Brownie Thumbprints

Soft almost fudgy thumbprint cookies that are grain free, egg free and dairy free…!

Soft doughy cookies with a chocolate button centre. These totally won me over. When they came out of the oven my mum spotted them and her words were “oh what happened to them…” In the dark light of the evening kitchen they look liked mounts of burnt chocolate fudge, and not at all pretty…

It’s amazing what the bright light of the morning (though it hasn’t been shedding me much blissful light this week!) and a chocolate filling can do for a cookie!

These are an adaptation of the chocolate black bean cookies I made what feels like a lifetime ago. They were brought back in to my mind with a comment from a reader only last week so I figured I’d give a brownie thumbprint a go.

The centres puff up a little without a filling during baking so require a tender press down once out of the oven.

A little tiny hint of almond thanks to almond butter, almond extract and a little more of the former mix with that chocolate.

A truly healthier cookie that you can whip up and enjoy with an iota of hesitation. They could almost be called a breakfast cookie!


I have a couple stashed in the freezer; it’s become a bit of a cookie baking “tradition” to save one or two for a rainy day with the added importance of finding out if they freeze well. I’ve already thawed one just to be sure…recipe sharing duties!!! It’s best left to sit at room temperature; the microwave method thawed it far too quickly and resulted in a puddle of chocolate in the centre.

If you don’t fancy a chocolate thumbprint the almond raspberry thumbprint ones from a while back are a mighty fine alternative!

What’s your favourite thumbprint cookie centre?

Black Bean Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert snack gluten-free vegan soy-free black beans


Ingredients (9 – 10)

  • 1 1/3 cups (240g) black beans, very soft (or one 15 oz. can)
  • 2 Tbsp. (28g) coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (32g) all natural almond butter
  • 1/3 cup (40g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (75g) coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (60g) dark chocolate – I used 85%
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • Pinch of sea salt


Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

Blend black beans to a smooth puree. Add in melted coconut oil, almond butter, almond milk, vanilla and process until smooth.

Blend in ground flax, baking soda, powder, sugar and sifted cocoa powder.

Set to one side for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough in to 9 – 10 balls.

Place on a non stick baking tray and press your thumb in to the centre of each. Shape to form thumbprint cookies; they will only spread a little when baked.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove and while warm and still soft gently press back down the centres. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Once cooled fully melt dark chocolate with almond butter. Place one teaspoon in the centre of each cookie. Place in the fridge to firm up.

Store in the fridge in a seal tight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to one month.

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  1. Whoa! I have always wanted to use black beans in a sweet as I have heard about how great they can substitute, but have not yet seen a recipe I liked the sound/look of! Well this changes things, thanks so much for sharing. I love dark chocolate and they look like they are PERFECT. Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I made some adjustments to the recipe (since I just wanted plain, flat cookies) but they came out so delicious! What a wonderful treat – I’m going to make these again soon (as you intended)…and then again! Yum 😀

    1. I can’t speak to the author’s vegan dark chocolate, but I know Trader Joe’s big pound+ bars of dark and bittersweet chocolate are vegan (though they don’t have the vegan symbol on them I think because they are processed in a facility which used eggs and dairy, but the ingredients are definitely vegan).

  3. Just made these for my gf son’s 10th birthday. He did not believe me that they were gluten free. He said that they tasted amazing. My non gf husband is on his second one as we speak. I am also gf and I am going to save and savior mine for later with a cup of coffee. Thanks for making this a very sweet and happy birthday for us all.

  4. Hi! I just tried baking these today, and they didn’t come out well. Totally my fault because I realized I left out the half cup of coconut sugar, but I just wanted to let you know that the sugar is not listed in the steps with the directions. Don’t want you to think I’m being critical, I just know I’d want someone to let me know if I missed something in a recipe step on my own blog. I will try again and I bet they will be delicious next time around!

  5. These are amazing! As an experienced baker and self-proclaimed connoisseur of desserts, I didn’t expect to like these. Because of some new dietary restrictions, I was desperate for some delicious baked goodies, and decided to give them a shot. I first made the recipe when guests were coming, when I would rarelymake anything not tried-and-true. I vowed that off these tasted even SLIGHTLY like beans, I would not serve them. Not only were they DELICIOUS… I didn’t even tell my friends until after they all tried them. No one could believe it. Everyone simply MUST make these! Just FYI, I subbed peanut butter for the almond butter (still very chocolatey, you didn’t even notice the pb), and I found a recipe for dairy-free caramel sauce (made w/ almond milk), which I used as a topping, then sprinkled with crystallized sea salt. To die for.