Monday, March 14, 2011
Its been several years since I've made Hamantaschen. I have a slew of Hamantaschen recipes but I don't recall making this particular recipe which is Marcy Goldman's from BetterBaking.com. Once again I was alerted to the recipe from a food forum I am a member of. My grandmother made the best Hamantaschen. Hers were tiny but always looked perfect. She had so much talent with dough......making pastries and this spring treat was one of her specialties. Me.......highly dough challenged and anything I do with dough looks elementary! She only filled them with prune butter AKA Levkar which she made with Italian prune plums in early fall. She would make jars and jars of the stuff. As a child I never was too fond of this dark filling so she would make me some with cherries or apricots. Now I adore that prune butter and found a jar of it calling my name on the shelf at the local grocery store!
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups (approximately) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
egg wash (I use 1 egg yolk and a few drops of milk and whisk)
I chose Apricot Preserves, Raspberry Preserves, Nutella and Prune Butter:
Sugar (regular or coarse) for dusting (optional)
Cream the shortening and butter with the sugar. Add eggs and blend until smooth. (If mixture is hard to blend or seems curdled, add a bit of the flour to bind it).
Stir in orange juice or milk and vanilla. I used milk. Fold in flour, salt, and baking powder and mix to make a firm but soft dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a smooth mass. Cover and let rest ten minutes.* Divide dough into two or three flattened disks. Work with one portion at a time. Wrapped in plastic, dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. If refrigerating, allow dough to warm up before rolling out. For frozen pastries, bake without defrosting.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll out dough on lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8th inch. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter and cut into rounds. I used the top of a drinking glass. Brush rounds with egg wash. Fill with a generous teaspoon full of desired filling. Draw three sides together into center. Grasp perimeters of circle with your first, second and third fingers and pull inward. You should now have a three-cornered or triangular pastry. Essentially, fold two sides towards the center to form a triangle top. Fold up the remaining dough towards the center to meet the other edges of the touch. Brush pastries with egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar and bake until golden brown, about 18-25 minutes.
*I refrigerated the dough for about an hour and let it rest at room temperature about 15 minutes before rolling out.
On parchment lined baking sheet ready for oven:
With another favorite......dark chocolate Dove eggs:
Note that the raspberry filled are a darker color as that was the only batch I brushed egg wash on top.
Recipe doubles well.
About 4-6 dozen pastries.