Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

I’ve been really into exploring international sweets lately. Well, actually that’s not true. I’ve always been into exploring ethnic treats of all kinds! ;) But recently a I’ve been experimenting with making all kinds of sweet Mediterranean dishes and I must say there must be something up in the waters there because they seriously have some of the best flavor combinations: think moist cakes, desserts soaked in syrups, rose water, pistachios, almond treats… and then there’s a whole lot of semolina, butter, sugar, eggs, and milk — all of which I’m of course passing on here ;).

These gluten-free vegan hamantaschen cookies with poppy seed filling come to you as a result of this exploration. I have many generous friends who shared their hamantaschen cookies with me over the years and I have to say these little triangle cookies are absolutely scrumptious and addictive! In case you’re wondering what hamantaschen are — they are a sort of shortbread pocket filled with delicious fillings of all kinds {like apricot jam, a prune filling, or a poppy seed filling, etc.}, traditionally made for a holiday called Purim.

Of all the traditional fillings I’ve ever tried for these cookies, poppy seed has always been my favorite — something about turning those little seeds into a sweet pasty filling is just amazing! The trouble is it’s usually made with eggs and dairy, but not to worry — I tackled this one for you and made a filling that is not only free of those things, but also requires no cooking {a score on both accounts if I may say so ;) }. And it tasted so good I just wanted to spread it on EVERYTHING {in fact I did do just that… you may want to make extra! :)}.

Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

Seeing as Purim is just around the corner, I thought I’d share a recipe for those looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free {and of course refined sugar-free, as always} variation of these awesome little cookies — allergy-friendly hamantaschen cookies with my favorite poppy seed filling!

Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

Even if you don’t celebrate Purim {it’s a kids’ holiday after all}, I still think these cookies are totally worth making anytime. They are always the first to go whenever I bake a cookie assortment. I’m sure you’ll absolutely love these + look how stunningly bejeweled and sparkly they look!  Totally perfect for serving at a dinner party or enjoy with a nice cuppa in the evenings…

Oh, one word of caution for filling these — it’s VERY important not to put too much of the filling in, or else they’ll burst. It’s such a common problem that there’s even a hashtag for it on Instagram! {Look up #hamantaschenfail}. So here’s an example of how much filling to put in:

Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free} -- Do not overfill!

Now that you know that, onwards to these cookies, then!

Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

Note: this recipe has been recently updated to be made simpler to work with. Another variation with apricot jam and extra tips has been added to the recipes section as well — if you’re curious, apricot hamantaschen recipe is here.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling {Refined Sugar-Free}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook/Chill Time: 
Ready In: 
Makes: 8 cookies
 
Ingredients
Hamantaschen Cookie Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract (optional; omit for nut-free)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 13 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • ⅓ - ½ cup water, room temp (or warm)
Poppy Seed Filling Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp poppy seeds, ground into a meal {I used my magic bullet for this} {alternatively use a coffee grinder}
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup {or honey, agave, etc.}
  • 1½ tbsp non-dairy butter of your choice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare a rolling area with two additional sheets of parchment paper for that, and have your cookie cutter handy {I used a 2½" round cutter here}. Set aside.
  2. Place all filling ingredients in a food processor and process until combined {I just added everything to my magic bullet after grinding the seeds down and processed it in there}. Set aside.
  3. To make the cookie base, place rice flour, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract, salt and 5 tbsp sunflower seed butter into a food processor and process to combine. Add in another 5 tbsp sunflower seed butter and process again. Then add the remaining 3 tbsp and process (this helps the sun butter blend into the dough better than processing all at once). Add ⅓ cup water and process again. At this point you should have a very sticky, stretchy, pliable mixture, but one that can be lumped into a ball. If it seems a little dry still, add a bit more water and process again (I only used ⅓ cup of water with the sun butter for this recipe, but found other nut-butters required a slightly greater amount of water).
  4. Wet your hands a little and lump ½ of the dough into a ball, kneading it lightly. Flatten into a disk and place on a piece of parchment paper (if at this point the ball is cracked all around the edges, you'll need to return it to the processor and add a bit more water and process again -- that's an indication the mixture is too dry. A bit of cracking is normal though). Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out into an ⅛" thickness. Cut out circles using a round cookie cutter (or a glass rim).
  5. Transfer the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet. Place about 1 tsp of the filling in the center of each circle. Then lift two edges of the circle up over the filling and pinch to seal a "corner", then life the remaining side of the circle and pinch to seal the other 2 corners. Make sure you seal those corners well, as otherwise the cookies will open up as they bake. Touch up any cracks at this stage.
  6. Repeat step 3 & 4 with the other half of the dough.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 13-15 mins (the longer they bake the crunchier they'll be). Cool on a rack completely and enjoy!
Your turn to share:

Have you ever had/heard of hamantaschen?

What’s your favorite filling for these cookies?

Happy baking!

Audrey

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This recipe for Hamantaschen Cookies with Poppy Seed Filling has been shared with the Hearth and Soul Hop, Sweet and Savoury Sunday , Gluten-Free Fridays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, and Savoring Saturdays.

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