Hamantaschen! Oh man, it seriously took me a week to learn how to say and spell the name of these cookies correctly. The first time I told my roommate I was going to make hamantaschen, it came out something like "hama-stor-stat-tatch-tashen." To which her bewildered response was a..."wha? Are you trying to speak German?!"
Anyways, regardless of difficulty for me to wrap my apparently failing linguistic skills around, these cookies are delicious nonetheless. And they are related in part to a German word, so I wasn't so far off, right? Right?
The first I'd ever heard of these little triangular cookies was from my friend Starr, who started telling me about them at the beginning of last week. Then, once I knew about them, I couldn't stop seeing them everywhere--they were in the coffee shop I went to to do work, they were in the supermarkets, they were all over the internets--even though I had never noticed them before. Does anyone else ever do that, like notice how many other people seem to have your car? So when Starr mentioned that she wanted to try her hand at making hamantaschen, I jumped at the chance to try them out.
It turns out that the cookies are pretty awesome and simple, a shortcrust pastry-like cookie on the outside with different sorts of jam or paste fillings inside. Poppyseed and prune are two traditional flavors, I think, as is apricot, but, like any sort of filling-cookie combo, I couldn't help but get really excited to see what else I could stuff inside the cookies instead. Starr and I ended up making four different flavors of hamantaschen, but these were the two that we liked the best: a more traditional dried apricot quick jam filling and a more non-traditional blackberry preserve and marzipan filling. The apricot jam was deliciously tart, made from dried California apricots that are supposedly tart-er than their Turkish counterparts, and packed with juicy, fruity flavor, and the tartness was the perfect accent against the sweet crust of the cookies. In the blackberry-marzipan hamantaschen, the almond paste melded beautifully with the pastry outsides for a rich, nutty center top with seedy berry preserves. Starr mentioned that these looked reminiscent of the prune-flavored hamantaschen, but in my opinion, I'll take marzipan and blackberry over prune any day. :-)
On that note, Happy belated Purim to everyone! Make sure to grab a hamantaschen on your way to the recipe....
(and yes, I'm still working on pronouncing "Purim" correctly, too.)
(P.S. In case you were wondering, the other two flavors we tried were poppyseed and mascarpone-fig.)
[Edit: Upon eating these, Starr's husband, Alan, broke out into spontaneous song. To the tune of Frere Jacques:
I eat you, I eat you
You are very tasty, you are very tasty
nom nom nom, nom nom nom
Thanks, Alan! :-)]
Read on for recipe...