Vegan Hamentashen

The Jewish holiday Purim (http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm) begins tonight at sundown. I’ve always enjoyed Purim because it’s one of the happiest holidays, celebrating the Jews being saved from extermination by the Persians. Along with reading the story of Purim, dressing up in costume, and engaging in age-appropriate festivities, my favorite aspect of Purim is the tradition of giving money or food to charity and delivering small gifts of food to family and friends. I love this tradition because we are commanded to be happy and community-friendly in one great day.

For Eastern European Jews, it’s custom to eat hamentashen, triangular-shaped cookies filled with fruit, poppy seeds, or chocolate. This cookie is symbolic of the three-cornered hat that the Purim story’s villain, Haman, wore in the story.

Jewish holidays, as with holidays in many cultures, can be challenging for vegans, and I struggled to find a recipe for vegan hamentashen and an even more difficult time finding a vegan chocolate filling, which is my all-time favorite flavor.

After scanning through several recipes that looked unreliable, I tweaked the most promising version I could find for creATE. Enjoy! (And share with your friends.)

Vegan Hamentashen

2 cups unbleached flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable oil spread (such as Earth Balance)

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup soymilk

Your choice of filling. Suggestions include: any flavor fruit preserves or butter (blueberry and cherry are my personal favorites), pie filling, chocolate (see filling recipe below), or vegan cream cheese.

Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the vegetable oil spread, brown sugar and soymilk. Mix in the dry ingredients. Chill dough for 6 hours or overnight.

On a floured surface, roll dough ¼ inch thick. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut circles in the dough. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch three corners of the dough to form a triangular-shaped cookie with a small hole in the center.

Bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Vegan Chocolate Filling

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup flour

½ cup soymilk

½ cup brown sugar or other natural sweetener

¼ cup vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until blended.

Enjoy!

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