Gluten Free Hamentashen

www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose flour (or use your favorite blend of GF flours) 2 tbsp potato starch 2 tbsp potato flour 1 tsp xanthan gum 1 tsp pectin 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup canola oil 2 flax eggs* (or use two regular eggs) 1/4 cup orange juice 1 tsp grated orange zest 1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract) *two flax eggs = 2 tbsp flaxmeal mixed with 6 tbsp hot water or soymilk (or other alternative milk of your choice). I have found that using hot liquid AND blending this at high speed in a small food processor makes this mixture perform admirably. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on two large baking sheets. Homemade Hamentashen fillings (or use already prepared filling) Apricot Filling 1/2 cup dried apricots 1/2 cinnamon stick 1 1/2 tbsp sugar Put the apricots, cinnamon stick, and sugar in a pan and cover with water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the apricots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the cinnamon stick, then puree the apricots in a food processor with a little bit of the cooking liquid until the mixture looks like thick jam. Poppy Seed Filling 1/2 cup poppy seeds 1/4 cup soymilk (or alternative milk of choice) 1/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped 1 - 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp light corn syrup 1 tsp grated lemon rind 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Put the poppy seeds, soymilk, raisins, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon rind in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and most of the milk has been absorbed. Stir in the vanilla extract. Prune Filling 1/2 cup dried, pitted prunes hot water to cover the prunes 2 tbsp jam (I used orange marmalade to complement the orange in the cookie dough) Put the prunes in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes. Drain, then puree in a food processor with the jam. Strawberry Filling Use jam from a jar of strawberry preserves or jam. Making the hamentashen: In a medium bowl, sift the flour, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, pectin, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer (or use a bowl and hand mixer), cream the sugar and oil. Turn off the mixer and let this mixture rest while you continue. In a small bowl, combine the flax eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and almond extract. Turn the mixer on and slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar/oil mixture. Gradually add the remaining flour in three batches, alternating with the flax egg mixture. The dough will be somewhat crumbly, but don't despair! Pour it onto a piece of waxed paper and use the paper to help you form the dough into a ball. Try to avoid touching the dough with your hands, but rather use the paper to guide the dough into a ball. Put it in the frig to chill for 1 - 2 hours, or overnight if possible. Removing the dough from the frig, remove it from the waxed paper and place in a small bowl, then place the small bowl in another bowl filled with ice water - this will keep the dough chilled while you make the hamentashen. With your hand, scoop off a large piece of the dough and place on either a piece of waxed paper or on a silicone pastry mat (GREAT for gluten free baking). Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about 1/8" thick. Using a 3" cookie cutter (or use a juice glass), cut into circles, removing the excess dough and adding it back into the bowl of unused dough. Flour the rolling pin each time you use it to roll out the dough. Place 1 tsp of filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold three sides of the circle together so that the cookie becomes a triangle, pinching the corners to seal them. NOTE: Place pointer fingers underneath the 12 o'clock point on the dough circle. Pinch them together, then use your thumbs to lift the dough at the 6 o'clock point on the dough circle, simultaneously pinching the dough at the 2 and 10 o'clock points on the dough circle. This will form the triangle. Practice makes perfect, trust me. If the dough doesn't seem to stick together adequately, use wet fingers to seal the dough where needed. Place each cookie on the cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating trays back to front and from one shelf to another, until golden on top and browned on the bottom. Let cool for five minutes then remove to cooling rack. NOTE: I think that gluten free baked goods ALWAYS benefit when left to rest for awhile after baking. See how long you can wait!
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