Monday, March 02, 2015

The Baking Bible: Hamantaschen

This week's project is Hamantaschen, a filled cookie traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Purim. A quick tool around the internet led me to this blog which has links upon links for those who would like to do deeper research on the cookie in question.


Rose's Hamantaschen are made with a sweet cookie dough and are filled with a homemade poppy seed filling. She also gives the option to use canned poppy seed filling, which I happened to have in my freezer, so I skipped making the homemade version. I wonder how the homemade compares, as the canned stuff has high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient (boo). The filling in my hamantaschen is really sweet; thankfully Rose has you add lemon zest and some apricot lekvar or preserves to the canned filling so that it tastes of something besides sugar.


The dough is a sweet cookie crust, or a Pate' Sucree, made with turbinado sugar. I didn't take any photos of the making of the dough so I'm just going to skip ahead to the rolling and shaping. :)

ready to roll

Half of the dough is rolled out at a time to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Then circles are cut out and the edges washed with an egg wash. I'm guessing this is to help the edges stick to the filling and each other.

egg wash; but really i included this photo because i love the colors

Then the poppy seed filling is scooped into the middle of the rounds. I discovered that my newly acquired tiny cookie scoop was the perfect size. This made the distribution of the filling go super fast.


The edges of the dough are folded up to make little triangles.


There's an optional instruction to egg wash the outside of the cookies, which gives them a nice shiny brown color. After the cookies cool, a little apricot glaze is brushed on the poppy seed filling to give them a nice shiny glaze, too. They don't want to miss out on being shiny.

shiny

These were a big hit around these parts. The cookie is flaky and buttery and the filling is sweet and lemony. There are lots of variations on the fillings, from fruit jams to chocolate to sweet cheese and even savory. Lots of room for play, which makes this a cookie I'll look forward to repeating.  

Bonus cookie!

All those extra egg whites, plus the extra egg white from last week's posset went into making some coconut macaroons. I had leftover coconut from Eliot's birthday party; I had dyed it green to mimic grass (long story, wish I had photos) so I made some green macaroons. I called them Hobbit Hills but Mark calls them Grassy Knolls, which is a play on our last name (Knowles). He was super proud of himself so I can't argue. Then I covered them in chocolate ganache which makes them Muddy Hobbit Hills or Muddy Grassy Knolls.Whichever. They're pretty good but I wish I had baked them for a bit longer.

     

13 comments:

  1. Look how nice and tidy the folds are! Well done! If you ever want to make the poppy seed filling, it was super easy. The coffee grinder worked great. It was kinda fun watching the poppy seeds fluff up. I like the idea of turning egg whites into coconut macaroons. I bet y'all enjoyed your little guy's first birthday so much. Probably can't believe a year has gone by already.

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    1. Glad to know you can use the coffee grinder for poppy seeds.

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    2. this year did fly by! thanks about the folds. i took nancy's advice given on fb and folded them up nice and high.

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  2. I've never seen canned poppy seed filling. Hmm....er...actually I have never seen the plant itself or the flowers either! LOL! They look great with the canned fillings. I love the green macaroon cookies you made! Grassy Knolls is a nice name to them! :)

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    1. poppy flowers are so pretty! here's a link to a photo. poppies

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  3. Your hamantaschen look so luscious! They puffed up so much. Your pastry must have been perfect. You did a great job!

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  4. Love your final hats... I goofed in that step. And good idea on the bonus cookie.. I'm saving my egg whites for the French Macaroons.. which I have on my baking bucket list. :)

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    1. monica, somehow i'm surprised you haven't tackled french macaroons yet! i haven't either.

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  5. ב''ה

    I like the glossy look of your hamentashen. I'll have to try it sometime.

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  6. Macaroons are a great idea to use up all the leftover egg whites. Beautiful puffy little hamantaschen - great job! if you get a chance, I hope you'll stop by and see my post.

    Patricia @ ButterYum
    http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2015/2/11/tbb-hamantaschen-purim

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  7. Jen, you did a great job! I didn't fold mine as well as you did. I love poppy seeds, but would like to try this with a couple of different fillings.

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  8. I now wonder how big your freezer is. Seems like you have pulled stuff out of it by random. Is it like the sorting hat in Harry Potter? :)

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