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Hamantaschen Cookies

August 26, 2011

When we think about any festival the first thing that pops into our heads (at least mine as i am a big time foodie :-D) is food. It is very interesting to know that every festival has a particular food associated with it. Like for Muslims Eid is incomplete with out Sheer Khorma (Vermicelli Pudding) or Thanksgiving without Turkey. These food becomes a part of the traditions and celebrations. While reading about festivals and food associated with it i came across these flavorful Hamantaschen Cookies.

Hamantaschen Cookies are triangular jam filled cookies and are a part of a Jewish festival of Purim. What i love about these cookies are that the dough itself has a very distinct orange flavor which is achieved by adding orange zest and fresh orange juice. The traditional recipe calls for a poppy seed filling but i used Apricot and Grape preserves. I feel the Orange fruity flavor go very well with the Apricot and grape preserve or for that matter any fruit preserves.

These cookies not only tastes good but they look absolutely amazing.  The shape is achieved by folding a circular dough from three sides forming a triangular pocket that contains the Jam. The vibrant colors of the Jam against the golden brown dough makes them hard to resist (Pick your own color combo i went with yellowish golden Apricot and Deep purple Grape)

These cookies are best when baked fresh but it does not mean that we can not prepare these for our guests before hand …. you can make the cookies and freeze them and when ever you have guest come over just put them into the oven and let them bake for 15 minutes.

This recipe is so simple and tasty that it can easily become part of your festivities or family traditions. Enjoy …!!!

Pre heat oven at 375 F or 190 C

Ingredients:

2 Cups All purpose Flour

2 Tea spoon Banking powder

1/8 Tea spoon Salt

1/2 Cup Shortening or butter (at room Temperature)

1 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg

2 Tea spoon Packed Orange Zest

1 Table spoon Fresh Orange Juice

( if you prefer lemony flavor over orange Try Lemon zest and Lemon Juice instead of orange)

Jam of your choice for filling.

Directions:

Shift the flour Salt and Baking powder together in a bowl to make sure that they are fully incorporated and there are no lumps.

Now in a separate bowl cream the butter/Shortening, egg and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. Add in the the orange zest and the orange juice and mix until combine.

Now start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture little by little and mix just until combined after each addition to form a dough.

Form a ball of the dough and cover it in plastic and refrigerate for 3 hours (or if you are in a rush pop it in the freezer for 1 hour).

Once the dough is chilled take out and cut it in half. Putting one half back in the fridge and work with the other half.The reason is that if is easier to work with a chilled dough so use the dough little by little keeping the unused dough in the fridge to keep chill.

Roll the dough to a quarter of an inch thickness and with a 3 inch cookies cutter (I used a glass)  cut it into circles. Take a little less than a tea spoon Jam and place it in the center of each circle and fold over three sides of the dough forming a triange with the jam in the center. Pinch the sides of the cookies real good to seal the seams.

Bake it in a per heated oven (375 F or 190 C) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:  If you want to store them it is suggested to freeze the unbaked cookies. They tastes better to freeze and bake than bake and freeze.

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