Cookin with no dough

Feb 282007
Authors: Liz Sunshine

My family has a history of generational baking. The important thing to know is the recipe, no matter how many times you make it, never has the exact same amount of ingredients.

My relatives are notorious for not knowing what amounts of ingredients are going into a recipe with the standard response to “How much of that did you put in (doesn’t matter what that is -could be sugar, water, flour, etc)?” being “I don’t know, just the right amount.”

I went home to bake with my mom for Purim this past weekend. For cultural information, Purim is a spring holiday that the Jews are instructed to observe as days of feasting and celebration for being saved from Haman, the leader of Persia more than 2,000 years ago, who wanted to destroy the Jewish race. Traditionally we eat sweets such as hamantashen (pronounced hum-an-ta-shin) or piershkas. Children dressed up as favorite characters from the story of Purim.

Piershkas (pronounced piersh-kuhs) are carrot-and-raisin filled cookies for Purim. When setting out all the ingredients a handful of poppy seeds and a glass of water is called for, to which my response was how big of a handful and what size glass?

With the family still trying to figure out what exactly a handful means I decided to take on hamantashen instead – a triangle-shaped jelly, chocolate, or poppy seed-filled cookie.

My mom has always filled her hamantashen with Solo pie filling which can be found in most grocery stores down the baking aisle. If you can’t find Solo your favorite jelly will work, but pie filling has a thicker consistency and holds up better when baking.

Since baking piershkas is a full-day job I ended up making hamantashen at my apartment with Jeremy. I took care of the dough a few hours before. The recipe says to refrigerate overnight but I tossed it in the freezer for about an hour to firm it up.

Afterward, I employed Jeremy to place the pie filling and chocolate filling in the dough as I cut out the circles.

The cookies looked so good coming out of the oven we didn’t wait for them to cool; unfortunately we suffered the consequences and burnt the tops of our mouths and tongues.

Be patient, jelly burns last, and have a happy holiday.

L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (To life and eat well).

Staff writer Liz Sunshine can be reached at


8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup butter

2 cups flour

Blend thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll a quarter of the dough on a floured counter or board until about one-eighth of an inch thick. Flour a 2- to 3-inch diameter glass and cut circles.

On a greased sheet evenly place the dough and place a tablespoon of your choice of filling in the center. To close the cookie brush the edges lightly with egg wash, then pinch into three points. Pinch well, otherwise they will open up and the filling will spill out.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!

Hamantashen Filling

2 cups chocolate chips

18 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Melt chocolate over low heat. Once completely smooth, add milk and butter and combine. If desired, add nuts.

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