Purium

Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen

Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen

Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen

Excerpted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books) Copyright 2010. Deborah Jones photographer.

“Here, Haman’s hat brims with gooey bittersweet chocolate rather than prunes, poppy seeds, or apricots,” writes Alice Medrich. “Please don’t save these for a Jewish holiday . . . great cookies should be shared anytime by everyone.”

Read Revisiting the Homemade Cookie, the story that accompanied this recipe.

Yield: Makes 36 cookies
Ingredients:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, cold
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 recipe Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Directions: Melt the butter with the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the mixture is melted and smooth.

Remove the chocolate from the heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring in the first until incorporated before adding the second. Stir in the flour and beat with a spoon until the mixture is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute.
Scrape into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make the dough as directed in the recipe for Vanilla Sugar Cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Cut out 3-inch cookies and place them 1/2 inch apart on the lined pans. Scoop and place a level teaspoonful of filling in the center of each cookie. Bring 3 sides of each cookie up to partially cover
the filling. If the dough gets too soft to handle, slide the pans into the refrigerator for a few minutes
to firm it up. Pinch the edges of the cookie to seal the corners.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until pale golden at the edges. Rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom
and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Repeat until all of the cookies are baked.

Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. Although best on the day they are made, the cookies keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Yield: Ninety 21⁄2-inch cookies or fifty-five 31⁄2-inch cookies

Ingredients:
4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or prepared vanilla bean paste or (better still) 3/4 teaspoon ground whole vanilla beans
Sugar or Vanilla Sugar for sprinkling

Directions: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or a fork.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour just until incorporated. Scrape the dough into a mass and knead it with your hands a few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each into a flat patty. Wrap and refrigerate the patties until firm enough to roll, preferably several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

To Roll and Cut Cookies
Remove 1 patty from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until supple enough to roll but still quite firm. It will continue to soften as you work. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper or plastic sheets from a cut-apart resealable plastic bag to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Turn the dough over once or twice while you are rolling it out to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel off and smooth the paper over the dough before continuing to roll it.

When the dough is thin enough, slide it (still between the sheets) onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate. Repeat with the remaining patties, sliding each rolled-out piece on top of the others in the fridge. Remove the bottom (coldest) sheet of dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the top sheet of paper and set it on the counter. Invert the dough onto it and peel off the second sheet.

Cut cookie shapes as close together as possible to minimize scraps, dipping the edges of the cookie cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Use the point of a paring knife to lift and remove scraps as you transfer cookies to cookie sheets. Place the cookies at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined or greased cookie sheets. If the dough gets too soft at any time—while rolling, cutting, removing scraps between cookies, or transferring cookies—slide a cookie sheet underneath the paper or plastic and refrigerate the dough for a few minutes, until firm. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Gently press all of the dough scraps together (don’t overwork them with too much kneading) and reroll. Sprinkle cookies with sugar or Vanilla Sugar.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pale golden at the edges, rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Repeat until all the cookies are baked.
For lined pans, set the pans or just the parchment liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks, waiting 1 or 2 minutes if necessary to let the cookies firm up before moving them. Cool the cookies completely before stacking, decorating, or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for at least 1 month.

Upgrades

Cardamom Sugar Stars
These are fragrant in any shape. Be sure to allow the edges to turn lightly golden in the oven for extra flavor and snap. | Make Vanilla Sugar Cookie dough, adding 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom with the sugar. Cut with star or snowflake cookie cutters. Sprinkle cookies with Cardamom Sugar instead of plain sugar or Vanilla Sugar before baking.

Sugar and Spice Cookies
Substitute any of the spiced sugars for the sprinkled sugar or Vanilla Sugar.

Excerpted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books)
Copyright 2010. Deborah Jones photographer.
 
 

Easy Hamantaschen

Ingredients:

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim with Hamantaschen cookies3 eggs

3 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. orange juice
5 1/2 c.  all-purpose flour
1 TBsp. baking powder
1 c. fruit preserves, any flavor

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until lightly and fluffy. Stir in the oil, vanilla and orange juice. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter to form a stiff dough. If dough is not stiff enough to roll out, stir in more flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or the rim or a drinking glass. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of preserves into the center of each one. Pinch the edges to form three corners.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Baker’s Tip: Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com

JDate’s Jewish holiday Hamentaschen recipe

Yield: 48 cookies (1 per serving)

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Prune, Apricot or Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling

Directions: Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs.

Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.)

Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

*Prepare desired filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level teaspoon filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Prune Filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Apricot or Plum Filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.

Poppy Seed Filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.

*Filling options: Prune Filling

  • 1 (12 ounce) package pitted prunes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Apricot or Plum Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot or plum jam
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (about)

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 cup poppy seed
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

NOTE: To speed up the making of these Jewish holiday cookies, use canned apricot or poppy seed filling.

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