March 12, 2017

Great Purim Baking Show

It is Purim, which means costumes and noise makers and rabbinical students letting their hair down. Mostly, however, it means hamantaschen, those little three-cornered pastries that are meant to look like Haman’s three-cornered hat.

Tonight was our Purim carnival and potluck dinner, and so I decided to do the Great British Baking Show: Purim Edition. I made sweet and savory hamantaschen. The sweet were easy, as a friend shared her recipe with me years ago, which in turn a friend had shared with her. I hope I’m not breaking any trust by sharing it here:

4 cups of flour (I used 1 whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup butter or margarine softened

2 cups sugar

2 large or extra large eggs

4 Tb. Orange juice

2 tsp. vanilla

  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer. Add eggs and mix well. Mix dry ingredients by hand in separate bowl.
  • In third bowl, mix orange juice and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients in the mixer, alternating with the orange juice.
  • Form a ball of dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

You roll it out thin, use a 3 inch or larger cookie cutter, and put a dollop of filling in the center. I used blackberry jam and apple butter, as I canned both of those at the end of last summer. You fold up three edges up into a triangle, leaving a bit of a hole in the middle where you can see the filling. Put on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 until done.

Savory was a bit more of an experiment. I adapted the recipe this way:

Dough:

2 cups white flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1.5 tsp salt

1 cup butter

Fresh grated parmesan cheese (maybe ¼ cup)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

3-4 tablespoons sour cream

 

  • Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and parmesan cheese and mix. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  • Slowly alternate adding dry ingredients, milk, and sour cream to the dough as it mixes.
  • Form a ball of dough and refrigerate at least one hour.

Filling:

A couple of onions

2 large potatoes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ pound grated cheddar (or more. Who can fault adding more cheese?)

  • Caramelize onions. This takes like freaking forever. Seriously. It took like 3 hours. I think I did it wrong. But they tasted good
  • Peel and chop into 1 inch pieces potatoes. Boil in water until soft.
  • Drain and mash potatoes. Add butter.
  • Add ¼ or so of milk. Maybe a bit more.
  • Salt to taste, but you want to go light on the salt because you’re adding the cheese.
  • Mix together cheese, mashed potatoes, and cheddar.

Assemble as above. Put on trays lined with parchment paper, as above. Bake for like two minutes, then peek in. You may see that the triangles are unfolding. I sure did. So I grabbed them out and re-pinched them together, then stuck them back in. (A better choice may have been overlapping rather than pinching. Go ahead and judge.) Bake until done. Serve warm.

The rabbi totally took the three leftover savory ones home from the potluck, which he never does. There were no leftover sweet ones.

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