Hamantaschen are one of my favorite parts of Purim, second only to dressing up. Each year, I practically consume my weight’s worth of these cookies and although I’ll eat pretty much any type, my favorite is strawberry jam.
This year, for the first time, I made my own to give to friends. I added vanilla bean seeds to the cookie dough for flavor and used a sweet and fruity jam made with organic wild strawberries for filling them.
The cookies came out jammy and soft, with the perfect shortbread-like consistency. I can’t wait to give these to my friends and, more importantly, sneak a few for myself.
- 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean seeds
- 2 cups strawberry jam
- Mix ground almonds, flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, work butter into flour until it resembles cornmeal. Add the egg and vanilla bean seeds and combine the dough with a wooden spoon.
- Turn dough out onto counter, and knead until mixture is uniform. Divide into quarters.
- Place one quarter of the dough on a well-floured counter, and flour the top of it generously as well.
- Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, and cut out circles with a 2 inch round cookie cutter.
- Brush circles with egg mixture. This helps ensure that the cookies don’t open up at the seams in the oven.
- Dollop 1 teaspoon of the strawberry jam in the center of each circle. Fold edges up in three places to form a triangular cookie and gently pinch seams together to form corners.
- Transfer cookies to a baking sheet, and place entire tray in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden at edges. Transfer to racks to cool.