During the month of Purim, our shops shelves fill with these iconic triangle-shaped cookies, mounds of sweet filling encased in delicate short dough. Apple is a real crowd-pleaser, as well as other classics like poppy, chocolate and prune. We use a hexagon cutter to get the most out of our dough, but a circle cutter will also do the trick.
Makes about 45 hamantaschen (freezing instructions included)
For the Dough
185 grams (1 stick + 5 tbsp) butter
40 grams (3 tbsp) sugar
75 grams (1/2 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
340 grams (2 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
For the Apple Filling
5-6 medium Granny Smith apples
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
45 grams (1/2 cup) cake or bread crumbs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg for egg wash
Powdered sugar for dusting
• chef knife and cutting board
• sauce pan
• a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
• plastic wrap
• rolling pin
• approx. 3" hexagon or round cutter
• piping bag or spoon
• pastry brush or your fingers
• sheet pan lined with parchment paper
• sifter or sieve
MIX THE DOUGH
- Measure out all ingredients and set aside.
For best results, we recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients instead of measuring with cups & spoons.
- In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed for about 4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed for 1 minute or until combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Slowly add the egg and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes or until fully combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix! If the dough is crumbly, you can knead it slightly by hand until it comes together.
Overmixing the flour will allow too much gluten to form in the dough, resulting in a tougher texture. In general for tender baked goods like cakes and cookies, only mix the flour until just combined, even finishing the mix by hand to make sure you don't overdo it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a roughly 6" x 6" square; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day (or pop it directly in the freezer and freeze for up to two weeks, defrosting in the fridge overnight before shaping).
MAKE THE FILLING
- Peel, core, and dice the apples into quarter-inch cubes.
- Cook the filling: combine 3/4 of the apples, the sugar, and water in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, mashing the apples with the back of a spoon as they soften. Cook until the mixture is the texture of chunky applesauce, adding more water as needed.
- Add the remaining apple cubes and combine, cooking a few minutes more.
- Remove from heat and add the cinnamon and cake crumbs. Let cool completely before transferring to a piping bag (if using).
- Make the egg wash by lightly whisking one egg, a pinch of salt, and a splash of water until the yolk breaks up and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Roll out the dough: on a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough to 1/8 to 1/16” thick, adding flour as needed to ensure it doesn't stick to the table. If the dough breaks, you can patch it with scraps and keep rolling, or cut the dough into smaller, more manageable portions to roll. Brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush.
There's a sweet spot where the dough temperature is warm enough to roll without cracking but cold enough to not stick to the table. Before you begin rolling cold dough straight from the fridge, temper it by hitting it firmly with a rolling pin many times on both sides. This helps make the dough more pliable, preventing cracking as you roll it out. (It's also a stress reliever for the baker.)
- Cut the dough using a hexagon (or circle) cutter. Remove any excess dough, re-form into a square (without over-kneading), cover in plastic and refrigerate again.
- Lightly egg wash the entire top surface of the hexagons.
- Pipe the filling: if using a piping bag, cut a 1/2" opening in the tip of the bag, or use a 1/2" round tip if you prefer. Make sure your apple filling can fit through the opening without clogging. Pipe (or spoon) approximately 1 teaspoon of apple filling into the center of each piece, being careful not to overfill.
- Fold every other corner (three total) up and into the center to form a pyramid, pinching the remaining corners to secure the filling. (If using a circle cutter, imagine 3 equidistant "corners" and pull those up into the center.)
- Arrange shaped cookies 2” apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat steps 3 - 7 until you've shaped all of the dough, re-rolling scraps up to 3 times.
Want to bake your hamantaschen another day? Consolidate them on your sheet pan (without allowing them to touch), wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze for up to one week. Allow them to defrost slightly for 15-20 minutes before baking.
BAKE IT NICE
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before covering in powdered sugar.
STORING YOUR HAMANTASCHEN
Hamantaschen will always be best the day that they're baked, but they'll hold well at room temperature up to two days after baking. Store the cooled cookies in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic.