Hamentashen is a Jewish traditional cookie eaten around the holiday of Purim. Purim is a celebration of the triumph of the Jews over an evil man named Haman who, according to the story, nearly succeeded in convincing his drunken king to order all the Jews killed. But Esther, the king’s wife, revealed to him that he was Jewish and persuaded him to save the innocent Jews and kill Haman instead. Haman was hanged, and they all lived happily ever after (except for Haman, of course.) When the Purim story is reenacted as part of the celebration today, the audience is supposed to “boo” and shake noisemakers whenever the actor playing Haman appears onstage. We also traditionally eat Hamentashen, triangular cookies with a fruity or chocolatey filling. The cookies are triangular to emulate Haman’s legendary triangular hat… or, in some versions of the tale, his head itself was triangular, thus the cookies’ shape. I’ve always felt these “booing” and head-eating traditions were a little mean-spirited, and I certainly try not to think about eating a person’s head or their hat while eating Hamentashen. But I’d never give up eating Hamentashen altogether… especially when it’s like this recipe! Whole wheat, low sugar, no butter, contains super-healthy hazelnuts… what’s not to love about these soft, delectable treats?
Whole Wheat Chocolate Blueberry Hazelnut Hamentashen
adapted from this recipe
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 9 packets Truvia natural sweetener (a little less than 1/4 cup)
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg (I used 3 tbsps Egg Beaters egg substitute)
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used a single-serve container, Safeway brand)
- 1 tbsp Hershey’s cocoa powder
- 3 tbsps semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsps chopped hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup St. Dalfour’s Wild Blueberry jam
In a large bowl, combine the flour, Truvia, brown sugar, cocoa and baking powder. Add the egg, vanilla, oil and applesauce and mix well. Let dough rest for about five minutes. (To be honest, I waited five minutes and then realized I needed to add more flour and baking powder than I had originally used, so I did that and had to sit through another excruciating five minutes before I could work with the dough.)
While the dough is sitting, preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Place dough, in fifteen flat-ish balls, on the cookie sheet. For each cookie, follow these steps:
1) Flatten it into a circle. Place 2-3 chopped hazelnut pieces and 2-3 chocolate chips within the rim of the circle.
2) Put about a teaspoon or two, maybe a bit more of blueberry jam in the center of the inner circle of hazelnuts and chocolate chips. I’d go for less than a tablespoon of jam.
3) Close the edges of the dough circle around the jam, pinching the three corners shut.
Now, bake the cookies in the prepared oven for 10-15 minutes. (Note: While baking, at least for me, the jam started to bubble up and looked like it was about to ooze out of the cookies and make a real mess. But it turned out totally fine. As long as you only use a couple teaspoons or so of jam, it should be fine.)
Savor these sweet, healthy cookies (and don’t think about a guy’s head simultaneously if you can avoid it!)