Hamantashen With Poppy Seed Filling

Hamantashen With Poppy Seed Filling
Recipe from The New York Times, March 15, 2011

Notes: I had my first hamantaschen at a Purim service on Saturday. Dr. S has been wanting to take me to this annual holiday since we met, as she thinks it's the most fun Jewish observance, filled with drinking, costumes and groggers.

This recipe from the NY Times seemed to be a good place to start. Other ones I looked at used cream cheese in the dough or had raisins; for various reasons, these wouldn't do. Anyway, I started with the dough, one made with egg yolks, butter and icing sugar. Next, the filling: poppy seeds cooked in milk. I substituted cranberries for raisins. I read a long time ago in a cookbook (Bonnie Stern? Can't remember.) that the only way to properly pulverize poppy seeds is an a grinder made for that purpose. My coffee mill/spice grinder worked pretty well. The finished filling had a weird taste, not sure if that's just what poppy is normally like, or whether they had gone stale.

The refrigerated dough (that I kept in the fridge for a day) was initially hard to work with, but quickly became malleable and soft. It tended to stick to the counter, so I had to use a mini offset spatula to lift the circles away. My circles were a bit on the small side, so I made quite a few hamantaschen. They baked up nicely, with very few of them bursting open.

I must admit that they were a bit disappointing. The dough was sugary and the filling had an unusual flavour. Dr. S said they weren't like the ones from her childhood. Next year, we'll try a different recipe.

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