FOOD & DRINK

How to Make Traditional Hamantaschen with a Deliciously Cheesy Twist

How to Make Traditional Hamantaschen with a Deliciously Cheesy Twist
Brian Kennedy
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Those who celebrate Purim know that hamentaschen (pronounced hah-mun-tah-shun) is a holiday staple. (The name "hamentash" references Haman, a Persian official who sought the destruction of the Jews in the Book of Esther—the triangular cookies are meant to symbolize the hat he wore.) Even though the celebratory recipe typically calls for a fruity filling, there's no reason why you can't opt for something more savory instead.

Just take this cheesy variation, courtesy of Breads Bakery, an N.Y.C. favorite known for its Eastern European pastries. "I love cheesecake so much," owner Gadi Peleg tells InStyle. "The best ones are New York-style, and we're a New York bakery, so it was a natural fit." Read on for the full how-to. And if you don't have time to bake, fear not: Breads ships hamentaschen nationwide via FoodyDirect ($48/two dozen; foodydirect.com).

Cheesecake Hamentaschen

Yields 24 hamentaschen

Ingredients

For the Hamentaschen
13 tbsp butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs (1 used for egg wash)
3 cups pastry flour
1/3 cup almond flour
Desired filling (jam, fruit preserves, or other spreads)

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For the Cheesecake Filling
1 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
Half of a vanilla bean (scrape the beans)
Pinch of salt
Lemon zest from 1 lemon

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Directions

To Make the Hamentaschen

1. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and salt very well.

2. Sift the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and mix until combined.

3. Slowly add one egg and the almond flour and mix until fully combined.

4. Add pastry flour and mix until just combined (don't over-mix).

5. Form the dough into a flat rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/16-inches and, using a cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch circles.

7. Brush off any excess flour and brush the circles with egg wash.

8. Spoon your desired filling into the center (1 tsp each).

9. Fold three points of the circle up and into the center to form a triangle.

10. Pinch the corners to make it tight.

11. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

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For the Cheesecake Filling

1. Paddle the cream cheese in a mixer on low speed until soft.

2. Add the sugars and salt.

3. Add vanilla beans, zest, and egg yolks. Mix until combined (without over-mixing).

4. Cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours before using.

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