Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bubbeh Abbi's Traditional Hamantaschen

Cakey Flakey dough

This recipe comes courtesy of Rachael, via Jeanne's friend Winnie Travers.

This dough needs to be made as directed. Once you get the hang of it,
it's easy. But the first time may be daunting to a new baker.

To make rainbow colored cookies, go here!  (It involves splitting the dough into 6 parts and adding gel food coloring...)


INGREDIENTS

4 cups flour
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup of oil
3 Tbl of warm water
Zest of 2 lemons (Liz: optional--
can be substituted with 1-1/2 tsp vanilla + 1/2 tsp almond extract)
1 cup sugar

This recipe takes up a lot of space.

PREPARATION

1. On a large counter, table, or board (Liz: or in a large bowl) - make a pile of flour, baking powder, and salt. Dig a well in the middle - not quite to the bottom. (Liz: the well should be of medium width, but with a fair amount of flour still around the circumference)

2. (Liz: Lightly beat one egg, then:) Put one egg, 1/4 cup oil, & 1 tbsp water in the well.

3. Add 1/2 cup (or about half) sugar & 1/2 of lemon zest. (Liz: or hold off on the extracts til later)

4. Make sure you keep the flour around the well formed up.

5. With a fork, use gentle circular motions to mix flour into the middle from the walls.
Do not go all in since you still have mixing to do.

6. (Liz: Lightly beat each egg before adding, one at a time.) Very gradually, add the rest of the eggs, oil, water, sugar and lemon rind (or vanilla and almond extracts) until everything but the flour is mixed in.

7. THEN, mix in the rest of the walls. The dough will be very sticky.

Bubbeh used a cooking spatula on her wooden kitchen table. I bought a dough scraper and have granite countertops.

8. Clean your rolling space, then very lightly dust with little bit of flour. If you use too much, it will get crumbly very fast.

9. Knead slowly until you get a nice, silky-feeling dough (Liz: about a minute; it will be very cohesive).

10. Wrap it up in waxed paper and put it in the fridge at least overnight.

Bubbeh used to make the dough two or three days ahead, usually when she did her baking for Shabbat. We would make these together the day after Shabbat for the holiday that week. She said that it gave the dough, and her, time to rest.

I found that if I chill it 2 days, it sets up better than just one night.

AFTER REFRIGERATING

11. Separate the dough into thirds. Only roll out one third at a time,
keeping the remaining dough chilled till you're ready.
It takes a lot of muscles, but then Bubbeh still opens her own jars!

12. Flour your board/counter/table surface lightly, then put a
bit of flour on a paper plate before you roll the dough.

13. Carefully roll out one third of dough to between 1/8"
and 1/4" thickness. The thicker you roll it, the thicker the cookie.

14. Take your drinking glass (about 3 in. wide) or cookie cutter and dip it
into the flour on the plate, then cut as many circles our of the
as possible. I re-flour every three or four because I like them a
bit thicker. I found putting the flour on the plate keeps me from
having to scrape flour rings off my counter. I prefer using the glass
too, not just because it's old fashioned, but because it doesn't
cut into my countertop like the cookie ring.

15. Move the circles to a cookie pan lined with parchment paper.

16. See next section to assemble the cookies.

PUTTING HAMAN'S HAT TOGETHER

On Hand:

Melted Butter
Filling Mixtures
Flour
Drinking glass or cookie cutter.

17. Melt some butter in a dish and set aside with a pastry brush.

18. Paint melted butter in an X on each circle before you put the filling in.

19. Put a small amount of filling in the middle of each cookie circle.
Just about 1/2 teaspoon.
Bubbeh says "put the hub on the wheel."
Don't over-fill! If you do that, the hats will leak.

20. Carefully fold the edges up so the circle becomes a triangle.
Then, gently pinch each corner together. You know how Bubbehs
just LOVE to pinch!

21. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.

22. Watch them after 8 minutes! My electric oven has a very small
window between golden-brown and burnt!

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