Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

You guys, it's September. And it's so hot. Still. But, if you are lucky enough to wake up before dawn like I am, you'll feel that nice crisp cool air tugging at fall and leg warmers to usher in quickly and take over summer's scorching hold on us here in the south. Oh and pumpkin spice -- the flavor that really dominates the season -- is beckoning us into the fall spirit. Full of warming, digestive spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, it's like a big cozy hug for your belly and comfort for your soul. Starbucks cashed in big on everyone's love for that sweet, spicy taste of fall and you can capitalize on it too with a lot less chemicals and a whole lot of body loving goodness with this cookie. 

Take a bite out of the season with these healthy Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. Nobody will even know that they're vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Yum!

Take a bite out of the season with these healthy Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. Nobody will even know that they're vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Yum!

My inspiration. Those cookies look good but they certainly won't make you feel good! My upgraded, body-loving take on this cookie took out all the junk but left all of the pumpkin spiced flavor you crave. You're welcome!

My inspiration. Those cookies look good but they certainly won't make you feel good! My upgraded, body-loving take on this cookie took out all the junk but left all of the pumpkin spiced flavor you crave. You're welcome!

Oh and if you know me, you know that my favorite treat in the whole wide world is a chocolate chip cookie. An ooey gooey, warm from the oven, chocolate chip and chunk packed sweet, never crispy, cookie. Ask me what my favorite cookie is and I always have the same response, "The only one that matters... chocolate chip." You guys, this cookie seriously rivals my beloved favorite. Ahh, I can't believe I just said that out loud! But seriously! I don't know how or what it is, but OMG! It's sheer perfection. Just the gooey pumpkin-y spiced caramel on top of the light vanilla cookie and the way it melts into your mouth warm from the oven. And still stays so delicious even later on that night and into the next day. {<--- Taste testing is a tough job but someone's got to do it!} My mouth is watering. Oh and don't let me forget to tell you... I even converted my pumpkin spice loathing husband into a fan of these cookies. So much so that he said, "Thank you for urging {read: making} me try these cookies." And he proceeded to eat the rest, barely having one left for Caleb to take one to his sweet teacher who according to him, "loves all things pumpkin spice." Oh my heart is so full. Share this warming round of pumpkin caramel cookie deliciousness with those you love in your pumpkin spice scented kitchen and take in how wonderful this sweet life is and how blessed we all really are. 'Tis the season! 

This is a 2 part recipe but it's worth it. And you'll have left over Pumpkin Spice Caramel to use later for toast, a spoonful out of the jar, more cookies, a dollop in your oatmeal... the possibilities are endless my friends! xoxo

This versatile vegan pumpkin spice caramel is perfect for adding a healthy dose of everyone's favorite fall flavor to any dish... especially these vegan, gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. Yum! Go ahead... Treat yo'self!

This versatile vegan pumpkin spice caramel is perfect for adding a healthy dose of everyone's favorite fall flavor to any dish... especially these vegan, gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. Yum! Go ahead... Treat yo'self!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup almond flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup vanilla coconut sugar

1 tbsp ground flax seed

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid

2 tbsp water

1/8 tsp liquid vanilla creme stevia

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine dry ingredients with a whisk. Add coconut oil, water and stevia to dry mixture and stir until combined. This mixture will be crumbly but should be just wet enough to stick together. Scoop out even amounts of the dough and roll between your hands into a small ball. Place on a lined cookie sheet, spaced evenly. Gently press the back of a spoon into each cookie making a small indention. Scoop pumpkin spice caramel {recipe below} into each pocket. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookie begins to brown around the edges.  

Pumpkin Spice Caramel

1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree

4 soft medjool dates, pitted {if hard, soak in hot water for about 15 mins before blending} 

1 tsp coconut oil, liquid

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

1 tsp coconut milk {more or less as needed to get things moving in your food processor}

salt, just a touch

Directions: Add ingredients to your food processor. Process until smooth starting with 1/2 tsp of coconut milk and slowly adding more as needed. The result should be a thick, gooey caramel. *Store leftovers in fridge in an airtight container. {I'm not sure how long it will last, so keep an eye on it! That is, if you even have any leftovers!}