As many of you know, and some of you certainly don't, this Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. (In Jerusalem, it's Monday, but that is a topic certainly too complicated for a baking blog.) And, like practically every Jewish holiday, it is associated with an iconic food. The Hamantaschen.
The three-cornered cookie is said to be the hat or the ears (depending on who you ask) of Haman - the villian of the Purim story. Why we celebrate our success by eating his hat/ears is beyond the scope of this blog.
Last year, I made hamantaschen that were quite good - but this year I got to thinking. The thing that distinguishes this cookie is the shape, not the dough itself. So I set out to try my favorite sugar cookie recipe out here. Traditionally, these treats were known to have a poppy-seed filling, but you can load up just about anything you want in here - jam, frosting, peanut butter, etc. I decided to make these my favorite combo - chocolate raspberry. My friends and I set to work.
As Sarah, Laura, Alana, Rachel, Abby and I set out to form our creations, we of course had to distinguish whose was whose. You can't tell in this picture that I'm the hamataschen forming champion....
...but you can tell in this one! Those that didn't really seal their ends together, ended up...leaking. Poor Laura. Which quickly led to one of the staples here at Baking and Mistaking...the reject pile. The hallmark of the reject pile? They get eaten first!
After I threw everyone out of the kitchen and got to work, the rest went well. I sprinkled some mini chocolate chips in the center of each circle, then topped with less than a teaspoon of jam. When you fold up the sides, make sure to press them together so they don't pop open in the oven.
The one thing about these is they're not going to brown much in the oven - the dough is meant to stay fairly pale, but it's still delicious!
Rachel got a little creative...if only I had the patience to do this to every one!
For some reason I found this dough quite sticky to work with when I took it out of the freezer, and ended up kneading more flour in before I started. Also use plenty of flour on your surface and rolling pin.
Tip of the Day: The recipe I used is below - but feel free to swap out any sugar cookie recipe. As I said - the secret is in the shape!
Sidenote: For those of you in the Manhattan area - or one of my 1.5 stalkers - I was the featured profile on Midtown Lunch this week: Lunch'er Profile
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
jam of your choice
mini chocolate chips
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add in the vanilla.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until combined.
Gather in to a ball and refrigerate or freeze for several hours.
Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface and with a floured rolling pin. Using a round cookie cutter, cut as many rounds as possible from the dough. Fill the center of each with your filling of choice, making sure to leave a large circle on the outside clear. Fold up two of the sides and pinch to close, then fold up the third, forming the triangle.
Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges.