Tradition Jewish Cookies, Veganized
Jewish baking, like most other cultures, utilizes butter, sugar, flour, and eggs for most recipes.
So when my mother in law suggested we make hamentashen while she was in town, we knew we had to get creative.
Half the ingredients were not at our disposal since we veganized our kitchen. And our place in Hawaii doesn’t have a mixer.
Luckily, we’ve got our Vitamix and some innovative ideas.
Make a batch of vegan hamentashen for your family, doubles as an awesome pareve (dairy/meat-free) dessert!
Crazy Hat Cookies
Lenny and I come from similar backgrounds. Ethnically, we’re both Ashkenazi Jews with Eastern European heritage (which is why we look related… but are not… we checked).
We grew up with the same foods on the table for holidays and celebrations. We also grew up with Jewish Mothers, mothers who bake.
So when Lenny’s Mom came to visit the week leading up to Purim, we knew we had to make hamentashen.
The holiday itself teaches some great lessons about overcoming adversity and the strength of women. But that’s for another blog.
What you need to know is that Hamen is the name of a guy. A rotten guy.
His schtick? He wore a 3 cornered hat.
So we make cookies that resemble his head-wear: Hamentashen!
I left my Mother in Law, Robin, to do the research on how to make vegan dough. She chose a great recipe, took charge, and made it her own.
But I also left her alone in the house with Lenny as her assistant. When I got back, Lenny greeted me with “we used the Vitamix to make the dough, so instead of using juice from one orange, we threw a whole one in and blended it up!”
That’s certainly not traditional. Hamentashen smoothie?
But you know what? It was delicious! Not too orangey, just the right amount to balance out the flavor.
Baking with my MIL
If there was a draft for Mother in Laws, Robin would be a first round pick. She’s the best.
I’m not just saying this because she’ll read this. She really is the sweetest, most welcoming, and least judgmental person I know.
Plus she makes everything really fun.
We’ve cohabitated in the kitchen before, but never worked together on a dish.
This is how it worked:
- She made the dough (with Lenny assisting).
- Lenny DJed the session.
- She made the chocolate/almond filling.
- I made the apricot/guava filling.
- She rolled out the dough and cut out circles.
- I filled the circles with filling and folded.
- We all ate them out of the oven.
Everything went perfectly smoothly until the folding stage. That’s when tradition became controversial.
My family folds so you can see the filling pop out the middle. Robin’s family has always folded entirely.
Robin: “I see a lot of bakeries show the middles, but that seems messy to me”
Shalva: “If you fold all of the way, how do you know what flavor you’ree getting?”
Hmm… seems we both had a point. So what did we do? We asked Lenny to be the tie-breaker.
Lenny: “Well the pictures will turn out better with the middles showing, more colorful”.
So we did most of them my way and a few of them her way. And you know what? Mine were pretty on camera, but hers stayed together much better!
Doesn’t matter how you fold em, they are absolutely delicious. Go make a batch 🙂
Useful tips for Hamentashen
This isn’t our only vegan baking adventure. One of our most popular recipes is our vegan banana bread.
Looking for more hamentashen inspiration? Check out our sister-in-law’s new baking blog, For Baker or Worse.
Traditional filling is prune or poppyseed (old school). We upgraded with chocolate almond filling and apricot guava.
Make sure to wet the corners with a little water. Otherwise they will pop open in the baking process.
Unless you fold them like Robin (closed). Then they turn out perfect every time :)
Traditional Hamentashen Recipe, Veganized
- flour of choice - 3 cups
- sugar of choice - 3/4 cup
- baking powder - 1.5 tsp.
- salt - 1/4 tsp.
- vegan butter (Earth Balance) - 3/4 cup
- vanilla - 1 tsp.
- orange - 1 whole peeled
- CHOC FILLING
- dark chocolate chips - 1 cup
- nuts of choice - 1/2 cup
- vegan butter (Earth Balance) - 2 Tbsp.
- FRUIT FILLING
- dried apricots - 1 cup
- guava jam - 1/4 cup
- Place all ingredients into blender
- Blend on HIGH until combined
(Sometimes MILs are scared to ramp the Vitamix all the way up. Don’t be afraid. High speed ensures the fans kicks in.)
- Put dough in airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Pulse chocolate chips, “butter” and nuts until you get a ferrero-rocher-like texture
- Rinse Vitamix container
- Pulse apricots and guava jam using the tamper to push ingredients into the blade
- Preheat oven to 400
- Roll out dough to 1/4 inch on floured surface
- Cut out tennis ball sized circles
- Place circles on baking pan
- Fill circles with a spoonful of filling
- Fold each side towards the middle
- Wet fingers and smooth over seems
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Eat straight out of the oven (or store in airtight container for up to one week).
- Snap a pic and tag #lifeisNOYOKE
- Happy Purim!