I am going to be 45 years old this year, and I’ve been attempting to make perfect hamantaschen irregularly since I was a teenager and discovered that you could buy cans of poppy seed filling in supermarkets. Prior to that, I’d assumed it was a big secret thing that only Jewish bakeries could do. Well, I’m a middle-aged kitchen hack now, and I’m still convinced that there’s something about hamantaschen that only Jewish bakeries know how to do.
There’ve always been issues. First off, I’ve never found the right cooky recipe. Most hamantaschen recipes call for a dough I find completely unacceptable because they require orange juice, to which I reply, “Over my dead body.” But then, there are other issues. Sometimes the dough results in just some hard, not too sweet thing that is, frankly, strong enough to hold the filling in place, but otherwise has nothing to recommend it.
I’ve spent years hunting for hamantaschen recipes, always thinking, “it’s out there, the perfect recipe it out there, I just know it.” And I am pretty sure that in 2014, I scored, with the Smitten Kitchen hamantaschen recipe. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/03/hamantaschen/
This, minus the orange zest, natch, is the thing I think I used last year, and it was wholly successful. I believe this because I remember that I gave hamantaschen to people, even people I didn’t know very well; I even mailed cookies to people. I wouldn’t do that if I hadn’t thought they’d come out beautifully. Right? Right?
So this year, I dug up the recipe again and I set them up and I did an egg wash around the circle of dough before I closed the triangles and then I did an egg wash over each cooky and I pinched shut and I thought, “we are good to go!” I ran out of poppyseed filling and took a gamble, I admit, by filling the last three circles of dough with some leftover hot fudge sauce I had around — that was stupid, even I will admit. But I thought, “If the cookies stay closed, the filling will bubble up and maybe burn a little but it’ll hold still in the cup of dough and it’ll be okay.”