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A Klutz’ Guide to Cooking: Hamantashen

Purim’s coming up, and I don’t know about you, but I get a little bored with traditional hamantashen fillings. Poppy seed, prune, jam; I feel like someone’s bubbe when I use these ingredients. But I LOVE cookies, so this year it was time to make some changes.

I explored using new fillings, some of which worked better than others. My favorites were applesauce and banana-Nutella. I used homemade applesauce, which I make without sugar, and the result was like a bite of apple pie. You might want to refrigerate these if you want them to keep. The Nutella and banana hamantashen were heaven when they first came out of the oven, so I suggest making only as many as you plan to eat immediately (which, let’s be honest, could be a few). By the next day, the banana was a little rubbery.

However, the Nutella and walnut hamantashen I made were delish, even a few days later. In keeping with some level of tradition, I made a dried fruit one with a fig filling which kept well. While I’m not a major fig advocate, they were tastier than expected.

Have fun, and mix it up this Purim! Experiment with new fillings, and let me know what you discover.

1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups shortening
2 eggs
6 tbsp water
½ tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
1 cup sifted wheat or wheat pastry flour

Fruit: Chop almonds, figs and white raisins. Mix together.
Banana-Nutella: Place one tbsp Nutella in the center of the dough, and place one round slice of banana on top.

Nutella-walnut: Place the Nutella on the dough first, and sprinkle chopped walnut on top.
Applesauce: Either use store-bought applesauce, or make your own. Place tbsp sauce on dough, and once folded into a triangle, sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Part 1

Cream the sugar and shortening.
Add the eggs and continue to cream until smooth.
Stir in water and vanilla.
Add sifted flour, and mix until you can mold it into balls.
Roll into 1-1 ½ inch balls and cover layers with wax paper in a bowl. Place bowl in the fridge overnight.

Part 2

Preheat oven to 375°F
Press balls into 1/2 inch thick rounds on floured surface. Add lots of flour if dough gets greasy.
Place approximately 1 tbsp of desired toppings in the center of the dough and fold up three sides, forming a triangle. Press each corner firmly, so it stays put while baking.
Place hamantashen on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.

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