Friday, May 14, 2010
I’ve been down for the count these past few days with a case of apparent food poisoning. It’s no fun at all so I am posting these cookies that I made a couple weeks ago. Hamantaschen is a traditional cookie that is made to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. According to my cookbook, Purim celebrates “the deliverance of the Jews from annihilation in the 5th century BC.” I’m not Jewish but I have come across this recipe before and they always looked interesting.
I had a couple of my newer cookbooks out one day and I was looking at different recipes. I had stopped to do something else and had left the book open to the page with the Hamantaschen recipe. My husband asked if I was going to make those. I looked at the recipe and I had all the ingredients, so I said I would. These cookies usually have different fillings: this particular recipe had prune, apricot, and poppy seed filling recipes. I just decided to use a cranberry conserve that I had on hand.
I had a little trouble getting the dough to come together, and it remained a little grainy even while rolling the dough. The cookies baked up ok so I guess it didn’t matter that the texture seemed different. Shaping the cookies was surprisingly easy, and most of them looked like the picture in the cookbook! I only had a few oddly shaped mutants. The filling was interesting. The first day I baked them, the cranberry filling was way too tart. After 24 hours, the flavor mellowed and I really liked the cranberry flavor. I’d be interested in making either the poppy seed or apricot varieties. I’m glad I gave these a try, and this cookbook, Great Cookies by Carole Walter, has an entire chapter on international cookies. I need to see what other interesting cookies there are in there.
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, cut into ½” cubes
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preserves for filling
2 egg whites beaten with 2 teaspoon sugar
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse five times and ten process 5 seconds to make meal-like crumbs.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, yolks and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the food processor and pulse four or five times, then process 1 minute or until the dough begins to clump together. Pout out onto a lightly floured surface and form into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
On a floured surface roll the dough until it is 3/16” thick. Using a 3” cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place them on the prepared cookie sheets. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges of the circles with the egg wash. Lift up the corners of the dough, at one-third intervals, so that the cookies look like tri-cornered hats.
Brush the tops of the cookies with egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Let the cookies cool for several minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe from Great Cookies by Carole Walter