Happy Purim folks! (Or, for all the non-Jews out there, happy holiday that seems like Halloween but with more purpose? Or happy day when you're supposed to drink lots but then you're not around people who understand so you stop).
Hamentaschen, or oznei Haman (Haman's ears) are the traditional cookie of the holiday. Aside from the rather un-apt name, they have little to do with the holiday, but they taste great! These are buttery, soft but a bit crispy, a bit pillowy, with a nice dab of fruity (or other) filling to balance the whole thing out.
Millions of recipes abound for the dough, nearly all of which are sort of difficult to handle. Patience, my friends! Chilling the dough a few times will greatly decrease your stress and tearage, so taking breaks allows for sippage in between steps.
½ c butter
½ c cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbs orange/lemon zest
2 c + 2 tbs flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ tbs orange juice
Jam to fill
Work zest into sugar with fingers until it is slightly orange and very fragrant. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt, then cut in cold butter and cream cheese until it resembles bread crumbs. Beat egg, then add, gently folding it in until the mixture comes together into a crumbly, soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll out dough to 1/8- ¼” thick. I found the cookies were easier to handle and baked up more nicely if I chilled the dough again at this point, but it is not necessary. Cut dough into small circles, then drop jam into the center. Pinch three corners tightly. Thicker jams work MUCH better, as they do not spread and encourage the cookies to do the same.
Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, or until golden.