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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Celebrate with Chocolate Halva Hamantaschen

Celebrate with Chocolate Halva Hamantaschen

Welcome guest blogger, Amy Kritzer!

When I asked Amy if she had a tempting hamantaschen recipe for Purim 2016 she shared this recipe with chocolate and tehini at the center of this holiday cookie. Read on to see how Amy shines as she puts new twists on traditional Jewish baking:

Back in college, I was attending a hamantaschen making party, much like an young coed would do, when my gentile roommate asked me: “Is this the holiday where you eat a lot and drink wine or fast? If it’s the former, I’ll come, if it’s the latter, you’re on your own.” That got me thinking a bit about Jewish holidays and food. It’s either a big feast (Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Passover, Sukkot) or fast (Tisha B’Av, Yom Kippur). Either way, food is the center of most celebrations.

photo: Amy Kritzer
photo: Amy Kritzer

 

This version of hamantaschen indulges my love for chocolate, with a little Israeli twist. Right in the middle of working on this cookbook, I was invited to go on a trip to Israel. I like to say “yes” to as much as I can and sort of thrive on being over-scheduled, so off I went.

Anyone who has been to Jerusalem has probably been to the Shuk, and anyone who has been to the Shuk probably remembers these huge hunks of halva of all flavors. Halva, a flaky, dense tahini and sugar candy, is weirdly addicting. The Shuk was very crowded that day- it was the Friday before a holiday- but I was able to get close enough to try a chocolate halva chunk.

A new hamantaschen flavor was born.

Watch for Amy’s new book, Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Baking. We’ll be reviewing it, giving it away and baking with Amy to celebrate! In the meantime, you can follow Amy as she shares her baking adventures on her blog, What Jew Wanna Eat.

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Chocolate Halva Hamantaschen

Tips: Hamantaschen are known for being dry and tasteless, but not this version! The dough a little tricky to work with, but the flavor and texture is worth it. If you are having trouble rolling it out, let the dough come to room temperature a bit first. It also may crack a little as you roll. Don’t worry, just fix the cracks by spreading the dough and keep on rolling. Lift dough occasionally to make sure it isn’t sticking as you roll. Make sure to roll your dough thin, as thick dough may spread in the oven. Dough can be frozen for up to two months before using. Keep in an airtight container for up five days or freeze for up to two months.

 

Prep time: 1 hour

Inactive prep time: 24 hours

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: About 25 cookies

This recipe is DAIRY

 

Ingredients

 For dough:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg for egg wash
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (you may need a little more if your tahini is very wet)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

 

For tahini filling:

  • ½ cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk

 

 Directions

  1. Let’s start with the dough. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Then add vanilla and orange juice and beat until combined. Then add egg and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix by hand or with a large spoon just until combined. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Form dough into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. You can also freeze it for up to two months.
  4. Meanwhile, make your filling! In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter over medium heat while stirring to melt butter. Remove from heat, then mix in chocolate and stir to melt and incorporate. Then add tahini, vanilla, flour and egg yolk and combine. Let cool, and refrigerate to set at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to bake, on a very lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Then, using a 3-inch round cookie cutter (or wine glass!) cut out circles. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each circle, and fold over the three sides, overlapping them, to form a triangle. Place hamantaschen in 1inch apart on 2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes to prevent spreading. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with two oven racks in the middle of the oven. Whisk last egg with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brush over hamantaschen. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  7. Then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, rotating halfway through. (Flip around and switch rack position). Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then finish cooling on a cooling rack.

 

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