How can the Gourmet Cookbook, The Pie and Pastry Bible, and the Simple Art of Perfect Baking not have recipes for hamantaschen? How can the Barefoot Contessa series not have one? These are cookbooks with some serious Jew-power behind their production, and they left me high and dry. What are hamantaschen, chopped liver?
No matter. Lisa had a Joan Nathan cookbook, which is really what I needed all along. I don't own a single Joan Nathan cookbook, and I call myself a Jew.
Of course, by the time Lisa came over with her book and her flour (I was out) and the poppy seed filling her husband and I both made her buy against her will, I'd found a recipe on my own. I'd completely forgotten about my Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg, a book that has sat quietly on my shelf for years as the Inas and the Giadas and the Rose Levys muscled it aside. But I raised it like a talisman, dusted it off, and gave it a new place of honor.
On my kitchen counter.
By the way, if you live in the Boston area, you're surely familiar with Rosie's Bakery, which had some of the best muffins in the world when I last ate there in 2003 and probably still does.
And if you ride the T, you also may be interested in this hamantaschen-transportion-related article from yesterday's Boston Globe.
Recipe for Purim Hamantaschen
Adapted from Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg (Workman Publishing, 1996)
This dough is so rich, lovely, and easy to work with that after I made a full batch, I went ahead and made a second one just because. (Be aware that the dough needs to chill for an hour.) Fill the cookies with canned poppy seed pie filling (just this once), or preserves or jam of your choosing. I may have accidentally made a few with chocolate chips, too, much to my friend Lisa's great horror, and my own sons' great delight.
Makes about 30 to 35 cookies
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
2 egg yolks
A few tablespoons canned poppy seed filling (by Solo, found in the baking aisle of major supermarkets this time of year) or your favorite preserves
Whiz the flour, sugar, baking powder, and zest in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and process for 15 to 20 seconds or until the texture of coarse meal.
Whisk the ice water and yolks together in a small cup. With the processor on, pour this liquid slowly through the feed tube. Let the machine whirl until the dough comes together and begins to coalesce into a mass on the side of the work bowl.
Dump the dough on a floured board and knead it a few times until you have a nice smooth dough. This shouldn't take long. Cut the dough in half, press into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for an hour.
Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Working with one disk at a time (keep the other chilled), roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness. Cut using a 2-1/2" round cutter. (Re-roll scraps as necessary.) Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center
of each dough round, then fold up the dough in three sides and pinch the edges to seal. (The dough should stand up a bit, with the filling visible below.) Freeze the filled triangles for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30.
While cookies chill, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the hamantaschen on the prepared baking sheets until the edges just barely begin to color, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.