Tender is the Hamantaschen

Last week I brought you the recipe for damn perfect vegan hamantaschen – simple, sweet, and majorly flavorful, and I promised to share the butter version. Here they are in all their buttery, flaky, tender glory!

 

 

A little butter backstory for you: when I was growing up, my mother baked almost exclusively with margarine. This was a vestige of Israeli recipes and baking styles, margarine has ruled the baking roost in Israel for as long as anyone can remember. The reasons are simple – kosher law and scarcity. In America, most margarine contains dairy in an effort to mimic the flavor of butter. Of course, there are dairy-free brands, my beloved EarthBalance for example, but Israeli margarine is always dairy-free for kosher reasons. A non-dairy recipe will have far greater range of usability for the kosher baker – you can eat it with a dairy meal or a meat meal!

 

 

The second reason is scarcity. In the early years of Israel’s statehood, butter and many other commodities were rationed by the government. Most recipes were developed using what was available to the average consumer – margarine, low-fat milk, yogurts, and fresh cheeses. My mother still bakes recipes from the famous brown baking book that reflects the tastes and ingredients of those years.

 

So when I started baking on my own, I did the same as my mother – dairy-free margarine! This lasted until Passover of 2008, the year of the great Passover margarine shortage. Unable to find a box for less that $12, I leapt head first into baking with butter, rarely to return. The following year, I baked my first batch of butter hamantaschen and delighted in their flaky, tender texture and rich flavor. I found that my mother’s recipe needed to be tweaked a little to accommodate butter’s qualities – margarine can be mixed into the rest of the ingredients cold, but if you do that with butter, the finished look will be flaky but craggy.

 

 

The choice is between appearance and texture, but either way, on flavor you won’t miss out. And so, dear reader, you have to chart your own path here – do you want picture-perfect smoothness or a gloriously flaky texture? The recipe below gives you both options, choose and enjoy!

 

Chag sameach!

 

More Purim goodness:

The Best Vegan Hamantaschen

2017 Purim Round-Up

Queen Esther’s Vegan Feast

 

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