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Countdown to Christmas 2020: Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen

Note: We’re celebrating the season with a special #Christmas2020 holiday cookie countdown! We’re offering a wide variety of take-and-bake cookies plus special ready-to-eat breads via the San Juan Islands Food Hub this holiday season. Create the perfect cookie tray at home or send them to friends and family! If you miss the Food Hub deadline to order, call us directly at (360) 378-3587 to place orders until December 18 for pickup December 21-26 or order by December 25 for pickup December 28-January 2.

Hamantaschen are triangular-shaped cookies made to commemorate the Jewish celebration of Purim. The story of Purim is about a not-so-great fellow named Haman, a nice Jewish lady named Esther, and her ultimate victory over his plot to destroy the Jewish people. Hamantaschen are shaped to resemble Haman’s three-cornered hat. They are traditionally stuffed with sweet fillings made of poppy seeds, dried fruits, or fruit preserves. Doesn’t that sound good?

The original cookie recipe calls for shortening to keep it Kosher but that often results in a dry and crumbly dough. This recipe has butter to keep the dough soft, velvety, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. These cookies may be filled with different things, but to keep this simple and foolproof we will use fruit preserves. A few of our favorites are orange marmalade and raspberry or plum preserves, but again the options are limitless. For a nutty cookie, replace the jam with a poppy seed or almond frangipani filling. This cookie is unique and will undoubtedly leave your holiday spirits in cookie heaven.

Ingredients

4 c all-purpose flour
1 c softened butter
1 c sugar
3 large eggs, 1 reserved for egg wash
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 c preserves

Notes: You will need a round cookie cutter. If you do not have one, use a glass to press out your circle shapes.

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, and flour.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes with a stand mixer. Add two eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mix until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and form it into round disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. While the oven is heating, pull one dough disc out and leave at room temperature until it’s just soft enough to roll (about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how long it’s been refrigerated). Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to about ¼ inch thick. Using your cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Using a spatula, transfer each circle to prepared baking sheets.

6. Gather leftover dough, knead it together, and then roll it out again and cut out more circles.

7. Beat remaining egg lightly for an egg wash. Brush the edge of the rounds with egg wash. Place 2 teaspoons of filling inside the center of your round. Fold and pinch three corners around the filling to make a triangle. (See video above.)

8. Brush the outside of the dough with egg wash. Bake cookies for 9 minutes, rotate sheets, bake for another 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool before transferring them to a serving platter.

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