I’ll be honest. I do not have a great success rate at making hamantaschen. Try as I might, year after year, they come out looking pretty mediocre.
What are hamantaschen?
Hamantaschen (ha-men-tosh-en) are cookies that are eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is tomorrow. Shaped like three-cornered hats, they are filled with preserves, chocolate, poppy seeds or other concoctions. This year I made apricot, raspberry and nutella hamantaschen.
The trick is to make them look uniform, which mine do before they go in the oven. See?
But all too often they spread while baking and come out like this:
Grr! Even Max is sympathetic.
I have tried many different recipes with varying success. I have tried freezing the unbaked cookies for 10 minutes and then baking. I have tried using an egg wash to hold the sides of the dough together. No matter what I do, chances are about 50-50 that they will come out the way I want them to.
Maybe my hamantaschen-baking readers will have some tips to share.
But this year, thanks to inspiration from My Jewish Learning, I have found the perfect solution to forlorn, misshapen hamantaschen. Melt chocolate, dip the cookies, and then coat with sprinkles. Voila! No one will notice the flaws and who wouldn’t bite into one of these?
This hamantaschen recipe was given to me by my friend Myra and it is my favorite.
Myra Wolpert’s Hamantaschen
1 cup butter, softened
scant 3/4 cup sugar
3 t. vanilla extract
approx.. 2 – 3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
Combine butter and sugar. Add egg and beat together. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Sift flour and baking powder together and add to butter mixture. Dough should be pliable and not sticky. Form dough into a flat disk and wrap in wax paper. Chill one hour or longer.
Roll onto floured surface, about 1/4″ thick.
Cut in circles. I used a 3″ round cutter but they can be larger. You can also use the top of a drinking glass to cut the circles. Add filling to center of circle and pinch sides together.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes until edges are slightly brown.
Cool on rack.
To finish off with chocolate, melt 1 c. chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet for half of the batch and white for the others) in the microwave, being careful not to burn. Add 1/2 T. vegetable oil and stir to blend.
Dip side of hamantaschen in chocolate and shake off the excess. Dip in sprinkles or other topping (coconut, chopped nuts, crushed candies, e.g.) Let dry on rack. Keep at room temperature for a day or freeze.