Hammentaschen Recipe: with Gluten-Free Variation

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From GKC friend and fabulous chef Levana Kirschenbaum of Levanacooks.com

The signature triangle-shaped fun Purim cookie, shrouded in legend and folklore (ear-shaped? purse-shaped? Read on!) with three points pinched around a jam filling. It matters not at all if you don’t celebrate Purim—you will love ’em!
Excerpted from my latest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple

Ingredients:

Dough:
4 cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt (gluten-free: any GF flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ salt
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup orange juice
Zest of 1 orange

Instructions:

Make the dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat the eggs, sugar and oil in a food processor or with an electric mixer (or even by hand) until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, juice and zest, and the flour mixture, mixing at low speed (in a food processor, use the pulse button and pulse only until combined) or by hand until well combined. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to one day.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut out a portion of dough and roll out evenly on a very lightly floured board, 1∕8 inch thin. Cut out 3-inch circles with a scalloped cookie cutter. Place a heaping teaspoon of your favorite filling (suggestions below) in the center of each circle. Bring up the sides at 3 equidistant points, pinching firmly and leaving the centers exposed. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling, using the scraps of the previous portion of cut-out dough with the next piece of dough you cut out, taking care to flour the board very lightly so the dough will not get too heavy.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 1 inch apart. Bake about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Store in tins, do not refrigerate. Makes 3 dozen.

Fillings:
Choice of:
- Prune butter (lekvar), poppy seed (mohn) filling, apricot, or strawberry preserves; try your best for all-fruit, available at health foods stores.
- Make the following mixture: ½ cup brown sugar or Sucanat, 1 cup raisins, ½ cup walnuts, 1 tablespoon cinnamon; pulse in a food processor just long enough to get a fine but not mushy grind.

For more recipes from Levana go to www.levanacooks.com

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