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So this Sunday is my annual hamantashen assembly line. What's that? I show up in the Temple kitchen with dough and fillings ready to go and a bunch of us make literally hundreds of hamantashen for the carnival the next week. It all gets done in under 3 hours. A few roll and cut, a few fill and pinch, a few glaze and bake, and a few pack the cooled treats. They get frozen in the intervening week. For this, I use a cookie dough because it's easy to work with in this fashion, especially for those less experienced. We laugh a lot. These are the little bite-sized ones.

For home I make them bigger and use a yeast dough that, at least for me, is easy to work with.

For both, I use the traditional fillings as well as some non-traditional ones, especially chocolate (ganache with a low cream to chocolate ratio), pecan-caramel, and cheese (like a cheese danish filling, good on it's own or combined with cherry). I mean really, wouldn't you take chocolate over prune any day of the week.

I'm going to attempt to convert a poppy filling recipe this year to make without sugar. I will use agave syrup or barley malt syrup or a combo. My husband can't eat regular sugar and really misses these. Wish me luck.

Jody

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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You guys are a bad influence -- after lunch today at a local deli I had to pick up a couple of mini-hamantaschen for dessert with tea. Bad, bad egulleters.

They were out of the cookie variety but promised to have some in soon. I know it's heresy, but the apricot ones are really my favorite.

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I used to have a great recipe for Hamentaschen, the dough was made without yeast and called for orange juice, it was wonderful and soft and chewy, but it got lost in transition.  :sad:  Maybe I'll try to resurrect it.

Cakewalk,

I make something my family always called stuffed mandel bread (not anything like any other mandel bread I've ever come across, the soft plain dough is filled with apricot and almonds, and sorry that now I'm adding still another term to the rugelach/hamentaschen nomenclature). The dough is made without yeast, it includes orange juice and oil; it's pareve, no butter or cream cheese, and it's definitely wonderful and soft and chewy. It might be similar to your hamentaschen dough.

Maybe my foremothers just started making it in a different shape so we could eat it when it wasn't Purim.

afn

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It's lekvar, not levkar.

My bad -- and I know how its spelled, having made it for years and given countless pints away, neatly labled "Pamela's Laudable Lekvar." I plead a severe case of Mrs. Magoo brain ( :wacko: ) due to seasonal allergies. Them &*$%?@#! acacias get me every single year!!

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my friend's mom makes the most incredible hamantashen, and she makes them in copious amounts, so i have only bothered to make my own once or twice. poppy is my favorite, but i was wondering if the filling is simply ground poppies with some sugar, or if there is more to it. anyone have a formula?

JFLinLA- i'm also interested in trying the poppy filling out without the sugar... maybe costco still sells splanda in bulk. haha, no, i wouldn't resort to that. but, let us know if you have any success please! i'll do the same.

thanks everyone!

"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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Timo -- I've got to get through my "assembly line" this Sunday (with the Solo canned poppy seed filling) and then I will experiment next week with making my own, sugar-free filling. Hensonville's description looks like many of the recipes I have been reviewing in preparation for that. In general, they all have you boil the seeds in either water or milk (I'm going to use milk), with sugar and/or honey (obviously I will use something else). Some add lemon zest or orange zest or both (I'll probably do at least one of those). Some also add raisins (I'll probably do that too). Recipes aren't hard to come by and they have other slight variations -- chopped nuts, one I saw added cake crumbs, etc.

Here's what I'm wondering. Some say to grind the poppy seeds. I don't have a grinder and I think my mini-chopper or food processor would lead to a different kind of result. So I may attempt to grind at least some of them in a mortar and pestle or I'll skip this all together. One recipe I saw said to run the seeds under boiling water to soften them slightly before grinding. Not sure whether to do this. I'd appreciate any thoughts that anyone has on this.

Thanks.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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Timo -- Thought I'd fill you in on the sugarless poppy seed filling. Here's what I did:

2 cups poppy seeds

1 cup milk

3/4 cup barley malt syrup

1/2 cup seedless raisins, coarsely chopped

zest of 1 lemon

I ran the seeds through my mini-chopper in batches but I can't really tell that it made any difference. Stirred the seeds, milk and barley malt syrup together in a pot over low heat till they boiled for a bit and the mixture thickened up some. Then I stirred in the raisins and lemon zest and let everything cool.

My husband, who can't eat sugar, tried it last night and gave it a passing mark. He said it tasted like he remembers poppy seed filling tasting. Soooooo, into the hamantaschen this weekend.

Hope that helps.

Jody

Edited by JFLinLA (log)
So long and thanks for all the fish.
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thanks jody! i'm glad it worked out! i think i'll try it myself this weekend... last weekend the supermarket was already out of the canned fillings, so i guess i have no choice but to make my own this year!

"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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Timo...I wanted to tell you that I have been very pleased with hamentaschen filled with apricot and nuts. Most often I have started with dried apricots, but sometimes I have combined apricot jam with lots of chopped walnuts. Especially if you want a variety of fillings, this is good and very quick.

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A completely acceptable shortcut to starting with dried apricots is to use prepared apricot butter, a lekvar-like substance made from dried apricots that should be available wherever lekvar is sold. I prefer apricot butter to apricot jam in hamantaschen. It's less sweet and sticky. although, in a pinch, of course, as hensonville says, you can use jam.

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My little one brought home some ready-to-bake hamantaschen from hebrew school the other day. I think they used sugar cookie dough and apricot jam, and we baked them off for 15 minutes at 350. They were very sweet but I like the clumps of apricot and it made a very nice snack for afternoon tea.

I'm really looking forward to the ones we'll get this weekend at the Purim carnival.

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Blarney Meets Chutzpah

The NY Times has a short article about the confluence of St Patrick's Day and Purim, and the opportunity to do cross-cultural partying. The article begins with a weekend party in Chelsea, and moves on to the difficulty some observant Jews face in observing the Fast of Esther and the partying of Paddy. For the last 18 years, the events have been separate, but this year they overlap. The organizers of the Chelsea St Patrick's Purim Party describe it as a "divine inspiration to multi-culturalism."

B.B. Kings in Times Square will host of Purim party with "kosher food" the article says.

When party goers left the Chelsea gathering, the host commented most couldn't tell the difference between Haman and Leprachaun...

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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hmmm... holi was also on st. patrick's day, which also fell near purim this year. it is hard to combine indian cuisine with irish cuisine and jewish cuisine, but i atleast made an attempt... we ate aloo parathas (potato stuffed indian flatbreads- the potato is the irish part, the flatbread is the indian) with hamantaschen for dessert.

glad this does not happen every year :wacko:

"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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hmmm... holi was also on st. patrick's day, which also fell near purim this year. it is hard to combine indian cuisine with irish cuisine and jewish cuisine, but i atleast made an attempt... we ate aloo parathas (potato stuffed indian flatbreads- the potato is the irish part, the flatbread is the indian) with hamantaschen for dessert.

glad this does not happen every year :wacko:

Hey Timo, you just needed to sprinkle a few poppy seeds on the Aloo Paratha, mayme put some raisins in with the potato, and you'd have had it all there in one go. Aloo Parataschen. See ? It's easy :laugh:

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