Jewish recipes, hamentaschen, lemon bar step-by-step

Lemon Bar Hamentaschen: Step-by-step

Purim is coming up! It’s a Jewish holiday filled with celebration, silliness, and, of course, food. In celebration (and because they’re delicious) I made some hamantaschen. They’re basically just a three-cornered cookie with some sort of filling in the middle. These amazing recipes have been making their way around Facebook, and I was inspired by the lemon bar variety.

So let’s get started! We start with a basic sweet dough. This one is butter free, baking this entire recipe dairy free – yay! The dough is tougher and sturdier than your average cookie dough and also less-sweet. I used this dough recipe here. Roll the dough out right away and cut into circles. I didn’t have a circle cookie cutter, so I used a drinking glass. Worked just as well.

Because I was using a liquid filling, I didn’t fold the cookie around the filling. Instead, I folded the cookie first to make a little cup.

Just pinch in each corner.

Make sure to press firmly so they don’t open up in the oven.

Nice little cups ready for filling.

I made a standard lemon bar filling using eggs, flour, sugar, and lemon juice. I cooked it over the stove to thicken it before filling the cookies.

Spooning it in.

Then I gave the corners and extra pinch just to make sure they stayed where they were supposed to.

And here we go! Beautiful right out of the oven. I did a little dance when I saw how well they kept their shape!

These treats are surprisingly easy and super impressive. From idea to oven in only about 45 minutes.

A little sprinkle of powdered sugar on the top and they’re ready to go.

By the way, these little guys travel pretty well, too.
And taste great! Not too sweet, not too soft, not too crunchy, not too messy. Easy to pick up and eat and a good size, too.
Happy Purim!
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What a Difference a Real Camera Makes!

Probably tired of coming over in the mornings before work, my photographer friend lent me a fabulous camera! I’ve been experimenting by making and photographing fruit tarts. I’ve been going crazy at the farmers market buying pluots, nectarines, plums, peaches, and strawberries. The crust is crumbly and nutty with walnuts and almonds. The fruit rests on a thick layer of vanilla bean-lemon pastry cream.

I have a fair amount of art background from high school programs and college classes, so I understand color and composition, but I had NO CLUE what a difference the camera makes.

Observe:

I made this fruit tart last week. It was quite tasty, and I photographed it using my little point and shoot digital camera. I make sure to clear the background, go outside, and photograph in the daylight to make the best of what I have. Not bad.

But then I made a second tart the following week, using the same fruits, crust, and filling.

 With the good camera, you can see how juicy and delicious the fruit is. The glaze and the detail are clear and you can see the nuts in the crust.

There’s a HUGE difference and I’m so happy with the results.

Celebrate the summer by enjoying some fresh fruit!