Norene Gilletz is a leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She divides her time between being a food writer, culinary consultant, spokes person, cooking instructor, lecturer, and editor. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” Recipes are adapted from “The NEW Food Processor Bible” and “Healthy Helpings” by Norene Gilletz.
Poppy seed sugar cookies/Haman’s hats
These easy, versatile cookies are fun to make with the kids! If you cut them in triangles, you can call them “Haman’s Hats!”
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup orange juice or water
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
additional sugar for dipping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process eggs with sugar, oil and juice until blended, about 5 seconds. Add baking powder and flour. Process just until mixed using on/off pulses. Do not over-process.
Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/8th inch thick. Using assorted cookie cutters, cut in different shapes. Dip each cookie lightly in sugar. Place sugar-side up on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.
Yield: 4 to 5 dozen. Freezes well.
Add 1/4 cup poppy seeds with dry ingredients. Roll out dough thinly, then cut in triangles using a fluted pastry wheel or pizza cutter. Dip in sugar and bake as directed. Perfect for Purim.
Fill the triangular treats with homemade or store-bought fillings. You can also use thick preserves or canned poppy seed filling.
Basic oil dough (recipe follows)
Filling of your choice (recipes follow)
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Prepare dough and desired filling as directed. (Can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Flour each piece of dough lightly. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles, using a round cookie cutter or a small juice glass.
Place a spoonful of filling on each circle. Bring up 3 sides to meet then pinch edges of dough together to form a triangle. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Place on sprayed foil-lined cookie sheets. Brush with egg glaze.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden.
Yield: about 4 dozen. Freezes well.
Basic oil dough
This dough is excellent as a pareve cookie dough or for Hamentaschen. Try some of the scrumptious fillings (below).
1 medium-sized seedless orange (thin-skinned)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 3/4 cups flour (approximately)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cut orange in quarters but do not peel. Process in a food processor until fine, using the steel blade about 25 seconds. Add eggs, sugar and oil. Process for 10 seconds. Add flour and baking powder.
Process with several on/offs just until flour is blended into dough. Do not over-process. Dough will be fairly sticky. Remove from bowl with a rubber spatula onto a lightly floured surface. Use as directed.
Yield: enough dough for 4 dozen Hamentaschen.
Five fruit filling
1 medium seedless orange (thin-skinned)
1 cup raisins
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup dried apricots
Cut orange into chunks, but do not peel. Cut away both the navel and the stem end. In the processor, process orange until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process until finely ground, about 15 to 20 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Yield: about 3 cups filling.
Note: 1 cup filling is enough to fill 12 to 16 Hamentashen depending on size. Mixture can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for several days, or frozen.
1 medium seedless orange
12 oz package pitted prunes (see tip below)
1 1/2 cups raisins
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar or granular Splenda (optional)
Cut orange in quarters but do not peel. Use a food processor fitted with the steel blade to prepare the filling. (If you have a smaller processor, you may have to do this in 2 batches). Process orange until fine about 20 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process 15 to 20 seconds, until fine.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups filling (enough for 4 to 5 dozen Hamentaschen). Freezes well.
Tip: Feel prunes with your fingertips to make sure they don’t contain pits or you could damage the steel blade.
Apricot almond triangles
These are jam-good! You’ll go nuts over them.
1 cup margarine, cut in chunks
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups apricot jam
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
For the base: In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process margarine, flour, ground almonds, sugar, and vanilla until crumbly, about 20 seconds. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
For the topping: Mix apricot jam with lemon juice; spread evenly over base. Crumble reserved crumb mixture over jam layer, and then sprinkle with slivered almonds.
Bake 30 minutes longer, until golden. Cool completely. Cut with a sharp knife into 24 squares then cut each in half diagonally to form 48 triangles.
Yield: 4 dozen. Freezes well.