Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Hamantaschen


NOTES:

1. These doughy pockets filled with fruit preserves--or chocolate!--are traditionally made and eaten at Purim.

2. This recipe is from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family.

3. The filling can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate it if necessary, but allow time let the filling sit at room temp until spreadable.

4. This recipe requires putting the dough in the freezer, so plan ahead, both for time and for freezer space.

5. Plan to use a handheld mixer or a standing mixer.

6. Have on hand a 2-1/2" round cookie cutter.

7. Jellies or preserves can be used instead of the chocolate filling.

8. Makes 4 dozen.


INGREDIENTS

For the dough
8 oz cream cheese (at room temp)
2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temp)
3 Tbl sugar
2 cups flour
Wax paper or parchment paper

For the filling
3 oz unsweetened/dark/bittersweet chocolate
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Finishing touches
1 egg
Powdered sugar


PREPARING THE DOUGH

1. In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese, butter, and sugar with an electric mixer on medium, until blended and smooth.

2. Reduce speed to low; gradually add the flour until incorporated.

3. Divide the dough into three portions and prepare several sheets of wax paper or parchment paper.

4. Place each portion of dough between two sheets of the paper and roll until the dough is 1/8" thick.

5. Keeping the dough in each of their respective paper "sleeves," stack them on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 min.


PREPARING THE CHOCOLATE FILLING

6. While the dough is in the freezer, in a small saucepan and over low heat, combine chocolate and condensed milk. Stir until smooth.

7. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla.

8. Set filling aside to cool to room temp.


ASSEMBLING THE COOKIES

9. Preheat the oven to 350; one rack on the lower middle and another on the upper middle level; line baking sheets with parchment.

10. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and set aside.

11. Remove dough from freezer one at a time, remove the paper, and using a 2-1/2" round cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet.

12. Gather scraps, re-roll them in the paper sleeves, and cut out additional circles. **If the dough becomes sticky, return the rolled dough to the refrigerator/freezer to firm up again.

13. Repeat with remaining two portions of flattened dough.

14. Brush each cookie with egg wash.

15. Drop a bit of filling into the center of each cookie (about a rounded teaspoon's worth), and pinch the cookies tightly in three places to form a triangle. NOTE: Some Hamantaschen are made so the triangle displays the filling; others are made so the filling is entirely closed up within the cookie.

16. Place two cookie sheets at a time in the oven and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown. Be sure to rotate the cookies top to bottom and front to back at the halfway mark.

17. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets on top of wire racks.

18. When ready to serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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