My hamentashen are great, but as far as wacky goes, they are extremely tame. If you follow this link and go to “Kitchen Tested,” which is the food blog of Melinda Strauss, you can see rainbow ones, where the author uses food coloring to create seven different shades and layers them.
Or go to the Forward blog, and see savory ones that use cream cheese and salmon:
I even tried something new, s’mores hamentashen:
But I’m sticking to my Hamentashen, with the addition of stripes.
The predecessors of these striped cookies are Alice Medrich’s Chocolate Hamantaschen.
I won the Congregation Etz Chayim hamantaschen bake-off in with them in 2003. One dad called them “heroin hamantaschen,” because they were so addictive, he could not stop eating them. I can’t blame him. They have two of the best flavors in the world in one bite—the cookie is a rich vanilla butter cookie and the filling is chocolate brownie, a ganache actually. Alice Medrich published the recipe in her book A Year in Chocolate.
You should know a few things: that this filling recipe makes enough for almost two batches of cookie dough, a teeny tiny little 1/2 tsp cookie scoop is the fastest way to parcel out the filling, and that you should wet the edges of the cookies and pinch the sides of the hamantaschen together very carefully to make sure they do not fall apart in the oven.
1 stick butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cold eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, stirring frequently. Remove the top of the double boiler and add the sugar, vanilla extract and salt and continue stirring. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate each completely before adding the next. Finally, stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon by hand for about a minute. The filling will turn glossy and begin to come away from the bowl. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed. NOTE: If you make the filling ahead of time and freeze it, it separates a tiny bit, but frozen or very cold ganache scoops much more easily with the teeny tiny cookie scoop, especially if you dip the scooper in warm water from time to time.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened but not squishy
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix the first three ingredients with a whisk and set aside. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 – 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla, and then, on low speed, beat in the flour until just incorporated. Form the dough into two bricks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. NOTE: DOUGH FREEZES BEAUTIFULLY.
With the oven preheated to 350, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm until it becomes supple enough to roll out. Roll each brick individually to a thickness of about 1/8″. It is easiest to do this between two sheets of wax paper. You may want to turn the dough over a couple of times, keeping it between the two sheets, to ensure that no deep creases form.
Cut cookies out using a 3″ round cutter and transfer cookie rounds to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put a leveled teaspoon of filling in the center of each cookie round, then bring 3 sides of each round up to partially cover the filling. Pinch the sides together. Cookies should be spaced about 1/2″ apart on the sheet.
Bake for a total of 16-18 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through baking. Let cool briefly on cookie sheet, and allow to cool completely on racks.I give mine away as soon as I make them, because they are too good.