Thursday, March 11, 2010

Almost-Like-a-Bakery Traditional Hamantaschen

For Purim this year, I made chocolate-peanut butter hamantaschen, which you saw in my last recipe post, but I also made these more traditional ones by Marcy Goldman. That's because Purim wouldn't be complete without a little poppyseed filling and jam filling. Plus, since part of the fun of making these cookies is giving them away to family and friends as mishloach manot care packages, I wouldn't want my grandfathers on either side to miss out on the flavors they grew up with as little kiddos in Youngstown, Ohio, and New York.

Two years ago I blogged about traditional hamantaschen by Carole Walter. They were delicious and I will absolutely be making those again. But this year, I wanted to try a new recipe and so naturally I found myself sitting on the carpet in front of my cookbook bookcase studying Marcy Goldman's Jewish baking book. She had more than one option for traditional versions, but I was drawn to the title of this one, "Almost-Like-a-Bakery." They were true to their name and turned out yummy!

Almost-Like-a-Bakery Traditional Hamantaschen
Recipe by Marcy Goldman in A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking
Makes 4 to 6 dozen pastries

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Approximately 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Golden egg wash (see recipe below)
Fillings: chocolate hazelnut paste, cherry, apricot, prune, or poppy
Regular or coarse sugar (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar together. Add the eggs and blend until smooth. (If the mixture is hard to blend or seems curdled, add a bit of the flour to bind it.)

Stir in the orange juice or milk and the vanilla. Fold in the flour, salt, and baking powder and mix to make a firm but soft dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a smooth mass. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 2 or 3 flattened discs and work with one portion at a time.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter and cut as many rounds as you can. Brush the rounds with egg wash. Fill with a generous teaspoonful of the desired filling. Draw 3 sides together into the center. You should now have a 3-cornered or triangular pastry. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the pastries with additional egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar, and bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown (18 to 25 minutes). Cool on the baking sheets.

If you prefer, this dough can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 days, or frozen (either as a disc of dough or as already formed and filled pastries, for a couple of months). If refrigerating, allow the dough to warm up before rolling out. For frozen pastries, bake without defrosting.

Golden Egg Wash
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1-2 tablespoons milk or water
Pinch of sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Use a pastry brush to glaze or brush on prepared, unbaked hamantaschen.

Step-by-Step in Pictures

Cream the shortening, butter, and sugar together...

Add the eggs, milk (or orange juice), and vanilla...

Fold in the dry ingredients until the dough comes together. Then let rest before shaping or wrap up and chill...

To shape, cut circles out of the dough, then brush the rounds with egg glaze and fill with poppyseed filling or jam...

Fold the sides up to form triangle cookies. Poppyseed filling here...

Apricot-jam filled with egg glaze and rainbow coarse sugar, ready to go in the oven...

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 25 minutes, then you're done!


Mom said...

I can vouch for the importance of tradition. I saw one grandfather eat 3 before the blink of an eye. Well, he was fine with the non-traditional, too. He loved the chocolate peanut butter hamentaschen! The other told me that Marni needed more practice making he could have more for himself! He especially loved the poppy seed filling! Marni, thanks for sharing tradition with your family!!!

Carolyn Jung said...

How sweet that your Mom wrote a comment, too! :)
I think I'd be like your grandfather -- your defacto tester hoping you'd just make batch after batch just so I could eat more of them. :)

Stephanie Manley said...

I love this post. I made about 1000 cookies for purim. Lots of cookies. I am going to give your recipe a try next year. I do the fundraiser at my temple, so I organize a huge baking party for purim. Your website is delightful!

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