Crisp triangular cookies sandwiched together with creamy white chocolate ganache & raspberry jam – hamantaschen cookies! A delicious way to celebrate Purim!
Most of the time, I have pretty terrible ideas, but sometimes, late at night, I come up with something really, really great. Like these jammy dodger hamantaschen cookies for example.
Variations on a theme
I was thinking of new and interesting variations on a hamantaschen theme, ahead of this year’s Purim celebrations. For some reason, thinking about the little ‘window’ of filling peeping out of the centre of a hamantasch reminded me of the circle of jam visible inside a jammy dodger. That was the moment inspiration struck!
I would make hamantaschen-shaped biscuits, filled with a layer of sweet creamy spread & raspberry jam. Ta-da!
Simple and straightforward?
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Once I started thinking about the exact nature of the creamy layer, it was apparent that nothing short of a whipped white chocolate ganache would do the trick.
My other pressing issue was the absence of a hamantaschen-shaped cookie cutter. I had to improvise here. Ultimately I ended up cutting a triangular piece out of an empty plastic fruit carton, and covering it with tin foil. I used this as a template to cut around with a sharp knife.
To make a cutter to remove the ‘window’ I covered a strip of thin cardboard in foil, then folded it into a triangle and stuck the ends together. Double-sided tape is your friend if you decide to attempt this at home.
Pause and reflect
After having the idea, it was a couple of days before I had time to have a go at making these. I had to resist the urge to elaborate on the idea still further before it made it to the kitchen. As it was, it took a few hours from setting up the food processor, to having a tray of finished hamantaschen cookies. They aren’t particularly difficult to make, but the dough and the white chocolate ganache both need to be chilled, and filling 20 biscuits with chocolate cream and jam, and sandwiching them together, is quite fiddly.
It was definitely worth it though.
I shouldn’t be surprised that whipped white chocolate ganache is so delicious. The clue’s right there in the name. Take my advice an make extra. Eat it with a spoon. Oh yes.
White chocolate and raspberry is a pretty classic combination, and surrounded by crisp, vanilla-scented biscuit, is the perfect way to celebrate the downfall of our enemies, and the triumph of the Jewish people!*
Makes 20 hamantaschen cookies (plus a few spare plain biscuits).
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White chocolate & raspberry hamantaschen sandwich cookies
For the biscuits
- 350 g plain flour + more for rolling out (scant 3 cups)
- 125 g caster sugar (approx. ⅔ cup)
- 250 g butter or margarine (1 cup + 1tbsp)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the filling
- 100 g white chocolate (3½ oz.)
- 75 ml double cream (⅓ cup)
- 25 g butter (approx. 2 tbsp)
- 3-4 tbsp raspberry jam
First, make the biscuits
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and butter/margarine until crumbs form. Add the egg and vanilla and process until it comes together as a soft dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap each one in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Dredge a sheet of greaseproof paper with plenty of flour, then place an unwrapped ball of dough on the paper. Dredge more flour over the dough, then cover with another sheet of greaseproof. Roll the dough out between the two sheets, to a thickness of 4-5mm (approx. ⅕ inch). If the dough seems to be sticking to the paper, peel it carefully away and add more flour.
- Cut the dough into triangular 'hamantaschen' shapes with sides 5-6cm (2-2⅓ inches) long, and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Bake at 170°C (340°F) for around 15 minutes until just beginning to darken in colour. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Repeat the rolling and cutting with the second ball of dough, but cut a 'window' in each biscuit. Make sure you have the same number of biscuits as in the first batch. Bake & cool as before.
To make the white chocolate ganache
- Break the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
- Heat the double cream to boiling point (30-40 seconds in a microwave) and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then beat with a spoon to melt any remaining chocolate and combine everything together. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Once the mixture is cold, add the butter and use an electric whisk to whip the ganache thoroughly. It will become lighter in colour, with a thick, fluffy texture like stiffly whipped cream.
To assemble the biscuits
- Spread 1-2 tsp of the ganache onto a triangular biscuit, taking care to spread right to the edges. Put ¼-½ tsp raspberry jam in the centre of the ganache and spread out, leaving a small gap around the edge. Place a 'window' biscuit on top, and gently press down. Repeat with the remaining biscuits.
- Leave the biscuits somewhere cool for the filling to set. These biscuits are best eaten within a day or two of baking.
* You can read more about Purim, including the story of Esther, and traditional celebrations, here.
I’m entering these amazingly yummy hamantaschen cookies into Bake of the Week, hosted by Casa Costello, and into Alphabakes, organised by The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes, who is also hosting this month. February’s letter is ‘V’, and as the biscuit part of these hamantaschen sandwich cookies are flavoured with vanilla, I reckon they’re eligible.
Don’t forget, once Purim is over it’s time to get ready for Pesach – buy your copy of Helen’s Delicious Pesach today!