Showing posts with label Purim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Purim. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen

Let's just say, I arrived a bit early to this year's Purim party. ;)

It was January. Most of the stuff in my inbox and online was focused on the latest healthy snacks and tips for conquering New Year’s resolutions. The latest diet fad. Exercises to get back in shape and lose the holiday weight. Marie Kondo tidying. And then, out of the blue, I came across a recipe for Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen. Wait, isn't Purim in March? What was this recipe doing in my consciousness in January? I bookmarked it, intending to make it a little closer to the holiday. But the bookmark kept calling my name, haunting me in my sleep. I am a relentless softie for soft pretzels and uncompromising hot dog lover. I love these two foods, separate or together. And bagel dogs are their own category of heaven. You’d almost think I was cheating on chocolate and peanut butter.

Unable to wait until March, I went shopping for the ingredients and set out to make this savory, unconventional Purim treat. Two months early.

The dough was easy to mix together, and easy to roll out and shape into hamentaschen. Boiling the dough gave it that quintessential bagel chewiness. Boiling the dough in a baking soda bath gave it a perfect pretzel flavor. The hardest part of the whole project was squishing hot dog pieces into the center of each boiled, not-yet-baked hamentaschen. But you just have to have a little faith. The resulting treat is so delicious, so chewy like a bagel, pretzely like a soft pretzel, salty from the hot dog, and just plain fun to look at and eat!

Maybe Purim in January is the new Christmas in July.

Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen
Adapted from a recipe in The Nosher (a really fun Jewish food blog you should follow!)
Makes approximately 24-36 hamentaschen depending on how thin you roll out your dough

Hamentaschen Dough
1 ½ cups warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (such as SAF brand)
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 ¾ - 4 cups all-purpose flour

Boiling Baking Soda Water Bath
9 cups water
1 cup baking soda

8 all-beef hot dogs (err on the side of smaller diameter hot dogs so you can squish a slice into the center of a hamentaschen (thicker hot dogs will be difficult to fit into the dough)
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Everything Bagel seasoning (make your own using equal parts sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion; or buy the pre-mixed topping from Trader Joe’s or Costco)
Mustard for dipping

Prepare three baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the 1 ½ cups water with the yeast. Let sit for a few minutes. Add the salt, oil, and sugar and stir to combine. Now mix in 3 cups of the flour. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment and add up to one more cup of flour, a ¼ cup at a time, until the dough mostly comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Always err on the side of too sticky so you don’t add too much flour.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and forms a soft ball. If it’s sticky, dust with more flour.

Place the dough in a plastic bowl and cover with a tea towel. (If not using a plastic bowl, just be sure to grease the bowl first, then place the dough inside, and turn the dough over so it’s greased on both sides.) Allow the dough to rise in a warm (but not hot) area for 15 minutes. I like to place my bowl of dough in the oven where it’s free from drafts; just make sure the oven is not on!

While the dough is rising, start the water bath. In a large, wide soup pot, stir together 9 cups of water and the baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil.

When the dough has risen for 15 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl and cut it in half with a bench knife. With the first half, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thick on a floured work surface. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut as many circles as you can out of the rolled dough. Bring three corners of each round of dough up toward the center and pinch well together to form a hamentaschen shape. Press the dough scraps together and re-roll to cut out more rounds. Place the triangle-shaped dough rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, three per row. Continue with the other half of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Doing four at a time, drop the shaped hamentaschen into the boiling pot of water face down, watching the clock to make sure they are only boiling for 15 seconds. Use a mesh skimmer (bagel strainer tool) to quickly remove the hamentaschen from the pot, shaking out any excess water, and place them, face up, on the baking sheet. They should be spaced out enough so they don’t grow together while baking.

Slice the hot dogs into ¾-inch long pieces. Place one hot dog piece into the center of each hamentaschen. This might seem tough because the dough is pinched together at the center, but just push the dough open a little so the hot dog has room.

Brush the beaten egg on each hamentaschen and sprinkle the top with Everything Bagel seasoning. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and pretzel-colored.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of mustard.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Roll out the dough and cut into rounds...

Pinch three corners of each round together to form a hamentaschen shape...

Boil a few at a time, face down, for 15 seconds...

Use a bagel strainer to remove from the pot and space out evenly on a baking sheet face up...

Press a slice of hot dog in the center of each boiled hamentaschen...

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Everything Bagel seasoning...

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes...

Remove from the oven...

Transfer to a cooling rack, and serve warm or at room temperature with a side of mustard...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Delicious Hamentaschen Recipe PLUS Super-Scientific Hamentaschen Filling Research

Happy Purim! Chag Purim Sameach! To be completely honest, I wasn't sure I'd even get around to making homemade hamentaschen this year. But there's something about this annual tradition that if missed, would make the holiday feel a little empty for me.

So I did it. But I didn't go back to one of the fantastic recipes I'd made in the past (here, here, and here). I wanted to use this once-a-year opportunity to choose a recipe from a different cookbook. So I sifted through my Jewish dessert cookbooks and decided on Gil Marks ' The World of Jewish Desserts. His dough was fantastic. Easy to work with, beautifully flecked with orange zest, and held its shape when baked.

I chose to make three fillings: apricot, chocolate, and poppy seed. But I did an interesting thing before I ended up with those filling choices. I posted an unofficial poll to my Facebook page. Apparently my friends have very strong, passionate feelings toward their hamentaschen fillings! 37 comments later, I had a fair amount of data. A couple of peculiar votes like pegasus meat, children's tears, and smaller hamentaschen (that is pure genius) made their way onto the list, but mostly it was your usual chocolate, fruit, and poppy seed filling votes.

Here's my Facebook post:

And here are the results, graphed, coming to you thanks to the Happy Go Marni Research Department:

Despite a lot of anti-poppy seed sentiment in this Facebook poll, it still ended up being the most popular filling! Apricot was extremely popular too, and without any real negative comments. Chocolate seemed like a no-brainer, but I was surprised it had so many fewer votes than poppy seed and apricot. What's wrong with you people! Why isn't chocolate number one? Ok actually, I love all three of the top winners, and those are the three I made! I think I'll save pegasus meat for another year. ;)

What's your favorite hamentaschen filling?

Adapted from a recipe by Gil Marks in The World of Jewish Desserts
Makes sixty 3-inch cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup orange juice, milk, or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract, or 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon or orange zest (optional)
About 2 cups hamentaschen filling (the sky's the limits, as you can see from the Happy Go Marni poll above)
Golden Egg Wash (recipe below)
Coarse sugar for decorating, optional

Sift the dry ingredients together: the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer, beat the butter or margarine until smooth, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the liquid (orange juice, milk, or water), extract, and optional zest. On low speed, add in the flour just until combined. The dough will be soft, not too dense. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours. You can leave it overnight, too. When you're ready to shape the dough, remove from the fridge and let sit out a few minutes to become malleable (won't take very long because it's a soft dough).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Divide the dough into thirds. Return the other two chunks to the fridge so they don't get too soft. With the remaining third, roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured dough board or waxed paper to about 1/8 inch thick. If you prefer thicker dough, roll to about 3/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 or 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough. Save the scraps to roll out again and make more cookies.

Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Bring three corners of each round up toward the top, pinching two points together to form one corner, then continuing until you have three corners. I like to leave some of the filling exposed, not only because it's pretty to see some color peeking out, but because then you'll know which filling it has if you are making more than one filling! If when you pinch the edges together they don't stick well, rub a little cold water on the dough to act as glue. Place 1 inch apart on parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheets.

Prepare Golden Egg Wash (see recipe below). Brush egg wash on all sides of each unbaked cookie with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if you'd like.

Bake until golden, 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. I prefer my cookies a little chewy, so I err on the side of less baking time. Transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The cookies will keep for about one week, or you can freeze them as soon as they've cooled and they'll be good for several months.

Golden Egg Wash
Recipe from my March 2010 hamentaschen post (Marcy Goldman's incredible recipe!)

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 hamentaschen.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Beat butter or margarine until smooth...

Add sugar and beat until incorporated...

Add the eggs, one at a time...

Add the juice, vanilla, and zest...

Add the dry ingredients (which you had sifted together first)...

Beat just until incorporated...

Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in fridge...

Roll out the dough, a third at a time...

Cut 2 1/2 or 3-inch rounds in the dough...

Add a teaspoon of filling to the center of each round and fold up the sides to form a triangle...

Continue with the remaining two-thirds of the dough and any other fillings you want to try...

Brush with Golden Egg Wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar if you'd like...

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then let cool on a rack...

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!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Hamantashen

I know I've said before that I'm a fan of cookbook author Marlene Sorosky. But what I haven't told you is that I own every single one of her cookbooks now. Last weekend, I searched online for the missing ones from my collection, and ordered all of them in one giant credit card blow. I was tired of staring at the void in my cookbook bookcases, knowing that some of her books were not there. I had had enough! Some people collect vintage Barbie dolls, some collect stamps or coins, I collect cookbooks. It's not about having every single cookbook that was ever written. But it is about having every single cookbook by my favorite authors. Over time, I'll complete my Beatrice Ojakangas, Lou Pappas, Carole Walter, Beth Hensperger, Marcy Goldman, Lori Longbotham, and David Lebovitz collections, and a few others.

My Marlene Sorosky collection

This recipe immediately stood out to me because it's not your conventional hamantashen (which I do really like, too). It's a chocolate dough, and a winning combination of peanut butter-strawberry filling to go with that chocolate. It looks really neat to include in your mishloach manot care package to give your friends and family on Purim along with more traditional hamantashen, fruit, and snacks. Since I'm going through a fancy salts phase/obsession and newly purchased Maldon sea salt, I sprinkled a few flakes on the just-out-of-the-oven cookies to finish the look. You certainly don't need to, but my taste buds were very happy with the result!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Hamantashen
Recipe by Marlene Sorosky in Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays

Chocolate Dough

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Filling

Scant 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup strawberry jam or preserves
3 Tablespoons whole or low-fat milk
Strawberry jam for topping (optional)

Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 2 heavy-duty or cushioned baking sheets.

To Make Dough:
In mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla until well blended. Mix in melted chocolate. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Mix on medium speed 1 minute. Shape into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold enough to roll. (Dough may be refrigerated up to 2 days. Leave at room temperature until soft enough to roll but still very cold.)

To Make Filling: In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and jam together. Stir in milk.

To Shape Hamantashen: Divide dough in half; cover 1 portion with plastic wrap. Roll other half between 2 sheets of wax paper into an 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out circles. (A clean, empty tuna can with both ends removed makes an ideal cutter.) Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling in the center of each circle. Press 3 edges together to make a triangle, leaving a small opening in the center for the filling to show. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Reroll scraps, cut out, and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.

To Bake:
If not baking on cushioned baking sheets, double-pan by placing 1 baking sheet on top of another. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tops are firm. The cookies will firm up slightly as they cool. If you like them soft, bake the minimum time; for crisper cookies, bake longer. If baking 2 sheets in one oven, rotate positions halfway through the baking time. If desired, top each with a small dollop of jam and return to oven for 1 minute to set. Cool 2 minutes and remove to racks. (Hamantashen may be stored, airtight, for several days or frozen.)

Makes: about 24 hamantashen

Step-by-Step in Pictures

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar...

Mix in egg and vanilla...

Mix in melted chocolate...

Add flour, baking soda, and salt...

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate...

To make the filling, stir together peanut butter and strawberry jam...

Add milk to the filling...

Stir filling until all ingredients are incorporated...

Roll out the chocolate dough and cut circles...

Spoon a dollop of peanut butter filling in the center of each round...

Shape into triangles and place on cookie tray...

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees...

When the cookies are done, take them out of the oven and drop a tiny bit of strawberry jam on top of each one, then return to the oven for 1 minute...

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