Monday, March 28, 2011

Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

OK, I realized I missed Purim.  By over a week. But these cookies are so good, can't we eat them any time of year?

Prior to boiling down the filling

After 45 minutes

I never grew up celebrating Purim, but I am pretty sure we always ate Hamataschen anyways.  Traditionally, these cookies are made as part of the Purim celebration in a triangle shape to represent Haman's hat.  He's the bad guy.  Beyond that, Wikipedia has more knowledge on these cookies than me.

After egg was added

I originally saw this recipe but wasn't going to make them because I had been having trouble finding poppy seeds.  My grocery store doesn't sell them.

But then I got an email from my coworker, who had seen the same recipe, and told me that "if I was a good person, I would make these."  And then she bought me poppy seeds from Nuts Online.  Of course, then I HAD to make them.

I'm glad I did!  They weren't all that difficult to make and came out really delicious.  I do recommend you refrigerate for 20-30 min before baking as instructed.  I skipped this step because I wanted to go to bed and some of them fell out of their traditional triangle shape...


Small Poppy Seed Hamantaschen
Dough and cookie instructions from smitten kitchen, filling from Diana's Desserts

Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 large egg yolks
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, in small pieces

Poppy Seed Filling
1 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg

1 large egg, beaten (I used egg white, which is why mine didn't brown)

Make the dough: 
Place the lemon zest, powdered sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and egg yolks and process until the mixture forms a ball. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic and wrap it tightly. Chill the dough for an hour or overnight.

Prepare the filling:
Soak the poppy seeds in the boiling water until cool, or overnight.
If you prefer the seeds to be broken (I left mine whole), grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder, as finely as possible. A mortar and pestle can also be used.
Combine the seeds, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small pot and cook over medium heat until the filling is thick, stirring frequently. (This took me about 45 min)  It will look like poppy seeds with a little syrup, it won't look like a filling until the egg is added.
Remove from heat, cool, and then stir in the egg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Form the cookies:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness (I obviously was too impatient, mine is much thicker) and use a cookie cutter or glass to cut 2 1/4-inch circles
Put a heaping half-teaspoon of the filling in the center of each and press up the sides to form triangles. Deb at Smitten Kitchen found that the dough cracked when she wanted it to bend. I think the thicker dough meant I didn't have this problem.  If you do encounter this, don’t be deterred, just smoosh the sides back on and mold it, if needed, into the proper shape.
Arrange on prepared trays (transfer cookies with a spatula, as they are fragile before they are baked) and brush the tops with beaten egg for glaze. Return tray to the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes; chilling them again will help them hold their shape while they are baked. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F
Bake until cookies are golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. If trays are on different racks, switch them after about 5 minutes.


Jeff said...

i want some. send to Jeff J Minneapolis


Karen Liffmann said...

Yes, cookies are good anytime..anytime of year no matter the holiday..
anytime of day..or night...
Cookies are an essential foodgroup!