I'm late with the cookies. Again. I used to be so good at remembering Purim, I really did. Which is weird, because I actually have serious problems with the nature of the holiday itself.
In its ritual observance, it is a really good time. Dressing up in costumes, eating cookies, giving gifts of food to neighbors and friends, drinking until you can't remember other people's names... what's not to like?
Well, as a child, I hated the noise. I guess I was already a crank (Get off my lawn!). And pretty early on, I worried about the weird spirit of vengeance that the holiday seemed to inspire. I mean, in its abstract, it's an inspiring story. One person (namely a pretty lady named Esther) can bravely speak out and save a nation from genocide. But the end of the story is dark and has been used to justify pretty bad behavior.
In my late twenties and early thirties, I got into the party elements of Purim. I mean, look back at any holiday's history and you can find some pretty weird stuff, right? So I liked the drinking (a lot), and the cookies were fun. The Man and I got into a regular habit of making them and giving them away. As a parent, celebrating with my kids is really fun. [This year, Kid 1 was a cowgirl, Kid 2 was a bankrobber.] So, to be fair, I didn't not remember Purim. I made the dough, but was late to make the cookies.
These past few years have been rough--to say the absolute least--for those who hope for peaceful resolutions to the violent conflicts around the globe. The vicious rhetoric of our politicians both reflects and fuels both new and ancient hatreds. So how does one joyfully observe Purim in a time when once speaks of real named enemies, and of blotting them out of existence? Still working on it.
But this year, I belatedly offer you a new recipe for (vegan) hamantaschen. May your spring be joyous and filled with a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation over that of vengeance.
Coconut Cream Hamantaschen
While you can really make any hamantaschen recipe vegan by simply using an egg replacer, I found a recipe from Ha'aretz to be an interesting change, particularly its use of coconut cream. It is adapted below.
Ingredients (for dough):
75 ml. oil
70 grams sugar
160 grams coconut cream
300 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Anything! Jams, chocolate chips, peanut butter, poppyseed paste, etc.
Confectioners sugar (optional) for serving
1. Add oil and sugar to mixing bowl with an attachment for stiff dough. Mix oil and sugar in a mixing bowl with a dough hook and add coconut cream, flour, and baking powder. Mix until a dough is formed.
2. Move dough to a floured surface; flatten and cover in plastic wrap. Freeze for one hour.
3. Remove dough from freezer and roll out on a floured surface.
4. Cut circles with a cookie cutter, biscuit ring, or an upside down glass.
5. Fill middle of circles w/ 2 teaspoons of chosen filling and fold into a triangle, pinching edges to seal.
6. Put cookies back in freezer for 15 minutes.
7. Heat oven to 340 degrees.
8. Bake for 12 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, transfer to cooling racks.
10. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar (optional) and serve.