Hamantaschen as savory hors d’oeuvres? Or perhaps as a hearty supper dish? Maybe reimagined as a saucy and cheesy personal pizza? For too long the hamantaschen has been cornered into being the expectedly sweet holiday treat. When culinarily considering the iconic Purim cookie, it’s clear that its most important characteristic is its shape. Its triangular form is meant to ridicule the Purim villain Haman’s hat, or even more insulting, ears. And beyond the shape, a hamantaschen is about the crust that holds or cradles a flavorful filling.
Balsamic Red Onion Hamantaschen Bites are a fun and fanciful take on the Purim treat reinterpreted for grown-ups and would be delicious served along a nice glass of wine or cocktail. Thinly-sliced red onions are sautéed in balsamic vinegar and scattered with tangy goat cheese crumbles or if you prefer a more assertive flavor: blue cheese crumbles. And then it’s all baked in a crispy, flaky, buttery hamantaschen dough. The salty sharp flavor of the crust, due to the parmesan, makes it unique and irresistable.
The Steak and Mushroom Hamantaschen is a Jewish take on the British steak and kidney pie. The crust is chewy and adds extra flavor to the dish with olive oil and the dried herbs folded in. The dough is parve and vegan, and tastefully holds the filling for the pizza hamantaschen as well.
…Because you just can’t reimagine the hamantaschen as savory without including a version of pizza hamantaschen for the kids… and who are we kidding? The adults as well. You can use cubed fresh mozzarella or shredded cheese, dried basil or fresh strips; do it just the way you like your pizza. Or hamantaschen.
It’s important that the hamantaschen dough is sturdy enough to hold its triangular form while baking, yet still tender enough to be toothsome. Both doughs start off with a shaggy appearance and texture, but after being wrapped and chilled in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, it all comes together nicely.
Olive Oil- Herb Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour/whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried herb-of-choice
¼ cup olive oil (extra-virgin is fine)
½ cup cold water
Yields enough dough for 6 hand-pie sized hamantaschen
1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and herbs.
2. Add oil to the bowl and mix into flour with a fork. Add water and mix in with the fork until it is absorbed.
3. Knead lightly until the dough comes together somewhat. Gather dough in a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and flatten into a disc. Place in fridge and chill for two hours or overnight.
Butter Parmesan Crust
1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon distilled vinegar
Yields enough dough for 5-6 hand-pie sized hamantaschen or 12-15 hors d’oeuvre sized hamantaschen
1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese.
2. (Here’s where it gets messy and especially fun for kids) Add chilled butter cubes and rub it into the flour mixture until pea-sized crumbles result.
3. Add 4 tablespoons of water and teaspoon of vinegar, and mix in to form a dough, adding more water, one tablespoon at a time, as needed.
4. Gather dough together and wrap in plastic and level into a disc, and chill for at least two hours or overnight
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 red onions, peeled and halves and then thinly sliced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and Pepper, to taste
½ cup crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds and then add olive oil and butter.
2. When the butter has melted add the thinly sliced onions, and sauté until the onions are tender about 3-4 minutes.
3. Mix in balsamic vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are reduced and soft.
1/2 cup seasoned tomato sauce
4 oz. or ½ cup of fresh mozzarella cubed
1-2 basil leaves cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon(+) vegetable oil
12 oz. beef chuck, cut into ½” cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and diced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup dark beer
½ cup vegetable or beef stock
Parsley, for garnishing
1. Add vegetable oil to a large skillet and cook beef cubes over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. About 5 minutes.
2. Remove from pan and add diced onions, adding more oil if necessary. Cook, stirring every so often, until soft, 3-4 mins. Add garlic and stir for one minute more.
3. Throw in the mushrooms and cook until they start to shrink and wilt and get darker, approx. 4 minutes.
4. Add salt, pepper, flour, and Worcestershire sauce, mix well.
5. Add beer and stock, and stir well, making sure to lift up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and return the meat to the pan. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
1. Remove dough from fridge and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime preheat oven to 400F.
2. Prepare a flat, uncluttered surface by lightly sprinkling with flour
3. Lay out utensils in arms reach: A rolling pin, a 3 ” round cookie cutter, or a drinking glass with a 3″ diameter, a soup bowl (for the larger meal sized hamantaschen), a dough scraper or metal spatula, and a couple of baking trays covered with parchment paper or sprayed with PAM.
OK, now to roll: Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, place on the lightly floured surface and gently but firmly roll the dough out in brisk strokes, until it reaches ¼ “-1/8” consistency. Press the rim of the glass, bowl, or cookie cut in flour, and then cut out circles from the dough. Depending on the size of your dough circle place heaping tablespoons or teaspoons of the filling-of-choice in the center. Re-roll dough scraps until all dough is used.
For the Balsamic Onion–scatter blue or goat cheese crumbles across the top of the onions, before folding over each side of dough snugly over filling. If you wish you can brush with an egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water) before placing in oven 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown around edges.
For Margarita Pizza spread thickly in the center of the dough, place mozzarella cubes and basil strips and proceed as above.
To get more of Rachel’s recipes, check out her cookbook Get Cooking: A Jewish American Family Cookbook. For more Purim books, costumes, and accesorries, visit Amazon and a portion of the profits will go to help support Kveller.