Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hamantashen Times Two

Hamentashen Times Two
Adapted from: Marcy Goldman's A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and Faye Levy's International Jewish Cookbook

Hands-on time: It seemed to take a couple of hours, but I’m really not sure. It was joyous chaos.
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 3-4 dozen (although we were busy eating them as soon as they came out of the oven, so counting was challenging)

Here are two types of dough and two types of filling, but really there are too many great recipes out there to count. The normal response after biting into any of them is…”this is exactly/nothing like my mother’s/grandmother’s”. My mother’s version would be a combination of Joanna’s choice for dough (Faye Levy) and mine for filling (Marcy Goldman adaptation). What's yours?

Marcy’s Bubbie’s Orange & Oil Hamantashen dough
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
½ cup orange juice (I used fresh – 2 large oranges)
Zest of 1 orange, finely minced or grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch (optional- but I did use it. It’s supposed to tenderize the dough)
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda

Faye’s One-Two-Three Cookie Dough:
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar (also called powdered or icing sugar)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
2 ½ tsp grated orange zest
1-2 tbsp orange juice

My Filling adapted from Marcy’s Prune Filling:
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
2 cups pitted prunes
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup dried apricots
1/3 cup sugar

Joanna’s Filling from Faye’s Date & Cocoa Filling:
¾ lb/340g pitted dates
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp tangy jam (Faye uses plum)

Directions :
We actually made the dough the day before and I prepared the filling earlier in the day since mine needed stewing and Joanna’s was a no-cook prep.

My filling adapted from Marcy with my mother’s spirit at my side:
1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the juices, fruits and sugar. Toss.

2. Allow the mixture cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the prunes and apricots are soft. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

3. Once the fruit is soft, remove from heat and pour into the food processor. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Process until a thick paste forms. Taste for seasoning. I like mine tart, so sometimes I need to add more lemon juice, you might want it sweeter, so add more sugar. The filling should be thick and moist.

4. Chill the mixture slightly before filling (I made mine the day before). It can be made within a half an hour or keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If the chilled filling seems too stiff, add a little more juice or warm water.

Joanna’s filling from Faye’s book:
1. Grind the dates in a food processor. Add the cocoa and jam and process to blend.

Marcy’s dough and final baking:
1. In a large bowl, blend sugar and oil together using a whisk or wooden spoon. Mix in orange juice, zest, vanilla and eggs. Fold in the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda to make a soft but firm dough. Cover and let rest for at least 15 minutes or refrigerated for up to 3 days. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling out.

2. Preheat oven to 350° F/180°C and line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Working with half the dough at a time,(cover the rest with a dry tea towel). Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8th” . Using something round (I, like my mother before me, use a large glass about 5” in diameter) to cut out circles.
*** I found the dough too soft and added more flour with a little kneading before rolling out the dough.

4. Now that I’m reading the recipe…3 days after the fact…Marcy suggests brushing some egg wash (1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, 1-2 tbsp water or milk & pinch of sugar) on each circle before adding a generous spoonful of filling. Bring the three sides together to form a triangle, pinching the edges to hold their shape. Brush with additional egg wash if desired and bake until lightly golden (about 15-18 minutes). Cool.
***I didn’t do the egg wash thing and the cookies were still delicious

Faye's 1-2-3 Cookie Dough
1. Beat egg with yolk to blend. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process briefly to blend. Scatter the butter pieces over the mixture. Mix, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with zest and pour egg mixture evenly over top in the processor. Process by pulsing, scraping down occasionally, until dough just begins to come together in a ball. If it’s too dry sprinkle with some orange juice and process briefly.

2. Transfer dough to work surface, knead lightly to blend. With rubber spatula transfer dough to sheet of plastic wrap and form into a flat disc. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

Baking directions are the same as mine.


Mike of Mike's Table said...

I haven't had Hamantashen in forever. Those look delicious!

Psychgrad said...

Very nice. We just made hamentashen too. Definitely the type of baking you need to plan for and devote the better part of an evening too. Yours look great!

Ruth Daniels said...

They were tasty, thanks...and already...none left!