Vegan Cherry Hamantaschen for a Plant-Based Purim Treat

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Purim, a Jewish holiday that has roots in honoring a veg Queen, is just around the corner. I’m really looking forward to our Purim celebration this year! We’re planning a festive gathering with costumes, vegan potluck, and canned goods collection to donate to a local food pantry (one tradition of Purim is ‘matanot l’evyonim‘ which equates to giving food to the hungry).

I read this article and was so inspired by this quote below, I hope you guys are too!

On Purim we are commanded to hear, recognize and try to wipe away the evil in our world. It is the responsibility of each of us to bring healing to the world instead of pain and sorrow. One of the best ways we can do that is by choosing to eat and live in a way that prevents violence and heals us, the animals and the planet.” – Rhea Parsons 

Any who, my pal Christina Pirello is sharing this Purim recipe below from her book, Back to the Cutting Board.  In this book, her magical cooking secrets are at your fingertips. With Christina as your guide, the stress associated with tackling a meal will be alleviated and replaced with curiosity, intuition, simplicity, and play!

Hamantaschen aka “ears of Haman” is one of the most common traditional treats served during Purim. They are three-sided pastries filled with poppy seeds, fruit, preserves, or other types of filling like chocolate.

Hamantaschen
By Christina Pirello

A cookie traditionally used in the celebration, hamantaschen has come to symbolize the emotions of this Jewish holiday—pure merriment and joy. Just one look at this festive richly filled pastry and you’ll know what I mean. Although tradition calls for a poppy seed or prune filling, modern hamantaschen are often filled with apricots or cherries (my personal favorite). No matter what the filling, these soft, delicious pastries will leave you happy and relaxed.
Pastry

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter substitute
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup spring or filtered water

Dried Cherry Filling

  • 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened dried cherries, soaked in warm water until tender and drained well
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup
  • Pinch sea salt

Makes about 24 cookies

To make pastry: Process the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blanked until combined. Add the vegan butter and vanilla and pulse 45 to 50 times, or until the mixture is the texture of wet sand. Do not overmix. Slowly pour in a thin stream of water, a little at a time, pulsing just until the dough gathers into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

To make the filling: Combine the dried cherries, orange zest and juice, brown rice syrup, and salt in a saucepan. Simmer over ow heat until a thick, stewlike consistency forms, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely before making the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface or between parchment sheets to a 1/4- inch thickness.

With a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass, cut out rounds of dough. Transfer the rounds to the prepared pans, leaving about 1/2 inch between cookies. Spoon a teaspoon of filling into the center of each round. Fold up and pinch the edges to form triangular-shaped cookies, with the filling peeking out of the center. Pinch the dough firmly, so the seams don’t come open. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. These will keep, in a tightly sealed container, for about 4 days.

Cook’s tip
: Melt 1/2 cup Lily’s Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips and spread on the dough before the cherry filling to create a cherry-chocolate flavor that is out of this world. 

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