Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hamantaschen Tips and Tricks

Last year I did a "Hamantaschen Test Kitchen" with six different varieties:
Cream Cheese Dough
Gluten Free Hamantaschen
Aunt Dora's Recipe
Yeast Dough

This year, I thought I would give some of my favorite tips and tricks for hamantaschen baking:

Marble hamantaschen...mmm....
1. Make the dough in advance. It will work better if cold, and most hamantaschen doughs freeze really well. Just let it get soft enough to roll out once you're ready to use them.

2. Make and freeze ahead of time. I have 4 dozen hamantaschen hanging out in my freezer from last week just waiting to be packaged and given out to friends and family. Don't feel pressure to make them all at once.

3. I love using my silicone rolling mat to roll out the dough. This keeps me from needing to add too much flour as I roll, and it keeps the flavor of the dough intact. I also recommend baking on parchment. It's the best way to keep things from sticking. Also helps if the filling oozes out a little - makes cleanup much easier!

4. Brush each dough circle with a little egg white before filling. I lay out all the circles on the cookie sheet, brush them all, then drop the filling, then pinch them all. It works best in an assembly line fashion like this, rather than trying to do each hamantaschen one by one. (Then again, if you're doing it with the kids...let them have their fun!)

5. Fillings should be nice and thick, but not too dry. Chocolate chips by themselves make for dry hamantashen, but chocolate spread works great. Some people are purists and require poppyseed. If you like it, have at it! Buy high quality oven-safe jams, they work really well. It's worth it for the yum.

6. Be creative! One of my favorite tricks is to spread some jimmies or multi-colored sprinkles down on the mat and roll the dough out on top of them. This way the sprinkles are in the outside of the hamantaschen. For getting really fancy, I might drizzle chocolate on top or even dip part or all of each finished cookie in chocolate. Can't go wrong with that!

Some other interesting hamantaschen links:
Midnight Mint Hamantaschen - these look divine
Poppy Seed Rolls - a little twist on Purim
Hamantaschen Cupcakes - someday I'm going to make these

What's your favorite flavor? Weigh in over here at the Reform Judaism blog.

What kind are you making this year?


Larry Kaufman said...

When you and I debated applesauce vs. sour cream for latkes, I telegraphed my position on hamantaschen: poppyseed all the way. (More about this on the Reform Judaism blog

My prooftext: the proper spelling is ha-mohn-taschen.

I have just received a copy of the newly revised edition of Mark Washofsky's Jewish Living. Nowhere in it do I find a precedent for gingerbread hamantaschen. And from a rabbi yet! No wonder people question the authenticity of Reform Judaism.

Isreview said...

My friend used sprinkles as a filling - they look amazing and her kids LOVE them! I gotta tell her your idea to roll them in sprinkles to get them on the outside- love that idea:)

She also used candy-coated colorful chocolate chips as a filling and she made a batch of chocolate cookie Oznie Haman filled with white chocolate chunks they all came out amazing!

Laura said...

Thanks for the link. I like the idea of hamantaschen cupcakes, and the tip for rolling the dough in sprinkles is very clever. Also good to know that egg whites make a good sealant.

Mara @ Kosher on a Budget said...

You know what's REALLY good? Nutella with a few extra chocolate chips thrown in for chocolately goodness.

I'm making up my dough tonight to roll out with the kids tomorrow.

I wasn't going to make this year, but now that I've been reading everyone's links, I have to! (Thanks for linking up today, too :)