Continuing with my tradition of cross-cultural bonding with the host sibs via Jewish cooking (or baking, really), we made hamantaschen for Purim. The grown-up bakers made the dough, and the wee bakers filled, decorated, and got creative.
Host brother David filling the dough with cream cheese and strawberry jam
Host sister Caroline nimbly folding the cookies into their distinctive triangle pocket shape
David applying the egg wash, or "food glue" as we called it
Host sibs working together, which they do with alarming frequency and camaraderie. I know I'm an only child and all, but it's totally unlike anything I've ever seen.
Update: HOW TO MAKE HAMANTASCHEN
* 1 c (two sticks) butter, softened
* 1 1/2 c sugar
* 2 tsp vanilla
* 3 eggs
* 4 c flour (pastry flour, if you've got it)
* 4 tsp baking powder
* pinch salt, 1 tsp cinnamon
Step 1: Cream butter and sugar, then add in the wet ingredients. Mix the dry stuff in a separate bowl. Then combine it all.
Step 2: Stick the dough in the fridge to chill for an hour
Step 3: Take it out, plop it on parchment paper, and roll it out to about 1/8" thick.
Step 4. Use a cookie cutter or a water class to press out circles ~3" across. Fill 'em and fold 'em
Step 5: Bake @ 350 for 12-15 minutes
Step 6: Demolish cookies with face.
As for fillings, we experimented with various combinations of these things:
and discovered that you really need to use at least one of the latter two, to give the cookie some structure. If you just use jam, it collapses into a flat, sticky, un-hamentaschen-looking (though superdelicious) mess.
*almond paste-- buy it in a store, use marzipan, or DIY:
1 c. almond flour (just ground up almonds, should be in the baking or health food section)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg white
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