While we are not particularly religious, we do instill tradition in our family. Hamentashen is a traditional cookie served for Purim, which begins this evening. I have never actually made hamentashen before. The truth is, I never ate one that I thought was worth making.
This time, I searched for a different recipe that my family would enjoy and Salt and Serenity had an interesting one on her blog that was basically cinnamon bun flavors, within a hamentashen cookie. (She also gives a good detailed explanation of the story of Purim on her blog post.) Try experimenting with different fillings.
I also tried my favorite salad combination savory Goat Cheese and Beet Hamentashen. As if it were the “crouton”, I served it with a mixed green salad, toasted walnuts and a tangy champagne vinaigrette. The recipe is basically the same as the sweet hamentashen, just omit the sugar and add a good pinch of salt. You can roast beets if you have time, but otherwise using canned, and dicing the beets is fine – especially if you will be adding a vinaigrette to them.
Cinnamon Bun Hamentashen
(makes about 40)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
½ cup salted butter, softened
1 cups icing sugar
1/8 cup water, or as needed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Mix eggs and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour in oil and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to mixer eggs and sugar. Mix just until dough begins to come together.
2, Knead into a round ball and chill for about an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 and make filling by mixing all together with a spatula. Set aside.
4. Taking half the dough and roll between two sheets of parchment paper (great tip from the salt & serenity) until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think. Basically thin enough to be crunchy when it bakes but not so thin that it will fall apart on you.
5. Using round cookie cutters or a 3 inch round glass, cut out your circles and start filling 1 tsp of the filling and pinching the cookie into a triangle. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Once cooled, use the icing mixture to decorate the tops with a piping bag, or a fork. This recipe makes about 40 cookies. (I made 20 and froze the rest of the dough.)