Out of all the festive holidays in the Jewish calendar, Purim is arguably the most exuberant. Kids and adults alike dressing up from head to toe in all sorts of disguises. Baskets of goodies being exchanged door to door. And the hamentashen. Oh those scrumptious, triangular-shaped cookies with fruit or chocolate fillings! You don’t have to settle on a crumbly mess from the bakery (although that’s what you might prefer).You can make your own hamentashen at home. And who knows? Maybe you’ll decide they are too good to only make once a year.
The Dough: The hamentashen dough is a sweet cookie dough that can be crumbly and cake-like, or a more crunchy cookie depending on the dough. The dough is a rolled cookie dough, which is flattened out evenly and then cut out to form cookies. When rolling out the dough, make sure it’s not too thin. The dough needs a little thickness so it doesn’t burn and will be easier to pinch together to form triangles.
The Filling: When filling your cookies, make sure not to overfill. Otherwise the dough will open and the filling will leak out. A little filling goes a long way. Use a filling that is not too liquidy so it doesn’t spill out. Traditionally, apricot and poppy seed fillings are used. You can use any flavor jams, chocolate fillings, fresh fruit and nuts or a combination of any of them.
The Process: After rolling the dough, use something circular to cut out the cookies. A cooke cutter, 1/4 cup measuring cup, or large shot glass can work. The circle-shaped cookie is perfect for creating triangles. Fill each circle with the same amount of filling using a measuring spoon. You can help the dough stick together by brushing the circles with egg whites left over after making the dough before pinching. The egg whites will serve as a glue to keep the hamentashen shape. Brush sides of hamentashen to get a beautiful brown color.
About 40 cookies
12 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
2 cups sugar
2 lemons zested
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cup canola oil
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups prune butter
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
zest of 1 lemon
egg wash made with 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
*Alternatively, fill with any one of your favorite jams or chocolate fillings
In a large bowl combine egg yolks, 2 eggs, and sugar. Whisk in zest, juice and oil. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 of flour to egg mixture, stirring to combine, then adding another 1/3, and mixing well again before adding the last 1/3 of flour. Finish mixing by hand to create a firm, slightly sticky dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine prune butter, apricots, walnuts and lemon zest to form filling. Flour your surface and work with 1/3 of the dough. Roll dough out to a 1/4” thick. With a round cookie cutter a measuring cup cut out circles. Fill each circle with a tablespoon of the filling and pinch three corners to close. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with remaining dough. Create egg wash with 1 egg and water. Brush cookies with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.