Monday, March 9, 2009

Hamantaschen

Tonight is Purim. Purim is a Jewish holiday, where we celebrate, basically, the Jews being saved from death as ordered by the bad guy Haman. I grew up with hamantaschen as Haman's hat, but apparently children are also taught that hamantaschen are Haman's ears. Either way, hamantaschen are a delicious cookie eaten at Purim. This version is a butter cookie filled with a poppy seed filling, which is traditional. 

I did make jam filled ones (not pictured), but the poppy seed ones came out best. The jam filled ones spread and flattened a bit more than these ones, but still tasted fine. If you don't like poppy seed ones, or don't mind flatter cookies, then use jam. I used apricot for some and quince for some others, and liked the apricot better of the two. But use whatever you want! I forgot about poppy seeds, it's been a long time since I've had anything with poppy seeds in it. I'm talking years, people. I used to eat a lot of lemon poppy seed muffins, but I can't remember the last time I had one. I forgot about the delicious, almost licoricey flavor they have. It pairs very well with the sweet, buttery cookie. 



Hamantaschen
Recipe adapted from Is that my bureka? There is also a great explanation of Purim there, if you have further questions. I would also check out his site for detailed photographs of each step, as well as a recipe for another traditional filling, prune and walnut. 
Bear in mind when making these that the dough needs to chill in the fridge overnight (recommended) or for at least 6 hours.

1/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c shortening (you can skip this and replace with butter)
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 c rice flour mix
1/2 t xanthan gum
2 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 T juice (I used lemonade, original recipe called for oj)
1 t vanilla

Cream butter and shortening together, then add sugar. Beat until well mixed, then add egg, followed by juice and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the flour mix, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder. Add into the butter and egg mix, and stir until completely mixed. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours. 

Divide dough in half, and roll out half on a well floured surface. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter (or a tin can works well in a pinch), mine were about 2 1/2" across. Plop a teaspoon of filling into the center of each, then fold into triangles, pinching one corner together and then folding up the bottom side to make three points. See this post if you need some help picturing the process. Stick the cookie sheet with the cookies on it in the freezer while you roll out and shape the second half of the dough. Also, preheat the oven to 375 at this point. 

When the second half of the dough is formed, take the first batch out of the freezer and stick them into the now preheated oven. Stick the second batch into the freezer while the first batch bakes. Bake 10 minutes or until just starting to brown on the corners. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Poppy seed filling
Also from Is that my bureka? but I changed some of the quantities, because I didn't have 1 1/4 c poppy seeds. 

a scant 1/2 c poppy seeds
1/3 c soymilk
1/4 c honey
a small pat of butter (less than a tablespoon)
a squeeze of lemon juice (less than a teaspoon)
1/2 t vanilla

Grind the poppy seeds in your spice mill or coffee grinder. Make sure they are ground pretty fine! Combine ground poppy seeds with all the other ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until combined and starting to thicken. Cool completely before using. 

6 comments:

  1. Hey - that looks pretty familiar. We have something similar that we make during certain ritualistic ceremonies and your hamantaschens look like I could make them. Very doable. Thanks for expanding my recipe-vocabulary.

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  2. My favorite Jewish Holiday and my favorite Jewish baked good. Thanks for posting!

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  3. We're using your filling tonight, we're psyched!!

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  4. Thanks for posting, now i know how to sub the flour for my great great grandmas recipe

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  5. Thank you so much for this g-f hamantaschen recipe! This is my first g-f Purim and I was cautiously optimistic about being able to really love a g-f version of hamantaschen, but we loved them (gluten-eaters included)! Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I made them with egg-replacer and they were still great.

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