Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chocolate, Raspberry and Coconut Hamantaschen

It's that time of year again...Purim! For my gentile friends, this Jewish holiday, coming up on March 20, is a day of festivities filled with costumes, gifting of food and a big, festive meal. It is also traditionally marked by eating triangle shaped cookies, commonly known as hamataschen. 


Any self-respecting Jewish bakery is likely loading their shelves up right now with scores of these things, and they are most commonly filled with apricot, raspberry or poppy seeds. But since tradition dictates only the shape of the cookie, not its flavors, I thought I'd have some fun experimenting with more innovative hamantaschen.

If you've been around here a while, you'll recognize that I basically smashed together my three favorite flavors in this cookie. Toasted coconut, juicy raspberries and rich chocolate are all combined and brought to new heights here.

 Overall, I'd say these were pretty successful. The flavors are truly perfect - the dough was a little tough to get together with the coconut added, but most of the cookies stayed together. Since the key to hamantaschen is all in the shape, here's how you get it.
Cut out circles in your rolled out dough - mine were 2 1/2". Fold up two of the sides and pinch together, then bring the third side up. Make sure to press all the corners together firmly, otherwise they will pop open when baking, and you will cry.  Because this is a chocolate dough, I rolled it out between two sheets of parchment paper, instead of on a floured counter. This is because I wouldn't want white streaks of flour on my beautiful chocolate dough!
Looking for more hamataschen ideas? Check out my other blog, The Nosh Pit, tomorrow, for a chocolate peanut butter hamantaschen recipe! If you're a traditionalist, check out my hamantaschen from last year.


Tip of the Day: Anytime I'm rolling out cookie dough, I keep my trusty bench scraper on hand. Thought it's primarily used for bread and pie dough, I find it great for when my cookie dough sticks and I need just a little extra flour.

Recipe: 

1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Spread the coconut out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on 350 F for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until brown, toasty and fragrant. Let cool. 
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. 
Add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until it is all incorporated. Add in the toasted coconut, and mix to combine. I find it was easier to mix the dough and coconut together with your hands to get better incorporation. 
Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. Make filling (recipe below).
Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4" thick. Cut out 2 to 3" circles. Place a scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, and fold up the sides to form a triangle. Bake at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 1 minute, then remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
A 3" cutter should yield around 50 cookies. 

Raspberry Filling:
8 ounces raspberries (I used frozen)
¼ cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup raspberry jam

Blend together the raspberries, water, sugar and lemon juice. Mix in the jam.

7 comments:

  1. Chag Semeach to you and yours - this is an interesting twist on the traditional that I will most certainly have to try - thank you!

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  2. What, no link to last year's folding extravaganza? I'll provide it since you CLEARLY forgot about your baking and laura's and my mistaking: http://www.bakingandmistaking.com/2010/02/hamantaschen.html

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  3. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah - someone is clearly only looking at the photos. Read again!


    -Amy

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  4. Ahh, ok, so I missed what is essentially the last line. Whatever. They look delicious!

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  5. Carol @ There's Always Thyme to CookMarch 15, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Never had a chocolate hamantaschen, I've had brownie filled though. Have to try these, they look so good!
    Have a very happy Purim :)

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  6. I can't wait for Purim to have a poppyseed hamentaschen!

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  7. Thanks all - if you try them, let me know!

    -Amy

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