity of ingredients and the cardamon addition is great. I'd be happy to ship over desserts and cookies to the Wolfpack Sunrise Bakery for a little West Coast representation, too!

  10. I am definitely the type of person who likes to press her fingers in baked goods! LOL! Perhaps the Thumbprint cookie was named after my "bad" habit?? lol

  11. Hi Mike, should I whip the egg whites before adding them to the mixture? Thanks Daria

  12. Every time I visit your page, I'm tempted to go make them immediately. These are some awesome cookies, all goodness and cardamom...yayayya. Of course pinning and will make these asap.