Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hot Pockets of Purim: The Sugaring Hamantaschen!

Purim is upon us at just the right moment...when we Vermonters are in the thick of sugaring.

That means the Hamantaschen are going to be maple infused this year, whether you like it or not.

I have a sneaking suspicion you'll like it.

Hamantaschen, the tri-cornered cookie hat of victory and goodness, are traditionally stuffed with poppyseed or fruity fillings.  But when I see a sweet vessel, perfectly pinched in such a manner that a host of fillings might happily (and safely) reside in her buttery embrace, my mind goes straight to custard.

And so it is that my Hamantaschen became maple custard infused (and apricot topped).

Maple Custard Hamantaschen

(Makes about 25 cookies)

For the dough


2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces, 12 tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch nutmeg


-Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with the paddle attachment.  Add the egg, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and continue to mix until the egg is completely incorporated and the batter is once again smooth.

-Add the flour and mix until the dough JUST comes together.  Don't over mix.

-Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap.  Press the dough into a tight, flat round.  Cover entirely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a half hour.

For the custard


1 cup cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup  of maple syrup
2 tablespoons corn starch
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract


-Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a metal bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

-Continue whisking the mixture over a bain marie until the maple custard thickens.  Immediately pour through a sieve into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap so the custard doesn't form a skin.  Refrigerate until completely cool.

To Assemble

You'll need:  egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

-Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

-Roll the dough about 1/8 thick and using a cookie cutter/ biscuit cutter/cake round, cut into 2" rounds.

-Brush the rounds with egg wash.

-Dollop about 1 - 2 teaspoons onto the middle of each round.

-Pinch the sides of the round on three sides to form a tri-cornered vessel that completely contains the custard.  Pinch rather aggressively, otherwise the cookies will come apart in the oven.

-Brush the outsides of the Hamantaschen with egg wash.

-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Maple Custard Goodness.

-I've topped my little hot pockets with heart shaped dried apricots.  This adds a little fruity flavor and gives the treats a nice pop of color.