Strawberry Hamantaschen (cookie recipe modified from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
3 cups strawberries, about 1 1/4 lbs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
To make filling
Remove strawberry stems, then chop into quarters. You want about 1/2-inch segments. Place in a medium saucepan with sugar, stir to combine, turn heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. You will not need to keep stirring at this stage, but KEEP AN EYE on the saucepan – the strawberry sugar may want to bubble over (this happened to me…). Increase heat to medium, uncover, and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Poor compote out onto a large plate to cool.
To make cookie dough
Mix almond meal, flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, work butter into flour until it resembles cornmeal (I just want to confess that at this stage I ALWAYS give up and end up working the mixture with my fingers. I am an impatient mess). Add egg, egg white and extract, and combine the dough with a wooden spoon (or your hands). Knead dough until mixture is uniform (either in the bowl or out on your countertop). Divide dough into quarters.
Place one quarter of the dough on a well-floured surface, and flour the top generously as well. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut out circles with a round cookie cutter or wine glass. Place 1 teaspoon of strawberry filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold edges up in three places to form a triangular cookie and gently pinch seams together to form corners. Transfer cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place entire tray in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes, until golden at edges. Remove from oven and transfer to racks to cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Note: Be rigorous in creating those corners (almost fold over the edges) so that your cookies don’t ‘unstick’ themselves and lay out flat while baking. Also, having tried both freezer & fridge due to storage issues, I command you to put your trays in the freezer, as per the recipe.
These cookies are great – very almond-y and fruity at the same time, with crisp shells and gooey filling. I like them! And now I’m curious about the rhubarb version…
Recommended for: a special occasion cookie with colorful flair, and a tasty treat for the baker who is looking to branch out from that old standard chocolate.