Sometimes, late at night, I have really great ideas. Most of the time, I have pretty terrible ideas, but sometimes, they’re really, really great. Like these hamantaschen cookies for example!
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 creamy goo & raspberry jam. Ta-da!
Of course nothing is ever that simple, and once I started thinking about the exact nature of the creamy goo, it was apparent that nothing short of a whipped white chocolate ganache would do the trick.
The 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.
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.
It was a couple of days before I had time to have a go at making these, and 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 goo and jam, and sandwiching them together, is quite fiddly. Worth it though 🙂
I shouldn’t be surprised that whipped white chocolate ganache is so delicious. The clue’s right there in the name. Mmmmmmmmmm. Make extra. Eat it with a spoon.
White chocolate & raspberry is a pretty classic combo, 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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- 350g plain flour + plenty more for rolling out
- 125g caster sugar
- 250g butter or margarine
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 100g white chocolate
- 75ml double cream
- 25g butter
- 3-4tbsp raspberry jam
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and butter/margarine until crumbs form. Add the egg and vanilla and process until a soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap each one in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170C. 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. If the dough seems to be sticking to the paper, peel it away and add more flour.
- Cut the dough into triangular 'hamantaschen' shapes with sides 5-6cm long, and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Bake at 170C 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.
- 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.
- Spread 1-2 tsp of the ganache onto a triangular biscuit. Put 0.25-0.5 tsp raspberry jam in the centre of the ganache and spread out, leaving a gap around the edge. Place a 'window' biscuit on top, and 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!