This post featuring a gluten-free hamantaschen recipe includes affiliate links.
I decided this Purium would be the year I’d come up with a gluten-free hamantaschen recipe. I haven’t had hamantaschen in so long – and have never made or had gluten-free hamantaschen either. As with anything in life, there’s no time like the present to make things right in the world.
And so began my mission to make gluten-free hamantaschen…
What is Hamantaschen?
You might be wondering what is hamantaschen? You’re not alone. Unless you’re Jewish (or have a lot of Jewish friends), chances are you have never eaten hamantaschen yet alone seen what one looks like.
Hamantaschen is a traditional symbolic cookie eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. The cookie is in the shape of a triangle to mimic the look of Haman’s hat, the villain of the Purim story.
The cookie also is symbolic because the preserves or filling in the middle is mostly hidden from sight. The story of Purim is full of “hidden” symbolism. For example, the root word for Esther is “hester,” which means “hidden.” Furthermore, the story of Esther is the only story in the Jewish Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible, which is also the Christian Old Testament) where G-d’s name is never explicitly mentioned even though G-d’s presence is felt throughout the story. Further evidence of the symbolism of the word “hidden” is also found in the idea that Esther kept her identity as a Jew “hidden” from King Ahasuerus, who eventually made Esther queen.
How to Make Gluten-Free Hamantaschen
I needed a hamantaschen recipe in order to make gluten-free hamantaschen. Why come up with something new when this recipe has been perfected by millions of Jewish women over the years!
My friend, Eve Levy, from A Dash of Eve, posted a hamantaschen recipe on her personal Facebook page. I read the comments and EVERYONE raved about Eve’s recipe and her mad hamantaschen-making skills.
Everything in the recipe was gluten-free, except, of course, the flour.
But as a skilled gluten-free baker, I know that I don’t need wheat flour to make a good gluten-free cookie. I’ve got something just as good up my sleeve: My trusty Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend!
I made the recipe exactly as Eve said to make it, only I swapped out wheat flour and replaced it with my Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend.
Guess what? It worked like a charm!!
The dough was easy to work with, rolled out nicely, and stayed together even through the baking process. The only issue I ran into is the dough was fragile to work with, not as bendable as flour with gluten in it (gluten, after all, gives that elastic texture to dough). As long as I was careful, and I smoothed the edges carefully, the hamantaschen stayed together and I was able to minimize the cracking.
Just look at these gorgeous gluten-free hamantaschen!
The hamantaschen tasted incredible too… they are a little chewy and a little flaky, just as I remember hamantaschen tasting.
For the filling, I used delicious organic cherry preserves from Sprouts, but you can use any type of preserves, a poppy seed filling (which is what is used for traditional hamantaschen), chocolate spread (think Nutella) or caramel. You can put anything you want inside the cookie – the sky’s the limit. I know some people who make their hamantaschen savory and put things like caramelized onions and even meats inside the cookie.
Click here to get my gluten-free hamantaschen recipe.
Can Hamantaschen be Made Vegan Too?
While I was thrilled to have such a delicious gluten-free hamantaschen recipe on hand, I started to feel guilty that so many of my gluten-free friends can’t eat it because they avoid dairy, too. One of my friends (along with her entire family) is gluten-, dairy-, soy-, corn- and egg-free too.
So I was determined to make this gluten-free hamantaschen recipe VEGAN… and was able to successfully do that with a few fairly simple swaps.
I swapped eggs for flax eggs, baking powder for baking soda (baking powder has corn in it), and cream cheese for applesauce. I was able to use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend because it’s also dairy-free, soy-free and corn-free.
I crossed my fingers and hoped it would work…. and it did!
Believe it or not, I found the vegan dough easier to work with. It was malleable and flexible and stayed together during the baking process. Don’t these vegan gluten-free hamantaschen look amazing too?
As you can see, I used apricot fruit spread for my vegan hamentashen. I had leftover preserves that Rigoni di Asiago sent me. (BTW, Rigoni di Asiago also has a dairy-free hazelnut chocolate spread that would be amazing as the filling!)
And those specks in the dough you see… that’s the flax seed. These cookies pack some good fiber!
Above all else, this vegan version of my gluten-free hamantaschen recipe tasted fantastic too. Seriously, it was good!
While not as chewy and crumbly as the regular gluten-free hamantaschen, it tasted more dough-like. I love the taste of cookie dough, so I really enjoyed these hamantaschen. I might venture to say that my vegan gluten-free hamantaschen recipe taste better than my plain-ole gluten-free hamantaschen recipe. Wow!
Click here to get my gluten-free and VEGAN hamantaschen recipe.
Watch this video on how to fold the perfect hamantaschen – please note these are not gluten-free hamantaschen pictured in the video, but it gives you a good sense of how to fold the hamantaschen just right.
Happy Purim to all who celebrate!
Gluten-Free Hamantaschen Recipe
Gluten-Free & VEGAN Hamantaschen Recipe
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