Making hamantaschen on Purim has never been like this. The soft and naturally sweetened dough is egg-free and infused with balsamic. Fill each with a dollop of homemade strawberry balsamic jam to really separate your hamantaschen from the bunch!
Belle, a boy, ballerina, pirate, devil, genie, kitten, Cat in the Hat, Israeli coffee shop, PB (of PB & J fame).
Those are just a few of my past Purim costumes. It was always a big deal, picking out the perfect costume after Halloween, when they were on sale. All my friends would see what I dressed up as, so it had to be just right. Purim finally came and I’d get dressed up, make a lot of noise when I heard ‘Haman,’ and trot around town delivering bags of candy and hamantaschen to my friends.
I have fond memories of baking the triangular jam-filled cookies, even though all I wanted was chocolate. But, year after year, we mixed the dough, worked our little arm muscles rolling it thin, and plopped yet another spoonful of apricot or strawberry jam in the center. My mom taught us her trick to get the triangles to stay closed, reminding us not to overstuff the hamantaschen. If we didn’t listen then, instead of the sheet full of geometrically beautiful treats, she’d pull miniature fruity volcanoes out of the oven.
Back to the rolling pins….
Which is how I felt figuring out this hamantaschen recipe. When you only make them once a year, you know they have to be extra special. I wasn’t settling for the typical jams or preserves. Surprisingly, even chocolate wasn’t calling my name (although it will always be near and dear). This year, the first I’ve baked hamantaschen in a while, I wanted fresh and hip, like the cool kids on the block.
What could be fresher than a strawberry balsamic salad?
Before you get your knickers in a twist, no– there are no leafy greens hidden in here, I promise. No guarantees that it didn’t cross my mind, though. (Just kidding. I’m not that crazy.) However, I did use one of my favorite salad combinations to inspire a homemade jam, naturally sweetened and different from anything on the grocery store shelves.
As we know from the annual costume hunt, when everyone is looking in the same places you have to be creative to stand out. Some years that meant putting together a variety of pieces to design a Purim costume This year that means making salad-inspired hamantaschen.
During my recipe crisis, desperately trying to figure out why my hamantaschen were so soft, someone sent me this post. I already knew that using vinegar is common in vegan baking as a rising agent, and according to Holly it could help to decrease the amount of egg in my recipe, so I figured I had nothing to lose. Out came the egg, in went a little vinegar to react with the baking soda. And voilà, I had crispier hamantaschen with an unexpected burst of flavor!
You’d think the trials stop there, but in keeping with the Purim story, there was plenty to overcome. It turns out that the amount of liquid in your filling also plays an important role. While my jam was certainly jammy, it still retained a large amount of moisture, which was softening the finished product when stored overnight. My best advice is to be sure to reduce the jam as much as possible. Regardless, your hamantaschen will knock the socks off everyone who comes to your door.
On that note, wishing you all a jam-packed and happy Purim!
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
- FOR THE JAM:
- 3 cups chopped strawberries
- 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- FOR THE HAMANTASCHEN:
- 2 cups spelt flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Begin by heating a pan over a medium flame on the stove. Add in the strawberries, honey, and lemon juice, and cook for 5 minutes, until the strawberries begin to break down.
- Next, pour in the balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, allowing the mixture to reduce for about 5 more minutes.
- Put in the chia seeds and stir occasionally for 5 more minutes. You should be able to mash the strawberries now, but don't worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Let it keep cooking on medium-low for 5-10 more minutes, until the jam is further reduced. Once thickened, remove from heat to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar until fully incorporated.
- Pour the wet into dry and knead the dough until it is only slightly sticky.
- On a well-floured surface roll out the dough to about ¼-inch. Cut the dough into circles using a cookie cutter or glass cup.
- Place about ½ teaspoon of jam into the center of each, then pinch the corners together firmly, forming a triangle.
- Spread out on the baking sheets, making sure to leave space between them so that the moisture can evaporate in the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes. They will still feel a little soft when you take them out of the oven, but harden once removed from the pan to cool on a wire rack.
- Store in a container at room temperature for 5 days.**
**The jam has a lot of moisture, which means that when storing the hamantaschen, they get a little softer. You can crisp them up by baking them in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 5 more minutes.