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Love You Madly: Mm Mm Hamantaschen Friday, March 21, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen.
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I have a love affair with these cookies, a deep seated one. Because I have no recipes that involve Easter traditions, other than perhaps paska which I don’t know how to make, I’ve got one for Purim. Perhaps I should give my Baba a call… maybe I’ll hit you all with that recipe later.

Hamantaschen

For the cookies, you need:

1 C Butter
2 C Granulated sugar
2 tsp orange rind (grated or filed, not big chunks)
2 eggs
3 ¾ C flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy. Then add in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Give them a mix to disperse the ingredients more evenly. Add to the butter mixture, and stir until you achieve a smooth dough.

Divide the dough into thirds, and form each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap to seal in the moisture, and stick them in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

When they’re nice and cold, roll the dough out to ¼ – 1/8 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, I use a 3 inch one, cut out rounds. Reroll the scraps to make more cookies.

Next, what you want to do is go around the edges with egg wash (that’s an egg beaten with about a tablespoon of water, it’s what makes the edges stick). Place a heaping teaspoon of filling (recipes for which will follow) in the middle of the cookie.

Fold up three sides to make three corners. Pinch the corners to seal them, leaving a small opening in the center.

Place the cookies about an inch apart on a prepared baking sheet, and put them back in the fridge. They can hang out in there for about half an hour.

Bake them till they’re golden in a 350 oven, that’s between 15 and 20 minutes.

For the filling:

Poppy seed variation: In a saucepan, bring milk (1 C) and water (1/4 C) to a boil. Mix in ground poppy seeds (1 C), sugar (1/2 C), chopped raisins (1/4 C), honey (2 tbsp), cinnamon (1/4 tsp), and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, stirring often until stiff and dry, about 18 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

Apricot variation: In a saucepan, soak finely chopped dried apricots (1.5 C) in water (1.5 C) for about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low about 30 minutes, until almost no water remains. Stir in 2 tbsp honey, and a splash of orange juice (I never measure, maybe a little less than a quarter cup?) and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

This recipe makes about 50 cookies, but they’re so good that they disappear quickly. Once or twice, in a pinch without poppy seed or dried apricots, I’ve used strawberry rhubarb jam, to much delight of my fellow Hamantaschen munchers. I’m sure there are other fillings used out there, of which I would be curious to learn, but these are the ones I know of.

Song of the Day: Love You Madly – Cake

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