I have a motto that I like to follow – or at least pretend to – if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, but if it is, get to work! That idea is perfectly epitomized in these fun and different hamantaschen for Purim – I’ve stuck with my classic sugar cookie dough that never fails me for the outside, but tried a fun and different flavor for the filling.
Storebought hamantaschen never fail to disappoint me, so I always try to make my own. In the US, I mostly see hamantaschen with poppy seed or jam fillings, and in Israel, with poppy, halva or chocolate, which are all OK but not very exciting. But pairing a sweet sticky caramel with fresh delicious apples in a buttery dough is just about the ultimate in hamantaschen perfection. The caramel got a bit bubbly and messy in some of the cookies, so these aren’t the most beautiful I’ve ever made, but they just might be the most tasty.
The slightly wet filling can make your hamantashen a bit soft if they sit around, so don’t make these more than 24 hours in advance, and they are best eaten on the same day.
If you’re looking for more varieties and Purim treat ideas just check out the Nosh Pit archives and my blog www.bakingandmistaking.com.
Caramel Apple Hamantaschen: Makes about three dozen cookies
21⁄2 cups (300 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) butter or margarine
1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 large egg
3 medium to large apples, granny smith is ideal
1 cup (200g) sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain. Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile – make the filling. Peel and finely dice the apples – keep in mind they will need to be small to fit inside your hamantashen. Heat the cup of sugar in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until it begins to melt and turn brown. Once it starts, stir gently until all the sugar is melted. Dice the butter or margarine and add in, whisking until smooth. Add in the apples and stir to coat in the caramel mixture. Let cool slightly.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll out on a well-floured surface (and continuously reflouring) until about 1⁄2 centimeter thick. Cut rounds from the dough – I used a 2 1/2″ cutter – and place about a tablespoon of filling in the center of each – try not to add too much liquid. Do not overfill or they are in danger of opening up in the oven.
Fold up the sides of the dough to form the triangle shape, pressing them together where they overlap and pinching them closed in the corners. You want to add the filling one at a time before folding, instead of putting all the fillings in then folding them all, too prevent any liquid from escaping before you can form the cookies.
Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until they are starting to brown on the edges. Let cool on a wire rack. If you have remaining caramel liquid from your apples, you can carefully spoon a little into the cooled hamantaschen for extra caramel flavor.