I know, I know, all this junk food is getting tiresome. But it isn't my fault. Honest. My kids have gotten into a baking frenzy lately. My son wants to bake every night, and we have cookies literally spilling out of the freezer drawers. And, yes, I do mean literally.
Sure, it's fun and keep the kids occupied in the kitchen through these (hopefully last few) dreary winter evenings. And I very much prefer that they take home-baked goods to school for snack over high-fat and high-sodium chips. But there's got to be a limit.
I couldn't say no tonight, though. It's the Jewish month of Adar, which means Purim is around the corner. And you know what Purim means. Lots of junk. And lots of Hamantashen. For the uninitiated, Hamantashen are sweet pastries traditionally filled with jam or poppy seeds, and shaped like triangles. If you haven't tried them, you should. They're easy to make and lots of fun.
We filled some of ours with jelly, but we prefer less traditional fillings like cinnamon-sugar, chocolate chips, and the very in-vogue NUTELLA. Very revolutionary, I know. But very, very delicious.
Here's our recipe with our favorite fillings. This is a great versatile dough which is easy to work with and wonderful tasting.
If you've never formed these shapes before, take a look at the photos above or at the collage at the end of this post. The technique is simple. You just roll the dough, cut it in circles, fill it, and then fold the corners in. Be sure to pinch the edges really tight so they don't open while baking.
5 1/2 - 7 cups flour
3 eggs (plus one extra for egg wash, if desired)
2 sticks margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
fruit jam (we used Smucker's strawberry)
a mix of 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 4 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 325*.
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. (Start with 5 1/2 cups of flour and work your way up to 7 if you need it.) Mix the dough for a few minutes until it's well combined and not at all sticky. (Add flour as needed.)
Divide the dough into about four even balls. Working with one ball at a time, roll the dough about 1/3 inch thick. Cut it into 3-inch rounds using cookie cutter, glass, or any other round object you have in your kitchen.
Place some filling in the center of each circle.
- For Nutella or jam, use about a teaspoon.
- For chocolate chips, use about 5 chips.
- For cinnamon sugar, gently press finger down in the center of the dough circle to make a small indentation. Then put about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar in the 'hole.'
Form the rounds into triangles by pinching the corners closed.
If you want glossy shiny cookies, make an egg wash by beating one egg yolk with a little water. Brush the cookies with the egg wash before baking for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool for at least 15 minutes on the tray and then transfer to racks to cool completely. Eat within a few days or freeze for later.
This post is linked to Real Food Digest Sukkot 2011 Blog Carnival.