Hamantaschen are delicious triangular cookies that are only popular one day a year―on Purim. They are special because unlike other cookies and pastries, the most delectable and mouth-watering cookies are found not in the corner bakery, but in the kitchens of Jewish homes throughout the world, during the few days preceding Purim. We’ve recently received a deluge of requests to rerun last year’s double chocolate and mascarpone pistachio hamantaschen recipes, so here they are.
Double Chocolate Hamantaschen
Chocolate hamantaschen may not be traditional, but they are delicious. Fill with a chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella is kosher). Makes about 4 dozen.
For the Dough
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup milk or water
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup cocoa powder
• 4 1/2 cups flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
For the Egg Wash
• 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
• Pinch sugar
• 1 to 2 tablespoon milk or water
For the Hamantaschen Filling
• Granulated or coarse sugar for topping (optional)
• Chocolate sprinkles for topping (optional)
Directions To make the Dough
Cream the shortening, butter, and white and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and blend until smooth. Place the milk or water, vanilla and cocoa in a small mixing bowl and stir until the mixture becomes a paste. Stir the chocolate paste into the sugar mixture, then fold in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix to make a firm but soft dough. Divide into three disks, then flatten the disks and wrap them in plastic. Let the dough stand for a couple of minutes to allow the flour in the dough to absorb the liquid thoroughly. Then refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350˚. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
While the oven is heating, make the egg wash: Combine the egg, yolk, sugar and water in a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
To assemble the hamantaschen
On a lightly floured board, roll out one portion of dough at a time to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Cut into 3 1/2-inch rounds and brush with the egg wash. Place a generous teaspoonful of chocolate hazelnut paste. Fold over the edge of the circle in three sections to form a triangle and pinch the corners closed. There should be some filling exposed in the center. Brush the dough again with the egg wash and, if desired, sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar or chocolate sprinkles. Transfer the triangles to the cookie sheet. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Mascarpone Hamantaschen with Pistachio Filling
For the Dough
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
• 1/2 cup mascarpone
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
For the Pistachio Filling
• 2/3 cups pistachios
• 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon orange flower water
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch salt
Directions To Make the Dough
In a food processor pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pulse in the mascarpone. In a small bowl, stir together the yolk, vanilla and zest until well-combined. Add the yolk mixture to the flour butter mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together (it will still be crumby). Place the dough on a clean, dry surface and knead to form a ball. Divide the ball into 2 parts, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
To Make Pistachio Filling
Place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and process until it forms a smooth, uniform paste.
To Assemble Hamantaschen
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Roll out a disc of the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter cut out the dough. Brush with a thin coat of milk. Chill the scraps, if planning to re-roll as the dough gets soft. Place a generous 1/2 teaspoon of the filling at the center of each of the circles, and press up the sides to form triangles, pinching to seal. Brush the tops with more milk. Chill the formed hamantaschen for 10 minutes. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden.