Joan Nathan's Chosen Hamantaschen

By • February 14, 2013 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: Cookies for Purim!Joan Nathan

Makes 30 cookies

  • 2.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2.5-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • .5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • .5 lemon, quartered and seeded
  • .5 orange, quartered and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 dried figs, roughly chopped
  • .5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • .5 cups orange marmalade
  1. To make the dough, cream the butter or margarine with 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor or standing mixer. Add the egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and orange juice and continue to cream until smooth.
  2. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the dough comes together, adding flour until the dough is pliable. It will be slightly sticky. Roll into a ball, using the remaining flour if needed, flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  3. To make the filling, place walnuts, lemon, orange, Triple Sec, figs, cinnamon, marmalade, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor and process until chopped but not pureed. You should have approximately 2 cups. Set aside until the dough is chilled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Fill a small bowl with water.
  5. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured board until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. To shape the hamantashen, first brush water around the rim of the circle with your finger. Pull the edges of the dough up to form a triangle around the filling and pinch the 3 corners together, leaving a small opening in the center. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.
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Comments (9) Questions (0)

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over 1 year ago pamela joy

I just watched the video and there are several discrepancies between the recipe as presented there versus the one printed here. There were some minor variations in the method, but also differences in the quantity of certain ingredients. For instance, whereas this recipe calls for a cup of sugar in the dough and no sugar in the filling, the recipe in the video calls for a half cup in each. There's a similar discrepancy with the vanilla. Also, the recipe shown in the video calls for a tablespoon rather then a teaspoon of baking powder, although the audio references a teaspoon.

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over 1 year ago Joan Nathan

@pamela: Yes, you're right about the baking powder. The teaspoon that's written in this recipe and referenced in the video is correct; the tablespoon that's printed in the video is an error. As for the sugar and vanilla, though, those amounts are correct as explained in the printed recipe and match the video: The entire recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar -- 1/2 cup for the dough and 1/2 for the filling. And the entire recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla -- 1/2 for the dough and 1/2 for the filling.

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over 1 year ago pamela joy

Thanks so much for your prompt and helpful clarification. I've a lifelong weakness for hamantaschen, but have never tried a fig filling. I'm looking forward to it.

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over 1 year ago Cleowhiskey

@learnoff: smitten kitchen had the same problem in her version. looking through the comments for her post, many seasoned hamantaschen makers told her she needed to be _folding_ the corners over each other, not pinching them together. i'm going to be making these too, so i hope that does the trick.

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over 1 year ago learnoff

Thanks. I'm thinking it is most likely a problem with the flour to butter ratio. It's not at all that the corners of the pastries came apart. The problem was that the dough literally flattened out as though the dough "melted". They retained the triangle shape.

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over 1 year ago Cleowhiskey

Have you figured out what the correct butter: flour ratio should be? I'm planning on making the recipe this weekend.

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over 1 year ago louisez

One more thought, learnoff. The recipe I use calls for 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter or margarine to 2 c. flour. This recipe calls for 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 c.) butter or margarine. I dug out the Jewish holiday cookbook by Joan Nathan, and there the recipe calls for 2/3 c. butter or margarine. Could the amount called for here be mistaken?

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over 1 year ago louisez

My daughter has the same problem, learnoff. I haven't used this particular recipe, but, assuming you've pinched the dough together sufficiently, perhaps the issue is the amount of flour. This recipe asks for 2 1/2 - 3 c. flour. Perhaps you need to add flour toward the higher range (which was my daughter's issue)?

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over 1 year ago learnoff

I made this recipe and they are absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make. But i have the same problem that I always have when I make hamantashen - when I bake them the dough sort of tends to spread so the filling looks like it's nearly coming out of the pastry. It's not that I overfill them. This year I even refrigerated the cookies between each step - when I cut the dough into rounds i put them in the fridge, after i made/shaped them i refrigerated them again before baking and yet the dough still sort of "slid". I wish i could post a photo so i could show you and perhaps you could give me a suggestion. The taste is great they just didn't look professional. Any suggestions? Thanks!