Because the Purim story takes place in Shushan, a.k.a. ancient Persia, I love the idea of using rose water and pistachios -- important ingredients from Persian Jewish cuisine -- as flavor touchpoints in these hamantaschen.
Note: This recipe was made with Nielsen-Massey's CRC-Kosher certified rose water, available online at KingArthurFlour.com ($10/4oz). The extract is highly concentrated, so if you use another brand, such as Sadaf and Cortas, you may wish to increase the amount of rose water in the recipe.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Dough chilling time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 19 minutes
- For the Hamantaschen Dough:
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the Pistachio Marzipan:
- 1 1/2 cups shelled, dry roasted, unsalted pistachios
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- small pinch cardamom (optional)
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
1. In a large bowl using electric beaters, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and rosewater and beat until well mixed, about 1 minute more.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, beating after each addition. Continue beating on medium speed until the dough begins to pull together into a ball, about 1 minute more.
3. With clean, lightly floured hands, gather the dough into a ball and flatten slightly into a disk. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper, and chill for at least 20 minutes.
4. While the dough is chilling, make the pistachio marzipan: Place the nuts, powdered sugar, and cardamom (if using) into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground and the mixture resembles a coarse powder. Add the water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing between additions. Remove the bowl from the processor and transfer the ground nut mixture to a small bowl. The mixture may appear crumbly, but you should be able to compress it easily into small balls. If not, add another 1-2 teaspoons of water, mixing well after each addition. Cover and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
6. Divide the chilled dough into quarters. Place one piece between 2 sheets of wax paper or lightly floured parchment paper. Roll out the dough to between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Remove the top sheet of wax paper and set aside. Using a 2" round cutter, cut circles from the dough, saving the scraps to re-roll. Repeat with the remaining dough.
7. Transfer the dough circles to the baking sheets. With clean hands, pinch off small pieces of the pistachio marzipan, and roll into balls about 3/4" in diameter. Place a marzipan ball in the center of each dough round. Gently fold up the sides of the dough to form a triangle, allowing some of the filling to show. Pinch the corners of the dough tightly to seal.
8. Bake the hamantaschen in the preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the dough is firm and the bottoms begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the hamanstaschen to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!