BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

A Cookie Worth Celebrating

34 Comments

So far removed am I from the days of attending temple or any other religious proceedings, there tend to be many holidays that fall through the cracks. They often don’t even appear on standard calendars, and are difficult to observe without a whole congregation to facilitate a party. Purim in particular has become a “lost” holiday for me, and I can only remember observing it about a decade ago, when I was too young to really understand what we were celebrating. Putting on a costume, running around and playing games for prizes, it was simply a second chance at Halloween in my eyes. You could make lots of noise and eat sweets, so the specifics weren’t all that important. I do remember, however, getting the opportunity to make hamantashen with the help of one patient volunteer. Sculpting a mound of dough that was more like modeling clay than food, it was the process that we all enjoyed; Not the product. This traditional cookie didn’t grab my attention back then, but in searching desperately for a way to recognize this oft over-looked day, I decided to give it one more try.

A simple cookie without any bells or whistles, it’s easy to see why it might not be the best seller at a bake sale. Prepared with care and a solid recipe though, it can win the heart of even the pickiest sweet tooth. The versatile dough allows for any filling you could dream of mounding up in the center, and it’s easy enough for the most reluctant of bakers to prepare. Soft and tender, these cookies are far better than the dry, sad triangles sold in supermarkets these days that turn so many unknowing eaters away from this traditional treat. And although nothing could ever beat those made by my Nana, this vegan version does come pretty damn close, if I do say so myself.

Hamantashen

3/4 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Smooth Cashew Butter
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Jam or Preserves of your choice (I just went through my fridge and used up whatever I could find- Some strawberry, cherry, guava, and yellow plum preserves. Anything you like is just fine! Even a few chocolate chips wouldn’t hurt, too…)

Using a stand or hand mixer, thoroughly cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the cashew butter, followed by the orange juice and vanilla extract. Mix the baking powder together with the flour, and then slowly incorporate the dry mix in until it forms a ball. It might take a bit of time, but don’t be tempted to add any more liquid- It just needs a little persuasion. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding.

Once the dough is completely chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. You will probably want to coat the dough itself lightly with flour, and if it becomes too finicky to roll out without sticking, toss it back into the fridge for a few minutes. Cut out circles of about 3 inches in diameter with either a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Move the circles onto your prepared baking sheets, and spoon a small mound of filling onto the center of each circle, about 1 tablespoon each. Pull up the sides of the circle in order to form a triangle, and pinch the corners firmly so that they don’t separate or fall down during baking. If you’re really concerned about them staying in shape, you can freeze them just prior to baking, but I tossed them in the oven right away. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown but still rather pale. Allow them to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before sliding the silpats or parchment onto a cool surface.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

34 thoughts on “A Cookie Worth Celebrating

  1. I had never heard of those! I think they look very pretty and festive – and yummy!

  2. The recipe looks very interesting! Orange juice and… could Almond butter or peanut butter be used, instead of cashew butter? Ican’t wait to try it!
    THANKS FOR SHARING! your things are amazing!

  3. Well, this might be a hamantashen I’d actually like. . . :)

  4. Hannah, you can read minds! You know, I’ve seen a picture of these cookies somewhere this morning and decided to look for a vegan recipe and here it is! Thank you so much. Because I don’t know much about the Jewish kitchen and about Jewish culture in general this was even more interesting to read.

  5. I’m not sure how cookies like this could get passed up at a bakesale! seriously, they look so much more special and tasty than old oatmeal or whatever. And for some reason I expected them to use soy cream cheese or something, that’s awesome that they don’t (I just never find that stuff at the grocery store).

  6. I’ve never even heard of those cookies, but they look delicious. My father’s parents are Jewish and my grandfather loves all Jewish food, so I think I’ll try to impress my grandfather with that recipe. Thanks!

  7. yum… they look delicious!

  8. I’ll pass on these, thanks.

    I am a catholic.

  9. What–one can eat these only if one is Jewish??? How silly is that?…Where are the cookie police???

  10. Hannah, is there significance behind these cookies that you’d care to tell us about? I’d be interested…

  11. i add lemon zest and ground cardamom to mine :-)

    any idea why haman’s pockets are called haman’s ears by some people?

  12. Thank you for this recipe! I’d love to know the story behind hamantashen. I’m hoping these will work with my weird no gluten flour and No Nuts Butter. :O) Gonna give it a try! Thanks again,
    samm

  13. I don’t think you have to be Jewish to eat these, chiff0nade! They are delicious and ever since befriending a Jewish family years ago, I make them at least once a year…..in fact, that same family is having their baking party tonight!

  14. I recently found your blog, and this post just made my day! I was so bummed when I couldn’t have hamentashen at the Purim carnival, but now I can make my own! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Love the addition of cashew butter. Your hamantashen look delicious!

  16. Wow, you’re great :) I was thinking of making Hamantashen (the ones my mom brought home had eggs in them), but I was really passive about it and waiting for the recipe to fall from the sky – and it did ;)
    I kind of missed the festivities this year, but it’s still Purim in Jerusalem tomorrow, so I think I’ll give my friends food baskets (I didn’t find any english word for mishloach manot :X). Thank you!

  17. Well you did this cookie right! Gorgeous!

  18. Never heard of those but I love the idea of them with cashew butter.

  19. We always use strawberry jam, with some chopped pecans and cinnamon mixed in. Try it, it’s very tasty!

  20. I’ve never heard of these cookies, but if I see them in a bake sale, I’m sure to buy them because they look gorgeous!

  21. I just made two batches last night and they were DELICIOUS! (And very pretty once I pinched the corners properly… the first batch very very… flat.) Your dough recipe is just perfect. I think these will taste marvelous with a cheesecake center!

  22. I’ve never seen these before. They look delectable.

  23. Hamantashen!!! Just in time for Purim :0D If I omit the orange juice and use either a nondairy “milk” or water, will that negatively affect the recipe?

  24. They sure look lovely & delicious!

  25. Beautiful little cookies! I’ve never tried them before.

  26. Yummm….these sound and look like winners Hannah! Remind me of ‘thumbprint’ cookies of long ago (and far away)LOL!!! Another great photo too. :<)

  27. My great aunt Becky would make cherry filled cookies (double layer of dough) that had sour creme in the dough. I can’t eat them but I can sure eat yours. Thank you so much for posting the recipe.

  28. I just had these for the first time this year and they were filled with nutella. my goodness they were tasty. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  29. Just finished making these and they are yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe and have a Happy Purim!

  30. I am looking forward to making these. Raw cashew butter or roasted?

  31. Since I tend to make rather nontraditional hamantaschen, I never really had a go to recipe, but this was a really nice blank canvas. I wanted to make flavors inspired by Israel since that’s where I am now, so in the first batch I substituted techina for the cashew butter, and filled it with pistachio rosewater filling (based on your pecan pie pop filling) and the second batch I left out the cashew butter all together (mostly because I didn’t have it), I used silan instead of sugar, and I flavored the dough with some blood orange zest. The filling is halva. :-)

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