Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hamantaschen

These are the biscuit-style Hamantaschen rather than the yeast-risen . I've been baking so many yeast-risen holiday breads I thought some variety might be in order. If you'd like to try a yeast-based recipe, This one is good. HERE

The Recipe comes from the wonderful Frances R. AvRutick's  book, Kosher Cookery, Classic and Contemporary.. I rely on this cookbook quite a bit, and the recipes are reliable. That said-this is a tricky dough to handle. It is very soft, and strangely oily. I understand the reasoning behind using oil rather than butter (if you keep Kosher a butter based pastry couldn't be served after a meat meal) but I must warn you, it is not easy to work with.

I used some of the leftover poppy seed filling I made earlier in the week, and a jar of Danny's (prize winning) Apricot butter from the fair entries. You could use anything you like, and prune is a common filling for hamantaschen. When I was a child, our local bakery only had prune, almond paste, poppy seed, or apricot. I really only liked the poppy seed. Sometimes you couldn't tell by the outside what filling it had, and I'd bite into prune and make a horrible face( as children do). To his credit, my dad always took my bitten into prune hamantaschen and let me search for something with telltale signs of poppy seeds. So he wasn't entirely horrible, at least not when it came to food.

Wear an apron and old clothes to make these because you'll be covered in oil.

You Will Need:
 4 large eggs
3/4 cup cooking oil (not a typo)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Juice and grated rind of a lemon
4 1/2 cups AP/plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water for the wash

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, juice, and rind. Beat until smooth. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine with egg mixture and mix until a dough is formed. Turn out on a floured board and knead a few minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill several hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. On a floured board, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. With a 3 inch cookie cutter (or whatever you have round-a drinking glass will work) cut out rounds of dough. Fill with a tablespoon of filling in centre, and fold up sides and bottom to form a triangle. I like to chill the hamantaschen  on the baking sheet for fifteen minutes before brushing them with the wash and baking. This helps them keep their shape. It isn't in the recipe, but experience has taught me to always do this with filled biscuits/pastry.

Brush lightly with glaze and bake 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned. My oven took just 20 minutes.

Hamantaschen sore well on a plate covered with grease proof paper and a light covering of cling film. You don't want them airtight in a tin, or too open in a crockery jar. They do however freeze well if you find you made too many.

8 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This looks and sounds super yummy!!

Bibi Maizoon said...

Even if that dough was hard to work with those hamentaschen look lovely!

Propagatrix said...

Mmm. A little bakery in downtown Oakland has cherry Hamantaschen, which are most excellent, and a friend recently posted pictures of hers with chocolate chips.

Your old tag "oh look, the Jew made Easter stuff" cracks me up. Would this entry be tagged "oh look, the Jew made Jew stuff?"

Veronica Cooke said...

Well, don't they look delicious! Is Apricot butter like apple butter? I've had apple butter and love it.

I'm no good at pastry or bread making - I just cannot bear the feel of flour on my hands! So anything that requires kneading or handling I don't make. I do occasionally go mad (using a fork to mix) make West Indian dumplings to go in my chicken soup. I still have to pick lumps out of the dough and roll them into dumplings - uggghhhh - I do it through gritted teeth.

I don't like these WI dumplings - they're hard and chewy but my family do. They're made of flour, water, oil and salt. I like dumplings that are light and fluffy and have suet in them.

Enjoy them and have a lovely Easter

Veronica
vronni60s.blogspot.com

Goody said...

@Optimistic Existentialist- Thank you.

@Bibi
The dough was fiddly, but not impossible. I consider myself rather skilled with pastry, but if this were a person's first attempt it would be enough to just give up. I've been thinking of including difficulty levels with recipes just so people don't get overwhelmed by tricky dough.

@Propagatrix
A sour cherry hamantaschen could be incredible.

You're right, I need to add a new tag.

@Veronica
Apricot butter is much the same process as apple butter (Italian prune plums make an excellent plum butter as well). I've recently purchased a slow cooker, and I'll be curious to see if it is easier than standing and doing all that stirring. Some people make it in the oven too.

Do a Google search for "batter breads" No kneading or handling required (just a wooden spoon and a strong arm). There's a not-bad mock-brioche recipe from James Beard that I made years ago when Danny was small. Can't say much about dumplings except that mine turn out heavy and leaden no matter what I do (potato dumplings, bread dumplings, even spaetzel-I ruin them all! My matzo ball dumplings can be used as baseballs). The West Indian ones sound interesting, particularly in a stew. I'm off to do a web search-that sounds like something I could make without ruining.

A Happy Easter to you too.

Rebecca said...

These really do sound wonderful but as soon as you say the dough is rather tricky to work with I was like I don't think I could try these. I am horrible at baking! LOL! The poppyseed filling in these and with Danny's prize winning apricot butter really sounds like a fantastic combination! I loved your little story about how your dad would take the bitten prune ones from you. I am like that too when I bite into something I don't like just pass it on!

Rebecca

Beth Waltz said...

Once worked with a Czech gentleman who brought canned poppy seed filling (for the cakes) and lemon cookies to the office coffee counter and invited us to dig in...which we did, like Peabody coal tractors. Sound odd, but then he also introduced us to the idea of dipping Vienna sausages into the pot of mustard as a quick nosh. Wonder what he'd have done with the prune filling?

Connie said...

Most people think that the winter holidays are the best time for baking but I'll take all of the pretty Spring stuff any day.