Showing posts with label hamantaschen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hamantaschen. Show all posts

March 12, 2014

Fig-Orange Hamantaschen


for the cookie:
1/3 cup (one pouch) butternut squash Veggie Blend-Ins
1/3 cup oil canola oil
2 tablespoons fig preserves or jam (I used my homemade fig honey cardamom jam)
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (I used Cara Cara oranges)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup fig preserves or jam (I used my homemade fig honey cardamom jam)

In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash puree, canola oil, fig preserves, and orange juice until smooth. Stir in the flour, baking powder and sugar until a smooth batter forms. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with silipats or parchment paper.

Roll the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. When the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick, cut 2 1/2-3 inch* circles out of the dough. Place them on the prepared pans. Spoon a little less than 1 teaspoon preserves into the middle of each circle. Fold three sides towards the center and press down to form a triangle.

Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

*I use a doughnut cutter  with the insert removed or a biscuit cutter.

Note: If using a fig jam/preserve that does not include honey, this recipe would be vegan. Try my fig-port jam.

My thoughts:
General Mills approached me about developing a recipe using their new Green Giant Veggie Blend-Ins.  I am familiar with Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook and no stranger to substituting pureed fruit for butter or oil in recipes so I thought I'd give it a try. I'd never tried to "sneak" vegetables in a dish before but I figured we can always use more vegetables in our diet. I liked that the only ingredient in the butternut squash Blend-in is butternut squash.

I decided to make hamantaschen because Purim is this weekend! I love hamantaschen and the story behind why we make these cookies this time of year.  I wrote an article about Purim and hamantaschen for NPR a while back and since then, I've created recipes for a rugelach-inspired cream cheese based hamantaschen, chocolate hamantaschen, vegan hamantaschen filled with kiwi jam and orange ginger hamantaschen. Since I can, hamantaschen are a great excuse to use up last year's homemade jam (just make sure it is thick or it will run) just before canning season starts up again. This year's hamantaschen is packed with not only sneaky squash but fig jam is baked into the dough for extra flavor and fiber.

I wasn't sure how the puree would work in a cookie recipe but the puree was really, really smooth, much smoother than I am able to make myself from butternut squash and really seemed to "disappear" into the batter. Using the puree not only added extra veggies but it gave it some of the bulk I would normally get from butter so that means the recipe is vegan and pareve (without using margarine!). The dough was very easy to roll out and work with and tasted fantastic! No one would know there was squash in the cookies if you didn't tell them, they were just lightly sweet.

 photo coconut-sig_zpsb2fb208a.jpg

March 05, 2012

Orange-Ginger Hamantaschen

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted or regular ginger

jam (I used my Cara Cara Orange Jam)

Preheat oven to 375. Line two cookie sheets with silipats or parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Roll the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. When the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick, cut 2 1/2-3 inch* circles out of the dough. Place them on the prepared pans. Spoon some jam into the middle of each circle. Fold three sides towards the center and press down (this part is commonly referred to as "pinching" the corners but it should be more like "pressing") to form a triangle. Bake 12 minutes or until golden.

*I use my doughnut cutter with the insert removed.

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size.

Note: I recommend only rolling out the scraps once.

My thoughts:
I fancy myself some what of a hamantaschen connoisseur. I wrote an article about Purim and hamantaschen for NPR a while back, I've created recipes for a rugelach-inspired cream cheese based hamantaschen with fig and ginger filling, chocolate hamantaschen and vegan hamantaschen (which is perfect for people who keep kosher because it is dairy free) filled with kiwi jam. I haven't made hamantaschen in a couple of years but when I got into canning, I knew I'd have to make a batch. For this version I went for a more butter cookie-esque dough and flavored it with lots of fresh zest and ground ginger. So good! I am happy to say we did not have a single cookie unfold from the entire batch. Take care to press down those corners.

The citrus scented cookie was sent the next level by my use of the orange jam but any citrus jam or even marmalade would be tasty. Or really, any jam as long as it is fairly thick. Thin jams or jellies will run out of the cookies and scorch.

March 08, 2009

Chocolate Hamantaschen

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

ginger preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line with a silipat or parchment paper 2 cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms. Refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough isn't quite as soft as it was straight from the mixer. Sprinkle a clean work area with powdered sugar. Roll out the dough until it is just shy of 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 2 3/4 to 3 inch rounds. I used my doughnut cutter (with the center removed) to cut the rounds. Place them on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Place a scant teaspoon of filling the in the middle and fold the two sides and the bottom (facing you) slightly up and towards the middle. The cookie should look like it has sides. Pinch the corners and lightly smoosh them down so there isn't a visible seam. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they look "set". Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: about 12 cookies

Note: You can easily double (or I would think, even triple) this recipe. Also, if you have a hard time shaping your cookies, Steph has an alternative method that involves folding that she has success with. If you use her method, I would suggest making larger cookies, maybe 3 1/2 inches, but using the same amount of filling that I call for here.

*Ficoco is a chocolate-fig spread. Before you ask, I found it at Whole Foods.

My thoughts:
Traditionally hamantaschen, a cookie made to celebrate Purim, is a plain dough with prune or poppy seed filling. While I know all about and enjoy traditional hamantaschen (I even wrote an article about Purim and hamantashen a couple of years ago for NPR) I still prefer the funkier variations. One year I made a cream cheese based hamantaschen with fig and ginger filling and another year I made vegan hamantaschen with kiwi or boysenberry jam. This year I had planned to make a shortbread type hamantaschen with a chocolate filling but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't think it would work. If I just used chocolate chips, the chips wouldn't be mixed into the batter and high heat would melt the chips and cause them to overflow and scorch. My next thought was to try a ganache filling but since the cookies are normally baked filled I didn't see how that would work either. Nor did I want to make a chocolate cookie or brownie-like dough to use for the filling, that seemed a bit much. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I liked the slightly caramelized, thickened jam or preserve filling in most hamantashen.

So, rather than waste time and valuable ingredients, I decided to make a chocolate dough and vary the filling. I loved the chocolate cookie filled with MacKay's spiced ginger preserves and my new love Ficoco but any sort of thick jam or preserves that you think pairs well with chocolate would work. The dough itself is has a very strong chocolate flavor and while slightly soft, holds the shape of the cookie well and is very easy to work with.

March 02, 2007


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

thick jam or preserves (I used kiwi jam and some store bought boysenberry)


Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined and a thick batter forms, about 10 minutes. If the batter looks too wet, add a little flour or if it looks a little dry and isn't coming together, add a tablespoon or so of water. Refrigerate the dough (still in the bowl, no need to wrap it or anything) about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 and line three cookie sheets with parchment paper*. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between your hands to form a ball. Place on the lined cookie sheet and press to make a 1/4 inch thick circle, about 2 inches around. Place a scant teaspoon of jam in the center and pinch the edges of the cookies to make 3 corners, but don't seal dough up completely, you want to see the jam in the middle. If the jam looks like it is going to pop out, scoop a little out. Repeat until the dough is gone, placing each cookie about 1/2 inch from each other. Take a break and refrigerate the dough if it gets too soft to handle. Bake exactly 12 minutes. The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven, but lightly brown on the bottom. Carefully lift the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and place the whole thing on a cooling rack. Allow to cool on the parchment paper until they are firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Allow to continue to cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.

*You really, really need to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Do not try and grease the pan instead, the cookies come out of the oven still very soft. Allowing them to cool while still on the parchment on the rack allows them to set while minimizing casualties.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

My thoughts:
At the risk of becoming known as the Queen of Hamantaschen (although, on second thought, that is not too bad) here is another hamantaschen recipe. We're going to dinner tonight at our friends' house and offered to bring dessert. It was suggested that I made hamantaschen since this weekend is Purim and supposedly, I am now a hamantaschen expert. One of our friends is vegan, so I went to work looking for an existing vegan hamantaschen recipe and couldn't really find many. There were a few, but most called for margarine or soy milk, which we don't use, so I came up with this one so I didn't have to buy any special ingredients. The resulting cookie turned out better than I expected, considering that while I make a fair amount of vegan foods, I very rarely have made vegan cookies and was making it up as I went along. They turned out very tasty and the cookie part was almost buttery tasting. The dough supported the jam filling very well and was pretty easy to work with. I don't think anyone would guess they were vegan unless you told them (if you are worried about that sort of thing) they are that close to nonvegan versions I've had. They were actually a little easier to make than regular hamantaschen because you skip the rolling the dough/cutting step and just shape them with your hands. I intentionally left out any sort of leavening agent (i.e. baking soda or baking powder) because I didn't want them puff up too much and cause the jam to spill out but don't worry, it is not a dense or hard cookie. In the interest of full disclosure, some cookies did came out sort of misshapen, but I think that says more about my pinching skills and lack of patience than the dough, which held its shape remarkably well and did not spread.

February 28, 2007

Purim: Carnivals, Cookies and Candy

I am not sure how many of you read NPR's weekly Kitchen Window column, but if you do, you might have already seen a familiar name. I wrote this week's column and it just went up today. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

It is about Purim and includes two recipes: one for fig and ginger hamantaschen and another for poppy seed ginger candy. It was pretty fun waking up this morning and seeing one of my cookies on the homepage for NPR!