(with a nod to Marcy Goldman)
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon lemon or orange zest (optional)
egg wash – 1 egg yolk combined with 2-3 Tablespoons milk or cream
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar until smooth, then add cream cheese, blending well. With mixer on low, add vanilla, flour, salt and zest, if using. Dough will be soft, do not overmix. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, sealing well. Place in refrigerator at least one hour, preferably overnight.
When ready to roll out cookies, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Turn dough out onto lightly floured parchment paper. Roll out to about 1/8” thick. For traditional Hamantaschen, cut out 3” circles. I like to use a 7 ½ “ tart pan as a guide and cut out large cookies. Brush the outer edge of the circles with a bit of egg wash- this helps the triangles hold their shape. Place a teaspoonful of either jam or Nutella in the center of each cookie; for the larger circles I use about 3 Tablespoons of filling for each. Chill the Hamantaschen for 15 minutes before baking. The 3” cookies bake for about 18 minutes, the large ones for about 25 minutes. When they come out of the oven you can brush a dab of additional preserves around the edges to give them a bit of shine or you can enjoy them just the way they are.