Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy Hamantashen!

I had four of these for breakfast. And then made more. And now all the raw dough is gone, and I'm almost positive the cookies will be gone within 24 hours, too, even though I only live with one other person. It's hard to find the perfect hamantashen recipe. But thankfully, after a friend shared her mother's recipe with me, I can make (and share with you) the BEST hamantashen I've ever had.
Happy Purim, everyone.
And Thanks, Elaine!

Hamantashen
makes about 50 2-3" cookies

3 c flour
1 heaping cup sugar
3 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3/4 c shortening* 
2 beaten eggs
2-4 T orange juice
lekvar or thick jam for filling

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.With your fingertips, mash the shortening into the dry ingredients. Roll shortening gobs into the flour mix, and you should have a pebbly/sandy looking mixture in your bowl. Now add the eggs and 2 T OJ. Mix until combined (I used a fork for this), and if it's too crumbly, not enough like a dough, add more OJ, by the tablespoonful, and mix after each addition. If dough is still crumbly, you can add some water, but 4 T should be enough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
When ready, roll dough out to about 1/8" thick. I did this in batches of a third of the recipe at a time, keeping the other two thirds in the fridge. With a small glass or round cookie cutters, cut the dough into circles and place on ungreased cookie sheet as you cut. If you have dough scraps left over, just ball them up and re-roll. I was able to roll dough out 3 times.
When all the circles are cut, dab a half or full teaspoon of jam in the middle, but no more than that!!!
Fold into triangles. I used this method which was AMAZINGLY helpful.
When all are folded, bake 10 min, or until golden brown at the edges. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Be careful - hot cookies = hot jam = very burnt mouth!!

*I will admit, I was really not into buying Crisco for these - I was actually embarrassed buying it in the store and even more, I had to have someone help me get it because it was on a super high shelf and I couldn't get it down myself. But for some reason, it is the only fat that creates the results you want in the perfect cookie. So, like me, you will get over the shortening hump.