Happy Purim! I always look forward to this time of year for the hamantaschen. I hoard them in the freezer for as long as I can, which usually isn’t very long because I can’t stop eating them. Every year, Mammy used to bake hamantaschen with me and my sisters. We loved it. Last year, I made them with my mom, and we had fun too. I went home this year so we could do it again. We had our dough all combined and ready to roll out when she noticed that the oven wasn’t heating up. So I lugged a can of cherry filling back to DC and made this year’s hamantaschen with Stella- don’t worry, she kept her furry paws out of the dough.
Here is Mammy’s recipe. And yes, it looked like that before we starting cooking.
These are the fillings my mom had picked up for us. Cherry is always a crowd pleaser, and old people tend to like prune. I like it too when the cookies are frozen and prune is the last flavor left.
To start making these cookies, preheat your oven to 325ºF. To make the dough, whisk together 3 eggs in a small bowl. Then mix in 3/4 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. Mix it until the flour forms little balls.
Add the wet ingredients into the large bowl, and stir them until they are fully combined. It’s hard to mix this dough by hand, but do it anyway to avoid over-mixing (over-mixing is the number one issue that I encounter when making hamantasachen). Don’t knead the dough at all.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and roll it out as thin as you can. Really thin. Less than 1/8th of an inch thin.
Use a drinking glass to cut circles in the dough. Squeeze as many circles in as you can. When you’re done cutting, pull up the excess dough and set it aside for a second round of rolling and cutting.
Open up your fillings. I love how the cherries are suspended in the red goop. It’s purdy. Even better, though, is my all-natural cherry filling!
Use a spoon to drop one cherry and some of the goop into the center of each circle. It’s important to keep the filling away from the edges or else the cookie won’t seal up when it comes time to pinch it into a triangle.
To make pinching the cookies easier, dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the circles. Here is my pinching method: First, I pinch the top corner, then I pinch the bottom two corners at the same time- one with each hand. Make sure the corners are sealed well so they don’t open up in the oven when they’re baking. Transfer your cookies to a greased baking sheet. Brush them with an egg wash- 1 egg whisked with a splash of water. Bake the cookies for about 17 minutes until the cookies start to brown and feel slightly firm to the touch.
While one sheet of cookies is baking in the oven, roll out the spare dough, and repeat the whole cutting, filling, and pinching process. After the second set of cookies is made, there probably won’t be enough dough to make many more cookies and you will probably be sick and tired of cutting, filling, and pinching. So it’s time to make pinwheel cookies! They’re my favorite part! Roll the excess dough out again and spread it with leftover filling or a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Roll the dough up into a log.
Slice the log crosswise into pinwheel cookies. Brush them with egg wash as well, and bake them the same way.
Don’t forget to eat a hamantaschen on Purim for good luck! I sure feel lucky when I eat these.
- Flour- 4 cups
- Eggs- 4
- Sugar- 3/4 cup
- Orange juice- 1/4 cup
- Baking powder- 2 teaspoons
- Vegetable oil- 1/2 cup
- Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon