Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hamantaschen Cookies

I've had a can of poppy seed filling lounging in my pantry for almost a year now. I bought it when the Winn-Dixie in Tifton went out of business because I'd never seen it before and it excited me. Inside the label, they have two nifty recipes using the filling. The second was for these little cookies. How do you pronounce them by the way? I'd read about them before- or the story behind them at least- and thought they'd be a nice change of pace. Since I'd decided to make them, I longed to have little tri-cornered cookies gracing my counters with poppy-goodness filling I could nibble on with tea. It was not to be.

I would like to state that this is not the recipes fault. At least, I don't think so. Rather, my rolling skills and the questionable taste of the filling. I've been making drop cookies for so long that I forgot I even had a rolling pin. Certainly, I've forgotten how to use it. The cookies weren't thin enough by far. The dough kept sticking to my pin no matter how much flour I used, thus were too heavy to be pinched into the traditional tri-corner hat look. Notice the weird indents on the bottom two cookies in this picture. Those were where they were folded for those few brief moments of brilliance only to fall down.

So I fudged and decided that poppy-seed thumb-print cookies were in order. After tasting the canned filling, I decided to be safe and use jam on most of them; the filling was just so... seedy and strange tasting that I couldn't imagine eating many of them. Luckily, the jam didn't bubble and overflow the wells while baking. I also only used about a fourth of the dough. The outcome was sort of mediocre. They tasted like jam and biscuits to me. That's all fine and good, but if I want jam and biscuits, I'll make them. I've contemplated using it to wrap cocktail sausages, but have yet to do it instead simply eating the dough. For now.

I'm adding the recipe, because it's not a bad one despite my dislike of the filling and inability to shape them. If you like this sort of thing, I'd say this is a good place to start. Personally, I'm going to use the rest of the can to try to other recipe suggested. I'll let you know how it goes.

Solo (brand) Hamantaschen Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1 tsp grated orange peel

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten

2 T milk

1 can Solo Ground Poppy Seed or Prune Plum (Lekvar) filling

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T milk for brushing (I skipped this)

Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, orange peel, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Side Note: I took this picture less because I thought you needed to know what coarse crumbs looked like and more to show that I finally got to whip out my pastry blender again- oh, how I love thee. Also, use a bigger bowl.

Add eggs and milk and mix until dough binds together. Knead dough in bowl 5 to 8 strokes or until smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each pieces separately in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheets and set aside. Roll out 1 piece of dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Cut dough with floured 3" round plain cookie cutter. Spoon 1 tsp poppy seed filling into center of each circle. Bring 3 edges of circle together into middle of circle to form triangle. Pinch edges upwards to make slight ridge, leaving small hole in center. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2" apart and brush with beaten egg yolk mixture. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 32 cookies.

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