Monday, March 12, 2012

Hamantashen for Purim!

Last week for Purim, I baked up a small batch of Hamantashen, those traditional triangle cookies usually filled with jam. I swayed a bit from the tradition as usual, and turned half of my cookies into Cinnamon Roll Hamantashen... and they were superb!

I've made a blogging error, but never fear - I will make it up to you! I forgot to record the source of my recipe and all of the adaptations I made to the original recipe. Therefore, I'm so sorry to say it, but this will be a recipe-free post.

What I can give you instead is a bunch of tips and tricks for Hamantashen making, creative recipe adaptions, and makeshift kitchen troubleshooting. Please say that'll be OK!

When I adapt recipes, I pay the closest attention to the original recipe's ratio of fat to flour to sugar. I also look at the amount and type of leavening agent. Unless I'm feeling really confident in my recipe adapting abilities, I keep these amounts fairly close to the original, and adapt the amounts and types of other ingredients.

I strayed from the classic jam hamantashen and filled several with chocolate chips and several more with a cinnamon streusel mixture I fixed up and topped them with a simple powdered sugar glaze.

For many creative hamantashen ideas (thinking ahead to next year), check out this article. Those pizza hamantashen look amazing!

When I was looking up hamantashen recipes, I found several that called for orange juice in small quantities (1/4 cup or less) and one recipe that incorporated cream cheese in the dough. I didn't have either of these things on hand, so I sought out other recipes and ended up using one that more closely resembled a typical pie crust recipe. It called for flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and some water to help bind the dough, but I unfortunately don't remember the exact quantities I used of these ingredients.

To shape my cookies, I reverted back to my summer after college "makeshift kitchen" mode. Instead of rolling out the cookies on my grimy dirty counter, I rolled them out on a clean cookie sheet and the bottom piece of my cupcake carrier.

I used one smooth edged glass to roll out the cookies for lack of a rolling pin, and another round glass with a 2 inch diameter opening to cut out small circles of dough - Cups make GREAT makeshift rolling pins and cookie cutters!

I filled the centers of each circle cut-out with one of three fillings and FOLDED three edges down to create the picturesque triangle shape.

NOTE: I did pinch a few of the edges shut just for kicks — these are the cookies that ended up flatting out in the oven. Not advised.

A REAL recipe will be coming to you soon! Promise!

Til then, Happy Baking!

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