Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Home for Purim

Shalom. I'm such a good goyim. For the rauchous holiday of Purim, I thought I'd try my hand at Hamantaschen, the traditional cookie shaped to represent the evil advisor Haman's pocket. Lucky for us Esther was made as hell and she wasn't going to take it, so she fasted for three days after her cousin Mordecai convinced her to go to the King and tell of Haman's plans to destroy the Jewish people. The King wasn't gonna take it either, so he strung Haman up on the gallows!!! Go King! Go Ester!!

So now we celebrate and eat Hamantaschen! Mazel Tov!

Fruity Hamantaschen
Makes 2 dozen cookies
Adapted slightly from here and here.

1/4 pound butter (1 stick), at room temperature
8 ounces no-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepared fruit preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the egg and mix thoroughly again.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and gradually add it to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate the dough, in the bowl, for 1 hour or until firm.

On a lightly floured (or powdered sugared) surface, roll out a small amount of dough at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough gets warm and hard to work with, refrigerate it for a few minutes and then re-roll.

Use a round cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass to cut out circles. Arrange the cut circles of dough on the cookie sheets. Spoon a teaspoon of the preserves into the center of each cookie. Pinch the edges of the cookies to make 3 corners, but don't seal dough up completely — you want some of the preserves to peek out.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

The eggs, sugar and butter all creamed together.

Dough rolled out and cut. I did get 25 cookies from my batch. I probably could have gotten another two or three, but the dough was getting tough.

The preserves I used! These were really tasty. If I understand correctly, this is the new house brand at Giant catering to the more socially conscience shoppers. I just thought they looked good. And they really taste great!

One heaping teaspoon of perserve per cookie.

My little beauties, lined up and waiting for the oven.

One of the little jems fresh out of the oven. You can see some of the cookies in the back that looked like they just sort of melted open, they didn't stay sealed up. It's ok. The fruit preserves stayed in the center anyway and there is still a little ledge to hold the goodies inside.

Another pretty cookie.

So pretty and tasty. They smelled great. I was a little surprised by the final texture. I was expecting a cookie base that was more of a shortbread, crumbly and buttery. Nope. It was actually a cross between a shortbread and a bit of a biscuit dough...a little flaky, a little chewy. Satisfying. I'm not sure if the texture was supposed to be different. The directions called for chilling the dough for an hour in the refridgerator. Because I was a little busy, it actually stayed in the fridge for about 24 hours. ???


Dancer in DC said...

These are divine! I loved them, and ate far too many already.

I love the story of Esther - it was always one of my favorites in Sunday School. I think they recently made a movie about her, actually.

joyous said...

I want some please!

And I want some of those preserves.

The Kara said...

Yes, you forgot the final step - send a batch to the Kara!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

They look so good!

Rachel said...

I am glad you liked them but I think you might have left the dough in the fridge too long wot get that texture.

PS. thanks for crediting my article/recipe!

ScottE. said...

Rachel-Thanks for stopping by. The more I was thinking about these, the more I felt that leaving the dough overnight resulted in the final texture being 'different.'


Rachel said...

I think that must be it. Of course, it isn't going to be exactly like shortbread but not exactly chewy as you describe it either. Also: I find nonfat cream cheese does not work well in baked goods so that might be part of the issue as well.