Monday, February 22, 2010

Hamantaschen

Since Purim is coming up, I thought a recipe for Hamantaschen would be nice.

For those not in the know, Hamantaschen are triangular-shaped cookies, traditionally served during Purim.  Haman was the bad guy in the story of Purim, another holiday that can be explained as:

They tried to kill us.
We won.
Let's eat!

Depending upon which authority you listen to, Hamantaschen represent either Haman's ears or Haman's hat. They used to be only made with prune filling, but nowadays they can be filled with preserves, nuts or even chocolate.  Despite my love affair with the latter, I really prefer a nice raspberry preserve filling. 

Hamantaschen

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick margarine, softened and cut up
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus up to 1/2 cup more
one scant tablespoon baking powder
1 cup raspberry (or any other fruit) preserves, or 1 cup chocolate chips

 In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together. 
Add eggs and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Stir in oil, vanilla and orange juice.
In a small mixing bowl, wisk together flour and baking powder.  Stir dry mixture into the batter just long enough to form a stiff dough (if not stiff enough to roll out, add up to 1/2 cup additional flour).
Divide dough in half, form each half into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Regrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, or overnight (my preference).
Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease sheet).
Unwrap one dough ball.  On a lightly foured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out circles using the rim of a drinking glass dipped in flour.
Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. 
Spoon about 1 teaspon  preserves (2 tsp. cchoc. chips) into the center of each cookie.
Pull up 3 sides and lightly pinch ends together to form a triangle, allowing only a little of the filling to show (the open center will open more  when baked).  Roll up scraps, cover in the original plastic to help save the environment, and refrigerate.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet to firm up, then remove to a cooking rack. 
Let cool completely.  Repeat with other dough ball, then combine all the scraps for a third batch.

Makes 24 - 30 cookies

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