This Easy Hamantaschen Cookies Recipe is so delicious, you’ll never go back to store bought. These 3 corner Purim Cookies are made with almond flour and tahini. They’re vegan, gluten-free and come together quickly with your favorite hamantashen fillings.
This post has been updated from the original that was published February 23, 2018.
Traditional Hamantaschen Cookies are made for the Jewish holiday Purim. It is our custom to add them to Mishloach Manot (baskets filled with food or drink that are sent to family and friends on Purim), and to enjoy them for dessert at our festive Purim meal or any time of year.
If you’ve never made these little Jewish cookies from scratch because you’re intimidated, things are about to change. I’m about to give you a variety of fillings to choose from and I’ll show you just how to fold the dough so they come out picture perfect.
You know I’ll always meet you right at the intersection where delicious meets healthy and this recipe is no exception. Gluten-free Hamantaschen…check! Vegan recipe with no refined sugar…check! Tastes incredible…of course! I know you’re going to love these as much as we do.
Why this is the perfect hamantaschen recipe
- Simple whole foods ingredients
- Amazing Hamantashen filling options!
- Even if you don’t celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim, you’ll love these triangle-shaped cookies.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Almond flour: Gives these traditional Purim cookies a subtle nutty flavor, while adding some protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
- Arrowroot powder: My preference for thickening a plant based recipe, rather than using corn starch.
- Ground flax: Adds beneficial fiber, omega 3s, protein and contributes to gut microbiome diversity.
- Maple syrup: I prefer a sweet filling, but if you’re using savory fillings, omit the maple syrup and vanilla extract, use an extra tablespoon tahini and 2 tablespoons water.
- Tahini: Ground sesame is a whole food alternative to adding oil to baked goods. Make sure your jar is thoroughly mixed before using or your dough will be too oily, or too dry.
- Orange juice: You can zest the orange peel too for a little extra flavor. For savory hamantaschen, you can use lemon zest and juice.
How to make Hamantaschen Cookies:
1. Make the dough: It’s essentially a sugar cookie dough…but I’ve used healthier ingredients.
I make this with my food processor. You can also use a large bowl and a wooden spoon and mix the hamantaschen dough by hand, or use an electric mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Place almond flour, arrowroot, ground flax, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, tahini and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until thoroughly combined. It will look a bit crumbly, but should stick together smoothly when pressed together between your fingers.
- Roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to use it….with no need to wait, if you’re ready to use it right away. You can make the dough ahead of time, up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge tightly wrapped and bring the chilled dough to room temperature before proceeding.
2. Roll the dough and cut out circles:
- Divide dough in half. Wrap one half and put in the fridge while you work on the other piece of dough.
- It’s easiest to work on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a pinch of arrowroot on the surface and then another pinch onto the dough before rolling. Roll dough in different directions, picking up and turning over as you go, to prevent sticking.
- When dough is an even ¼″ thick throughout, use a cookie cutter, a small glass or the outer ring of a canning lid to cut out rounds of dough. Something around 2 ½ inch circles is a good size.
- Gather the excess dough from the sides and re-roll for more cookies.
3. Fill and fold into triangular cookies:
- Place 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each circle. Use two teaspoons, pushing the filling onto the dough with the back of the second spoon.
- Make a triangular connection at the top of the circle, bringing the right and left sides together. Pinch the dough to set this.
- Now bring the bottom edge up to form another corner on the bottom left side.
- Lastly, fold the right side up to form the bottom right corner. Pinch all seams of the three-cornered cookie together so it holds the triangle shape.
Carefully place all filled and folded hamantaschen onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 13 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
6. Have some fun and decorate your delicious hamantaschen cookies with chocolate!
Ok, this step is totally optional…but I think it’s the best part! Melt some dark chocolate and then get creative. Here are some ideas to make the best hamantaschen:
- Dip one corner into the chocolate
- Sprinkle the chocolate with chopped nuts, orange zest or flakey sea salt.
- Place melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate into a small zip top bag. Cut off the corner and then make stripes or swirls across.
Place “decorated” cookies back on the piece of parchment paper and then refrigerate until chocolate has set.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Make sure your jar of tahini is thoroughly mixed before using. It should be a uniform, drippy consistency for best results.
- Make the dough ahead to save time on assembly day.
- The homemade poppy seed filling is AMAZING…but there is no shame in using store bought jam to fill these healthy hamantaschen. (Look for a brand with no added sugar).
- Have your fillings ready to go before you begin to roll the dough. You can make the jam or poppy filling up to 2 weeks in advance.
- Use a pinch of arrowroot or almond flour sprinkled on the surface and the rolling pin to avoid sticking.
- Squeeze corners shut so they don’t open while baking. Have a small bowl with a little water handy to use as “glue” if your dough doesn’t hold together.
- Careful not to use too much filling or they may leak. Yes, they’re a bit of a delicate cookie.
- If you cut into circles and then realize your dough is too thick to fold, don’t panic. Get out your rolling pin and flatten a bit more. The end result will just be a bigger hamentashen…nothing wrong with that! Make them into a triangular shape whatever the size.
- Let your kids or grandkids have FUN…it doesn’t matter if they’re don’t look perfect.
- Muhn: A sweet poppy seed filling is the most popular and traditional hamantaschen filling. See recipe below for a no sugar vegan poppy seed filling that will take just 10 minutes to make.
- Jam: Fruit filling is delish inside these cookies. I made a raspberry chia seed jam with no sugar to fill these, recipe below. Cranberry Chia Jam, Orange Marmalade or apricot preserves are all great options. Look for brands with no added sugar.
- Peanut butter and chocolate…yes, it’s as dreamy as it sounds. Melt chocolate and stir in an equal amount of peanut butter. Let cool and spoon into your hamentaschen before folding.
- Hazelnut spread...super delish. Possibly my favorite.
How to make Poppy Seed Filling
- Heat honey, almond milk and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- When liquid is simmering, add in finely ground poppy seeds and raisins. (Use a spice grinder to finely grind poppy seeds.)
- Simmer until thick and jammy. This will take 5-8 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Poppy seed filling will thicken as it cools. Allow to cool completely before filling cookies.
- Poppy seed filling will stay good in the fridge for 2 weeks.
How to make Raspberry Chia Jam
- Place berries, water, honey and lemon juice in small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and then cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash berries that don’t fall apart on their own.
- Turn off heat and stir in chia seeds.
- Let sit 10 minutes to thicken. Stir again. Let cool completely before using.
- Raspberry chia jam will stay good in the fridge for a month.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- Serve: As dessert, as a healthy snack or place inside mishloach manot baskets.
- Prep ahead: Your favorite fillings can be made and kept in the fridge up to 2 weeks ahead. Hamantaschen dough will stay good for 2 days in the fridge if wrapped well in plastic wrap. For soft dough that’s easy to work with, bring to room temperature before rolling.
- Store: Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. They’ll stay good at room temperature for 5 days, in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze for 3 months.
- Freeze: Make sure hamentaschen cookies are completely cool before storing in freezer safe container. Place parchment paper between rows
The three cornered cookies we eat on Purim is actually a play on words.
-Muhn refers to the poppyseed filling in German pastries that was popular in the late 1700s.
-Tasch is the German word for pocket…or pocket cookies.
-Mohntaschen literally means poppy seed pockets.
-Oznei Haman, the Hebrew, translates to Haman’s ears.
-Put them all together and you have Hamentaschen.
The three corners of the triangle shaped Jewish cookies are said to represent the three-corner hat that the villain Hamen from the purim story often wore.
Oznei Haman, literally means Haman’s ears. The minhag (Jewish tradition passed on from previous generations) is that these little pastries refer to the cutting off of the wicked Haman’s ears before he was hanged.
Taking a bite out of a hamentaschen cookie symbolizes victory over Hamen, preventing him from carrying out his evil plans for Queen Esther and the Jewish people.
Traditional hamentaschen are made with vegetable oil, or margarine, all purpose flour, white sugar and eggs. They are filled with sugary jam or poppy seed filling, then topped with an egg wash.
My healthy hamantashen recipe calls for almond flour, tahini, arrowroot powder, ground flax and maple syrup. The result is a delicious gluten-free hamantashen cookie that is also vegan and sugar free. Traditional poppy seed hamantaschen filling is sweetened with raisins and maple syrup.
As always, I take the traditional Jewish recipes I inherited from my Grandmother and take liberties to transform them into healthier versions…that are equally delicious.
Tradition isn’t in the recipe itself, but rather tradition is found in the joy, the love, and the connection I feel in baking the hamantaschen cookies, and sharing them. The real tradition is that I continue to bake hamantashen….however I see fit to do that. That they’re healthy hamantashen doesn’t change how it connects me to generations before me and generations yet to come.
For those who celebrate, I wish you a happy Purim!
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- 2 cups almond finely ground almond flour
- ½ cup arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup drippy tahini*
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raspberry Chia Jam
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
Poppy Seed Filling
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon raisins
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Make dough: place all ingredients in food processor and process until dough forms. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. You can use the dough right away, if you're ready.
- Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Divide dough into equal halves. Wrap one half and put back in the fridge. Flour your work surface with arrow root powder or almond meal and using a rolling pin, roll ½ the dough out to about ⅛" thickness. Use a round cookie cutter (or rim of a glass or top of a peanut butter jar) to cut rounds.
- Place ½-1 teaspoon of jam into the center of each circle. To shape into a triangle, life up right and left sides, leaving the bottom down and bring both sides to meet at the top center above the filling—-then pinch the edges together. Then, bring the bottom edge up and pinch at the right-side corner, then the left. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Continue until all dough has been cut, filled and folded.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
- Cool completely before storing in airtight container. Hamantashen will stay good in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
- TO MAKE RASPBERRY CHIA JAM: Place berries, water, honey and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Bring to simmer and then cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash any berries that don't fall apart. Turn off heat, stir in chia seeds and let sit for.10 minutes to thicken. Stir again. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
- TO MAKE POPPY SEED FILLING: Finely grind poppy seeds in spice grinder. Bring honey, almond milk and lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add raisins and ground poppy seeds and simmer until thick and jammy-5-8 minutes. Turn off heat, then stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool completely before filling cookies. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.