Tashen with a Twist

Purim is in the air! Between mishloach manos advertisements, costume brochures and creative ideas in every publication, it’s easy to get into the spirit.

Here at The Peppermill we’ve heard just about every creative idea from themed mishloach manos to match the family’s costumes to Shabbos mishloach manos since Purim is Thursday this year to those who insist on going back to basics by sending hamantashen and oranges. For those who want to be traditional but not boring, here are some tasty hamantashen for you to try.

For more Purim recipes, stop by the store and pick up our new selection of timely recipe cards. We’ve got everything from our favorite hamantashen to delicious ideas for your Purim seudah.

Brownie Bars Hamantashen

Take a popular brownie bar recipe and turn it into a tasty Purim treat.

For the dough:

  • 10 ounces whipped topping
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 pound margarine, softened at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1½ sticks margarine, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg, beaten for assembling the hamantashen

Prepare the dough. In your mixer combine topping, flour, margarine, vanilla and salt until it forms a smooth dough. Remove from mixer and set aside.

Prepare filling. Mix softened margarine and cocoa until creamy. Add flour, vanilla, sugar and eggs and mix until well combined.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone pan liners.

Divide dough in thirds. Roll out on a silpat or parchment paper. Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut circles using a 3-3 1/2” round cookie cutter. Place a half teaspoon of filling in each circle. Brush edges of each circle with beaten egg. Fold up three sides of the circle to form a triangle. Pinch corners very tightly and place each hamantash on the prepared pan. Reroll scraps and cut more circles. Repeat filling and pinching edges.

Bake about 15 minutes or until just golden at the edges. Repeat with remaining dough until all of it has been used.

Chocolate Halva Hamantashen

Because of its popularity, halva has found its way into everything from cheesecake to babka; so why not hamantashen?

For the dough:

1 1/3 cups margarine (2 ¾ sticks), softened

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • ½ pound halva spread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Prepare the Dough:

Cream the margarine until soft, then mix in half the flour. Add the sugar, cocoa, eggs and baking powder. Mix until well combined, then add the remaining flour and salt. Remove from the mixer and wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Prepare the Filling:

In a mixer, combine the halva spread, egg and flour and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Prepare the Hamantaschen:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove half the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to 1/4” thickness on a floured surface or silpat. Cut circles from your dough using a 2 1/2” round cookie cutter. Place the cut circles on an ungreased baking pan and place a flat teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Bring up three sides of each circle and pinch the corners closed. Reroll dough scraps and repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Do not overbake—it’s hard to tell when chocolate cookies are baked, so keep an eye on the clock.

Yield: 48 hamantashen

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to peppermill@hamodia.com. This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.