There are so many parts of Purim that make it one of the best holidays to celebrate: parties, dressing like royalty, flowing drinks and, of course, hamantaschen. There are countless children’s songs about eating hamantaschen and all the fun fillings you can add. But for the vegans of the world, the issue isn’t how to choose a filling, but how to make the traditional dough without the use of egg.
Whenever I recreate a traditional Jewish food into a vegan counterpart, I like to start with a classic recipe. This allows me to keep true to the taste and nostalgia while I experiment with substitutions. For this hamantaschen recipe, I started with a family favorite pulled from a synagogue cookbook (could it get more traditional than that?). Common vegan egg substitutes include flax seed, applesauce or oil. Though I would usually start with one of those, a couple years ago I saw someone substitute non-dairy yogurt for egg in a different cookie dough, and decided I would give that a try, and the result was perfect. The yogurt allows for the dough to stay soft and fluffy but still works well with the other ingredients to help keep the shape. A few adjustments later (more baking powder here, less orange juice there), and I present the best vegan hamantaschen recipe out there.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegan butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup non-dairy, vanilla yogurt
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups AP flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- jam or other fillings
- To make the dough: Cream sugar and vegan butter until well combined; it should have an almost fluffy consistency. Add yogurt, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder into the wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together. Use your hands to form a ball with the dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or place in an air-tight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to about ⅙ inch thick. Use a 2.5-3 inch cookie cutter to create circle cut-outs.
- Add about a teaspoon of filling to the center of each circle.
- Form a triangle with each circle by pulling up and creating three sides, and pinching to create three points. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the tips of the triangles become golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and add to a cooling rack. Let cool completely (or eat with hot jam at your own risk). Store in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days.