Fig and Ginger Hamantaschen

Purim starts tomorrow.  This is when Queen Esther saved the lives of the Israelites.  I  do not practice the Jewish faith, however, as a Christian I believe in the Old Testament.  Therefore, as a respect to the Jewish faith and my love for the Jewish pastries, I dedicate this hamantaschen .  I got this recipe from Rachel Rappaport’s recipe from :
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7612676

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Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/4 pound butter (1 stick), at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup prepared fig and ginger preserves*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the egg and mix thoroughly again.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and gradually add it to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate the dough, in the bowl, for 1 hour or until firm.

On a lightly floured (or powdered sugared) surface, roll out a small amount of dough at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough gets warm and hard to work with, refrigerate it for a few minutes and then re-roll.

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Use a round cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass to cut out circles. Arrange the cut circles of dough on the cookie sheets. Spoon a teaspoon of the preserves into the center of each cookie. Pinch the edges of the cookies to make 3 corners, but don’t seal dough up completely — you want some of the preserves to peek out.
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Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
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*Pre-made fig and ginger preserves are available at some grocery and specialty stores. If you can’t find it, or prefer to make your own, mix 3/4 cup fig preserves or jarred fig filling with 3 tablespoons minced candied ginger.

My opinion: You seriously cannot go wrong with this.  It is so delicious, you have to becareful not to eat the whole thing all at once! I used plain fig jam and also blueberry/rhubarb jam.  Just make sure when you’re rolling out the dough that the dough is really cold.  Happy Purim!

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