Bacon Hamantaschen for a Purim Birthday

Today is Purim. Last night for the eve of Purim, I hosted a little Purim/birthday party for the Silverback. His birthday happened to fall on the day before an exam. To make up for it, our group decided to throw a holiday party complete with costumes. As Silverback figured out, we all decided to dress up like him in honor of his trip around the sun. It may turn into a birthday tradition in these parts. It will take someone else's trip around the sun before we know for sure.

Max's best Silverback impression

I actually have very fond memories of making hamantaschen. At my synagogue, the Ladies' Auxiliary would host a hamantaschen making event every year after Sunday school. Kids and women were invited to make hamantaschen that would then be sold to benefit our congregation. It was always a lot of fun. The dough came in giant freezer bags. The fillings were all canned. I learned some neat tips from the grandmothers about working with dough, which was really helpful since my Asian family could tell me nothing about European style baking. This was the first time I made hamantaschen outside of that synagogue kitchen. While I was rolling and cutting the dough, I kept thinking of those Southern grandmothers, all made up, teaching their grand kids how to make hamantaschen. To keep up with my shul's tradition, I also ate the ugliest ones before the batch was presented to my guests.

Our festive spread of food and alcohol

Of course, my brother calls these blasphemous hamantaschen, since they are filled with bacon. For the dough, I used a New York Times recipe, which I will reprint here since we only have a week left of unlimited access to articles. I made up the bacon filling recipe and filled the remainder with my blueberry lemon marmalade.

Sylvia Lav's Perfect Hamantaschen Doughtaken from New York Times
Makes enough for about 36 hamantaschen

4 cups flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup of oil
3 tablespoons of warm water (I didn't add this. I have an aversion to adding water because of its effects on pasta dough)
Zest of 2 lemons (I forgot to put this in, but I bet it's a swell contribution)
1 cup sugar

1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, sugar, and salt. Make a mountain out of the flour mixture, and make a well at the top of the mountain.

2. Add one egg into the well. Work it into the flour to make a dough without destroying the walls. Add 1/4 cup oil and do the same. Repeat until you've added all of the fluids and have a nice dough.

3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a little bit. It should be sticky fun.

4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. It should be clean fun.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thickness. I can never do this in real life, so I just roll it out as thin as I can. Using an old wine bottle since I'm too cheap to buy a proper rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter or a glass dipped in flour (cheap), cut 2-3" circles. These are the hamantaschen bases! Here, the original recipe says to paint an X of melted butter across each circle. I did not do this as I have no idea why you would. Anyone with more kitchen knowledge, please enlighten me. Fill each circle with about a tablespoon of filling and pinch into a triangle shape. Traditional fillings are prune, poppy seed, or apricot. You can also use any jam you want.

6. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Mine took more like 20 minutes. They should be slightly golden and yummy looking. Remove from oven and cool on a a rack.

Sweet Bacon Filling
Makes enough to fill 12 hamantaschen

4 strips thick cut bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb flour

1. Cut bacon strips into slightly smaller chunks. Throw chunks in food processor and process until smooth. Add brown sugar and process until mixed.

2. Mix flour in with a fork. This is so the fat doesn't get to oozy and spill out. You want the fat to stay in the cookie so that you can eat it later and not clean it out of your oven.

3. The filling is ready to go into pastry.

Silverback blowing out the candles on his birthday bacon hamantashen


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