Bite-Sized Festive Bird Nests (Thumbprint Cookies, SCD & GFCF)

After making poached apples, one question that may spring to mind is what to do with the leftover mixture? These thumbprint cookies are the answer and, in my opinion, as soon as you get to the middle where there’s the jelly, that’s the best part. In a way, these cookies have the familiar smell and taste of gingerbread with a little extra, although they don’t have the characteristic colour of gingerbread. The orange extract compliments the cookies with a creamy, rounded flavour and aftertaste, but doesn’t actually give much of an orange flavour, which is why I recommend using marmalade or candied citrus peel if you want the cookies to have that bit of zest. Depending on how much they are liked, a dozen cookies may not be enough so feel free to double and triple this recipe as needed.

There is no honey used in this recipe. The cookies are sweetened by the naturally occurring sugar from the ingredients and the poached apple jelly.

Makes 12 cookies (1 dozen)


1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 heaping tsp. each allspice and cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 eggs
2 tbsp. marmalade or finely chopped candied citrus peel (optional)
1 tbsp. unsulphured, unsweetened, currants
1 tbsp. coconut milk
2 tbsp. orange extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and grated (about 1/3 cup grated apple)
1/2 cup unsweetened and unsulphured coconut flakes, for coating
Leftover jellied liquid from poached apples, cooked (click for recipe)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the almond flour and spices and mix in the eggs. Mix in the marmalade or candied citrus peel, if using, coconut milk, currants, and extracts until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  2. Take small amounts of dough and roll between palms to make bite-sized balls, about a tablespoon. Wash hands frequently in between rolling as the dough coats the skin. Roll the balls of dough in the coconut flakes to coat and place on the baking sheet. Press holes in the centres with your thumb.
  3. Fill with jelly and bake 20 minutes. Cool and top with extra jelly if needed. Enjoy!

Also check out the step-by-step video I made:


As always, drop a comment if you have any questions or to let me know how this recipe worked out for you! Let me know if you did anything differently, have any suggestions, tips, recommendations, etc. Your feedback is always appreciated and welcome. Thank you.

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