The last time I made Hamentaschen was for Hanukkah. This was early enough in my food (and Jewish) education and I didn’t realize that certain foods were paired with certain holidays. I heard “Jewish” and “cookies” and thought I’m good to go.
I’ve since learned Hamentaschen go with Purim –
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire. Thanks Wikipedia.
I would 10/10 make these Pistachio Cardamom Rose Hamentaschen any time of year. I don’t like people telling me how to eat my cookies. Who needs a holiday to eat a cookie?
Persian baking uses a lot of walnuts, pistachios, pomegranates, cardamom, and rosewater so they are all invited to the party in a single cookie.
A note about the curd – I made these and exclaimed for joy because it tastes magnificent (real sweet and a little sour). Only to be deflated about 30 minutes later when the Pomegranate Blood Orange Curd-filled hamentaschen melted all over the cookie sheet in the oven. I think I could have added gelatin sheets to this early on and it would firm up…
But we waste nothing so that shit goes on top of the cookie.
Look at that color!
Hamentaschen dough is kind of a pain to work with – it’s quite dry. You can make these without butter (using oil instead) but using butter creates a delicate and soft cookie around your filling of choice. In my view, butter wins every time.
The cardamom in these cookies is vibrant and a little lemony. It’s my new favorite spice, hands down. It’s real fragrant so you don’t need much of it to really get the flavor you’re looking for.
Rosewater is found online or at any middle eastern grocery store. It’s very potent and you don’t need much of it at all. In fact if you over-do it on the rosewater your cookies will taste like soap, so no thanks.
This was the first time I’ve used some of these flavors, and I’m very pleased with how they turned out. Good things can happen when you step outside of your comfort-flavor-zone. What? IDK let’s eat cookies.
Pistachio Cardamom Rose Hamentaschen with Pomegranate Blood Orange Curd
(Start making 1 hour before you want Pistachio Cardamom Rose Hamentaschen with Pomegranate Blood Orange Curd)
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Make the curd first. Mix your pomegranate and blood orange juices together in a heat-proof bowl (glass or stainless). Then add your egg yolks and sugar. Create a double boiler on the stove (get a pan with 2 inches of water boiling, place your heatproof bowl just hovering over the water). Whisk the mixture until this thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (takes 7-10 minutes).
Remove from heat, push through a fine mesh strainer and mix in your butter. Let this come to room temp, then let it hang in the fridge while you move on.
Make your filling. On the stovetop, get a small pot going with your sugar, water and rosewater. You’ll want to boil this until the sugar dissolves completely – about 2-3 minutes. In a food processor (or with a knife), chop the pistachios and walnuts into fine pieces. Grind your cardamom seeds or just mix in the cardamom powder to your nuts. Mix the nut mixtures into the syrup and add a pinch of salt.
Make your dough. Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand or stand mixer. Add your vanilla, egg, salt and slowly add your flour 1/2 cup at a time. This dough is dry, so try to work with it at room temp. You could store this in the fridge for up to a week, but let it come to room temp before you work it.
Roll out your dough to about 1/4 in thickness – what’s that mean? Think cardboard, not paper thickness. Using a mason jar or another small bowl (about 3 inches in diameter), cut circles in your dough. You’ll take about 2 tsp of filling and place it in the middle of the circle. Wrap the dough around it in a triangle shape and make sure to pinch the three ends together pretty well. These cookies have a tendency to go wild in the oven.
Place these on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Dunk in the Pomegranate Blood Orange Curd as consider sharing with friends and decide otherwise.