Almond-Coconut Hamantaschen

By Margi Lenga Kahn

Ingredients

Dough 

2 ¼ cups plus 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. baking powder

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½ tsp. table salt

2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 1 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (blood oranges cast a lovely pink color)

¼ tsp. vanilla extract 

Filling

¾ cup blanched sliced almonds

2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup almond paste (do not substitute marzipan)

1 cup soft cake crumbs (ground from a few slices of pound cake or from 2 regular-sized un-iced cupcakes)

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk

Directions 

Dough

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy.

Reduce speed to low and add reserved flour mixture; mix until smooth, stopping machine once or twice to scrape down the bowl’s sides.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter and divide into two pieces; form each piece into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Dough may be made a day in advance; simply remove it from the refrigerator 5 minutes before rolling it out.)

Filling

Combine almonds, coconut, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade; process until almonds are finely chopped. Crumble in almond paste and pulse to incorporate. Add remaining filling ingredients and pulse mixture until everything is combined.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in freezer for 30 minutes.

Line a small pan with wax paper and form filling into 1-inch balls (I used the large end of a melon-baller- it worked great). Set balls on prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate balls until needed.

Assembly

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Remove one disc of dough from refrigerator, unwrap, and set onto a lightly floured counter. Lightly dust the top of the dough and flour your rollin g pin.  Roll dough about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3 1/2 –inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Place circles in a single layer on prepared pan. Cover with another piece of wax paper. Quickly gather scraps into a ball and re-roll and cut additional circles, making a second layer of circles on baking sheet. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place baking sheet in refrigerator while repeating process with second disc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the up and lower third of your oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove half of dough circles from refrigerator. Set one dough circle on counter. Slightly flatten one filling ball and set it in the center of a dough circle. Fold edges of dough together on both sides, pressing to seal and form a triangle, leaving about a 1/2-inch of filling exposed.  Set pastry onto prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.  Place baking sheets in refrigerator for 15 minutes, or into freezer for 5 minutes before baking.*

Uncover pans and place into preheated oven; bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating pans after 8 minutes. The edges of the hamantaschen should be a lovely golden brown.

Using a spatula, immediately transfer cookies from pan to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving.

*Formed hamantaschen may be completely frozen on baking sheets, transferred to freezer bags, and remain frozen for up to one month. Bake directly from freezer, increasing baking time by 3-4 minutes. 

Makes about 30 hamantaschen.