Hamantaschen are delicious buttery triangular shaped biscuits made for Purim which is at the beginning of March (March 9-10 this year). While they look deceptively easy (I mean how hard is a jam drop cookie?), there are definitely some tricks to ensure that you get perfect Hamantaschen every time!
I learned about how finicky Hamantaschen are the hard way. I made them with a few different types of jams and the one using an apricot jam with a lot of jelly and less fruit was a disaster. I didn't even take pictures of them I was so embarrassed.
There are several keys to neverfail hamantaschen. The first one seems obvious but never overfill the cookies with jam. Just one teaspoon will do and no more (even though you will be tempted as they will look like they can take more). The second is to make sure that the cookies are refrigerated before baking them. You need to refrigerate these for 30 minutes on a cold day or up to an hour on a hot day. Otherwise I'm afraid that your hamantaschen might split apart and the jam spreads out all over your baking tray and it's very unattractive not to mention a waste of jam.
Speaking of unattractive, I became slightly disfigured from this batch of hamantaschen because like always, my greed got me. I was so curious to try these that I took a bite of them when they were out of the oven only waiting a couple of minutes. The lava hot jam burnt my bottom lip so that I developed a big blister on my bottom lip. Perennially vain, I iced it and then added some Burnaid and then slapped on some red lipstick on it because I had to go out.
Coincidentally I was going to the house where the Monday Morning Cooking Club meet every week. They're a super lovely group of four women who have created wonderful cookbooks based on their Jewish heritage. I didn't time this recipe blunder to coincide with this visit. I just wanted to make some hamantaschen and when I saw that they had a plate of them out I asked them for their tips! I only wish I had seen them before I made a batch with bonus blister. Happy Hamantaschen-ning everyone!
So tell me Dear Reader, how often do you burn your mouth or lip on hot food? What is your favourite temperature to eat food? Mr NQN likes cold food so he can eat it quickly!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes plus 1.5 hours refrigeration time
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes around 16-18 depending on how thick you roll the pastry
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/3 cup rice flour or cornflour/fine cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 113g/1 stick butter
- 3 egg yolks, divided into 2 and then 1
- 1/2 cup blueberry jam* or Nutella (or a mix of both)
- 1 lemon, finely zested
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note to avoid hamantaschen spilling open, cook your jam down in a saucepan until thick and liquid has been evaporated. You want it the same texture and thickness as Nutella. Cool completely.
Step 1 - Place the flour, icing sugar, rice flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles damp sand. Add the 2 egg yolks (save the third for later) and pulse together. Empty into a large bowl and if needed, add a little water to make it come together. Shape into a ball of dough and flatten and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 45 minutes until chilled.
Step 2 - Line two baking trays with parchment. Roll out between two sheets of parchment and cut out with 3inch/75mm cookie cutters. Carefully lift them onto the trays and brush all the rounds with the last egg yolk.
Step 3 - Add 1 teaspoon of jam ONLY in the centre (do not be tempted to add more even though it looks like it can accommodate more). Fold over so that you get a triangle and pinch each corner firmly. Refrigerate for 45 minutes (very important). Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dough is golden.
The best ones are the shape on the bottom right