Paula Shoyer’s Pumpkin Hamantashen

JCC & Beth Jacob to host celebrated kosher pastry chef Feb. 20

By Marshall Weiss, The Observer

Noted kosher baker Paula Shoyer will talk about her latest cookbook, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen (Sterling Epicure), at a program featuring samples of recipes from the publication on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Beth Jacob Congregation in partnership with the JCC.

The author of The New Passover Menu, The Holiday Kosher Baker, and The Kosher Baker, Shoyer received her pastry training in France.

Healthy-Jewish-cover-300The Healthy Jewish Kitchen focuses on “natural ingredients and includes Jewish classics updated for the modern table, and both American and international dishes that reflect food trends beyond the Jewish culinary world.”

In time for Purim, which begins on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 28, here is Shoyer’s recipe for hamantashen from The Healthy Jewish Kitchen.

Pumpkin Hamantashen
By Paula Shoyer, from The Healthy Jewish Kitchen

Makes three dozen cookies

Purim is one of my favorite Jewish holidays, and I love to invent new flavors of hamantashen every year. These taste best when they are baked until firm.

Prep Time: 10 minutes: 1 hour to chill dough; 15 minutes to roll out and shape

Bake Time: 14 minutes

Advance Prep: May be made two days in advance; avoid freezing

Equipment: Measuring cups and spoons, can opener, large bowl, electric mixer, silicone spatula, plastic wrap, medium bowl, two jelly roll pans or cookie sheets, parchment paper or silicone baking mats, rolling pin, small drinking glass or round cookie cutter (2 to 3 inches in diameter), long metal flat-blade spatula

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sunflower, safflower, or canola oil
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
Dash salt

1 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 large egg yolk

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin purée, and vanilla and mix well.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt and mix until the dough comes together.

Form the dough into a round, then cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight to firm up.

Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, place the pumpkin purée, light brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and egg yolk and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to roll out the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two to three cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough in half.

Cut off two pieces of parchment paper and sprinkle all-purpose flour on one. Place a dough half on top of the parchment paper, then sprinkle flour on top of the dough.

Place the second piece of parchment on top of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll over the top of the parchment paper.

Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. After every few rolls, peel back the top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on the dough.

Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing under a work-for-hire contract;
Photo by Bill Milne

Once or twice, flip over the parchment-dough “package” and peel off the bottom parchment. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough, place the parchment back on top, and then flip it over.

Lift off the top parchment. Using a small drinking glass or a round cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles.

Use a long metal flat-blade spatula to lift the cookie circles and place them on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour.

Place 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each dough circle, and then fold in the three sides toward the middle to form a triangle, leaving a small opening in the center.

Pinch the three sides together very tightly. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Roll and cut any extra dough scraps, making sure to sprinkle a little flour under and over the dough before you roll it out.

Bake the cookies for 14 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.

These cookies taste best when they are crunchy. Slide the parchment and cookies onto wire cooling racks.

Paula Shoyer will talk about her take on Jewish cooking, with tastes of recipes from her newest cookbook, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Beth Jacob Congregation, 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Township, in partnership with the JCC. The cost is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. R.S.V.P. by Feb. 20 to 610-1555 or at

To read the complete February 2018 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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