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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hamantaschen

We recently tried out this recipe for hamantaschen cookies. It comes on the can label of Solo poppy seed filling, the most delicious product that can be made with poppy seeds. I like poppy seeds in most things, but I love this stuff. It’s basically just tons of poppy seeds held together with a thick syrup. I’ve been crazy about it ever since I had it as a kid.

Robert had never had it before, and since I had tried this recipe a long time ago and liked it, we made these. They came out great, even better than I remember. The cookie dough is a little like a pie crust, but not quite as flaky. We were even discussing the possibilities of using it for a pie after we tasted the cookies.

Here’s the recipe on their website and below (so you don’t have to remove the label from the can to see what to buy):

Ingredients

2 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon milk
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for brushing

Instructions

 To make this Hamantaschen recipe, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, orange peel, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs and milk and mix until dough binds together. Knead dough in bowl 5 to 8 strokes or until smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece separately in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 baking sheets and set aside. Roll out 1 piece of dough on lightly floured surface 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with floured 3-inch round plain cookie cutter. Spoon 1 teaspoonful poppy filling onto center of each circle. Bring 3 edges of circle together into middle of circle to form triangle. Pinch edges upward to make slight ridge, leaving small hole in center. Place on prepared baking sheets about 11/2 inches apart and brush with beaten egg yolk mixture. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool completely on wire racks.

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I like making layer cakes, but every time I do I am reminded why they are (or are supposed to be anyway) a special occasion food. They take some time to make, although the steps are not all that hard, and seeing the amount of sugar, oil, flour, and butter that actually goes into a cake can be a bit disturbing. But when the occasion comes up and I can make the time, I always enjoy it. So here’s Robert’s birthday cake. It’s a chocolate cake with coconut frosting.

Chocolate Coconut Cake

I spent hours trying to figure out what kind of cake to make and basically ended up making my favorite cake. I did give him some choices on the frosting though. I also had to scrap the idea of surprising him with an awesome fully finished cake after work when I started the recipe without making sure I had enough cocoa powder. Oh well, I think we ended up having more fun making it together than I would have alone anyway!

Chocolate Coconut Cake Detail

I got the cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which I have been reading a lot recently, and the frosting from Baked Perfection. It worked out well, but if you try the same combination you might want to make a little more frosting. The cake uses 10 inch pans, and the frosting (which was originally for cupcakes) just barely covers it. The coconut flakes covered it up well and it looks pretty good, but if you don’t use them, or you like a heavier frosting coating and filling I would recommend increasing the amount.