Purim starts tonight, and one of the traditional foods associated with the holiday is Hamantaschen. The triangular treats are said to either resemble the villain Haman's tri-corner hat or his triangular pockets (hamantaschen literally means "Haman's pockets"). Though originally associated with Purim, this little pastry pocket is traditionally filled with lekvar (prune paste), mohn (poppy seeds), or apricot paste. Schwartz goes a little out of the pocket here with a chocolate-filled version.
- For the dough:
- 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter or pareve margarine, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse several times to combine.
- Add the butter; pulse several more times, then process for a few seconds to form mealy crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Pour this egg mixture into the processor; pulse several times to mix it in, then process for about 10 seconds. Stir the mixture up from the bottom with a rubber spatula, then process again until the dough begins to clump together, about 10 seconds more.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and, with floured hands, press dough together, divide in half, form into 2 disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. (The dough may be frozen for up to 4 months.)
- Prepare the filling: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring until perfectly smooth. Add the salt, vanilla, sugar, eggs, flour, and walnuts; stir until well blended. (Any unused portion of the filling can be frozen for up to 4 months.)
- If baking all the hamantaschen at once, on two baking sheets, position the oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. If making only one sheet at a time, the rack should be in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Dab the corners of the baking sheets with butter; line them with parchment paper.
- If the dough is coming straight from the refrigerator, let it warm slightly at room temperature (about 20 minutes) so it can be rolled out. On a lightly floured board, roll dough to 3/16 inch thick. With a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough, and place them on the prepared sheets.
- Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each circle. Brush perimeter of circle with egg wash. Using a dough scraper, lift dough to partially cover the filling, spacing it at one-third intervals, like a tri-cornered hat. Brush the tops of the formed cookies with egg wash.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. If baking more than one sheet at a time, rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back toward the end of the baking time to ensure even browning.
- Remove from oven; let rest on baking sheets for 2 or 3 minutes. Loosen the cookies with a thin metal spatula; transfer to wire cooling racks.
Notes: Cookies may be stored in an airtight container, layered between strips of waxed paper, for up to 5 days. These cookies stand up well to freezing.