Homemade Hamantaschen

The Jewish holiday of Purim was this past weekend and we “took part” in the celebration by making these delicious homemade Hamantaschen cookies. Even if you are not Jewish, you should totally make these because they are THAT good! You could even make these into thumbprint cookies instead of forming them into triangles. They are traditionally filled with poppyseed, fruit preserves, or chocolate. I used strawberry preserves that I had on hand and put some semisweet chocolate chips in others (yummm!).

If you have never heard of Purim, don’t worry – I hadn’t really either until I started attending basic Judaism classes. The holiday is unlike the other Jewish holidays because it is very carnival-like; there are costumes, drinking, noisemakers and booing at specific parts during the reading of the Megillah (the Book of Esther) at synagogue, and giving gifts to the poor. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this website.

Here’s how to make these awesome cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
  • Filling of your choice, canned or homemade (I realized afterward I totally could have used lemon curd that I had in my fridge…guess I’ll just have to make more!)

Directions:

  1. Line unrimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until lighter in color and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until the mixture starts to hold together.
  5. Very gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface about 10 strokes or until the dough is smooth and holds together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (preferably for 30 minutes or more).
  6. Roll the dough out on a board that is lightly covered with flour or confectioners’ sugar. Note: The sugar will slightly glaze the baked cookie and make it a little sweeter. (I used the confectioners’ sugar and in my opinion it did not make them taste too sweet, which I was nervous about!)
  7. Preheat the oven now to 350 degrees
  8. Cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch circles, and place 1 scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Don’t roll the dough too thin or they are hard to shape. My second round came out better when I rolled the dough a bit thicker. (between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick)
  9. Shape into triangles by using your thumbs to push up from the bottom of the circle and your forefingers to pull down from the top sides. Pinch the top seams of the dough well to securely enclose almost all of the filling. A little should peek through the top of the opening.
  10. Pinch the dough together so that the filling is exposed only at the top of the cookie.
  11. Bake the hamantaschen in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden.(mine took about 12 – 13 minutes. Store in a plastic bag or container when cool, or freeze for later use.

    my first batch had some that didn’t hold up so well!
  12. Enjoy your cookies! They’re really good with a cup of your morning coffee!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Pillowy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

PUMPKIN? Yes, you read that right. I know it’s January, but it’s a grey, rainy day here in Houston and I have had the ingredients to make these cookies foreverrrrrrrr, so today’s the day! We’re called Perfect and Flawed, not Perfect and Perfect-Because-We-Make-Seasonal-Recipes-in-Season-only. 😉

You only need three ingredients to make these Pillowy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. They aren’t too pumpkin-y and have the perfect amount of chocolate chips in them (aka a lot LOL).

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Use a cookie scoop to place dough “balls” onto baking sheet (you could also use a spoon to make little cookie mounds)
  4. bake for 8-10 minutes (I did mine for 9 1/2 mins and they were perfect; 8 mins was a little underdone in the middle)

Try not to eat them all at once! I would love to try this idea with a different cake mix, but not sure what to sub out the pumpkin puree for…..any ideas???

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Easy Oreo Truffles

These Easy Oreos Truffles are just that, and you’ll be lucky if you have any leftover after you put them out for your guests! Some of my friends thought these were cake balls, but I’m here to tell you they’re even simpler than that. You don’t even need to turn on the oven to bake a cake for these bad boys! I’m practically drooling just writing this post. Yes, they’re that good.

Heres what you need:

Ingredients:

  • one package of Oreos
  • an 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips (for melting)
  • white chocolate chips (for melting)
  • toothpicks

Directions:

  1. in a food processor “purée” 36 oreos (the whole package) into a fine cookie crumb mixture. I did this in batches as I don’t have a full size food processor.
  2. if you have a normal size food processor, add your cream cheese to your cookie crumbs and pulse until fully blended OR put your Oreo crumbs in a large bowl and mix the cream cheese in by mashing it together with a fork. If you use this method, be patient. It WILL come together!
  3. take a Tablespoon to portion out your truffles and roll them into balls. Place them on parchment paper or silpat mat and put them in the fridge for at least  20 minutes.
  4. Melt your semi sweet chips in the microwave in small time increments (so you don’t burn the chocolate), stirring in between OR do the double boiler method.
  5. Once your chocolate is melted take your truffles and dip them into the chocolate, holding them by a toothpick inserted into the top. I swiped the extra chocolate off the bottom with another toothpick so the chocolate didn’t pool around the bottom and take away from the nice circular shape.
  6. Melt your white chocolate chips and use it for dipping as well, or make a drizzle over the tops of your truffles. It feels scary to put a spoon in white chocolate and wiggle it like mad over the tops of your beautiful truffles, but trust me, if you keep wiggling you won’t have blobs of white chocolate scattered about!
  7. Put your truffles back in the fridge to set until ready to serve. They’ll be gone in no time!!! (I used fancy DIY Pom Pom skewers I had from our wedding that I used to dress these up for a New Year’s party we went to. It was very appropriate!)

I can taste these just looking at the pictures!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Hanukkah Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Happy Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, everyone!! I’ve been wanting to try out my Hanukkah cookie cutters for far too long (I’m talking years, people), and decided to amp up the traditional sugar cookie by making Hanukkah Chocolate Sugar Cookies! I didn’t decorate mine with icing because I was too lazy, but you totally could or I even entertained the idea of melting chocolate and drizzling it over the top. Laziness won and I left them plain. They’re still really tasty though with a glass or milk, eggnog, or even your morning cup of coffee. Hey, cookies don’t care what time it is when you eat them! My belly doesn’t either. Lol.

I was hobbling around my kitchen when I made these as I was recovering from foot surgery so I didn’t bother taking pictures of the process for you. And I used a recipe from here at Sally’s Baking Addiction that is very simple and straightforward. I had all the ingredients on hand already so I didn’t need to make a trip to the grocery store to get anything.

Have fun making these into whatever shapes you desire!! Happy baking!

Use this recipe.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Ps- do you spell it Hanukkah or Chanukah??!

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