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Hamantaschen Pâte Sablée with Chocolate-Nut or Dried Fruit Filling

Chef Lynn Kutner’s famous recipe for delicious Hamantaschen.

Ingredients:

Pâte Sablée Dough:

1 ¾ cups (unbleached) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon)
1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons (5 ounces) butter or margarine, very soft
2 ½ tablespoons sugar (3, if you are using margarine)
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla (2, if you are using margarine)

For Chocolate-Nut Filling:

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or oil
½ cup chopped roasted (either salted or unsalted) hazelnuts or pecans

For Dried Fruit Filling:

1 cup prunes (canned moist-pack, if available) or dried apricots
2 Tablespoons sugar, approximately
2 Tablespoons orange juice, apricot nectar, or pineapple juice

 

Procedure:

1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar well with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.

3. Work the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, starting with the wooden spoon and finishing with your hands, until it comes together in a ball. Form dough into three disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.

4. Melt the chocolate and the butter or oil together over hot water. Remove and blend well. Mix in the chopped nuts. Cool a few minutes before using.

5. Puree the fruit with the sugar and juice in a food processor. Taste for sweetness. Add a bit more sugar, if you like it a bit sweeter. (Note that different batches of dried fruit vary in sweetness.)

6. Roll and form the Hamantaschen: Roll one disk at a time to a thickness of about 1/8″ on slightly floured silpat or a lightly floured pastry cloth. Cut with a floured 3″ cutter, as close together as possible. (Gather up the scraps to roll out after you’ve done all three disks.)

7. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in center of each round, and pinch edges 3 times to form a triangle. Pinch very firmly to keep the edges closed while baking. Chill a few minutes while you preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake about 15 minutes until lightly browned.

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