Hamantaschen for Purim « Gluten-free & Vegan

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One year ago yesterday, I set out on a ten-day hiking adventure with a group of forty or so strangers in an unfamiliar land. It just so happened to also be my 28th birthday.

That country was Israel and those forty or so strangers quickly became close friends whose perspectives sculpted out such an undeniable experience of beauty and discovery surrounded by a breathtaking display of ocean / mountains / city / culture.

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So in honor of each one of those individuals, all of the incredible hummus, outdoor marketplaces, carob trees, camels, goats, and stray cats, the taste of real falafel, the almost sickening amount of halva ingested, pre-post-and during hike yoga, to the discovery of arak, fresh dates and za’atar, to the sea and the mountains, the colorful cities, and especially to eating salad for breakfast every damn day…

here is my recipe for vanilla poppy seed + cardamom apricot apple filled hamantaschen for the jewish holiday Purim.  

 

Cardamom Apricot Apple Filling

  • 3 small apples, shredded
  • 10 dried apricots, unsulfured
  • 12 medjool dates
  • 1 C. water
  • ¼ C. orange juice (I used freshly squeezed, any will do!)
  • zest from half an orange
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • ½ vanilla bean, insides scraped
  • pinch of pink salt
  1. Place water, OJ and medjool dates into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until dates are fully incorporated and there are no more lumps
  2. Transfer this mixture to a small saucepan
  3. Over medium heat add in your grated apples, apricots, vanilla, salt and cardamom then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to med/low and simmer until fruits are soft and have absorbed mostly all the liquid
  5. This may take 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes and keeping a close eye on making sure they do not burn
  6. Mash the fruits into an apple sauce-like consistency with a fork or potato masher, set aside

 

Vanilla Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 C. poppy seeds, ground in a spice or coffee grinder
  • 1 ¾ C. of coconut cream, or one 14 oz. can
  • 12 medjool dates
  • ¼ C. raisins
  • 1 vanilla bean, insides scraped
  • zest from half an orange
  • pinch of pink salt
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the ground poppy seeds into a saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until raisins are soft and plump
  3. Fold in the ground poppy seeds and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in blender
  4. This would be an awesome time to add some carob chips or cacao powder (which I most definitely will be doing next time around), and then blend everything into a thick vanilla poppy seed spread. Set aside for cooling

Gluten-Free + Vegan Hamantaschen

  • ¼ C. coconut flour
  • ½ C. amaranth flour
  • ½ C. rice flour (white or brown, depending on your taste and availability)
  • ¼ C. maple syrup
  • ¼ C. non-dairy yogurt (I used SoDelicious Coconut)
  • ¼ C. coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ tsp. pink salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the coconut, amaranth and rice flour together along with the salt
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk maple syrup, yogurt, melted coconut oil, vanilla and lemon zest
  4. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold everything together until a soft ball of cookie dough is formed
  5. Place ball of dough in freezer for 5-10 minutes
  6. Between two pieces of parchment paper and maybe a little bit of rice flour, roll the dough out to about ¼” thickness
  7. Use a circle cookie cutter or even the lid of a mason jar to cut out the base for your fillings.
  8. Scoop about one teaspoon of filling and plop onto the center of each cut-out
  9. Fold the hamantaschen about half way into the circle starting with the left side. Then fold the right side in the same manner. Now fold the bottom of the circle and lightly pinch the ends to form a triangle. I sprinkled a little bit of coconut sugar on top for added sweetness.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

BEETS + BUCKWHEAT

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

A big change has occurred since I first decided to start Edible Insight. The cold and gray winters of Brooklyn are now a thing of the past for me, and my clan of human + furry friend (aka boyfriend and dog). We are now enjoying a comparably mellow winter in Dallas, Texas. Well, aside from that crazy ice storm that whizzed through the South a mere few weeks ago and left my car temporarily stuck at the bottom of a hill, just blocks from our apartment. Ooops! But I swear, we have had some gorgeous, 60°, 70°, and even 80° weather since then. And I am thankful for not having to wear three layers of clothing just to take my pup for a walk around the ‘hood. It’s the little things in life, right?

Big Tree, Little Dog.

While the weather was misbehaving here in Texas, I spent a good amount of time indoors, looking out, sipping on tea, and starting new projects. Cookies! I haven’t baked or made cookies in a long time and being that my kitchen is now bigger than the small and narrow hallway of a “kitchen” I had back in New York, I was excited to bake again. By the way, our new apartment is a charming as hell classic revival home with an old fireplace mantle, sliding pocket doors and original wooden floors. Yep, I’m digging it.

Cacao Powder

Beets.

These cookies have really grown on me. They’re closer to brownies than crispy, chewy cookies but they are delicious and packed with nutrients, so who the hell cares? Yum.

Beets are amazing blood cleansers with super duper antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. They add a sweet yet earthy flavor to the cookies and really compliment the cocoa in a nice way. As for buckwheat – well, it’s hardly wheat and totally gluten free. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and packs a punch of protein as well as fiber. Take that, wheat!

GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN RED VELVET COOKIES

(18-24 cookies)
 1 cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup coconut flour
¾ cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil
1/3 cup beet puree
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (plus six tablespoons of water)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar for optional rolling or dusting
 

*if you like your cookies sweet, sweet, sweet, I would use regular sugar rather than coconut sugar.

For beet puree: (two-three beets should give you more than enough puree)

Cut off leafy tops and use for something else (salads, sautees, etc.)

Boil the beets for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork.

Let cool and then run under cold water to easily peel off beet skin.

Puree in a food processor.

For cookies:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two cookie sheets with parchment

In a small bowl, mix your ground flaxseeds with the warm water and set aside.

Use a small mixing bowl to combine all the dry ingredients. Add buckwheat flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt.

Take a large mixing bowl (or stand-up mixer) and cream the coconut oil and coconut sugar together. Keep whisking as you add the beet puree, flax mixture, maple syrup and vanilla. Now, slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into the wet mixture and then fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Let chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Using a rounded tablespoon, roll dough in powdered sugar and drop onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes and then lightly “smash” cookies down to create the crinkled cookie effect. Bake for another 2 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cool.