Espresso Shortbread Hamantaschen with Nutella Filling
Purim celebrates the story told in the Book of Esther. It is a story of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai defeating the evil Haman who wanted to destroy the Jews. As is usually the case for Jewish holidays, food plays a large role, filled with symbolism.
Hamantaschen, a triangle shaped cookie with filling in the center, are a wonderful example of this. There are several interpretations of the symbolism of hamantaschen. The one that I have always heard is that Haman always wore a triangular hat. When we eat our cookies, it is as if we are destroying Haman.
There are many kinds of hamantaschen. Traditionally, they were all made with a firm crust and filled with either poppyseed or prune filling. Now, I am all for one or two of these traditionally filled cookies every decade or so, but my love tends to fall for the ‘other’ hamantaschen.
I love raspberry, strawberry, apricot, peach and of course, chocolate filled hamantaschen. A few years ago, my dear friend Lauretta Singer brought me a plate of hamantaschen that included Nutella filled cookies. I was in heaven and must confess that I did not share these with my children. Hope they enjoyed the other kinds!
This year, I decided to branch out on my own and come up with a twist on an espresso cookie and I created Espresso Shortbread Hamantaschen with Nutella Filling. I was fortunate enough to be going to a large dinner party so I had plenty of opinions on which to base the success of the cookie.
The great news is that they were loved. The bad news is that I did not bake enough of them. Fortunately for me, they are also very easy to bake, so I did not mind whipping up another batch to nosh on around here.
If Purim is not a holiday you celebrate, then think of these beauties as a new delicious cookie to try. If Purim is your holiday, surprise your family and friends with a few of these twisted hamantaschen. They will thank you for giving them a new reason to celebrate the triumph of our ancestors a long, long time ago.
|Espresso Shortbread Hamantaschen with Nutella Filling
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- ½ cup sugar
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 egg
- about ¾ cup Nutella
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until the ingredients are blended together and then increase speed to medium high and beat for 2 more minutes, scraping bowl down as needed.
- Mix in flour, salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Blend in egg.
- Roll dough out between sheets of parchment paper to ¼” thickness. Use 3” round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles. Transfer circles to baking sheets. Roll out excess dough and cut out more circles. Bake scraps on same baking pan as cookies.
- Scoop 1½ teaspoons Nutella into center of each circle. Pinch up the circles to form triangles. The Nutella should be seen in the middle of each triangle cookie.
- Refrigerate cookies for 15 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 18 minutes, rotating front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Cool completely before eating.