Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Frugal Ima Thanksgiving Recipe - Perfect Pareve Cookies

FIFrugal Recipe copyWow! I can already tell that Rami's birthday falling during Thanksgiving week is going to catapult me to a new level of crazy-multitasking Ima.  If you're like me and already spend weeks planning Thanksgiving dinner, complete with menus and cooking schedules, you can imagine what birthday planning adds to the list, even for a tiny 2-year-old (Please tell me Rami still counts as "tiny!" I am not dealing well with his growing so fast.)

So I'm not going to be turbo-blogging this week as I'd like to.  But I would be remiss if I didn't share my perfect pareve cookie discovery from a couple weeks ago.  Those of you with kosher households where meat and dairy are not served in the same meal can appreciate the weekly dilemma Shabbat presents - you're going to cook a delicious meat dinner, so what dairy-free dessert will give it an appropriate finish and leave Shabbos bellies happy? 

Well, obviously, Thanksgiving presents the same problem.  We have a gorgeous turkey and brisket, mashed potatoes enriched with schmaltz, not to mention the rest of the smorgasbord, and....uh oh!  What's for dessert?

Well, I recently hacked my favorite chocolate cookie recipe to be pareve and let me just tell you I. Am. OBSESSED. with these cookies.  There are so many variations, too!  Prepare to be amazed at how easy these are and then, once you eat them, how DELICIOUS they are.  (Then be prepared to deal with how many you actually ate before you realize it.)

1 cup shortening
1 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs together until fluffy.  Sift together dry ingredients and mix into shortening mixture just until combined.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (they will look underdone but they're not!!!)

and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (they will look underdone but they're not!!!)

Find something around the house you can use to make a circle-sized indentation in the middle.  I use a large vanilla extract bottle's top.

Now let them cool.  Watch out, because they will get snatched!

Now here's the fun part.  Make a pretty thick mixture of confectioner's sugar (about a cup?) and water (about a tbsp?)

Now, here's where the possibilities become endless.  You can drop it in there plain and cover it with sprinkles:

Or you can mix it up with coconut (this is my greatest weakness.  Ever.):

In the past, I've also mixed it with mint extract to make mint-filled chocolate cookies, and orange extract for an orange flavor.  I've been meaning to try raspberry extract as well.
The confectioner's sugar filling takes on food coloring beautifully, so these can be colored to match literally any theme.  When you chill these cookies, the filling takes on the consistency and taste of Oreo creme - INCREDIBLE!

Layer these in a food storage container with parchment paper and stick them in the freezer. If you pull them out right before you serve dinner, they will be perfect for dessert. 

I'd love to hear all about your tried-and-true pareve desserts - share them in the comments! 

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy!


  1. WOW! Looks incredible! Happy Bday Rami!!

  2. Yum! Everything's always dairy in our house but it's nice to have a pareve version just in case.... :-)Happy birthday AND happy thanksgiving!!!

  3. I found your blog from KOAB. I really enjoy your blog. I don't currently keep kosher, but have a few parve desserts that we really like and still make anyway. They first is parve brownies, which I really don't think taste parve and are super simple.

    Parve Brownies
    3/4 cup oil
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 cup flour
    2 cup sugar
    4 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt

    Mix everything together in one bowl, pour into a greased 9x9 square pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes. Don't over bake, they will be very chewy and gooey.

    Peanut Butter Cookies
    (from joythebaker.com)
    1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp baking soda

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Grease a baking sheet with butter (or use a silpat mat). In a mixer combine peanut butter (don't use anything other than all natural, the cookies won't work) and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a crisscross pattern with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet for five minutes.

    Mandel Bread
    (adapted from "Kosher Kettle" cookbook
    (I guess it's really no-mandel bread, because I sub chocolate chips for the almonds because my hubby is allergic to nuts.)

    3 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    pinch of salt
    1 tsp baking powdder
    4 cups flour
    1 cup nuts and/or chocolate chips (obviously parve chips if you need a parve dessert)

    Preheat oven to 350. Mix together baking powder and flour, set aside. Beat eggs in bowl with sugar. Gradually add oil and beat well. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour mixture into eggs. Mix in nuts and/or chips. Shape the dough into 3 flatish loaves. Place on a greased cookie sheet (silpat mat works well too) and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and slice, turn the slices on their sides and bake for another 15 minutes or until starting to brown. Cool on wire rack.

  4. Wow, Mom of 3, thank you so so much for your contributions! I can always use more pareve recipes in my arsenal and I was actually just bemoaning my lack of a pareve brownie recipe. You rule!!!

  5. Just made a batch with peppermint extract in the icing, this recipe is amazing. Although I am in medical school and far from being an ima at this point in my life, these delicious cookies (and they are pareve! Unbelievable!) will be the bright spot in my 14h days on surgery. Thanks so much for posting.
    -Frugal Student

  6. HI Frugal Student, thanks for your comment! Enjoy the cookies, though I have to say that I am a little embarrassed that there is a health care provider baking cookies with this much shortening for her surgery days. *eep*

  7. On surgery you eat when you can, and need as much calorie density as possible, plus I used Earth Balance margarine which is transfat free :)

  8. I found your link through KOAB and tried these cookies and they are AMAZING! So easy and delicious. I made the middles green color, mint flavor and they looked as good as they tasted.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Hi Jenny! Glad you tried and loved these! I just made a batch today, and I threw in some pretzel chunks....mmmm....

    Thanks for stopping by. :)


Thanks for your comments! They make my day.

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