Purim, which this year falls on Sunday, March 16th, is a joyous holiday, regardless of your age. There’s so much to be happy about. The story of Princess Esther and her uncle Mordechai, to be sure, who vanquish the evil Haman, forever commemorated in the three pointed Hamantashen, There are the colorful costumes the children adorn to represent their favorite character. I remember when my own children were young, we spent many happy hours discussing and debating which costumes they would don for the holiday. And there is the wonderful sense of community that comes with bringing Mishloach Manot to friends and neighbors. It gives all of us the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, people we may not have had the chance to see over the long winter as well as the sense of fulfillment that offering goodies to others always entails.
Of course, among the colorful celebrations, there is also the wonderful tradition of familiar dishes that accompany the seudah (meal). To help us embrace the magic of Purim, I always serve my grandmother’s kreplach, my mother’s stuffed cabbage and my own very special Hamantashen. Hamantashen can be made with many different fillings. It’s a very special comfort to me that I am able to offer a gluten-free Hamantashen so that absolutely everyone can share in the delight of Purim.
¾ cup potato starch
¾ cup brown rice flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 tbsp xanthan gum
½ tsp salt (do not double if you double the recipe)
1 cup rans-fat-free margarine, room temperature (2 sticks)
½ cup xylitol or granulated sugar
1 large egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup apricot jam (approximately)
1. In a bowl, stir together potato starch, rice and tapioca flours, xanthan gum, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat margarine and sugar together for 2 minutes, or until somewhat combined. Add egg and vanilla; mix for 1 minute.
3. Add dry ingredients, mixing until well blended. If the dough is sticky, flour the baking surface and rolling pin with rice flour.
4. Divide dough in half. Roll dough, one piece at a time, between 2 pieces of parchment paper until ¼-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter or glass to form circles.
5. Place ¼–½ tsp apricot jam in the center of each circle.
6. Bring 2 side arcs toward the center, overlapping them on top to form a point. Then bring bottom arc to center, creating a secure pocket of jam. Transfer to prepared baking sheets.
7. Bake in center of preheated oven for 17 to 18 minutes or until tips are slightly golden. Remove pan to rack to cool completely.
Yield: 30 hamentashen.
Makes 30 Hamantashen.