This Purim, try something different. Five great recipes!
Every year when I make hamentashen I vow "Never again!" They're such a potchke and no one really likes them. However, through more ambitious and resourceful friends, I have located some good recipes. They're not easier but the results are worth it. And if all else fails -- there's always the bakery!
My friend Debby Segura, who is always a great recipe source, pitched in with two takes on hamentashen.
Hamentashen with Yeast Dough
1 package (2-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 cups flour
1-cup warm water
1/3-cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg
Purchased filling of your choice!
Combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together all liquid ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to the liquid to form a dough. Knead dough for 5 – 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Spray a large mixing bowl with Pam and place dough inside. Spray Pam on dough and cover loosely with a towel until dough doubles in size.
Punch down dough. Divide into thirds on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each piece until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut out 3 -inch rounds. Reroll scraps. Place filling in the center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center.
Place hamentashen 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Cover again and let rise at room temperature until nearly double, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops of the hamentashen with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Hamentashen with Chocolate Cookie Dough
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
One small Reese's peanut butter cup (dairy)
One-tablespoon marshmallow fluff (pareve [non-dairy])
One large Hershey's kiss (dairy)
Several chocolate or butterscotch chips (pareve [non-dairy])
Chocolate spread (pareve)
In a large mixer combine margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add to mixer and mix briefly to blend. Chill for 1 hour. Divide dough into quarters. Roll into 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut out 3-inch rounds. Reroll scraps. Place filling in the center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center.
Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Debby's Friend Freda offered this recipe:
More Traditional Hamentashen
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
Freda Small's Filling:
1 jar lekvar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup currants
Mix in a saucepan over low heat until combined.
Karen Rhodes' Great Grandmother's Filling:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup honey
1 dash cinnamon
orange water to taste
Mix in a saucepan over medium heat until blended.
In a large mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Add baking powder and flour until you get a workable dough. If dough is too wet, add more flour.
Divide dough into quarters. Toll to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Reroll scraps. Place filling in center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center.
Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with egg wash if desired (see yeast dough recipe). Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Hamentashen with Tofutti Cream Cheese
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces
1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese
1 large egg yolk
Filling of your choice
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, margarine and cream cheese until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir together egg yolk and vanilla and add to mixture in processor (with a few short pulses). Flatten dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Divide dough in half. Roll to ¼-inch thickness on lightly floured board. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Reroll scraps.
Place filling in center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake hamentashen for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool briefly on cookie sheets, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
This recipe, created by Maida Waldner Genser, has no eggs and no trans fats.
Dough (more may be needed, depending on how thick you like the hamentashen dough):
2 cups unbleached flour
3/ 4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs soy lecithin flakes*
1 Tbs Sucanat or other raw sugar
2/3 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (Spectrum brand is available in health food stores)
1/ 2 cup chilled almond milk
1 cup poppyseeds
1/ 2 cup almond milk
1/ 4 cup agave syrup (low glycemic sweetener from cactus)
1/4 cup Sucanat
pinch of salt
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
3 Tbs water
2 tsp lemon juice
grated peel of 1 lemon
About a 1/3 cup of almond milk for brushing the cookies and sealing the edges.
Flour for the surface where you roll out dough and for on the rolling pin. Spray oil or more shortening to grease the cookie sheets.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets with oil spray or a little of the shortening.
Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend. Pour into a sauce pan. Heat and stir until thick. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix flour, salt, Sucanat, and lecithin until evenly distributed. Add shortening and cut into flour mix with 2 knives. Add and mix in almond milk little by into the flour/shortening mix and combine thoroughly until all the dry mix is pulled into the ball of dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured board or on waxed paper. Cut circles of dough, eg. with the tops of coffee mugs. Cut out the circles and place on a the cookie sheets. Put about a tablespoon of the filling on each circle. (Here is where you have to decide whether to make more dough. If you made the dough circles thick, you will probably need more. The hamentashen can be made thick or thin.) Moisten your finger with some almond milk and pinch three corners of a circle around the filling to make a hamentashen triangle. Repeat for each cookie. Brush each cookie with almond milk.
Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes cookie is hardened and slightly browned.