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.
caramel apple hamantaschen from last year, or these coconut chocolate rasberry hamantaschen. The world is your oyster!
Recipe: Makes about 3 dozen hamantaschen
21⁄2 cups (300 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) butter
1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 large egg
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
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.