Since a number of you asked yesterday, here is
my Helene Eichler's hamentaschen recipe, courtesy of the Dor L'Dor (Generation to Generation) Cookbook put out by the South Palm Beach County (Florida) Jewish Federation several decades ago (I'm guessing, since my grandmother gave it to me nearly that long ago). This is one of those treasures of traditional community cooking - while most of the "regular" recipes are outdated or simply not something I'd ever want to make (not being a big fan of either schmaltz or 1970's style "healthy" processed convenience foods), for those old from-scratch holiday standbyes nothing beats a grandmother's recipe, unless it's an entire collection of grandmothers' recipes.
Here's Helene's, whoever she was, with my changes in parentheses:
2/3 C shortening (I used butter)
1/2 C sugar (I used demarara)
1 egg (I used an egg - ha ha fooled you)
3 Tbl milk or water (I used 1% milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C sifted flour (I used 1.5 C white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat, but you could go half and half if no one in your family is
Maya put off by the darker appearance of whole wheat.)
Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add egg and continue to beat until smooth. Add water/milk and vanilla and gradually mix in flour until a ball of dough is formed. Chill a few hours or overnight (or about 45 minutes in the freezer if you're like me and don't plan ahead). When ready, form the dough into 2-inch balls and roll out to about 1/8" thick circles. Place a dollop of filling in the center of the circle and bring the edges together to form a triangle, pinching the seams to seal any leaks.
Optional: brush tops with melted shortening or slightly beaten egg before baking. (I didn't bother with this step, I don't think it needs it.)
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350F (180C) until golden. Cool 5 minutes on tray before transferring to a wire rack.
Here's where Helene and I diverge - I used ordinary chocolate spread, the hands-down favorite of every Israeli schoolchild I've ever known. It's similar to Nutella but
cheaper without the hazelnut component. All Israeli kids scarf this stuff down as a sandwich spread - except for mine, because their mean and rotten mother won't buy it for them. They have to get it at their afternoon program instead, which their mom feels is already quite often enough.)
Helene's more traditionally Ashkenazi (Eastern European Jewish) version*:
2 C poppy seeds (sorry, I hate poppy seed filling)
1 C water
1/2 C honey
1/4 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
Combine poppy seeds, water, honey and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring to prevent scorching. Let cool before adding eggs, beating in thoroughly. If the eggs make the filling too thin, return to the heat and cook while stirring for a minute or two.
* Note: Various fillings can be substituted for the poppy seed - jams, such as apricot, prune or cherry, are also traditional and work well. In Israel you also see halva as a filling, though as I said most children prefer chocolate.