Chocolate candy hamentaschen (Plus: February Kosher Connection linkup!) {recipe review}

By | February 11, 2013

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This is the first in a series of recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Paula Shoyer’s cookbook on pareve baking, The Kosher Baker. I was provided with a review copy of the book, but my opinions are my own. You can learn more about Paula’s work at In Paula’s Kitchen.

This is the first time that my hamentaschen have stayed sealed during baking. For that alone, this recipe deserves high marks.

I’ve seen lots of tips (sometimes conflicting ones) about how to get those stubborn corners to stay closed. What I like about these chocolate candy hamentaschen is that they don’t call for any special folding or sealing tricks. If you roll out the dough to a quarter-inch thick and use the right number of chocolate-covered raisins in the center, you should be fine. I was.

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I love the idea to fill hamentaschen with raisinets, and it’s not just because it’s a fun twist on a classic. Most hamentaschen use either a fruit filling or chocolate chips — but these manage to get away with using both, and it totally works. Chocolate chips in a chocolate dough would be too much, but chocolate-covered raisins in a chocolate dough just ends up being a lot of fun.

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Of course, it helps if your chocolate melts properly during the raisinet-making part. I don’t know when it will finally sink in that white chocolate chips just do.not.melt. I’ve tried so many times, and it never works. And yet I persist in trying again.

I should just use a bar of white chocolate. And I probably would have this time, if not for the fact that my freezer and cabinets are way too full, considering that it’s only six weeks before Pesach. I’m really trying not to buy any extras at this point.

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So I used the chips, they didn’t really melt, and they didn’t really coat the raisins. Otherwise, that’s my favorite way to do a chocolate candy hamentaschen: a snowy white center against the chocolatey brown edges. It’s all about the color contrast.

(The other reason raisinets work so well as a filling is that they’ll never leak out of their cookie bases. Score.)

Also high on the list of things I liked about this recipe? It succeeds in being dairy-free without resorting to margarine. A cookie dough that uses oil as its fat and has no trouble holding together definitely gets extra points.

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I do have two small complaints, though. The first is the teaspoon of orange juice. I figured that if I was going to test these hamentaschen, I ought to follow the recipe precisely, so I bought an orange, squeezed its juice, and tossed a teaspoon into the batter. Did it make a difference? Not that I could decipher.

If orange juice shows up in a cookie recipe, I want to know that it does something. I want to taste the difference. If it could be left out of the ingredients and not even be missed, what’s the point?

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My other problem is with the storage instructions. Paula says they can be kept covered in plastic or in an airtight container at room temp for up to five days (or in the freezer for three months). I decided to put that to the test by baking on a Monday and planning to put a plate of hamentaschen out after the seuda on Friday night.

Were they stale by the fifth day? No. But they were significantly softer, and the chocolate in the dough came through more strongly, during the first three days. Our Shabbos guests thought they were great, and I know they weren’t bad. It was just that they could have been so much better.

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You can trust me on that one. Who else do think takes the bites out of everything at my photo shoots?

Recipe at a glance:

  • Accessible ingredients? Yes. Almost entirely pantry items!
  • Multiple steps required? Nothing too complicated. And you can always buy raisinets instead of making them if you want to eliminate that step.
  • Left with lots of dirty dishes? Just the stand mixer bowl and paddle attachment for the dough, and the double boiler for the raisinets. Okay, and the baking sheets. But it’s definitely not bad.
  • Taste worth the effort? Yes!
  • Make again? Yes, but I’d serve them within three days of baking. And I’d get white chocolate that melts properly…

One year ago: Brown-butter apple galette with a caramel drizzle




5 Comments

Melinda (Kitchen Tested) on February 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm.

First of all, congrats on your hamantaschen staying closed! This chocolate dough is beautiful and has a great texture to it. Love the idea of chocolate covered raisins in the hamantaschen.

Reply

stephanie/the kosher foodies on February 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm.

i can’t believe i still haven’t tried these, they’re bookmarked in my copy of the kosher baker, too! i want to use yogurt-covered raisins, i wonder how those would bake up…

Reply

Ronnie Fein on February 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm.

Interesting recipe and I agree, I’d rather use vegetable oil than margarine. Re: that orange juice: you would probably be better off using extract. One teaspoon is enough to make a real difference in the flavor (extract, not orange juice).

Reply

Miriam @ Overtime Cook on February 12, 2013 at 1:25 am.

What delicious looking hamantashen! I can totally get behind the chocolate thing. ;)

Reply

Malka on February 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm.

I’m sorry, but you need to invest in a microwave. My white chocolate chips always melt! And, I totally want a hamentash, please!

Reply

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