a treat for all!

we just survived our annual tree-trimming party!

the biggest hit turned out to be the cross-cultural dessert: mincemeat (for xmas) hamantaschen (for purim). everyone was saying "wow, best pastry ever" and stunned to learn it was also vegan and gluten-free.

the chocolate-pecan balls (an accidental invention from last year, which i think will become a new tradition) and chestnut shortbread were also a hit.

mincemeat (n.b. this makes lots - make a batch of tarts now, and freeze the rest for more tarts later!

1 lb golden delicious apples, cored and diced finely, peel left on
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
12 oz sultanas
12 oz golden raising
8 oz candied orange peel
12 oz brown sugar
grated zest and juice 1 orange
grated zest and juice 1 lemon
2 oz almonds, chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves

combine all ingredients. let steep together, covered, overnight.

spread in a glass baking dish. bake at 225f for 2 hours.

hamantaschen dough

2 1/2 cups jeanne’s gluten-free flour (and more for rolling out)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold shortening (i used a mix of 2/3 earth balance, 1/3 crisco, but you could use butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice (from about 1 large orange)

combine dry ingredients. rub in shortening with your fingers till it resembles fine breadcrumbs. sprinkle liquids over and stir in with a fork. chill 2+ hours.

when firm, roll out with more flour, till about 1/8” thick. cut in 2 1/2” circles, put a tsp of mincemeat in the middle, and fold up the edges to look like a triangle. pinch to seal. bake 15 min at 350.

chestnut shortbread

1 cup shortening (i used 1/2 crisco, 1/2 earth balance, but you could use butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups chestnut flour

cream shortening together with sugar, beat with a wooden spoon till fluffy. stir in chestnut flour. chill.

when somewhat firm, shape into logs about 1 1/2" diameter. chill again until firm.

slice into coins about 1/4" or 3/8" thick. bake 12 min at 350.

chocolate pecan balls

2 cups jeanne’s gluten-free flour
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (i used 1/2 crisco, 1/2 earth balance, but you could use butter)
3/4 cup icing sugar (plus more for coating)
2 tsp vanilla

combine half the flour with the pecans & salt in a food processor & chop finely.

cream together shortening, sugar, and vanilla. stir in pecan mixture and remaining flour. chill.

shape into balls about 1" big.

bake 10 min at 350.

let cool for 2 minutes, then roll in icing sugar and cool on a rack.


  1. I'm so excited to make your hamantaschen for my work holiday party. Do you remember how many cookies one recipe of the hamantaschen dough makes?

    1. ummmm... 2 or 3 dozen? i honestly don't remember! they were gobbled up so quickly. which is why i only have a pic of one with a bite missing, that was all that was left...