I decided to try a twist on a seasonal cookie this month. March 9-10 is Purim in the Jewish faith, and Hamantaschen are the treat associated with that holiday. Hamantaschen are a triangular cookie with a filling in the pocket, typically a jelly. According to My Jewish Learning, the most common interpretation of the cookie is that “they resemble the three cornered hat worn by Haman,” although other interpretations say that “in Hebrew the cookies are called “ozney Haman” which means “Haman’s ears” and refers to the custom of cutting off a criminal’s ears before his execution,” or the idea that “each corner of a hamantaschen represents one of the “fathers” of Judaism—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Regardless of the lore, these cookies are common during Purim.
As mentioned, hamantaschen are often filled with jelly, but other fillings such as Nutella have started showing up. I decided to try filling them with marshmallows (kosher, of course!). I had several very unsuccessful attempts, as the marshmallows tended to dissolve straight into the cookie when baked. But, I found that if you insert the marshmallow with just about 1-2 minutes of baking left, a sticky sugar pool remains in the pocket of the hamantaschen. This was a nice alternative to the idea of having an uncooked, white marshmallow in the pocket. Purists will, no doubt, dislike this idea. But, for those of you willing to mix things up, check it out.
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ c sugar
¼ c packed brown sugar
½ c cold unsalted butter
½ c water
3 Sweet Jumbles marshmallows
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and both sugars in a large bowl. Cut butter into pats, about 1/2 Tablespoon in size, and add to flour mixture. Incorporate with a pastry cutter or two forks to create pea-sized crumbs. Slowly add water and combine to create a soft dough.
- Divide dough in half, create two disc-shaped portions, and wrap both in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Meanwhile, cut marshmallows into cubes of no larger than 1/2″. A Sweet Jumbles marshmallow can give you about 8 small cubes. Don’t make them too big or they may push the hamantaschen open.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
- Remove dough from fridge and place on a well-floured surface. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick. This is rather thin, but anything thicker will result in the triangles opening up during baking.
- Using a cookie cutter or glass rim of your choice, cut circular cookies. I prefer a 2 – 2.5-inch size. Transfer to baking sheets.
- Fold up three sides of the circle to create a triangle, overlapping one upon the other and giving it a little pinch to close. I found it beneficial to add a drop of water at each overlap to help seal closed.
- Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
- Remove from oven, and increase oven temperature to broil. Push one small Sweet Jumbles marshmallow into the opening and bake for 1 minute longer. Watch carefully to ensure they melt but don’t burn.
- Remove from oven to cool to room temperature.