Jam

Hamentashen

Hamentashen

Happy Purim!

If you have never heard of, or seen a hamentashen cookie, it’s because it’s a cookie that is eaten and made to celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim.  I’m not going to get into the details of the origin of Purim or the origin of why the cookie is shaped like a triangle, so if your curious, then google it.

Hamentashen are ethier really good or really really bad.  I’ve had the miss fortune of eating many TERRIBLE hamentashen. I’ve spit out plenty of hamentashen over the years.  With that said, I guarantee this hamentashen recipe isn’t garbage.

Hamentashen Something Sweet Blog

If you take on this cookie recipe, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND baking these with a friend or family member.  These cookies are more labor intensive and time intensive than the average cookie.  Not to scare you, but making these cookies with a friend will cut your time in half.

These cookies let you be creative, you can use any flavor jam or pie filling that you like, nutella, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.  If you have little ones at home, it’s a great activity to get them involved in.
Hamentashen Something Sweet

Hamentashen Recipe:
1 (8oz) pkg. Softened Cream Cheese
3/4 C. Softened Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Powdered Sugar
2 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Fillings – Pie Fillings/Jams, Chocolate Chips, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions: 
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to mix until incorporated.

2. Add the flour and baking soda and mix well until combined.

3. Let dough chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll out your dough on a floured surface to a 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Place a glob of pie filling in the center (I like Solo Raspberry and Apricot Pie Filling).  Fold your dough into a triangle, making sure the corners are pinched well.

4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden brown.

I hope you enjoy this delicious holiday cookie and Happy Purim!

xo,
Marlee

Rugelach (Shhh… It’s Better Than Grandma’s)

Rugelach_Cookies_Somethingsweet1

I’ve grown up around rugelach cookies, but they weren’t something I went straight for at the dessert table.  Half the time I wouldn’t even bother trying them, because they didn’t look like anything special or didn’t have enough fruity filling.

It wasn’t until I started working at the bakery that rugelach found a special place in my sweet tooth. These spiraled cookies with fruit fillings throughout and the sugary crunchy exterior crust with a soft inside…yummmmmm.

 

These cookies are my copycat version and I think I’m pretty close! The bakery uses ingredients that the average home baker doesn’t have on hand, so these are my simpler and similar version.

Rugelach_Cookies_Somethingsweet

It took me a few tries, but persistence pay’s off! I think I went through four small batches of rugelach dough, before I figured it out!  I guess wasting ingredients isn’t a terrible thing, if it means you have a recipe that could last generations.

Like every sweet treat that I make, these go well with your morning or afternoon cup o’ joe.  I almost don’t enjoy coffee as much if I don’t have something sweet to nibble on!   It’s becoming somewhat of a problem…  Why can’t sugar be a super food!?!?!?

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Rugelach Recipe:  Approx. 24 – 32 cookies
Dough:
8 oz. Cold Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Butter (Firm, but not cold)
2 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
3/4 C. Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/3 C. Cold Water

Fillings & Finishings:
Cinnamon Sugar/Jam/Marmalade/Pie Filling of Choice
1 Egg (For egg wash)
Turbinado Sugar

Before preheating oven look at step 4. Otherwise…
Preheat oven to 350.

Instructions:
1. In a stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese on med-high for 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and add to the creamed butter and cream cheese. Add the cold water and let the mixer run on medium-high for about 2-3 minutes. (You want to over mix the dough to activate the glutens). You know if you over mixed right, if the dough is glossy and slightly springs back like bread or pizza dough.

2. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, try to roll your dough out in a thin rectangle shape. Take a knife and cut excess and oddly shaped dough. You will want a rectangle shape before rolling the dough into a spiral.

3. With an off set spatula, spread a thin layer of fruit filling ( I used Solo Raspberry Cake and Pastry Filling).  Roll the dough into a tight spiral.  Cut in 1 inch pieces.

4. I highly recommend freezing the raw cookies and letting them thaw before baking – the dough should feel cold, but not frozen (about 30 min). This isn’t necessary, but the cookie keeps it’s form better. Lightly brush with an egg wash and generously top with turbinado (raw) sugar. It will give the cookie and extra special crunch!

5. On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, bake for 25-28 minutes at 350 degrees.
**The pictures above are slightly over baked, to enhance color, but it is best to follow the directions for best flavor and texture.

I hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading!

xo,
Marlee

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-strawberry thumbprint butter cookies! Now that is a mouth full! A delicious mouthful that is! During the winter (or should I say cookie season) when I was in high school, I was in the mood for a fruity cookie.  I wanted a cookie that had a flaky dough with a jam center, but the thumbprint cookie that I typically bake during the holidays has a dense dough, is rolled in chopped pecans and has a frosting center (d0n’t worry! I’ll post that recipe in December!).  Any ways… This flaky, fruity cookie is great for the spring or for the holidays – if tweaked.

When I originally made this recipe, I didn’t use any citrus zest.  But for the spring, it adds a nice bright floral citrus flavor.  I’m not a huge fan of adding citrus zests to baked goods, but the zest pairs nicely with the strawberry jam center.

Orange and Lemon Zest

My recommended tool for zesting is a microplane.  You know that long tool that looks sort of like a cheese grater with a rubber ended handle? A helpful hint: When zesting citrus fruits, don’t zest in the same spot.  Zest the entire surface of the fruit, unless you don’t need very much.  If you zest in the same spot, you will have bitter zest and you will lose all of those fragrant oils.

Partially Cooked Dough - Thumbprint

Making the “thumbprints” in the partially cooked dough.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

These cookies look like tasty little gems! It’s a good thing that they don’t cost as much as precious gems! What’s fun about these cookies is that you can be creative and change them up! Use different types of jams, use lime zest instead of orange and lemon, or use a lemon curd instead of jam.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies Recipe: Makes 28 – 35 Cookies
1 C. Butter (2 Sticks Softened)
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Orange Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1/2 Lemon Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1 Jar Strawberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 400.

Instructions:
1. Cream the softened butter until fluffy. Add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and blend on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add flour, salt and vanilla and combine. Add half the zest of one orange and half the zest of half of a lemon. Beat the dough on medium.  You will know it’s ready when it comes together and forms a smooth cookie dough. Let dough chill for 30 minutes.

3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop and roll dough into a 1/2 inch ball. (I use a mini ice cream scoop to measure each ball of dough). DO NOT flatten dough balls before placing in the oven!

5. Bake the dough balls for 5 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and make wells in each cookie and fill with jam. (Be sure to not over fill cookies, to avoid spill over). Place back in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottom edges start to brown. 

6.  Let cool and garnish with the remaining orange and lemon zests.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you used other flavor combinations!!

xo,
Marlee