Over the holidays my mom put in a request for us to make grain free hamantaschen for her. Hamantaschen is a pastry traditionally served during the Jewish holiday of Purim. “Hamantaschen” is the Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” Haman is the villain in the Purim story. Jews eat hamantaschen on Purim as part of the celebration to remember how Jews escaped Haman’s evil plans.
My mom’s family is Jewish, my dad’s is not. Although I do have family on my mom’s side that practice Judaism, my immediate family doesn’t much. Everyone seems to be married to a Christian! I grew up celebrating all Christian holidays, and lighting the Hanukkah candles. Although I consider myself to be a very spiritual person, I don’t consider myself to be very religious. All of those things really don’t have much to do with this blog, so I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to go into too much detail about that part of my life here. I do really like celebrating where I come from, even if I don’t know all of the stories behind it, or have all of the knowledge of it, so I was really excited to learn about these cookies and take a stab at making them grain free.
For this recipe I had a pretty good feel for how I would make the cookie dough, but the filling needed a bit of research. I learned that hamantaschen is traditionally served with a prune and raisin filling, but that using other berries for the filling can be done sometimes as well. I thought prune and raisin would be a fun filling to try, so we went for it. I cooked the filling with water, lemon juice, and a touch of maple syrup. I allowed the liquid to boil down, until I had a really nice thick filling of plump prunes and raisins. For the dough, the key ingredient to making these cookies work is adding enough arrowroot flour to thicken the dough enough to be able to manipulate it so that it will form the proper shape. If you choose to not eat arrowroot, tapioca flour can be used in the same amounts.
For these cookies we used a fun round cookie cutter that made an almost flower like shape. You can use a plain circle for these cookies, or one with smaller crinkles. Leaving the dough a little on the thicker side also helps when folding the cookies. If the dough is rolled out too thin you will not be able to fold the cookie to make the classic triangle shape. After the cookies were all cut, We filled the center of each cookie with about a teaspoon (give or take) of the prune filling. After that we carefully folded in the edges of the cookie to create a triangle. These beautiful little cookies then baked for 20 minutes, yielding one of the best cookies we have ever made! The texture was wonderful, and the flavor was even better.
If you celebrate Purim, or if you do not, you will really enjoy these adorable little cookies!
- 11 oz 11 oz 11 oz Prunes (dried plums), pitted and chopped
- 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup Raisins
- 3/4 cup 3/4 cup 3/4 cup Water
- 1/3 cup 1/3 cup 1/3 cup Lemon Juice
- 2 cup 2 cup 2 cup Blanched Almond Flour
- 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup Arrowroot Flour, plus 1/2 cup for dusting
- 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup Grade B Maple Syrup, + 1 Tbsp to add to the filling
- 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted
- In a medium sized sauce pan, add the prunes, raisins, water, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Heat over medium heat.
- Bring filling to a boil, while stirring. Continue to stir frequently, while "mashing" the filling with a wooded spoon.
- Once the liquid has reduced, and you have a thick filling of plump prunes and raisins, remove from heat and set aside for filling the cookies.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, arrowroot, and salt.
- Add in the vanilla extract, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil. Stir until all ingredients are combined and you have a ball of cookie dough. **You can use your hands for this as well.
- Place ball of dough on to a sheet of parchment paper, adding additional arrowroot flour and kneading the dough until it is firm enough to be rolled and cut into shapes.
- Place another sheet of parchment paper over the dough, and roll into a 1/4 inch thick layer.
- Dust dough with additional arrowroot, as well as dip the cookie cutter in arrowroot flour, so the dough does not stick.
- Carefully cut circles in the dough, and remove the excess dough from around the circles.
- Add about a teaspoon (give or take) of filling to the center of the cookies, and carefully fold three sides in, making a triangular shape. Pinch the corners in to seal the cookies.
- Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet, and bake cookies for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Repeat this process using a fresh sheet of parchment, for the remainder of the dough, until you have used all of the cookie dough.
- Any remaining filling can be frozen and saved for future use.