Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fig & Apricot Hamantaschen

Oh Hamantaschen, you are so delicious.  Do you have any recipes that you associate with a holiday so you only make them for that holiday?  These are one of those recipes for me, but then every Purim when I bite into my first one I wonder why I don't make them year round.  For those of you who have never heard of Hamantaschen, they are basically a sugar cookie with a fruit filling shaped like a triangle.  I've never been a big fan of the sugar cookie, but when you put a big blob of jam in the middle it transforms the ho-hum sugar cookie into something ambrosial.

The cookie base has some lemon zest mixed in which gives it a burst of freshness that really enhances the flavors of the jam.  The traditional fillings for Hamantaschen are poppy seed and apricot but you can use anything you want as long as it is on the thicker side.  This year I decided to make fig and apricot.

The cookie dough will need to be refrigerated for at least an hour so plan ahead.  This dough freezes well so you can always double it and freeze some for another day.

Start out like most cookie recipes by creaming together butter and sugar until they are smooth and fluffy.  Add in an egg, a little milk, some vanilla, and the zest of a lemon.  It never ceases to amaze me how such a small amount of lemon peel can impart such an amazing amount of lemon flavor.  Mix it all together until it is well combined.

Then sift together some flour, baking powder, and salt and add it to the wet ingredients.  I like to just sift it right into the mixing bowl to avoid making another dish.  Mix until it is completely combined.  If the dough seems too soft, add in a little more flour.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you are ready to roll it out.  Roll the cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut your dough into circles.  Put the circles on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Use a tablespoon to put a dollop of jam in the center of each circle of dough and then fold up the sides to make a triangle shape, pinching the corners shut.  This doesn't sound complicated, and it isn't, but I thought I would give you a photo step-by-step just in case.

Bake at 400 for about 8 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.  Remember that jam from the oven is MOLTEN (I've heard, I've never tried it myself of course), so be patient and don't burn your tongue.

Fig & Apricot Hamantaschen
Adapted from Betty Crocker, inspired by The Nosher
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbls. milk (I used skim)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • fig butter and apricot jam (or filling of your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into cookie dough and mix until combined. 
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into circles.
  7. Put 1 tbls. of jam in the center of each circle and fold up the sides to create triangles, pinching the corners.
  8. Bake 8-9 minutes.
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