2/21/13

Hamantaschen . . .

No. Mine don't look ANYWHERE NEAR this perfect.
Or triangular. Or delicious. Or edible. Or . . . but they ARE
peanut butter and jelly and are no sugar added to-boot.
All this snow is probably driving some of my fellow Kansans nuhhhhtay. Not me. With Purim 5773 just 48 hours away I am up to my elbows in hamantaschen attempts and being happy. After all the MANDATE of Purim is to be happy in honor of a failed attempt, by a guy named Haman, to have all the Jews in 4th century Persia killed (one lesson of Jew School . . . we can't get a break from people wanting to kill us all of . . . not hate our religion or custom and dismiss us but actually KILL us off).

As you know I'm a big fan of trying to be happy. Rarely a fan of being FORCED to do so but the lesson here may be that "faking it until you make it" is a great reason to take Purim seriously. Another? Cookies, yuns. Triangular cookies. FILLED triangular cookies.

Here's the recipe Kiddo and I have been messing around with all day (and will probably make another run at them later this evening - if we brave the walk to/from Dillons to get more ingredients).

DOUGH (Modified from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book I stole from my mother's cookbook collection many moons ago) -

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (NOT soda, powder - duly noted for batch TWO of my dough)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (FUN FACT - Kosher salt is NOT made in a "Kosher" way (basic salt is parve and, therefore, Kosher unless it is actual sea salt where it may have come in contact with non-Kosher shellfish, etc.) but is, instead, called Kosher because it has large, coarse grains and is used to pull blood and other juices from Kosher meats.)

1) Beat the liquids/wets (including zest) together until uniform.
2) Fold in the dries/powders. If your dough doesn't hold itself in a ball once incorporated, add a little flour at a time until it does.
3) Chill the dough (Covered in a bowl with a slightly wet tea towel) for at least an hour or two.

Once chilled and back out of the fridge . . .

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Flour your rolling/cutting area. Get a pizza cutter or kitchen shears or a circle cookie cutter (I suggest the third).
3) Roll out the dough until about 1/4" thick. Cut in to CIRCLES (another error - I cut triangles initially) that are about 2 1/4" in diameter.

FILLING (You can use just about ANYTHING you want, including savory toppings) -

  • 1 tsp all natural, smooth, no-sugar-added peanut butter for each cookie (my dough yields about 2 1/2 dozen circles so - 30 tsps are needed)
  • 1 tsp of all-fruit preserves or no-sugar-added jam/jelly (we used Smuckers strawberry Simply Fruit) for each cookie

1) Put a teaspoon of peanut butter and a teaspoon of jelly in the middle of each circle.
2) Using flour-dipped fingers gently FOLD the circles in on three sides to make a triangle. Do NOT pinch the corners - fold them over each other.
3) Place each cookie on a greased tray and bake for 8 minutes or until browned on the peaks and golden on the sides.
4) Let stand on the tray for about 1 minute. Remove to cooling racks being very careful, in removing, to not break through the bottom of the cookie - melted peanut butter is runny stuff.
5) Allow to cool then enjoy.

Alright - enough typing. My egg timer just dinged. Enjoy Purim. Get some happiness this Saturday after sundown (if not every day) and please enjoy some triangle cookies if not the other customs of the holiday - costumes and getting dahhhhrunk with friends. Cheers.