Hamentashen… a day late

Yesterday was Purim and we had a wonderful time celebrating.  Saturday night we went to our Synagogue’s Purim party which was a joint celebration between our shul and Anshe Sfard, an orthodox synagogue on Carondelet Street here in New Orleans.  We had gone last year and we had a blast, so we decided to go back this year and we were not disappointed. Our rabbi was dressed up as a Hippie

and just about everyone there was in costume.  Here’s the King of the Jieux and Bubbe G

Ken went as Arthur Dent from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and we ran into some of our friends, Popeye and Olive, and Babe Ruth (obviously not their real names!) I dressed up as the song “If you’re going to San Francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)” by wearing a Giants t-shirt and a Giants hat, and a flower garland in my hair… nobody really got it without my explaining it, but I liked representing my hometown.  I didn’t get any photos of myself at the party, but here’s one Ken took just before we left.

So anyways… at the party Saturday night, we had some hamentashen and Ken said they were the best hamentashen he had ever eaten.  Not having had THAT many hamentashen in my day, I didn’t have too many examples to compare them to, but they were quite delicious.  The dough was not too dry, the filling was sweet and delicious, and there colored sprinkles, too!  Then we started talking about making our own…

Yesterday afternoon we went to our Rabbi’s house for an afternoon Purim party, and we each had another hamentashen, but, well… we like to make things ourselves, so we stopped on our way home for a rolling pin (I know, it’s shocking that we didn’t already have one!) and for some fillings (we got Apricot preserves and raspberry preserves) and we came home to make the dough for hamentashen!  Who cares that we’re a day late?!  Not us!

Since we didn’t want to go out again for more ingredients we had to find a recipe that we had all the ingredients for, so we searched and we searched until we came across Martha Stewart’s recipe… she has you use poppy seeds as filling so we had to alter it a little (neither of us is a huge fan of the poppy seed filling), but here’s the recipe (with our alterations)

Hamentashen (Martha Stewart’s recipe)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Whatever fillings you choose to use: we got apricot preserves and raspberry preserves

1) In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Add orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, and 2 eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.

2) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add to butter mixture until just combined.  Divide dough into thirds.  Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3) Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove one-third of the dough from the refrigerator at a time.  On a liberally floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness.  With a 3-inch fluted round cutter (we used a drinking glass), cut out as many circles as you can, and place on a prepared baking pan.  Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, prepare your filling… for us this obviously did not take too long since we just had to open the jars of preserves.

5) Remove chilled circles from refrigerator.  Place each filling into a medium pastry bag fitted with a coupler (OR you can put it into a plastic bag and snip off the corner of the bag to create the poor-man’s version of a pastry bag, OR you can just use a teaspoon).  Pipe (or spoon) 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each circle.  Whisk together remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water.  Brush edges with egg wash.  Fold in sides to form a triangle.  Pinch dough to enclose the filling.

6) Bake the cookies in the center rack of the oven until golden, 12-15 minutes.  Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes; then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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