You know how you can get obsessed about making a recipe now and then that you haven't thought about in ages ? These little cookies popped into my mind, last week at about the same time that I saw a post about Purim online.
I made these cookies years ago, when SB and Amy, his biking/hiking friend, came home to have lunch after one of their jaunts. They were good then, and they're still good ! They take work, so I made these yesterday across the course of our day. I'm caring for our little grandgirl these days. It's a delight, but she is pretty high maintenance as a six month old !
Sooo... the cookie dough got made and chilled while she took her morning nap. The apricot and prune filling got made and set aside also. The cookies got constructed and baked during her afternoon nap and voila! We had cookies to have with late afternoon tea and extras to send along home with Eric and Mika at the end of the day ! To boot, the recipe makes just about two dozen so splitting a batch cuts the total calorie intake and ensures that the cookies won't get stale as you space out servings ! I like that !
Here's how I did it !
- Cream the butter and sugar in a deep bowl.
- Mix the egg, milk, and extract of your choice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Set aside ¼ c. of the flour for sprinkling on the rolling surface and the dough. Mix the rest of the flour measure and the pinch of salt in a measuring cup.
- Alternating between flour mix and egg mix, add thirds of each to the butter cream and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough is formed. Make sure every bit of flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for a good hour or so.
- While the dough chills, make the fillings.
- Place the apricots in a small saucepan, adding just enough water to cover them. Sprinkle in the sugar and drop in the cinnamon stick. Bring the pan to a gentle boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- When the apricots are soft and most of the water is cooked off, use a slotted spoon to remove them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the honey and whiz to a jam-like consistency. Set the cinnamon and sugar water back on the stove and boil it down a bit. Toss that in with the apricots and honey and stir it to make a thick jam. Scoop it from the food processor to a bowl and set it aside.
- Make a strong cup of black tea. Drop the prunes into a bowl and pour the tea over top. Sprinkle in the lemon scented sugar packet. Cover the bowl for about 30 minutes. When the prunes are softened, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a clean food processor bowl and whiz to make a sticky jam-like paste. Turn the prune paste into a small bowl and stir in the chestnut jam (or plum jam). Set aside.
- Toast the pine nuts, chop them and pop them into a small bowl and set aside.
- When the dough is chilled, divide it in half and using the reserved flour, sprinkle a rolling surface. Roll the dough out to between ⅛ - ¼ inch thick and cut 3-inch circles.
- Place the dough circles on parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Drop a scant tablespoonful of jam on the center of each dough round. Sprinkle the top of the jam with the pine nuts. Then, pinch the dough up to make the dough look like a tri-corner hat. Make sure the dough is pinched firmly to hold its shape.
- Bake in a 360 ° F oven with the rack in the center position for 15 – 17 minutes or until the hamentaschen are golden around the edges and slightly crisped looking atop.
- Remove from the cookie sheets right a way to a cool foil-lined surface.
- Sprinkle cooled hamentaschen with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, if you like. Do this just before serving them.