Monday, March 21, 2016

Strawberry Cheesecake Hamantaschen

Yep, you heard me. Strawberry, cheesecake, hamantaschen. Head in to the kitchen right now and make them. You won't regret it. A buttery crisp shell with a rich filling of strawberry jam, cheesecake and a sprinkle of graham cracker (or Lotus cookie) crumbs - these are just one perfect bite. So what are you waiting for?

If you're not familiar with hamantaschen: the three-cornered pastries are the most symbolic food of the upcoming holiday of Purim, which falls this Wednesday night/Thursday (although, if you live in Jerusalem like I do, it's Thursday night/Friday).

The only rules governing hamantaschen (known in Hebrew as אוזני המן - Haman's ears) are the shape. While many people go crazy for the most traditional old-school flavor of poppy, I steer clear entirely of that variety. So with the freedom to go crazy, I set out to recreate my favorite Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor: Strawberry Cheesecake. So with a touch of sweet cheese, a dollop of jam and a sprinkle of crumbs (to mimic the crust), these hamantaschen were born.
Looking for something else? Try these caramel apple hamantaschen from last year, or these coconut chocolate rasberry hamantaschen. The world is your oyster!

Recipe: Makes about 3 dozen hamantaschen
Dough:
21⁄2 cups (300 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) butter
1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 large egg

Filling:
100g cream cheese (scant 1/2 cup) 
1/4 cup sugar (50g) 
2 tablespoons milk 
approx 1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/3 cup graham cracker or Lotus cookie crumbs

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain. Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Once you're ready to assemble and bake, mix the cream cheese, sugar and milk together until smooth. Set aside.
Roll out the dough (best to work with just half at a time) on a well-floured surface until about 1⁄2 centimeter thick. Cut rounds from the dough - I used a 2 1/2" cutter - and place about a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling, then a teaspoon of the jam and a sprinkling of cookie crumbs. Do not overfill or they are likely to open up and lose their shape while baking.
Fold up the sides of the dough to form the triangle shape, pressing them together where they overlap and pinching them closed in the corners.
Place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until they are starting to brown on the edges. Let cool on a wire rack. Eat immediately (seriously, though) - but if not within 2-3 hours, store in the fridge, but give them at least half an hour at room temperature before serving.  

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  5. I had never heard of this kind of pastry, but tyhe recipe looks great and a little differet fropm the regular cookies and biscuits. Wil;l surely try the recipe.

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