Over the years, I’ve gotten many compliments on my hamentashen. Usually I just wing it when making them, but this year I decided to be good (mostly for my sister) and write it all down, so here it is. This recipe should make 40 smaller-sized cookies. And, yes, I’m even going to include directions on how to cut the cookies and fold ’em.
Just call me Hadassah.
Before we get started with the ingredients, make sure you have:
- 1 med – large saucepan
- 2 cookie sheets (grease ’em now!)
- 2 mixing bowls
- various measuring cups and spoons
- a spatula (or two)
- a 3″ diameter cookie-cutter
Now we can look at the fruit filling ingredients. If you don’t like strawberry-rhubarb (?!), here are some other suggestions. Or you can use store-bought jam, or chocolate chips. Do what you want ;D
- 1 cup (frozen) strawberries
- 1 cup (frozen) rhubarb
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 tablespoons tapioca powder (for firming the fruit filling – 1 teaspoon of gelatin can be used by less observant Jews)
- 1 cup water
Combine all the ingredients except the tapioca (or gelatin) in a suitably sized saucepan. Cook down on Med-High until the fruit filling is, well, mush. Remember to keep stirring it to prevent burning or sticking. It should resemble something like this:
While the mixture is still hot, stir in the tapioca/ gelatin. Once the firmer is fully stirred-in, cool the fruit rapidly (if desired) by setting the pot in an ice-water bath. While the filling cools, you can start on the cookie dough.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature!)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (finely ground)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then begin by sifting the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, whip together the butter, vanilla, egg, and sugar. In a larger mixing bowl (if necessary) combine the two mixes. Stir/ knead the dough until it’s smoothly blended, like so:
Rolling the dough and cutting the cookies…
If you have a steel-topped counter (or even granite), lucky you. The rest of us will just have to pray our dough doesn’t stick to our formica. Another option to those of us less-fortunate is to put down Seran wrap. Using about a 1/4 cup of flour, dust the surface-area you want to roll the cookie-dough out on.
Step 1: Scoop out a quarter of the dough in the mixing bowl and roll it out with your rolling pin. The dough should be about .25″ thick. Using the cookie cutter cut out as many circles as possible:
Step 2: Peel away the remaining dough, to be rolled out later. Using a tablespoon, put a dollop of fruit filling (or chocolate chips) in the center of each circle:
Step 3: Now fold up the sides of the circles on three sides to form triangles, like Hamen’s hat, and hold the filling in. Make sure to really pinch each corner, so they won’t leak. I also dusted some sugar on top :)
Carefully put each cookie on the greased cookie-sheet. Repeat Steps 1 – 3 until you have 2 sheets-worth of cookies – if necessary, continually dust your surface-area with flour. Put the sheets in the over for 9 minutes. At this point, if you have 2 more cookie sheets, you can repeat Steps 1 – 3. Switch the sheets and continue baking until they’re golden-brown (should be another 8 minutes).
Put the cookies on cooling racks, so you can reuse the sheets while the cookies cool. Your cookies should look like this:
Have a Happy Purim!