trips to ann arbor and portland to report on but before that, Happy Purim! last night erin came over and we made hamantaschen...always a fun activity for the whole family! i used the New York Times Jewish Cookbook which seemed safe enough (New York? Jewish cooking? how can you go wrong??) but it was pretty disappointing. its a pretty little cookie pictured here (this one with fig preserves) but i'm more of a crunchy hamantaschen girl and these were a decidedly soft, flaky pastry dough kind of hamantaschen. that we didn't have the time to let the dough chill over night, as suggested, didn't help things either. in some (and by "some" i mean "most") cases, the dough poofed up in the middle, pushing the jam entirely out of the cookie and down the sides. the elderberry jelly and peach jam, both homemade and sold at farmers' markets, lacked, presumably, the pectin to hold themselves together at all. the fig, rasberry and apricot preserves were better suited to the bumpy ride that was the baking process. but even then, many of them looked more like fry dough than hamantaschen by the time they came out of the oven.
but we ended up with about thirty salvagable cookies, some even shaped like triangles! and tonight i attended the kick-off party for a Jewish Literature Book Club Series that featured delightfully cripsy massive hamantaschen, stuffed with poppy seeds and the whole bit. they were perfect. i might do Hamantaschen Round 2: Crispy on saturday night.