Desserts, Easy, Parve, Purim

Very Good Parve Thumbprint Cookies

thumbprint cookies

Feeling a little bored with my usual cookie recipes, I looked through my scrapbook and found the Epicurious recipe for Siobhan’s Thumbprint Cookies. I tried this recipe to use up leftover apricot filling after making Purim hamantashen. I was looking for something not too difficult to execute after the tedious work of rolling out, filling, shaping, and baking hundreds of hamantashen. I wanted to use up the filling, but really didn’t want to do any more work.

This thumbprint cookie was just the ticket. All I had to do was substitute a different fat for the butter in order to make them parve (neutral) to eat after a Shabbos meat meal. I use margarine, being that cookies are anyway not a healthful item, but I have successfully used coconut oil in place of butter, too. The main drawback is that coconut oil—at least the good stuff (organic)—can get expensive.

At any rate, not having any leftover apricot filling, I decided to do as the recipe specified and use jam. I happened to have some very good English preserves (strawberry) in my pantry, and went with that. The cookies were terrific. My family couldn’t stop eating them. And so easy to make!

Next time, I want to try using almond extract in place of the vanilla extract, and use seedless raspberry jam for the filling. Makes my mouth water, just thinking about it.

Parve Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup room temperature margarine or organic coconut oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup jam (any flavor)
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


  1. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  2. Cream margarine with sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time, around 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined, around 1 minute.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients with mixer set to low, until just combined.
  5. Shape and flatten dough into disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1-24 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F
  7. Line two baking sheets with parchment
  8. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and set 3 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  9. Make a well in each cookie with your thumb, wetting your thumb with water from time to time.
  10. Fill cookie wells with about 1 teaspoon of jam, being careful not to overfill.
  11. Bake switching cookies between upper and lower racks about halfway through baking, until cookies are golden around the edges, around 15 minutes.
  12. Cool cookies on baking sheets set over racks for about ten minutes, before removing cookies from cookie sheets and placing on racks to cool completely.
  13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, before serving.