Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Underestimating a recipe...

It's baking for Wednesday Treat day today! I mentioned that I was going to use some fresh and dried fruit in my weekend post for the treats Jeff will bring in to his co-workers. At first look the recipe that used them didn't seem too bad and I figured I should be able to get them done fairly quickly. Boy was I wrong!

Hamantaschen are traditionally shaped like a tricorner hat and would have a classic filling of a poppy seed mixture. While this recipe keeps the shape, what fills them inside is quite different. The fruit filling is a combination of golden raisins, apricots, honey, apples and apple juice. This is cooked down until very thick and it slowly starts to break down into a chunky mixture. My main issues were with the dough- I'm not sure if it was just me or what, but it seemed pretty tough to work with. I tried keeping it at different temperatures to see if that would help, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I had some problems with it cracking and trying to keep it smooth while shaping. It took me a lot longer than I had planned between the filling and shaping of each disk.

Once the filling has cooled, it is placed in the dough circle and the sides are brought together to form a large triangle with the center remaining open. When they are removed from the oven, they are a little soft, but as they cool they crisp up. The cookie has a lemony taste and is quite buttery. The filling sets up and has mildly tart and tangy flavor.

A quite healthy pancake, Maple, Walnut, and Flaxseed Pancakes, was our Breakfast for Dinner meal tonight. Using whole wheat pastry flour and ground flaxseed makes them more nutritious and filling. They are light, airy, slightly sweet and very nutty. The baked-in pure maple syrup is the sweetener and lends enough extra flavor where you wouldn't even need to pour on more. We had these with a bit of Brummel and Brown on top and it was just right. Though I do admit, I bet these would be even better with some Golden Syrup drizzled on top.


  1. Hi Joe!
    Wow, the pancake recipe sounds really good, it has lots of stuff I like!
    However, I don't really like maple flavor... do you think I could substitute it for honey? I may try it and see how it goes... sometimes we like to have some pancakes for dinner too!

  2. I could eat pancakes all day long! I just wish everyone in my house liked them as much as I do! Sometimes I like to get up earlier on the weekends just to make me some since I am the only one really, really likes them!

  3. Those look wonderful, as always around here.

    The hamantaschen shouldn't be that tough to make, I'd try another recipe if you want to make them again. (I'm trying to think if I can lay hands on my grandma's recipe) They are sort of the ultimate cookie for the tribe of Jewish folk who identify their religion with this line: "they tired to kill us all, they didn't, let's party!" being as they are shaped like the hat of the guy who didn't kill them all that year. Teach him. First defeat, then turned into dessert, symbolically at least.

  4. Joe -

    Will you move to coastal Delaware and open up a restaurant? You're killing me with the visuals.

  5. Right kitchenmage! Hamentaschen literally translates to "Hamen's hat" - his three-cornered hat. Hamen was the bad guy that kitchenmage was talking about. Here's a site with the basic story and also a hamentaschen recipe.


  6. I must have sryup on my pancakes and what works well for me is using sugar free maple that I add just a bit of real maple sryup too. Yummy.

  7. the Hamantaschen look good. Im jewish and I've never even attempted them. Have you made black and whites yet? Those are my favorite jewish cookie.

  8. Ana - I would go ahead and try it with honey - or Golden Syrup if you can get your hands on some!

    Michelle - Me too, love pancakes!

    Kitchenmage - Thanks for the excellent info!

    Mark - care to finance for me? =)

    ep - Thanks for the link!

    Randi - I'm okay without the syrup but I have tried the SF ones without much success, although I like the idea of mixing it with the real stuff!

    Randi - I have a few recipes, but have not made them yet!

  9. Joe - for a minute there, I got scared thinking it was Purim already. Hey nothing like practice to make perfect, since it's a month away.

    My mom always made fruit filled Hamantaschen and I still love them best of all.

    Thanks for sharing

  10. Hi Joe! One way I deal with tricky hamantaschen dough -- opening up, overly soft, etc. -- I work the dough through a sheet of plastic wrap so my warm fingers don't touch the dough directly. I also work in batches and keep the dough I'm not using refrigerated until I'm ready for it. By the way, your hamantaschen do look exquisite!
    FYI, I'm hosting a hamantaschen contest at my website, http://www.jewishholidaycooking.com/food.shtml. The winner will receive a copy of my new book, Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Classics and Improvisations.
    Hope you can join,