20 March 2008

Three Cornered Hat

I think you could safely say that I was a nerd in high school. I was a band geek, I dabbled at chess, I got a 5 on the AP biology exam. I hung out with people who liked (and played) classical music, and we'd bake together for fun. Pretzels were always entertaining, because you get to shape the dough, into shapes that weren't necessarily pretzel shapes. [Go ahead, think about teenage boys making pretzels.] And more than once, we made hamantaschen. Recently, in trying to organize the MANY recipes floating loose around my house, I found the handwritten recipe for the hamantaschen we made some 30 years ago. Since Purim starts tonight, I thought I'd post it. And, just to make sure they were okay, I made some last night.

They're good, but not as good as I remember. The filling is a little bit too sweet, and I really do like apricot better than prune.

Looking over the old recipe is funny. It was written out by one of my best friends from high school [who has her own blog], but it's got little handwritten notes from someone else who I think may have been an old boyfriend. It also has admonitions, like "don't eat the dough!"

Go out and make some noise! Or go home and make some hamantaschen!


HAMANTASCHEN

DOUGH
  • 1 ½ sticks of butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in ¼ cup of the flour, and then the egg. Mix vanilla into milk. Alternating dry and wet ingredients, add a third of the remaining flour, half the milk mixture, another third of the flour, the remaining milk and then the remaining flour. Beat well after each addition. Gather dough into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

FILLING
  • 1 cup lekvar (prune butter)
  • ½ cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 2 T. grated orange rind
  • 2 T. sugar
Mix all together and set aside.

ASSEMBLY
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 4” circles with a biscuit cutter or a glass. Reroll scraps as necessary, to make as many circles as possible.
Put a scant teaspoon of filling in the middle of a circle, and form into a triangle (like a tricorn hat). Pinch well at the corners so they don’t open up in the oven. Leave the filling exposed in the center. Transfer to the cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a rack, and let them cool before eating.

If you’re viscerally opposed to prunes, you could use apricot preserves instead. If you're feeling fancy, you could do an egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed up with 2 T. milk, brushed on the pastry before baking).

17 comments:

niobe said...

I don't think I've ever actually celebrated Purim (I have kind of a visceral dislike of it), but perhaps I could try making hamantaschen -- though it sounds like I should cut back on the sugar.

nutmeg said...

A 5? I never knew anyone who got a 5!

My grandmother used to make these - with apricot filling!

Queen Goob said...

Don't you love running across old recipes and things? Scared me because it looks exactly like my sister's handwriting and she would leave little notes just as your friend did.

Had a little moment of "stupid" as I had to "wiki" what lekvar was.

Happy Purim from a fellow band-geek!

Furrow said...

Well, I've never heard of them (speaking from the buckle of the Bible Belt), but they look delish. I do know about Purim. Do I win any cultural points for that? Okay, so I just learned about it last fall. From another blog. Blogs are my window to the world. Thank you.

Waiting Amy said...

He, he -- I got a 5 too. Shall we start an exclusive club? Or would that be too geeky?

emma said...

Yea! I'm making my hammantaschen today too! And yes, apricot totally beats prunes (or poppy seeds). This is one of the few times we go to temple because its like Halloween with more noise.

Beck said...

Oh, those look yummy. I keep meaning to try them - for some reason, my kids adore Esther.

dawn224 said...

apricot preserves sounds easier :)

the mama bird diaries said...

happy purim.

i still have every high school note i ever received in a box. i love old notes..

wheelsonthebus said...

I used to hate Hamentaschen, until I had homemade ones.

Kelley said...

Oooh sound yummy! Bring some on over to my blog cause you are the winner of my Pay It Forward post!!!

Squeeee!!!

FreshHell said...

Those sound good though I think I too would substitute apricot for prune. Also, to answer your question: my oldest daughter is seven and the youngest will be four in June.

Oh, The Joys said...

We celebrated last night with our friends Elke & Michael who are Jewish. I brought these, but in raspberry. They were pretty great. My inner Lady Flabina was all,

"Step AWAY from Haman's thingy!!"

Julia said...

I lazied out of making hamentashem this year, instead sending husband on his way home by my sister's house to pick up some just out of the oven yumminess. My sister had called me a few times today for clarifications on the finer points of the family recipe, but let me tell you-- she proved her lineage nicely with the final result.
And I am sorry to disappoint (as I do every year to every American-born hamentash maker or consumer), but proper hamentash dough is yeast and it must rise. Proper filling is poppy seed, prepared just so. I even have impartial confirmation-- my daughter said so, and this was the kid who, until she tried the family version, had been extolling the virtues of the cookie hamentash with chocolate chip filling.

Minnesota Matron said...

Ah yes. The nerd in high school. I was talking to an old high school friend the other day and I said, "Cheryl was the popular one, Sherri the pretty one, you were the musician. What was I?"

And the friend said, "You were the smart one, stupid."

needleinahaystack said...

I am the HS BFF who wrote the recipe! Heck, I don't even have it anymore. And I too got a 5. We were queens of the nerds. Looking back, it was a genius thing to be! (pun intended)

I am struck by how other people keep the memories that we may have lost ourselves. So sweet to find them.

pinknest said...

i love these, but i've never made them on my own. hope you had a wonderful easter!