A Cookie Worth Celebrating

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 end results. This traditional cookie didn’t grab my attention back then, but in searching desperately for a way to recognize this oft overlooked holiday, 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 make.

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 darn close, if I do say so myself.

Yield: Makes Approximately 18 Cookies



Soft and tender, these cookies are far better than the dry triangles sold in supermarkets these days. Jazz them up with any fruit preserves or jams you like!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening or Vegan Butter
  • 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*


  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, thoroughly cream together the shortening or vegan butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the cashew butter, followed by the orange juice and vanilla extract.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the dough is completely chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  4. 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 additional flour, and if it becomes too finicky to roll out without sticking, toss it back into the fridge for a few minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 and move them directly into the oven from there.
  7. 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 silicone mats or parchment onto a cool surface.


*For the jam in this batch, I just went through my fridge and used up whatever I could find. Some are strawberry, cherry, guava, and yellow plum preserves. Anything you like is just fine! It would never hurt to throw in a few chocolate chips, too.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

36 thoughts on “A Cookie Worth Celebrating

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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!

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

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

  7. 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,

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. :-)

  18. […] the very same base is essential for hamantaschen mastery. Rather than leave you simply with a tried-and-true formula, I thought I might share a few tips to improve the end results, no matter what recipe makes the […]

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