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Hamantaschen with Jam

March 1st, 2010 · 3 Comments

As I mentioned Friday, I planned to make Jewish cookies known as hamantaschen over the weekend. Hamantaschen are triangle-shaped cookies traditionally filled with thick poppyseed or prune spread, or other fruit preserves. They are traditionally made during Purim — a Jewish holiday festival similar to Mardi Gras — but can be found year-round in Jewish bakeries if you’re fortunate enough to have one nearby. We are not, so the past couple years I’ve simply picked up hamantaschen from Whole Foods, which were fine but nothing to get excited about.

Fortunately, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast came to my rescue with not one but two hamantaschen recipes; I went with Marcy Goldman’s recipe. With all due respect to Marcy’s Bubbie, I swapped butter for the oil (I prefer not to bake with oil), and omitted the orange zest in deference to the husband’s zest-dislike. Next time I’ll try it with the zest for a little more flavor.

The dough was simple and resulted in a soft, sweet cookie. The husband doesn’t like the traditional fillings, so I took advantage of our extensive jam collection and we made an assortment of flavors: strawberry-rhubarb (courtesy of my sister-in-law), apricot, raspberry (both from local farms), and some Ficoco — a fantastic fig and chocolate spread, think a fruity twist on Nutella.

I’m pretty certain we’ll stick with homemade from now on, these were fun and delicious!

Since only one cookie unfolded into a pancake while baking, I consider myself fully qualified to offer the following expert suggestions:

  • Don’t go overboard with the filling, but don’t be too stingy either — the ones my son plopped a larger spoonful of jelly on turned out best. I think the weight of the jam helped keep the center from puffing up as much when they baked. And, they have the perfect jam-to-cookie ratio.
  • Don’t be afraid to fold the edges up over most of the jam — and pinch tightly. The ones folded up more tightly also held their shape better while baking.
  • I brushed the outside of the cookies with egg wash — in reading other posts, it seems this may help them stay together while baking.

Tags: baking · cooking with kids · holiday

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