Jonathan’s brother and his wife Arielle came to visit last weekend from New York. The weather was gorgeous so we did a little late afternoon baking on the deck with a glass of wine! Arielle is a fabulous baker and this is her recipe for hamentashen. These cookies are traditionally made for Purim, a Jewish holiday this past weekend (people dress up like Halloween, give these cookies to each other and drink a lot -- it’s great!!). The cookies are shaped like the hat of one of the characters in the story told on this holiday.
For the dough:
4.25 cup flour
1 .5 cup sugar (we used light brown)
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup veg oil
Juice of 1/2 of a small orange
2 generous tbsp cognac (or brandy)
Generous pinch salt
Mix sugar and oil. Beat in eggs. Add orange juice and cognac. Slowly mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined and not lumpy. Remove from mixer and shape in ball. Press ball into a disc then cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour (more is fine) to make it more firm which helps in the rolling out process.
For the filling:
1/2 cup poppy seeds
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp milk
0.25 cup Dried cherries
0.25 cup Dried figs
In a food processor, pulse dried fruit a little to get it into pieces (chopping probably works too) combine all ingredients including the dried fruit on the stove in a small sauce pan to reduce. Stir as needed until all ingredients come together like a thick sauce.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Roll out dough (will need flour) and cut circles (about 3” diameter). Fill each circle with a dollop of filling (it will spread) and fold in edges to make triangles. Be sure to tightly pinch the corners.
Line cookie tray with tin foil and spray tray with oil. Place unbaked hamentashen on tray with some distance apart (about 15-20 hamentashen per standard cookie sheet). Bake at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye that the corners don’t start to burn!