I LOVE Hamentashen. When I was growing up we would have donuts from the local donut shop every Saturday. My mom would buy a variety of donuts, Danishes, and sometimes Hamentashen. The cheese were my favorite, as were the Cheese Danish. I had no clue until recently that they were not just a yummy breakfast treat, but actually a Purim cookie. Who knew? Not me but I love them still. I thought this would be the perfect week to finally try my hand at making hamentashen myself.
Not being Jewish I combined a few recipes ideas into this one recipe. The cookie part is really a sugar cookie without the extra sugar sprinkles, and the filling is a strawberry pie filling. Traditionally I believe that the filling is a jam or custard, but I am taking baby steps on this one. The strawberry slices were easier to work with, and without a piping bag (on my shopping list) the custard filling sounded messy.
Folding these was the hardest part. My brain had trouble computing triangle fold, not a rectangle fold. I had to make a triangle with my pointer fingers and thumbs away from the cookies to grasp the concept. Then I was ready to fold. I would pinch the bottom corners together and then pinch the third top one together to form the triangle. The dough got softer and harder to work with the longer I took to cut out the shapes, so I suggest getting all your circles cut out before forming the actual cookies. I had a little production line happening on my counter with the strawberries, circles, and cookie sheet.
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon's zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 cup strawberries (sliced then cut into 4ths)
- Boil water in a small saucepan.
- Reduce water to a simmer and add in the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved.
- Add in the strawberries and continue to simmer for a half hour, stirring often. Set aside.
- Cream sugar and butter together using a stand mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add in 1 egg, zest and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula and continue mixing.
- Sift the salt and flour together and add to the wet mixture. Beat until fully blended, then add the water and beat an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Lay parchment or wax paper on counter, and place dough in the center. Top with a second piece of parchment/wax paper and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until ⅛ inch thickness. Refrigerate 3-5 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Once dough is fully chilled, remove from fridge and place on counter. Remove the top layer of parchment/wax paper and cut into 2-3 inch wide circles. I used the top of a cup for mine, but a circular cookie cutter would work.
- Drop a few pieces (2-4 depending on size before cutting) of the strawberries in the center of a cookie.
- Pick up the cookie and using your pointer fingers and thumbs, fold sides up to create a triangle. Pinch the seams where the sides meet, creating a little nest for the strawberries. Place on Parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and use for an egg wash. Generously brush the egg wash on the cookies, and place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until they are a light golden color.