Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Apricot Hamantashen

Tonight we made a treat traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Purim: Hamantashen.  They're basically filled cookies in a triangle shape.  We filled half of ours with Apricot preserves and the other half with homemade vegan Nutella.  The Nutella didn't come out very well so I won't list the recipe here, but I will include the recipe for the Apricot Hamantashen.  (You can fill the dough with anything you like.)   

Fresh Apricot Hamantashen in the foreground and "Nutella" Hamantashen in the background.
Apricot Hamantashen
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • Small jar of apricot preserves

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease or spray a baking sheet.

To prepare the dough, first beat together the flax and water in a small bowl.  Pour the flax mixture into a medium bowl and beat together with the oil and sugar until frothy (or well-combined).  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and then add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with a fork.  When the dough begins to to form a mass, knead the dough gently using your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. 

Then, sprinkle a flat surface with flour, place the ball of dough in the center, dust the top of the ball with flour, and roll out the dough using a rolling pin.  The dough should be very thin--about 1/8"-1/4" inches thick.  Cut the dough into circles (about 3.5" in diameter) using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Place a heaping teaspoonful of apricot preserves in the center of each circle and create a triangle, pinching the corners to seal in the filling.

Place the hamantashen on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Yields about 16 cookies.

These hamantashen taste good, but I don't think I would make them on a regular basis.  They're a little bit less sweet than many other cookies, in a good way, and the flax seed egg-replacer gives them a bit of a nutty flavor which goes nicely with the apricot (and the vegan nutella).    
There is really only one uncommon ingredient in this recipe: ground flax seed.  If you would rather use egg-replacer powder instead of ground flax seed, that should work, too.  Also, as I said above, you can use a variety of fillings, so don't worry if you don't like or have apricot preserves.   
 Ease of Preparation:   
These aren't too difficult to make, though they are much more involved than a standard drop cookie.  Here's a tip: when you're rolling out the dough, make sure you flour all surfaces that will touch the dough to prevent the dough from sticking.         
Non-vegan friendliness:  
These hamantashen are good and Rachel and Simon both liked them.  However, they do have a somewhat different look than hamantashen made with eggs because the the flax seed is visible in the dough. 

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