Good morning! The recipe for this week is for my friend Jackie – she stayed with us for a week and Purim fell on one of those days. So, we made hamantaschen cookies. You may know them as Thumbprint cookies – and this recipe is SO easy and delicious!
This weekend I had the pleasure to photograph eight families in 15 minute sessions. This was a fundraiser for MOPS at Living Lord Lutheran Church. The session fee goes to MOPS and Teen MOPS and the photographs go to the families. It was SO much fun!! Here are just a few highlights:
These cookies use orange zest which gives it that light, spring time taste and scent. Everyone here loved the cookies. What is also fantastic is that you can choose whatever filling you want. We used apricot jam because it is one of our favorites.
But, you could make your own filling or use your own favorite jam. Or, you could use caramel apple filling, nut filling, poppyseed, or Nutella.
The recipe begins like a typical sugar cookie. The kids had fun shaping them dough and forming the cookies.
One of the great things about this recipe is you can really make it your own. You can shape the cookies into triangles. You can fold them different ways. You can add your own extracts to the dough. You can create your own fillings. I used my Fiori di Sicilia extract in the dough with a little bit of vanilla. Plus, the dough is freezable!
To form the cookies:
Step one: Roll out the dough between 1/4″ and 1/8″.
Step two: Cut the dough with a 3″ circle cutter or biscuit cutter.
Step three: Dollop 1 teaspoon of filling into the center (overfilling can result in messy cookies!)
Step four: Fold one third of the cookie over – see photo.
Step five: Fold the other side of the cookie over (one third).
Step six: Carefully fold the last third over. Tuck in one side under the fold and fold over on the other side. The top of my cookie should have been tucked in side each other! Sorry about that. This way you get a pinwheel effect.
Step seven: Bake, cool and eat!
- 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks or 6 oz.) of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp. Fiori Di Sicilia and 1/2 tsp. vanilla)
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest (not the white pith, just the orange outside)
- 2 and 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2-5 tsp. water
- 1 cup of filling: fruit preserves, nut filling, caramel apple filling, poppyseed filling, etc.
- In a great big mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – about 1-2 minutes.
- Add egg, extracts and zest. Mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in the flour and salt. Mix until just barely combined. It will be a little crumbly.
- At this point, you can use your mixer or your hands. Add about 2 tsp. of water and mix slowly. The dough should become a ball that is smooth and not sticky. If it is not smooth, just keep adding water 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Split the dough in half. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge covered for 2+ hours or chill faster in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper, cooking spray or silicone mats.
- Roll out one disk of dough to about 1/8″ to 1/4″. 1/8″ is hard to work with if you are not used to it – but if you are go for it and you will get thinner and delicate cookies. Follow the photo steps in the blog post: Cut out a 3″ circle. Dollop 1 tsp. of filling in the middle. Fold over 1/3 of the circle, but you can still see the filling. Fold over the other 1/3. Finally tuck under the final one third.
- If you wish, you can store in the freezer on cookie sheets until the oven is up to temperature and all the cookies are ready to go.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or starting to get golden brown on the edges and/or bottom.
- Cool and eat!
- Store at room temperature in a sealed container. Since there are preserves, I will store in the fridge if left out more than one day, but that is my personal preference.