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.
- 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*
- 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.
- 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 silicone baking mats 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 additional 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 and move them directly into the oven from there.
- 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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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.