Hamantaschen - Cookie-Like Dough

  • Serves: Makes about 2 dozen
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  • Comments: 48


Hamantaschen are triangular-shaped cookies, made from a sweet dough. The recipe I use is from my mother, a more cookie-like version, which has been passed down to me. I added an ample amount of grated lemon peel, as well as some lemon juice and vanilla extract, making them perfect when filled with my favorite prune, apricot and nut filling. You can even use flavored thick jam, such as apricot or raspberry or a sweetened poppyseed filing commonly found in the baking section of the supermarket!

There are also softer dough recipes using yeast or more tender with sour cream or cream cheese., such as my Hamantaschen - Cream Cheese Dough Recipe. It traditionally came filled only with poppy seeds (well, occasionally lekvar, prune butter, as well). Now there are other flavors used for filling, including cherry, raspberry and pineapple, chocolate and cheese varieties, as today's bakers are becoming more creative and inventive.
COOKIE RECIPE HELP

Kelly Says: I was a hamantashen virgin. I had never made them before, I had never even tasted them before.
I have to say, I WILL be making them again!
I like how you cut the intesity of the prune flavor by the addition of dried apricots and walnuts in the filling. Also, the orange zest in the pastry goes so well with the filling.
The shape is so cute, too!

INGREDIENTS
Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted cold butter

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into the measuring cup and level to rim
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, cold from the refrigerator
1 1/2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon peel; finely ground rind of 2 large lemons
1 tablespoon orange peel; finely ground rind of 1 orange

1 tablespoon cold water, more or less

Filling:
This recipe makes a lot of extra filling. You may want to cut the recipe in half.

2 cups (about 12 ounces) dried pitted prunes, lightly packed
1 cup (about 6 ounces) dried apricots, lightly packed
1 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon peel; finely ground rind from 1 large lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup mild honey or 1/3 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped into medium-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Use a microplane or the fine holes on a grater to grate the colored part from the orange and lemon peel.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

INSTRUCTIONS
STEP I: MAKE THE HAMANTASCHEN COOKIE DOUGH
1. Cut the cold butter into tablespoon-size pieces and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
KELLY CA SAYS: I like to sift my ingredients together, after measuring, into the mixing bowl!

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

KELLY CA SAYS: This is why I sift! There are always flour lumps left at the bottom of my fine mesh strainer.

Simply push the flour lumps through the strainer with your fingertips!

3. Take the butter pieces from the refrigerator.
Toss them in the flour and dry ingredients with your fingertips.


4. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter and shortening into the flour mixture. Take a large pinch of flour in your fingertips and press the pieces of butter into iit and then release both back into the bowl.
Make sure you reach down into the bottom of the bowl and toss the ingredients to make sure all of the fat is combined with the flour mixture.

Continue until the until the butter particles are fine and the mixture resembles coarse meal.

SARAH SAYS: When mixing by hand, make sure you use your FINGERTIPS, not your hands, to cut the fat into the flour mixture. Your fingertips are the coldest part of your hands. If, at any time, the fat in the dough gets too warm and soft, cover entire mixture with plastic wrap and place in freezer for a few minutes until chilled.

5. In a small bowl, combine the egg, orange juice, vanilla extract, and lemon and orange peels.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

Lightly beat to mix.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

6. Sprinkle the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Toss both together with a fork to dampen the flour mixture.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

Continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl on the upstroke and gently pressing down on the downstroke. The cookie dough should start packing together.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

7. Sprinkle half of the cold water over the mixture, gently tossing the ingredients together after each addition, so it just comes together when pinched together between your thumb and index finger.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

SARAH SAYS: The final dough should just come together when pinched together between your thumb and index finger and not be damp and sticky. You may need more or less water to achieve this.
The amount of liquid necessary to bring a dough together can vary up to 50 percent depending upon how dry the dough is. If more liquid is needed, sprinkle a few drops of cold WATER at a time, gently tossing the ingredients together after each addition. If more flour is needed, do the same, adding a few pinches at a time. DO NOT OVERMIX.

8. Knead the dough once or twice and gather into a rough ball shape.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

9. Divide the dough in two and flatten each portion into a round disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight.

SARAH SAYS: To make sure each dough portion is equal in size, weigh the dough. The colder the dough before using, the better.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com




Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

FOOD PROCESSOR MIXING METHOD:
1. Cut the cold butter into two tablespoon-size pieces until you get four large chunks.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a steel blade, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. Add one, two tablespoon size chunk of butter and pulse the food processor once. Repeat three more times. Continue pulsing until the until the butter particles are fine and the mixture resembles coarse meal.

4. In a small bowl, combine the egg, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and lemon peel. Lightly beat to mix.

5. Add half to the flour / butter mixture in the bowl of the food processor and pulse the machine until well combined. Add the second half of the egg mixture and pulse the machine until well-combined.

6. Add enough cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pulse the food processor after each addition, just until the dough just comes together when pinched together between your thumb and index finger. You may need more or less water.

7. Knead the dough once or twice and gather into a rough ball shape. Divide the dough in two and flatten each portion into a round disks, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerator overnight.

STORAGE
The dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for a month. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

STEP II: MAKE THE HAMANTASCHEN FILLING
1. Cut the prunes and apricots into small pieces.
KELLY CA SAYS: I like to spray my knife with non-stick cooking oil spray before I cut sticky dried fruit; it helps prevent them from sticking to the knife while cutting.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

2. Place the chopped fruit in a medium size saucepan with water and the lemon peel and stir together. Then, bring to a boil.


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until they soften. Check half-way through cooking to make sure the water has not evaporated before the fruit has softened. If it has, add in a tablespoon or two more water and continue to cook, covered.

4. Uncover. Add the lemon juice and honey, and stir constantly under low heat for about 5 minutes until the fruit continues to cook and soften more.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

5. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts and vanilla. The mixture will thicken as it cools.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

6. Press a pice of plastic wrap on its surface and refrigerate until cold, a couple of hours.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com


STORAGE
The filling can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated, well covered.

STEP III: ASSEMBLE THE HAMANTASCHEN AND BAKE
1. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two, preferably four, baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat, nonstyick mats.
SARAH SAYS: It is best to cover the baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat as sometimes the filling will leak from the cookies, causing it to burn onto the sheet if uncovered.

2. Take one cookie dough disk from the refrigerator at a time, keeping the other half in the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface or on a silpat nonstick mat, and working quickly so the dough does not warm and become sticky, roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
SARAH SAYS: If the dough is too thin for you to handle, roll it to 1/4-inch thickness; they will take slightly longer to bake. You may need to dust the rolling pin with flour, as well, to prevent the dough from sticking.


3. With a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut as many circles as possible. Reserve the scraps and stack them on top of one another, forming a small rectangle; do not knead the scraps together. Wrap them in plastic wrap and rechill until firm enough to roll.
SARAH SAYS: I like to use a scalloped cookie cutter.

4. With a pastry brush or your fingertip, brush the edge of each round right before filling, lightly with cold water.

5. Place a heaping teasponfull of cold filling in the center of each of the cut-out cookie dough round, mounding it high.

6. Fold up two sides of the dough, each side being a third of the circle, and pinch the dough together where they meet.


7. Fold up the third side of the circle and pinch together at both sides, forming a triangle. Leave a generous opening at the top. The filling should extend above the top of the pastry. If it doesn't, use more filling.
SARAH SAYS: At any time the cookie dough becomes soft and sticky, place it in the freezer or refrigerator to chill until they become firm enough to handle.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah PhillipsCraftyBaking.com

8. Place the formed and filled Hamantaschen about 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Repeat until all of the dough and filling has been used.
SARAH SAYS: You may have some filling left over. Keep in the refrigerator. It is delicious used on toast or on baked chicken. If it becomes dry, add some extra orange juice and cook and stir under low heat for a few minutes.

9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies barely take on a little brown color on the sides and are lightly browned on their top edges. Remove from the oven and cool cookies on a wire cake rack.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah PhillipsCraftyBaking.com

STORAGE
Hamantaschen store well, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper for a week or more in an airtight container at room temperature. They freeze well for a month or more.

Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah PhillipsCraftyBaking.com


Hamantaschen and photo by Kelly CA © Sarah PhillipsCraftyBaking.com

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