Meshenichnas adar Marbin b’babka! You’ve been so good sticking to your New Years resolutions and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but in this month of joy and happiness, you deserve to treat yourself and indulge. And there is no better way than with a delicious BabkaTaschen!
No two Jewish holidays are exactly the same. Each comes with its own history, prayer, faith, miracles, marvels, and of course, food. Purim is no different. Borrowing from the ideas of this holiday, we can take the concept of ‘V’nahafoch hu’ (the decree against the Jews was overturned) and have some fun ‘overturning’ some of our traditional recipes.
Over the years, “Hamantschen” (made of a sweet, malleable, sugar cookie dough, stuffed with the sweet filling of your choice, pinched closed into a triangular shape, and baked) has undergone a few changes. Although the shape has stayed the same, the composition and components of both the exterior and interior have been continuously revamped.
Sticking with a classic flavor like poppy (but feel free to use chocolate, halva, prune, cookie butter, or whatever you like), I present to you the ultimate mix-up mashup Purim treat:
This recipe yields approximately 12 large BabkaTaschen. However, you can separate and freeze the dough before the first rise and keep out what you want to use now. To freeze, simply wrap balls of dough in plastic wrap, and place in a zip top-style freezer bag. (Tip: Write the date of when it was made for future reference.) When you want to defrost it, simply remove from the freezer, remove plastic wrap, place in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap until room temperature.
- 2 cups warm water (if you would like to use an instant-read kitchen thermometer, the temperature of the water should be between 105° and 110°)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla sugar
- 2 tablespoon active dry yeast or instant yeast (Note: While you don’t need to proof instant yeast, I always do for extra security. If you don’t want to proof your yeast, no worries, just make sure you use instant/rapid rise.)
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 sticks plus 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted margarine, softened
- 7-9 cups all purpose flour (you may need more or less)
- 1 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan sea salt
- If using active dry yeast, proof it by following my directions here.
- Once the yeast is bubbling, add eggs, egg yolk, margarine, flour, and sea salt.
- Once the dough comes together (meaning it pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl, leaving no dough residue), turn off your mixer for two minutes. If you are kneading by hand, follow the same directions, kneading until it pulls away easily with no residue from the counter or pastry board. This rest gives the gluten in your flour a chance to rest.
- After two minutes, turn mixer back on (or continue by hand) and knead for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove dough from mixer and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Keep the dough covered (so it does not dry out) or section it out and allow to rise on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Cover loosely as mentioned above.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling and streusel.
- 1 cup poppy seeds (grind to flour like or fine consistency)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk substitute (I like using vanilla flavor rice milk or almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1/2 lemon, zested or 1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to saucepan. (If using vanilla extract, do not add until the end.)
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, and allow to cook/simmer until thickened. Once thickened, remove from heat, and add vanilla.
- Cool. (Often times, I strain the poppyseed filling to remove any extra liquid.)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-4 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- A stick of unsalted margarine, cubed
- Combine ingredients using your hands until margarine is incorporated into the sugar and flour. You can make the streusel large or small, depending on your preference.
- For a cookie flavored streusel, swap out poppy seeds for cookie crumbs!
- When dough is risen, divide into 6, 8, or 12 oz. portions.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into 1/4” thickness in a circular shape. (It doesn’t need to be perfect; It should just resemble a circle.) Feel free to use a bowl as a template and a paring knife to cut the shape and trim.
- Next, spread filling over surface of the dough.
There are 2 ways to assemble the BabkaTaschen:
Bring one of the top sides towards the center (pictured below) followed by the other side, and finally the bottom towards the middle. Pinch, seal, and turn (flip) over. Using a paring knife cut out a triangular shape from the middle of the dough. You may add more filling to fill the triangle if desired. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with streusel crumbs.
Dollop a generous amount of filling in the middle of the dough. Brush the circumference of the circle with egg wash, and bring left and right side of the dough together. Pinch tightly to make sure it’s sealed. Repeat with bottom section, bringing it to the center of the dough. Brush with egg, and cover with streusel. The streusel and egg prevent the BabkaTaschen from opening while baking.
- Bake at 350°F until golden brown- Approximately 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and transfer to cooling rack using a large spatula. Allow BabkaTaschen to cool completely before eating since the poppy filling stays mighty hot.
- For an alternative to poppy filling, try this cookie butter filling recipe:
Cookie butter filling
- 1 full package cookies (approximately 36. Feel free to use whatever flavor or brand of sandwich cookies you like.)
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil (refined is tasteless and flavorless, but it melts down while cookie butter forms and solidifies to the texture of peanut butter once it sets.)
- Add cookies and coconut oil (in a solid state) to your food processor.
- Run for approx 5-8 minutes or until creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides every three minutes.
- Top BabkaTaschen with cookie streusel or topping of your choice!
These fillings and crumb toppings are just a suggestion. Feel free to use what you like, and let your imagination run wild. It is Adar after all!