Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Hamantaschen

This week's bake with the Rose's Alpha Bakers is Hamantaschen, small cookies eaten during the Jewish holiday Purim (learn more about Purim). Hamantaschen are traditionally made with a poppyseed filling, however I like to save my poppyseed-eating for cakes and muffins so I improvised and did more of a rugelach-type filling. In all seriousness, I like poppyseeds - but not that much - so I thought a cookie filled with poppyseed paste would be too overpowering.

My poor little Hamantaschen - which were supposed to bake up in a cute little triangle shape - were a complete fail. They all opened during baking so I ended up with more of an open-faced mini mince pie cookie. I followed the directions exactly in terms of the chilling of the dough, the rolling of the dough (thickness and size of the cookie), and I don't think I overfilled them, so I'm at a loss of what went wrong. Maybe I should have used a folded over corner instead of pinching them closed.

I also wish I had mixed up the apricot lekvar with the nuts, raisins and cinnamon-sugar so it all melted together better, but...oh well. Even if they don't look the way they should, they were tasty.

you can see the flaky pâte sucrée crust...

...but they are all flat flat hoo!

mise en place for the cookie crust

I prefer to make my pie crusts by hand rather than in the food processor as instructed in the recipe (seems easier to get a real feel for the dough, you don't over-work the crust, and you don't have to wash the food processor bowl and blade afterward). It's easy to do by hand - just go fast and keep your hands well covered in flour (so their heat doesn't melt the butter). This cookie dough was actually a pâte sucrée crust, which has sugar and an egg yolk, so it's a sweeter and more sturdy dough than regular pie crust.

In these first four photos I'm incorporating the butter into the flour-sugar mixture. In the next four, I've added the cream and egg yolk and am forming the dough. The dough is then divided and given a rest in the fridge before rolling it out.

incorporating the butter

finishing the dough

filling for the cookies

Rose raves about muscovado sugar - and uses it in many recipes - so I bought a 2-pack of huge(!) tubs of light muscovado sugar from It was a bit expensive - for sugar - but much, much cheaper than buying the small packs available at the grocery store.

smells delicious!

cutting out my cookie rounds

I wish I knew what went wrong. Maybe I left the openings too large? Maybe I should have sealed the edges with water instead of an egg wash? Too much filling? All of the above?

They are a bit more open than the pictures in the cookbook, but I pinched those edges pretty good! Oh well. I'll just pretend I did it on open-faced mince pies ;)

cookies assembled, given an eggwash, and chilled

a close-up

every single one opened back up...

mini open-faced mince pies

still delicious!

Bye for now...