The Jewish holiday Purim is this Sunday, March 15 and I am eagerly anticipating the festivities! For those of you who would like to celebrate be aware that everyone is strongly encouraged to dress up, eat large amounts of candy and drink (a responsible) amount of alcohol. Oh yes, and eat hamantashen.
The three cornered pastry is a holiday treat and is traditionally filled with poppy seeds and various jams. Devouring it is symbolic of overcoming evil. (more on that HERE) While I have no desire to fill ANY pastry with poppy seeds, I do like the idea of taking flaky soft dough and stuffing it with something decadent and wonderful, like Strawberry Cheesecake filling.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachement, cream together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add flour and baking powder. Mix together. The dough might be crumbly, use your hands to smooth it out and combine it. Roll out dough on floured surface (about 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick. Not too thick since then the circles are hard to shape and will open up. Not too thin since then it will rip when shaping or filling) and cut out circles using a donut cutter or the rim of a large glass cup or mason jar. Fill center of circle with strawberry jam and cheesecake filling (about 1/2 tsp each) and bake on 350′ for 12 to 15 minutes depending on how soft or crispy you want them. I like them super soft so took them out around 10 minutes.
* Notes on shaping hamantashen: Place filling in center than slowly fold over one side. Then the next and finally bring the bottom on top. Gently pinch the corners.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachement, cream together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Place 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese mixture and 1/2 teaspoon strawberry jam in center of each hamantash.