Gluten-Free Hamantashen

A URJ reader requested a recipe for gluten-free Hamantashen (triangular cookies filled with fruit or nut fillings found in most bakeries).  This dough could be used in many other applications as well.  If you like, regular all purpose wheat flour can be substituted but don’t over handle because the gluten in regular flour can toughen the dough if over worked.

Gluten Free Hamantashen

1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
2 cups Gluten-free flour plus ¼ cup for kneading
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioner’s sugar
Filling of your choice or homemade Gluten-free chocolate filling
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1.    Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2.    Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined.

3.    Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and beat until lighter in color and fluffy.

4.    Combine the 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Add to mixer bowl and mix on medium speed just until the dough starts to hold together.

5.    Very gently knead the dough, on a surface lightly floured with the additional ¼ cup flour, about ten strokes or until the dough is smooth and holds together.  Cover with plastic wrap, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

6.    Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper that have been lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thickness.  Carefully remove one sheet of paper (you might have to scrape some of the dough off if it sticks) and then place dough side down on a board that is heavily covered with confectioner’s sugar.

7.    Carefully remove the paper on top and, if necessary dust with additional confectioner’s sugar and lightly roll to make the surface uniform in thickness (NOTE: this is only necessary if dough was very sticky and pulled apart when removing paper.)

8.    Cut the dough into 2 ½ inch circles.

9.    Transfer dough circle with a small spatula to an area on your board that has also been coated with confectioner’s sugar.  Coat your fingers as well. Place 1 scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.

10.    Using your thumbs and forefingers shape the Hamantashen.  Imagine the circle is a clock; place your two thumbs at 6 and your forefingers at 2 and 10.  Gently bring your fingers together and you will have formed an equilateral triangle!

11.    Pinch the dough together so that the filling is exposed only at the top of the cookie.

12.    Bake Hamantashen in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Can be stored in a plastic bag or container when cool or freeze for later use.

Yield: About 18 Hamantashen

Tina’s Tidbits:
•    Gluten is the protein that gives baked goods structure.  Because there is no gluten in this recipe the dough relies only has eggs for structure and is harder to handle which is why there is a need for paper and a heavily coated work surface.
•    Confectioner’s sugar contains 3% cornstarch which is gluten free.  It creates a subtle glaze which better holds the dough together when rolling and baking.
•    Butter hardens better than margarine when the dough is chilled however, these Hamantashen can be made pareve if you want.

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