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Starfleet-style hamantashen and Funfetti cheesecake hamantashen

Why are hamantashen shaped like triangles and what does the name mean? The name is German and possibly means “Haman’s pocket,” which may refer to the bribes the Purim story’s villain, Haman, took in his role as vizier. Some believe it represents Haman’s ear, while others feel that the three-sided treat is symbolic of the three-cornered hat believed to have been worn by Haman. Another explanation is that the triangular shape represents the strength given to Esther by the three founders of Judaism – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Either way, it is apparent that these cookies are an acknowledgement of the delicious sweetness of Jewish life.

Hamantashen are usually prepared with a shortbread-type cookie dough and are typically filled with jam, prunes or poppy seeds. Get the children, or grandchildren, involved and have fun making these two delectably different kinds of hamantashen.

Funfetti cheesecake hamantashen will delight children of all ages, especially if they love everything unicorn or rainbow. Likewise, the Starfleet-style hamantashen will certainly please Star Trek fans, but will be enjoyed by all.

To make your hamantashen wonderful:

• chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out, as it needs to be easy to handle and form into the proper shape;

• roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to prevent sticking;

• use round biscuit cutters measuring at least 7.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter – any smaller and they will be difficult to fold;

• do not use too much filling, or it may overspill and burn – a teaspoon is sufficient; and

• the colder your dough is, the more likely it is to keep its shape, so refrigerate for one hour after filling.

 

Starfleet-Style Hamantashen

o 250 ml (1 cup) cold butter

o 150 ml (2/3 cup) sugar

o 7.5 ml (1½ tsp) pure vanilla extract

o 2 eggs

o 60 ml (1/4 cup) orange juice

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) grated orange zest

o 1.125 l (4½ cups) all-purpose flour

o 12.5 ml (2½ tsp) baking powder

o 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

o 1 egg for egg wash

o apricot jam

In a food processor or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add vanilla, eggs, juice and zest. Slowly add dry ingredients and combine. Place dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Mix 1 egg with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of water to make the egg wash. Cut out circles with a 7.5-cm (3-inch) cookie cutter. Brush circles with egg wash. Place 5 ml (1 tsp) of the apricot jam in the centre.

To shape hamantashen: Fold the edges of your cookies inwards, so you have a neat triangle. Pinch it closed, so each edge is pointy. Pat down the sides to smooth them out. Now choose one side to be the bottom of the triangle. About one-third of the way from the right, push a toothpick upwards. This will make a dent in the bottom line forming the shape of the Starfleet insignia. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges. The hamantashen should have a jag upwards at the bottom of the triangle. Use a toothpick to smooth the filling into all the corners and to make sure it is below the edges.

Place on prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Brush the hamantashen with remaining egg wash. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the hamantashen are golden brown. Yields approximately 36 hamantashen.

READ: THE EMERALD CITY’S GOLDEN BISCUITS

 

Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantashen

o 250 ml (1 cup) cold butter

o 150 ml (2/3 cup) sugar

o 7.5 ml (1½ tsp) pure vanilla extract

o 2 eggs

o 60 ml (1/4 cup) orange juice

o 1.125 l (4½ cups) all-purpose flour

o 12.5 ml (2½ tsp) baking powder

o 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) sprinkles

o 1 egg for egg wash

Cheesecake filling

o 500 ml (2 cups) cream cheese at room temperature

o 10 ml (2 tsp) unsalted butter at room temperature

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

o 10 ml (2 tsp) pure vanilla extract

o 2 large egg yolk

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) sprinkles

To make the cheesecake filling, combine the cream cheese, butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat until smooth.

Add the egg yolk with the vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready for use. Gently mix in the sprinkles just before using.

To make the dough, cream together the butter and sugar in a food processor, or with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla, eggs and juice. Add in the dry ingredients and combine. Slowly add sprinkles to the dough without over-mixing it. Place dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix 1 egg with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of water to make the egg wash. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut out circles with a 7.5-cm (3-inch) cookie cutter. Brush circles with egg wash. Place 5 ml (1 tsp) of the cheesecake filling in the centre.

To shape hamantashen: First lift up one side, then layer the next and finally place the last side on top. Gently pinch the corners. You can also simply bring up the sides, forming a triangle by pinching the corners together. Use a toothpick to smooth the filling into all the corners and to make sure it is below the edges.

Place on prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Brush the hamantashen with remaining egg wash. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the hamantashen are golden brown. Yields approximately 36 hamantashen.

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