Hamantaschen cookies are a traditional Purim food. On Purim I also make a dish to specifically honor Queen Esther. Because traditional Hamantaschen is heavy and too sweet, I created healthier plant-based recipe version that uses just the tiniest amount of oil (here is why I only used a little tiniest bit), less sugar, and a high protein filling inspired by my last 6 years living in Asia end enjoying Cambodian dessert.
In Cambodia where I live, desserts sometimes include beans and bean purees. I have come to love the taste of beans in sweet desserts. This inspired me to create a bean-based high-protein brownie hamantaschen filling.
Across Asia, beans in sweet foods are common, and I have come to love the combination. Beans are included in coconut milk popsicles, in tapioca puddings, in rice cakes, and so on. Beans are filled with fiber and low in fat, and they increase the nutritional value of any dish, including desserts.
My first contact of beans in sweets was bean puree inside vegan mooncakes — round pastries that are filled with sweet bean paste, a delicacy commonly served throughout Asia during the Mid-Autumn Festival. These delicious treats are have become an annual highlight for me.
Inspired, I wanted to “borrow” this idea and add beans to hamantaschen, the triangle-shaped cookies that Jews typically eat on Purim, which this year begins on the evening of February 28. For me, eating hamantaschen is often followed, a few hours later, by an steep energy drop and sugar-induced grumpiness. By swapping the typically fillings — such as apricot jam or sweet poppy-seed paste — with a bean-filled one, I figured I could up the amount of protein and therefore balance the super-sweet cookie.
The chocolate-black bean filling is the highlight in these plant-based, high-protein hamantaschen.
Here are the hamantaschen featured on my cat napkins (I think Queen Esther had a Persian cat, don’t you?)
You might find yourself eating the filling by the spoonful so you might want to make a double batch and eat it with toast for breakfast or an afternoon snack. It sort of feels and tastes like a healthy Nutella.
When I posted this recipe onto Jewish Food Hero’s Instagram feed.
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened low-fat non-dairy
- milk (or water)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour OR gluten-free baking mix (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour)
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, softened (check the bottle to make sure it can be heated to 350F)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For High Protein Brownie Filling
- 1 ½ cups black beans
- ¼ cup natural cane sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1tsp canola oil or coconut oil
Optional cookie garnish:
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- In a small bowl:
- Combine the arrowroot flour and the milk. Mix well with a fork or small whisk until smooth.
- Prepare the dry mixture:
- • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, and salt, and set aside
Prepare the wet mixture:
- • In a large bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugar together with the orange zest. You can do so by hand or with an electric mixer.
- • Add the arrowroot mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to combine
- • Add the juice and extract, and mix until combined Combine the two mixtures to form the dough:
- • Add the dry mixture to the wet, and stir to combine. Be careful to not overmix.
- • You can work with the dough right away or chill it in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes (but no longer or it will get too firm)
- Meanwhile Prepare the high protein brownie filling:
- Using a food processor or a blending combine black beans,natural cane sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, pinch of salt and canola oil or coconut oil and blend well and set aside
Form the cookies and bake:
- • Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/8-inch thickness (you can do this in two batches if you wish)
- • Lightly flour the parchment paper or dough if the dough is sticking
- • Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut circles from the rolled dough
- • Using a spatula, carefully transfer the circles to the baking sheet
- • Place a teaspoon of high protein brownie filling in the center of each circle
- • Carefully form three sides with the dough and fold them over to create a triangle
- • Pinch the corners tightly (like you mean it)
- • Repeat with the remaining circles of dough
- • Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven
- • Cool cookies on a cooling rack
Once completely cooled:
- • Garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar if desired before serving
If you love this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals
Tell me in the comments, what is your favorite Hamantaschen filling?