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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hamantashen With Poppy Seed Filling

Joan Nathan  
  Time 2 hours 15 minutes 
 Yield About 30 cookies 

Purim, which celebrates the biblical story of the Jews’ deliverance from a plot to kill them by Haman, minister to the Persian king, is a special time when people drink, dance and play jokes. Gifts of food called shalah manot are distributed, which include fruit, cookies and, of course, hamantashen.

Featured in: Modern Flavors Transform A Purim Tradition.
Middle Eastern

For the dough
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg yolks
8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature, in small pieces
 Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
 Dash of salt
1 large egg, beaten, for the glaze

For the poppy seed filling
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
 Grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup raisins
 Juice of 1/2 lemon

½ tablespoon brandy
½ tablespoon orange liqueur
½ tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon vanilla extract

For the dough
1. Put the confectioners’ sugar and the egg yolks in a food processor and blend. Add butter and lemon zest and process to blend. Gradually add the flour and the salt, pulsing until it forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Put milk, sugar and orange zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Grind poppy seeds in coffee grinder. When mixture is warm, turn heat to low and add poppy seeds and raisins. Cook until the seeds absorb the milk and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, brandy, orange liqueur and butter. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the vanilla extract, remove from the heat and cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 pastry sheets with parchment paper.
4. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and use a cookie cutter or glass to cut 3-inch circles. Put a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each, and press up the sides to form triangles. Brush the tops with beaten egg.
5. Bake until golden and dough is delicately firm all the way through, about 15 minutes. If trays are on different racks, switch them after about 10 minutes.
You can skip Step 2 and use the recipe for chocolate chip cream filling.

Adapted from “Schmaltz” (Modan Publishing) by Shmil Holland

Nutritional analysis per serving (30 servings)
162 calories; 9 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 36 milligrams cholesterol; 14 milligrams sodium


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