My great Aunt Mollie was a saint. Loving, generous, kind-hearted, with an endless supply of patience that was much-needed on our side of the family. Every time she’d come to visit us, she’d haul along tins of mandelbrot (Jewish biscotti), pinwheel cookies and mun cookies.
I always thought they were called ‘moon cookies’ because they were shaped like the moon and the poppyseeds resembled its craters. Turns out, when I googled to find the recipe as an adult, I learned that ‘mun’ or ‘mohn’ or ‘mon’ is Yiddish for poppy seeds. (Jews tend to spell things in a myriad of ways. Ask your nearest Jew how to spell Chanukah or rugelach or tuchus and you’ll see what I mean.)
Kichel are diamond-shaped cookies made from flour, sugar and eggs. Since I don’t eat those three things anymore, I set out to make gluten-free and vegan poppyseed cookies, or gluten-free and vegan mun kichel. I don’t have any of Aunti Mollie’s recipes to adapt, so I began from scratch.
The result? A thin, light and gently sweetened cookie that is perfect with your favourite cup of tea or dairy-free elixir/latte. They kind of have a shortbread vibe, if you rolled your shortbread out to a few milimeteres and added poppy seeds. So maybe not like shortbread at all, I suppose.
I hope you bake these and enjoy them as much as we did!
- ¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup, room temperature
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 1.5 tbsp poppy seeds
- Cream the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla with a fork until blended in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the flours and poppyseeds.
- Add the dry mix to the wet and blend with a fork until it comes together. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment to about 2-3 mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies - I used a cutter that was 2.5 inches in diameter.
- Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Reroll the scraps and cut again. If the coconut oil has warmed up too much, pop the dough in the freezer for a minute or two.
- Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes, until just barely golden.