Intro: Making Dairy-Free Hamantaschen
Looking for a traditional recipe for a holiday classic? Searching for a cool new dessert? Try Dairy-Free Hamantaschen (Hum-N-Tosh-En)!
So, what are Hamantaschen? Hamantaschen are triangular pastries filled with jellies, jams, and chocolate. They are traditionally served as a dessert during the Jewish holiday of Purim. The holiday revolves around the Book of Esther, where the Jews were saved from annihilation during the Persian Period by Esther's braveness.
The dessert itself is said to hold many meanings within Judaism. One of the meanings of Hamantaschen revolves around the idea that there can be hidden miracles within life from G-d*, rather than overtly obvious displays of awe. In the dessert this reflects itself through the idea that the sweetness (jelly/jam/chocolate) is tucked inside the cookie.
This recipe is dairy-free so that it can be served with any kosher meal, rather than only meat meals or be enjoyed by someone lactose intolerant!
Time & Yield
Dough/Pastry Forming Time: ~40 minutes
Dough Chill Time: 1 hour (at least)
Bake Time: ~13 minutes
- 11 tablespoons of unsalted margarine**
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- ~2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces of dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice***
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Tools to Gather:
- Measuring Cups (minimum):
- 1 Tablespoon
- 1/4 Teaspoon
- 1/2 Cup
*Traditionally Jews drop the o in G-d out of respect. This comes from the idea of never throwing away/deleting something with G-d's name on it.
**Margarine usually refers to dairy-free butter. However, if the grocery store does not carry a dairy-free margarine, the product can be replaced by either canola oil or a refrigerated oil mix found near the butter. Just make sure to check if the product is marked as dairy or not!
***To obtain fresh lemon juice: 1) Roll a fresh lemon on the counter; 2) Cut lemon in half and squeeze into bowl
Step 1: Preparing the Dough: Mixing Ingredients
Begin by beating the margarine until smooth, which translates to about a minute, which should look like the topmost image at the beginning of the step.
Slowly add in sugar and mix for five minutes until smooth and fluffy, which will look like the bottom-most image at the beginning of the step.
Once the margarine-sugar mixture is complete, add in the egg. Then stir in the vanilla, salt, and orange juice.
Step 2: Preparing the Dough: Adding Flour
Add in a quarter cup of flour, then mix carefully (as not to spill flour). Check the dough to see if sticky, if it is slowly add another quarter cup of flour.
Repeat until dough is no longer sticky. The dough should need about 2 cups of flour to get to the right consistency, which is when the dough is soft and malleable, rather than sticky.
Use the image at the beginning of the step as a reference for how the dough should look post-flour addition.
Step 3: Chilling the Dough
Take the dough you just made and wrap it in plastic wrap. Store in fridge for at least an hour (or up to three days).
While the dough sits, we will make the apricot filling!
Step 4: Preparing the Apricot Filling: Saucepan
Chop each dried apricot into six pieces and place in saucepan. Add in fresh lemon juice, sugar, and just enough water to just barely cover the apricots. This means that the tops of the apricots can stick out a little, which will look like the topmost image at the beginning of the step.
Carefully stir everything together, making about two circles with a spoon.
Put temperature to high. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn the temperature on the pan down to a simmer (low heat). Cook down for 20 minutes to allow for the apricots to absorb the flavors and thicken the mixture. Use the bottom-most image at the beginning of the step as a reference.
Step 5: Preparing the Apricot Filling: Food Processor
Finish the apricot filling by placing into food processor and mixing until it gets to a jam-like consistency, meaning it still is chunky but with smaller pieces. This will take around 3 blends in the food processor and should look like the image at the beginning of the step.
Step 6: Rolling Out Dough
Take dough out of fridge and let sit until back to soft, malleable consistency if dough is hard. Split the dough into two pieces, working with each separately to make the process easier.
Roll the dough out on a clean, floured surface. When finished rolling, the dough should be very thin, not to the point of tearing when being picked up, but very close to that consistency.
Use the cookie cutter (or glass) to make circles in the rolled out dough, as seen pictured at the beginning of the step.
Step 7: Forming the Pastry Shapes
Take one of the circles you just made and put about a teaspoon of apricot filling inside, which is the top image within the step.
Fold into pastry shape by first folding the bottom part of the circle up. While holding this piece, pinch the middle of the top remaining piece together.
Take the ends of the top piece and pinch together with the bottom part of circle have been holding. The final product should look like the bottom-most picture at the top of this step.*
*At this point, the pastries can be frozen and stored for up to a few months or cooked to enjoy right now in the next step!
Step 8: Preparing the Pan
Take the baking pan and line with either the nonstick aluminum foil or melted margarine.
Then, place the pastries on the pan and you're ready to start cooking in the next step!
Step 9: Cooking the Pastries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Once the oven is heated, cook Hamantaschen for around 13 minutes. If the bottom of the pastry looks like the image above, take the pastries out now!
However, if not, then cook for another 2-3 minutes before checking again to see if cooked enough using criteria above.*
*If you find that the Hamantaschen in one area (back of oven) are cooking faster than the ones in the front, then rotate pan to even out cooking of the other side.
Step 10: Enjoy Pastries With Family and Friends!
Once the pastries are out and cooled, serve to family and friends (or just enjoy them all by yourself)!
If you want additional information on the holiday behind the pastries, check out these links on Purim and Hamantaschen: