Whole-Grain Hamantashen for Purim

March 23, 2016 | By | Comments (0)

Hamentashen

The Jewish holiday of Purim begins today, and that means lots of hamantashen, a triangle shaped cookie that represents the tricorner hat worn by Haman, the villain of the story Purim celebrates. The story in a nutshell: a Persian king in the 4th century married a young Jewish woman, which angered Haman, the king’s advisor. He tried to pass a decree that the Jews be exterminated, but the new queen and her uncle turned the tables on the villain and he ended up being hanged for treason. Now, we celebrate that turn of events with feasts, costume parties (it’s called Jewish Mardis Gras for a reason) and hat-shaped cookies filled with jam, dates, or a poppyseed filling. It’s one of my favorite holidays.

Whole-Grain Hamantashen
Of course, we had to try and make the cookies whole-grain. Make sure to pinch the corners together when forming the cookies, and not to overfill them.  Some of the preserves will inevitably bubble up and leak a little bit, but they’ll still be delicious.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup filling (choose one below)

1. Place butter and sugar in a bowl; beat with an electric mixer at low speed until light and fluffy. Add rind, vanilla, and 1 egg, beat until combined.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt; sift together over a bowl (add any bran that cannot be sifted out to flour mixture). Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into circles with a 31/2-inch biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass (reroll and cut scraps into additional circles if needed).

5. Place circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of each circle. Fold right side of circle toward the center, then the left side, then the bottom edge to form a triangle. Place remaining egg in a bowl; beat lightly. Brush cookies evenly with egg. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes.

SERVES 24 (serves 24)

Strawberry filling:
1/2 cup strawberry preserves

1. Spoon 1 teaspoon preserves into the center of each dough circle.

CALORIES 104; FAT 4.2g (sat 2.5g, mono 1.1g, poly 0.3); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 15g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 18mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 39mg CALC 21mg

Apricot filling:
1/2 cup apricot preserves

1. Spoon 1 teaspoon preserves into the center of each dough circle.

CALORIES 111; FAT 4.2g (sat 2.5g, mono 1.1g, poly 0.3); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 18g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 18mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 41mg CALC 12mg

Date filling:
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Bring ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 5 to 8 minutes or until the dates break down and the mixture is thickened, stirring and mashing occasionally. Cool slightly before filling cookies.

CALORIES 116; FAT 4.2g (sat 2.5g, mono 1.1g, poly 0.3); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 19g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 18mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 39mg; CALC 14mg

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