This Community Recipe is Yael’s Vegan Hamantaschen. These iconic Jewish cookies are traditionally served for the holiday of Purim, as a reference to the villain Haman. Yael’s recipe offers us a plant-based version, flavored with citrus zest and date syrup, and filled with a sweet ground poppy seed mix.
Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing healthy plant-based and vegan recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.
All About Yael Cohen
Yael lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her soul dreams of travel and all her friends and family around the world. Israel, Seattle, and the U.K. have also been home to her, a true Third Culture Kid. She writes about food, life, and Jewish culture at Nosherium, and she organizes events for Jewish young adults. The home she shares with husband and their dog Neelu is full of delicious goodies and nerdy fun.
After growing up in Israel, Seattle, and the UK, each of those places holds dear and familiar flavors for Yael. Sweet rugelach, umami-rich Asian cuisine, buttery scones! Yael loves to create things that her loved ones interact with. Of course, that means foods. But also yarn crafts, jewelry, and judaica. Currently, Yael is renovating her home and planning ways to make the garden productive and welcoming.
Yael’s cooking style
When she cooks and bakes, Yael feels creative and engaged with the process. She also finds some of the sensory memories very tender and poignant too.
For inspiration, Yael turns to:
Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule
Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious
Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
Hamantaschen cookies are folded in a triangle to form a pouch around a filling. The dough is made with butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. The filling can be poppy seed, jam and other creative sweet and savory options. This buttery, sweet cookie is traditionally served for the Jewish holiday of Purim, as a reference to the villain Haman. Ashkenazi in origin, today these cookies are an integral part of the Purim experience all over the world.
How was Yael’s Vegan Hamantaschen Recipe created?
This recipe came out of a challenge Yael set for herself! She wanted to make vegan hamantaschen that were like the ones she grew up with. Yael discusses the process on her blog. Her mother’s oznei haman were so much better than the ones Yael encountered at bakeries. And she felt like it would be a recipe people would appreciate!
Yael makes oznei haman/hamantaschen every year for Purim, just like she did with her mother and siblings when she was growing up. She gives them to friends and neighbors in Mishloach Manot, sometimes with multiple fillings. The poppyseed filling she makes has converted several poppyseed skeptics too! Check out her supernatural colorful hamantaschen.
- Egg replacer – Yael recommends Bob’s Red Mill GF Egg Replacer. You can use an alternative if you wish, such as flax-egg. However, Yael recommends using one with leavening in to give the dough a pleasant texture.
- Silan (date syrup) – This is a deeply flavored vegan honey. All the sweet, stickiness without any harm to bees. This ingredient is very popular in the Middle East.
For the dough:
2 ½ cups (313g) flour
½ cup (100g) sugar
1 egg worth egg replacement, ready to go
¼ cup (60ml) brandy or orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
The grazted zest of one orange (approx. 1 tablespoon)
pinch of salt
7 ounces (200g) cold margarine, cut into chunks
For the poppy seed filling (Pereg):
½ cup (100g) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
1 tablespoon silan/date syrup
1 cup (125g) poppy seeds, ground (measure first, then grind in several batches in a clean coffee grinder until powdery)
2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
The grated zest of one lemon (approx. 1 teaspoon)
¼ cup (40g) raisins
First, make the dough. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse to combine, then process until completely combined and homogeneous, until the dough forms a ball.
Transfer to a plastic bag, or wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least half an hour, up to several days. (For longer storage, freeze, completely sealed and wrapped, for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge.)
Now make the poppy seed filling (Pereg). In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine sugar, water, and date syrup. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is simmering
Add the ground poppy seed and cook a minute longer, stirring. Remove from heat.
Stir in lemon juice, zest, and raisins.
Transfer to a wide mouth container (you’ll be scooping the filling directly from the container), and chill in the fridge, for at least half an hour, up to a week. (For longer storage, freeze the filling, up to two months. Defrost in the fridge.)
Time to assemble your Hamantaschen! Remove a quarter of the dough from the fridge at a time. Roll out on a floured surface until 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out circles using a circular cookie cutter or wine glass, 2 ½ inches in diameter. Transfer the rounds to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Reroll the dough scraps and cut more circles.
Brush the tops of the rounds with water using a pastry brush, about 12 at a time.
Using two spoons, drop a small amount of filling on the center of each round. DO NOT OVERFILL.
Shape the cookies by pinching the dough together, making one corner of the triangle at a time. Pinch and press the seams together well, or else they will open, making very tasty but very flat cookies. If the dough doesn’t stick together well, brush more water around the edge of the round.
Fill the parchment paper-lined tray with cookies. They don’t grow, so you don’t have to leave much room at all, approx 20 cookies/half sheet tray. Transfer the tray to the fridge until the cookies are firm and cool. You can freeze the cookies at this point – freezing them flat on the tray, then transferring them to a container or sealed bag.
Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C. Bake the cookies for 10-14 minutes, until just barely golden, rotating the trays after five minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Keywords: Hamantaschen, Purim, vegan, poppy seed
More Community Recipes
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. Since you’ve read Yael’s, do you feel inspired to share your own recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!
Check out these other recipes from our community: