There is a fun Jewish holiday that falls around February or March each year. During the holiday of Purim it is customary to give cute packages of food to family and friends. It becomes a bit of a challenge to come up with creative ideas each year. I like to keep my packages small which in itself is a challenge. The past few years I have been pretty proud of my creativity! I made these cute popcorn cupcakes, fun ice cream scoop cookies, and gumball machine cupcakes that take a bit more planning. This year I made some cute mustache and lip sugar cookie straws to go with a cookies and milk concept.
Here is what I did. I baked my perfect sugar cookies and used mustache and lips cookie cutters to cut out cute shapes. After the cookies were baked, I iced them with white royal icing. Then for the lips, I mixed up some hot pink icing and using a small piping tip, I made some tiny dots to form the lips shape. Then I connected those lines to create a scribble scrabble look. While the icing was still wet, I dipped them in pink sparking sugar and let them dry. The mustaches were a similar concept. I used black royal icing and outlined the mustaches. Then I filled each side in with 2 lines of icing and dipped them in black sparkling sugar. Once the icing was dry I flipped the cookies over and attached them to these fun paper straws I found at the craft store. I piped a big dab of stiff royal icing on the center back of each cookie and pressed a straw into the icing. I wanted to be able to use the straws with the cookies attached so I attached them a few inches down the straw but if you wanted these for photo booth props, you could just as easily attach them to the highest point of the straw. Once the cookies were dry I placed them in these fun milk jars I found at the craft store and filled them with white chocolate candies. To gift these, I placed them in large cellophane gift bags and tied them up with metallic silver twist ties. Easy and cute!
My son and I had fun modeling these cookies, but he couldn’t wait to bite into one!
I can’t believe it took me this long to come up with this hamantaschen flavor! I love pumpkin and I love chai, but I guess since this isn’t pumpkin season, this idea hasn’t hit me-until now. And I’m so happy I thought of it! I always have Oregon Chai tea concentrate on hand because I love making my own chai tea lattes during the winter. I use the chai tea concentrate as the liquid in the dough, and to further bring out that flavor I make my own chai spice blend. The spice blend has a lot of ingredients, but they are all so amazing, once you own them, you will find yourself using them in sweet and savory dishes! I love pumpkin but don’t really like pumpkin pie. But this hamantaschen recipe needed a pumpkin pie filling, so I was on the hunt for a filling even I would love. I remembered seeing a recipe I thought I would like by Bakerella (one of my idols and the inventor of the cake pop). She uses cream cheese along side the pumpkin in her pie bites recipe; so I did the same thing but used dairy-free tofutti cream cheese and spiced it with my chai spice blend. Holy deliciousness! My dough is soft, tender, and so easy to work with. The dough needs no refrigeration and doesn’t lose it’s shape. These cookies are packed with flavor and freeze so well. The dough and filling can even be prepared the day before, just wrap and chill in the fridge. The next day, just shape and bake. I’m not sure which hamantaschen are my favorite anymore. These are definitely on par with my cookies n’ cream recipe, but a bit more sophisticated than my funfetti hamantaschen. Just try them all!
Stir the spices together and set aside to use in the dough and the pumpkin filling.
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and spice mix and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the chai tea concentrate and mix until a dough is formed. You can use the dough right away, but if the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Prepare the filling
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and no longer lumpy.
Mix in the pumpkin, egg, and spices.
Form the hamantaschen
On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with 1 tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool before drizzling the icing.
Mix the confectioners sugar with a little bit of water and mix until combined. Keep adding water until the desired consistency. I like a thick and opaque icing. Drizzle the icing on the cooled hamantaschen and allow to dry.
It’s no secret that I love baking hamantaschen. I have made some fun combinations like cookies n’ cream, peanut butter and jelly, and pina colada, but nothing beats my classic recipe. With the funfetti trend going around I thought it would be fun to jump on board. I’ve seen a ton of funfetti deserts going around, but I hadn’t been in Purim mode so I never put the two together until I saw Chanie’s (Busy In Brooklyn) Funfetti Cake. I immediately grabbed my recipe and raided my sprinkle cabinet and I’m so happy with these-they are like a party! I highly recommend trying my recipe for hamantaschen dough because it’s so easy to work with; and the cookies come out tender, soft, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance with the jam center. But…you could always just use your personal favorite recipe and add in some sprinkles!