So much to celebrate today, I don’t know where to start! It’s Spring and it’s Purim! And there’s chocolate and peanut butter! And hamantaschen!! Can life get any more perfect?!!
Now, maybe some of you don’t exactly know what I’m talking about and so you’re jazzed about the spring part but kind of “what’s up with that P word and that weird triangle thing?” Not to worry. All will become clear. Basically, Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating the saving of the Jewish people thousands of years ago from the evil, three-cornered hat wearing, Haman--hence the triangular shaped cookies called hamantaschen. Generally, the dough is vanilla based with more of a sugar cookie feel and the filling leans towards fruits like prunes or apricots or a sweet poppyseed mixture, and those are absolutely delicious but every year I like to play around with the flavors and this year I’m swapping out the classics for another classic combo: peanut butter and chocolate.
Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
You’re so excited about Purim now, right?
And happily these are easy to make. Especially the filling. it’s just a simple mix of butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar.
After you’ve mixed together the chocolate dough and let it chill for a bit, you simply roll out the dough, cut into circles and place a dollop of the creamy peanut butter filling in the center of each one.
Then you do a little pinching to form triangles and bake.
And unlike some of the fruity fillings which tend to be looser and sometimes overflow or run out the sides, (if you’ve baked hamantaschen before you know what I mean) this peanutty filling stays put.
With every bite you get great chocolate flavor and creamy peanut butter. I told you there was a lot to celebrate!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hamantaschen
Makes about 2 dozen
Prep Time for dough: 10 minutes, plus about 1 hour chilling time; Prep Time for Filling: 5 minutes; Assembly Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
For the Chocolate Dough
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) , room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For Peanut Butter Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter (not natural)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. To make the dough: Cut the butter into 8 slices and place into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add both sugars and mix together well until creamy and light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add in the egg. Mix for about a minutes, until the batter is light and fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture. Mix together on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the dough begins to form a ball. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
3. Turn the dough onto a board or the counter and knead it briefly. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Wash the beaters and bowl.
4. To make the filling: Place the butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of the mixer and mix together until all of the ingredients are incorporated. If you’re making the hamantaschen soon, just leave out on the counter. If you like though, you can make the filling ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Just take it out about an hour before you’re ready to use it.
5. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. If the dough has chilled for a long time, you will probably need to let it sit out for at least 10-15 minutes to soften up enough to roll out.
6. Divide the dough in half. Flatten into a disk and place between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment and use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out as many circles of dough as you can (you could also use a smaller cutter to get more cookies). Transfer them to the prepared sheets (using a metal spatula to prevent them from getting misshapen). Gather together the scraps, cover with the parchment again and roll out, cutting out circles of dough again and transferring them to the baking sheets.
7. Spoon about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling into the middle of each dough circle. Don’t be tempted to use more or it will overflow and make it hard for the cookies to hold their shape. Now fold up the sides and pinch together to form a triangle.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until firm. You can’t really tell by looking at them since the dough is dark. Let cookies cool on the sheet on a wire rack for a few minutes and then transfer to the rack to finish cooling. Repeat the whole thing with the other dough half.
9. These really are best the day they are made but still pretty yummy a few days out. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: Dough recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats. I added a bit more cocoa and changed some of the techniques. The filling is my own concoction.