Joan Nathan’s Recipe for Yeast Hamanstachen

Modified from Nathan’s “Jewish Holiday Cookbook”

1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
3⁄4 cup sugar
11⁄2 tablespoons orange zest
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons honey
21⁄4 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or a mixture of your favorite dried fruits
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons instant yeast
1⁄4 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm (or warm rice milk)
1 cup sugar
2 cups unsalted butter or margarine, cold
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
7 cups flour
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or pareve sour cream
2 eggs
1 egg beaten

Directions for filling: In a saucepan, combine the water, cinnamon and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the lemon zest and honey. Return the mixture to a boil. Add the nuts, dried fruit and crumbs and stir to combine. Reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before using. You can make these three to four days ahead of time and keep refrigerated.

Directions for dough: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm liquid. In the bowl of an electric mixer (use the paddle), combine the butter, salt, vanilla, zest and sugar. Beat on low for 3 minutes and then slowly add the flour and sour cream alternately. Add 2 of the eggs and beat for 3 to 4 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. Divide the dough into 28 to 36 equal pieces. Roll them into balls, place them on a parchment-covered cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll each ball out into a circle on a floured surface. Place 1 heaping teaspoon to tablespoon (depending on the size of the circle) of the filling in the center of each circle. Pinch up the sides to form a triangle. Place the hamantaschen on a greased or parchment-covered cookie sheet. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Let the hamantaschen rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 16 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Makes 28 to 36 cookies.

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