Hamantaschen remind me of my childhood in Israel. They are eaten during Purim, and are traditionally gifted to one another alongside other sweets and treats. They are made of a flaky, buttery dough with a sweet filling - usually poppy seeds or fruit jams. I was determined to find the perfect gluten-free recipe that will taste just like how i remembered them as a kid. Luckily I did come up with a winning recipe that is also very easy to make. I'm including the recipe for the poppy seed filling. Because it required 1 cup of poppy seeds, I had to find a store that carries 8oz bags (otherwise it is sold in a spice container and is expensive), if you can't find them, just use your favorite, best quality jam. I tried it with raspberry and it was heavenly!
Like pie crust, you want to make sure you are using very cold butter, and not overworking the dough. The flakiness is a result of the specs of butter and little, to no moisture. If you add too much moisture, or overwork it, the dough will be tough.
One more thing. Hamantaschen cookies have a tendency to open while baking. This is usually because they are overfilled. Make sure to only use about 1/2tsp of the filling, and brush the dough with water before you pinch them into shape, so the sides are glued together. I like to make them in two batches, so if the first one doesn't come out right, i can try again with less filling and a tighter pinch.
1. In a food processor place the powdered sugar, flour, baking powder and cold butter and pulse for a few seconds until crumbly.
2. Add the yolks and lemon zest and continue to pulse a few more seconds to form the dough. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add 1 tbs of milk. Do not over process. When the dough is wet, place it in a bowl and using your hands form into a dough.
3. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Make the Filling:
4. In a small saucepan, mix together the poppy seeds, milk, sugar and ground almonds and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
5. Add the lemon zest and butter and mix until melted. Let it cool completely.
Assemble the cookies:
6. Set the oven to 340F (170C)
7. Place parchment paper on the counter and dust with cornstarch. Also dust your rolling pin.
8. Roll out the dough to 3/8th of an inch (about 1/2 cm)
9. Using a cookie round, or a glass, score 2 inch rounds, and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
10. Put a dollop of the filling (about 1/2 tsp) in the center of each round, and brush some water around the edges.
11. Pinch 3 edges to form a triangle. Make sure to pinch down to the base, so the sides are fused together.
12. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The cookies should be light in color. The dough will seem a bit soft, but it will harden once cooled down.
13. Allow to cool down completely, dust with some powdered sugar and enjoy.