The Cooks are Happy!

Hamentashen Baking Day has become an annual event with my friend, Laurie. She makes up several batches of dough and filling in advance of the Sunday before Purim. Then she invites friends and family to join her in her kitchen for the assembly line production of hundreds of Hamentashen – the traditional cookie of Purim.

She uses three different cookie dough recipes – just about any sugar cookie or refrigerator cookie dough will do. According to my Joan Nathan cookbook, Jewish Holiday Kitchen (you really need this book), there is an ongoing debate about whether a yeast dough is better than a non-yeast dough. So far I haven’t tried a yeast cookie dough; my kids are fond of the one I use. I’ll give you Laurie’s three recipes here.

Fillings! The most common fillings are poppy seed, prune, and apricot. It all makes sense for a late winter cookie – poppy seeds, prunes and dried apricots would be among the treats available in a community that didn’t have supermarkets. I’ll give you those three recipes also. But let me say, add your own family favorites and let your loved ones experiment. My son loves homemade strawberry jam so we have strawberry jam Hamentashen. At Laurie’s party some of the younger chefs decided to try chocolate versions. Everyone was satisfied.

Laurie’s Hamentash-a-thon Recipes

Flo Braker’s Hamantashen
36 filled cakes

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 pound margarine
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the sugar with margarine. Beat eggs with OJ and vanilla, add to butter/sugar. Add dry ingredients and mix. Shape dough into disks and chill. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness, cut into circles, fill with choice of filling and shape into triangles. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 15 -18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Options: Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
Roll dough in mixture of granulated sugar and flour for a sparkle effect

Brown Sugar and Oat Hamantashen Dough

1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats

Beat butter, sugar, orange peel, and cinnamon until blended in a large bowl. Beat in egg. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add to butter mixture and beat until thoroughly blended, at least 5 minutes on medium speed with mixer. Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness, cut into circles, fill with choice of filling and shape into triangles. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Optional icing:

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon each orange-flavored liqueur and water
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Blend together until smooth. Spread on cooled hamentashen. Let set at room temperature until firm.

Apricot Filling

6 ounces dried California apricots
3 T. granulated sugar
2 t. grated orange rind

Cover the apricots with boiling water in a small pan. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Cool. Drain apricots, reserving the cooking liquid. Chop drained apricots in food processor. Add sugar, 2-3 T. cooking liquid and the grated orange rind. Process until pureed. Cool before using. Refrigerate for up to a week.

Prune Filling

6 ounces dried pitted prunes
2 T. granulated sugar
2 t. grated lemon rind
(1/4 cup chopped walnuts, raisins)

Cover the prunes with boiling water in a small pan. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Cool. Drain prunes, reserving the cooking liquid. Chop drained prunes in food processor. Add sugar, 2-3 T. cooking liquid and the grated lemon rind. Process until pureed. Stir in walnuts and/or raisins if desired. Cool before using. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Poppy Seed (Mohn) Filling

1 cup whole poppy seeds
½ cup milk or water
¼ cup honey
1/8 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
(3 T. almond paste)

Use coffee grinder to grind poppy seed in batches. Add to a small pan with milk or water, honey, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Beat in the egg and almond paste, if desired. Return to heat briefly if too thin. Cool before using. Store covered in refrigerator for up to a week.
Recipes from Laurie Leiber 3.5.06

Laurie and her daughter, Sarah, satisfied with their efforts!

Posted by admin under Children, Holidays, Jewish holidays at home, Purim, symbolic foods
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