You can't get through Purim without eating at least one hamantaschen.
It's tradition, and for me, a treat I look forward to every year. Hamantaschen are among my very favorite desserts.
Over the years I've tried dozens of different kinds from a variety of bakeries: the classics, filled with poppy seeds or with prune, apricot or raspberry lekvar, and in recent years some with more contemporary fillings including white chocolate and halvah and fig and rhubarb and so on.
The traditional fillings are the ones I love best.
I usually buy hamantaschen at a place called The Bakery, in Plainview, New York. It's right across the street from my contact lens doctor, so in the past, whenever I had an appointment with him I'd go to the bakery and stuff my trunk with a dozen hamantaschen (also mandelbread, babka and a few other treats I can't get (as delicious) in Connecticut).
However, this year I had cataract surgery and don't wear contact lenses anymore! A good thing too because my contact lens doctor retired.
So am I going to drive all the way to Plainview, Long Island for hamantaschen when there is no other reason to go?
Well, I might.
But in the meantime I decided to make my own. I never made dessert hamantaschen before (I did make lamb-phyllo hamantaschen for a recipe contest though and won a jar of tahini from Soom Foods!).
Here's my dairy version of classic sweet hamantaschen. The dough is tender and vaguely flaky and very rich. The ones in the photo all got gobbled in a flash.
I will make more for sure. With classic prune and apricot lekvar filling.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, cut into chunks
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
- 1 medium or large egg, beaten
- lekvar (about one cup)
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix briefly. Add the butter and cream cheese and mix on low-medium speed for a minute or so until the mixture is crumbly. Raise the speed to medium and continue to mix until a smooth dough has formed. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using small chunks of dough at a time, roll the dough thin (about 1/8th-inch) and cut out circles with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Brush each circle lightly with the beaten egg. Place one slightly mounded teaspoon of lekvar in the middle of each circle. Bring up the sides to shape the circles into a triangle. Press the sides tightly to keep them from opening when they bake. Place the triangles on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes about 36