Spring is here, the sun is shining (well at least here in Southern California it is) and the flowers are in bloom! What could be better? Umm....cookies of course!
The theme for this month's Creative Cookie Exchange was Traditional Spring Cookies from Around the World. Originally I wanted to post a recipe for Chinese Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year) Moon Cookies. It is traditional to eat Moon Cakes during this time of year, but I wanted to make them in cookie form using these beautiful moon cake molds.
I travel to China quite a bit for work, so the Chinese Moon Cookie was a cookie I could relate to. Unfortunately, I ran into a glitch finding the ingredients I needed, so that's a recipe I'll have to save for another day. In the mean time, I still have these cool moon cake/cookie molds which I love...
So operation "Plan B" was Hamantaschen, a Jewish cookie traditionally eaten during Purim. I have never had Hamantaschen before, but I've always been intrigued by the traditional triangular shape and the wide variety of flavors. I decided to take this traditional Jewish cookie and give it a twist with Pistachio Frangipane and Peaches! Normally frangipane is made with almonds, but I wanted to use pistachios for a more unique flavor and also for the beautiful color it would give to the cookies. I added cardamom to the cookie dough to compliment the peach and pistachio flavors. The result was delicious twist on a traditional Spring Cookie!
Peach and Pistachio Frangipane Hamantaschen
Makes approx. 20 Cookies
Note: You will have leftover frangipane from this recipe. It makes a great croissant filling, just spread into an already baked croissant and bake until crispy/heated through
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting your work surface
Pistachio Frangipane Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons orange peel
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 cup peach jam or preserves (I used Sara Beth's)
Sugar in the raw for sprinkling
Egg wash (1 egg beating with a little water)
Make the filling
Place the pistachios, sugar, orange zest and baking powder in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely chopped.
Add the butter and egg and process until you have a fairly smooth paste.
Make the dough
Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on med-low speed until creamy. Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula.
Mix in the egg yolk on low speed, then mix in the vanilla extract, cardamom and salt. Mix just until combined.
Add the flour and pulse a few times to incorporate some of the flour, then mix on low until a dough if formed. Divide the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Assemble the cookies
Working with one disk of dough at a time, place the disk on a flat surface generously dusted with powdered sugar. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the disk, then roll into the dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes using a 3" cookie cutter. Place the disks of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place approx. 1/2 tsp of frangipane in the center of each disk, then place 1/2 tsp of peach jam on top.
Using your fingertip, wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold one side of the dough (either the left or right) partially over the filling, then fold the other side over at an angle to create a triangular shape. Last, fold the top part over.
Cupcake Project has a great visual tutorial on the folding process. Check it out here
Brush the cookies lightly with egg wash then sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 400f for approx. 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
We all associate cookies with “The” holidays in December, but spring holidays are a great time for cookies also! Whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or something else, we’ve found some great traditional cookies from around the world for you!
You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Chocolate Candy Coconut Cookies from Magnolia Day
- Easter Biscuits from Baking in Pyjamas
- Easter Egg Cookies from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Egyptian Date Crescents from Food Lust People Love
- Hamantaschen from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Lemon Hamantaschen from Spiceroots
- Lemon Meltaway Cookies from A Baker's House
- Ma'amoul – Stuffed Date Cookies from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- Malt M&M's Easter Cookies from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Maltese Figolli Cookies from Upstate Rambling
- Peach and Pistachio Frangiapane Hamantaschen from Live Bake Love
- Persian Nan e Nokhodchi or Chickpea Cookies from Flours and Frostings
- Taralli Dolci di Pasqua – Southern Italian Easter Cookies from The Spiced Life
- Zesty Citrus Bar Cookies from 2 Cookin' Mamas