Happy Winter Solstice! We are feeling the excitement in our home as Christmas is just a few days away. My preschooler checks the tree every morning to see if Santa has visited. The boys have been busy creating holiday gifts and being kitchen helpers. The youngest loves to taste everything from a mixing bowl; even the french bread dough is tasted with enthusiasm. He then declares, “Mmm, good Mama!” If only that same zest was for the finished meals on the table.

I enjoy making the cookies I had as a child every Christmas. Breaking from tradition, it was my goal to bring you all something that was vegan and more allergen friendly for your holiday cookie plates. This recipe is just that. Peanut butter blossom cookies were the inspiration for this recipe. Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies are the perfect vehicle for combining peanut butter and chocolate. Flecks of sea salt flakes add a little bit of sparkle and bring out the chocolate taste. They are easily nut free if you use sunflower seed butter and refined sugar free.

Here’s to hoping you have a chance to add this to your baking plans this season. Snap a picture of your recipe result and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see it too.

Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Yields 12-15 Cookies

Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies filled with peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. These tasty treats are vegan, easily nut free and refined sugar free.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. applesauce, unsweetened
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. non dairy milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate
  • Coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all cookie ingredients together in a medium bowl until dough forms. Form form into ¾ in. - 1 inch balls - approximately 12-15 cookies. (Chill the dough briefly in plastic wrap if it is too sticky to work with.) Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls into slight discs and press thumb in the center to create a little crater. Bake cookies for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and repress the centers with a spoon. Then allow the cookies to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the while. The mix should get a nice smooth caramel consistency that has a bit of drizzle to it. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside
  3. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or simply use a ziploc with the corner snipped off. Set aside
  4. To assemble to cookies, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter confection into each cookie’s thumbprint. Drizzle chocolate over the filled cookies and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days for up to 3 months in the freezer.


Nut free option: Use Sun Butter. Really you could use any preferred nut or seed butter. I did try pumpkin seed butter and it was not quite as tasty.

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