Monday, February 18, 2013

Hamentaschen- it's a personal thing!

Here's the thing about hamentaschen- everyone likes them their way. Cakey, crunchy, soft, with know the drill. I can't tell you how many email requests I've gotten for a great hamentaschen recipe. Well, here's what I have to offer: My thoughts on hamentaschen recipes!
If you ask me, look for a simple sugar cookie dough recipe. Butter is best. After trying so many different hamentaschen dough recipes, I pretty much stumbled upon the one that I love best!
Last week, I was hit with the purim bug, and I pulled the freezer open to check on my inventory, and there, staring me in the eye, was my golden ticket.  A Ziploc freezer bag filled with a batch of Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookie Dough. "How bad could this be?" I thought to myself...
Let me tell you this bag of frozen dough was the answer to all of my hamentaschen frustrations. Working with the cold dough made it easy to fill and fold the hamentaschen. And the simplicity of this butter-based cookie recipe created perfectly crisp, golden, thin hamentaschen- just the way I think them!!
Now, as for filling, that is where you can get creative...or not. Apricot preserves with a dash of cinnamon are always my family's favorite. Or, you can try stirring some melted dark chocolate into a jar of raspberry preserves for a rich, raspberry truffle taste. And of course, you just can not go wrong with nutella filling.
Just remember to divide the dough into quarters and work with one batch at a time, keeping the other quarters in the refrigerator while you work. Have your filling ready to go, and always, always work directly on a sheet of parchment paper! Rolling, cutting and folding directly on the parchment paper makes it so much easier- all you need to do is place the parchment sheet onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven, no messy transferring necessary.

Sugar Cookie Dough

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons salt
5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and salt; mix on medium-high until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour in 2 batches mixing just until Incorporated. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide into 4 and pat into flatten disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or up to a few days. You may also freeze this dough for up to 2 months. (Thaw in fridge before rolling out).


Use your favorite preserves (I love Sarabeth's Apricot-Peach), Nutella with chopped hazlenuts, chocolate kisses...etc

one batch of dough makes 40-50 hamentaschen

Preheat oven to 375.
Once the dough is quite cold, flour your rolling pin. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your work surface, and roll the dough out (on the parchment paper) to 1/8 inch thickness. It may be easier to place a second sheet over the top of the dough and roll with the rolling pin over the parchment sheet. Dip a drinking glass in some flour and cut 'rounds' out of the dough. Place a heaping teaspoon of your filling into the center of each round and pinch the corners together together forming a triangular shape. Pinch the dough securely to hold the filling in. Collect the leftover dough, form into a ball and refrigerate and reuse. Transfer your parchment paper onto a baking sheet and place in the oven, bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

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