Chocolate and halvah are a perfect pairing, and this cookie, fudgy and rich, is as delicious as it sounds. Photograph by Tami Ganeles/Weiser/The Weiser Kitchen.
Yields 36 cookies
For the dough:
4¾ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
3½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
⅓ cup strong coffee, espresso preferred, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur, Godiva preferred
For the filling:
2 cups Nutella, or any chocolate nut spread
2 cups crumbled halvah, traditional or marble
For the egg wash:
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon water
1) Make the dough: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to blend well.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or, if you are using a handheld mixer, in a large mixing bowl), combine the butter and sugar and mix at medium speed for 3–5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down side of bowl with a rubber spatula.
3) With the mixer running at low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated. Add the coffee, vanilla bean paste and chocolate liqueur and mix to form a dough.
4) Shape the dough into 2 flat, round disks, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until very firm. (This dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before rolling and baking.)
5) When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats and set aside. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin.
6) Place 1 disk of dough on the work surface, and roll out until it is between ¼- and ⅛-inch thick. (The second disk should remain refrigerated while you do the first batch.) With a 3-inch cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible and place on the prepared baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart. Collect the scraps of dough, re-roll once, cut additional circles and place on the baking sheet.
7) Make the egg wash by whisking the egg whites and 1 teaspoon of water in a bowl. With a pastry brush, brush the edges of each round of dough with the egg wash.
8) Place the Nutella and crumbled halvah in a small mixing bowl and stir until fully combined. It will not be smooth and may have a few small chunks.
9) Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle. Fold up the edges to shape each filled round into a triangle, pinching them to form points, and leaving a small amount of filling exposed at the top. Repeat with the remaining chilled dough and filling. Brush the dough (but not the filling) with egg wash.
10) Chill the filled hamantaschen in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
11) Bake for 13–14 minutes, until firm, alternating the baking sheets between the oven racks and turning the trays 180° F halfway through the baking time. Let cool for 5–7 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Bake the remaining hamantaschen.
Tami Ganeles-Weiser is a food anthropologist, trained chef, recipe developer, writer and founder of TheWeiserKitchen.com.