Jam-filled Hamantaschen

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I am always looking for ways to use jam beyond spreading it on toast/pancakes/scones. Particularly the three jars of blackberry jam I’ve had in the back of the fridge since September 2008. They’re in the refrigerator, as opposed to on my shelf, because I didn’t process them and figured I’d use them quickly in a recipe. But being in the way back, I never did use them. Then I started to believe that they weren’t good anymore.

Finally, I pulled them out recently, only to discover that they had, in fact, sealed when I first made them (via the open kettle method) and were fine and totally delicious. Who knew!

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Hamantaschen are fruit or jam-filled cooked that are traditionally made around Purim. Their triangle shape is said to mimic Haman’s hat (although, in Israel, they call them Haman’s ears). Haman was an enemy of the Jews, who was defeated by Queen Ester. Purim (a fun, celebratory holiday that combines aspects of Independence Day and Halloween) has already come and gone for this year, but there’s no need to wait for next year before making these cookies.

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I’ve learned a few things about Hamantaschen, as I’ve made at least three batches in the last week, trying to get them right. The first is that I’m nearly incapable of getting the proportions perfect. You want plenty of cookie, in order to have enough dough to create a sufficient well for the spoonful of jam you heap in their center.

I can’t quite manage this (I cut too little cookie and add too much jam). Also, I somehow can’t catch the dough at the perfect point of chilled by yet still workable. However, I’ve discovered that even when I screw them up, they are still delicious. So maybe I’ll just keep making them until I get them right.

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If you do any recipe searching, you’ll find that there are some recipes that call for yeast and some that don’t. I find that in terms of flavor, I like the the unyeasted dough better (they’re more like a sugar cookie). However, the texture of the yeasted cookie was more in keeping with the Hamantaschen I’ve eaten in the past (it was flaky and reminded me slightly of shortbread). I’ve included both recipes so that you can determine which style you prefer.

For another take on Hamantaschen, see Deena’s post on Mostly Foodstuffs. She used a recipe that incorporates cream cheese, and I imagine that it lends a really yummy richness that goes really well with jam.

Hamantaschen Dough (non-yeasted)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs (1 for the batter, 1 for the egg wash)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can use all purpose, I was shooting for a very slightly more healthful cookie)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Dough must be made at least 24 hours before you want to bake the cookies, as it needs to be thoroughly chilled prior to rolling out, filling and baking.
  2. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and orange juice and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet in batches. Beat a stiff dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and stash it in the refrigerator.
  3. When the dough has chilled thoroughly and you're ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Flour your board and rolling pin well and roll the dough until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick (too thin and the cookies will spread).
  4. Using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into rounds. Transfer the rounds onto a parchment or Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Fill with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Paint the edges of the cookie with the egg wash (whisk one egg with a tablespoon of water). Fold and pinch the edges into a triangle, making sure to seal them well so that no jam leaks out. Brush the cookies with a bit more of the egg wash, to give them a nice shine.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are a light golden brown.

Notes

Recipe adapted from "The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook"

http://foodinjars.com/2010/03/jam-filled-hamantaschen/

Hamantaschen Dough (yeasted)

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour (unsifted)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and egg yolks together until light and fluffy. Add the yeast/water and flour. Beat into a stiff dough. Form into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerator for at least two hours.
  3. When the dough has chilled thoroughly and you're ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Flour your board and rolling pin well and roll the dough until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick (too thin and the cookies will spread).
  4. Using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into rounds. Transfer the rounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Fill with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Paint the edges of the cookie with the remaining egg white. Fold and pinch the edges into a triangle, making sure to seal them well so that no jam leaks out. Brush the cookies with a bit more of the egg white, to give them a nice shine.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are a light golden brown.

Notes

Recipe from my mother's collection, clipped from an unknown newspaper at least 30 years ago

http://foodinjars.com/2010/03/jam-filled-hamantaschen/

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9 Responses to Jam-filled Hamantaschen

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    Who cares what they look like – it’s how they taste! I bet they’re delicious. I haven’t made Hamantaschen for years – thanks for the reminder! a great delivery vehicle for good jam…

  2. 2
    Alice says:

    I can’t believe you haven’t used the blackberry jam!!! I first found you blog last summer when I was looking for info on blackberries. I made the jam (I usually make freezer jam) and it is now my favorite over strawberry. Seattle has lots of blackberries.
    Congrats on the nomination.
    From another jar person (I stop by the thrift-store after church everyweek).
    Alice

  3. 3
    Julia says:

    How many jars of jam do you have in the fridge? Just wondering. I always feel so pressured to use them up. My count is at five at the moment. Your blackberry jam looks lush!

  4. 4
    Sara says:

    I’m sure this is totally obvious, but linzertorte or linzer cookies would be a great way to use up jam. I’ve been meaning to make these myself for quite a while now…it must feel great though to have used those jars from “way back when”? You must be better about keeping your fridge uncluttered than most of us 😉

  5. 5
    Deena says:

    Flaky + shortbread? Now I want to try your yeasted hamantaschen. My cream cheese dough definitely has tang — overall, it’s somewhat pastryish, like a neat 3-cornered jam tart. Either way, miles better than the plaster-of-paris cookies I grew up with. I can’t believe that those of us with basements full of jam only make these once a year.

  6. 6

    Lovely cookies….and lovely blackberry jam. I’m enjoying your site and learning so much. I so, need some of those liners for my cookie sheets. Do you mind if I ask where you got them?
    Jana

  7. 7
    Asli says:

    How about David Lebovitz’s jam tart! I made with sour cherry preserves I had made earlier and it was fabulous!!

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  9. 9
    C. Blum says:

    I want to know a good video out there for a rank beginner canner.

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  1. Holiday Cookie Jam — Or Is That Jam Cookie? — and a Chocolate Winner! « Hitchhiking to Heaven - January 29, 2011

    […] The Hamantaschen are happening at Food in Jars […]

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