It's hard to resist these delicious little pastries resembling triangular hats. What a shame they only make an appearance during the Jewish holiday of Purim. I could eat them year round!
Fillings vary, but the one that I've made over the years contains dried apricots, prunes, lemon, honey, and walnuts. You could eat it with a spoon (as I often do), and it never fails to get rave reviews. The pastry is lightly scented with orange rind and fresh orange juice. It's chilled overnight which produces a light and tender dough.
makes about 25
- 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 lb. ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- finely grated rind of 1 large orange
- 1-1/2 T. orange juice
Into the bowl of a food processor, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Beat the egg lightly with the orange juice and rind. Pour through the feed tube, pulsing only until the mixture just begins to come together. Flatten the dough slightly and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- 12 oz. (2 cups) unsweetened dried pitted prunes
- 6 oz. ( 1 cup) unsweetened dried apricots
- 1 cup water
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3/4 cup walnuts, cut into medium size pieces
Chop the prunes and apricots into small pieces. Place them with the water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until very soft. Add a spoonful or two of additional water during cooking if necessary. Once fruit is very soft, add lemon juice and honey. Continue cooking, stirring constantly to prevent sticking for 5 minutes. Stir in the nuts and set aside to cool. Filling may be made the day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before using.
Adjust 2 oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half. Work one half at a time, keeping the other chilled. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8". With a round 3" cookie cutter, or a glass measuring 3", cut the dough into rounds. Holding one round in your hand, place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center, mounding it high. Fold up 2 sides of the dough and pinch together. Now fold up the third side and pinch together to form a triangle.
Place the Hamantaschen 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes until they are barely colored on the sides, slightly darker on the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack or eat while still warm.
Recipe makes more filling than you will need. It will keep for quite a long time in the refrigerator and is delicious used as a conserve, on toast or crackers.
Recipe courtesy of Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies
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