- 1 package dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- About 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pound pitted prunes, chopped
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup almonds, ground in food processor
Stir yeast into 1/4 cup of the water along with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Let stand until foamy on surface, about 4 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining water, remaining sugar, butter or margarine, salt, eggs, and yeast mixture. Stir in flour gradually until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 3 minutes. If sticky, add more flour. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile make filling. Cook prunes in water over low heat, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and honey and cook another 5 minutes. Mixture should be fairly thick. Add lemon zest and almonds, stirring well to combine. Let cool.
Punch down dough and let rest about 5 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles with a 4-inch cookie cutter. Place about 2 teaspoons prune filling in center of each circle. Pinch edges of the dough together, leaving a small opening in center. The pastry will be in the shape of a triangle, with a small amount of filling showing through center. Place on greased cookie sheets, cover, and let rise about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Examine hamantashen before putting in oven and pinch seams again if they seem to be opening. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on rack 10 minutes before removing.
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