March 27, 2019

My First Hamantaschen

Growing up in a predominantly Jewish community often meant my friends would bring Jewish treats to school to share. I sampled macaroons, matzoh, mandel bread and the cutest triangle shaped pastries--Hamantaschen.
It's been maybe one or two decades since I had hamantaschen (I had a Jewish boyfriend about a decade ago and can't remember if his grandma sent him mandel bread and hamantaschen but he did share some baked goods with me). Hamantaschen are triangle shaped filled pastry that are eaten during the holiday Purim and are traditionally filled with poppy seed.
After spotting this chocolate chip hamantaschen recipe from the NY Times, I thought it was the perfect hybrid of my most recent chocolate chip cookie binge with these festive treats. After reading the recipe reviews, many people recommended finding another dough for the filling so I then found this recipe from Leah Koenig on Food52 (at the recommendation of Molly Yeh) and then filled them with pastry cream and topped with chocolate chips. It took some time to realize that the dough is better when it is rolled out pretty thin to make a less doughy cookie and then the filling can really shine. Totally. Delicious.

Chocolate Chip Hamantaschen adapted from NY Times
Ingredients:
Hamantaschen dough from Food52
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tbs cornstarch
2 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/4 cup milk
1 vanilla bean
2 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
1. Assemble dough and refrigerate for three hours and while waiting, assemble filling. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until smooth.
2. Heat milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan until it simmers over medium heat. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean. Split the bean and scrape the insides into the milk.
3. Pour 1/3 of milk into egg mixture and whisk. Then pour back into the pan. Over low heat, whisk continuously until mixture bubbles and becomes a thick pudding-like consistency.
4. Remove from heat and stir in chopped bittersweet chocolate until melted and smooth. Pour into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
5. After cooled, remove chocolate cream from refrigerator and mix in chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit out for 5 minutes to become pliable to roll out.
6. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to 1/16 of an inch thickness. Using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter or wine glass, cut circles into dough and place onto parchment lined baking sheets an inch apart.
7. Fill each dough circle with a teaspoon of filling in the center. Fold over dough sides to form a triangle and pinch sides closed. Then top each with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
8. Let cool on baking rack for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

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