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Marzipan Pignoli Hamantaschen with Salted Honey Butter

Marzipan and pine nuts—two foods traditional in Sicily—make a sophisticated hamantaschen accented by the buttery, sweet embrace of salted cinnamon honey butter. It’s an exquisite blending of Italian flavors with the beloved Ashkenazi pastry tradition that produces an almost candy-bar like confection. Be sure to use marzipan and not almond paste for the recipe. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish, Jewish-Italian
Servings 18 pastries

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons baking powder

For filling and topping

  • 7 ounces marzipan (not almond paste)
  • cup pine nuts, lightly toasted and cooled (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional

Instructions
 

To make the dough

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or by hand. Blend in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, salt, and baking powder, adding more flour as needed to form a rollable dough.
  • Divide the dough into two balls. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll each ball to about ¼-inch thick. Wrap well and chill at least 1 hour but ideally overnight.

To make the hamantaschen

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Break off heaping teaspoon pieces of marzipan and flatten to thick disks.
  • Remove one dough sheet from the refrigerator and use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut rounds.
  • Place a marzipan disk in the center of each round and firmly press pine nuts on top of marzipan to cover.
  • Run a finger lightly moistened with water around the outside edge of each round. Fold up to form a triangle with a little filling showing in the center, pinching corners firmly to seal. Press the top edges of the dough lightly toward the center of the pastry (this helps keep the hamantaschen intact during baking). Repeat with remaining dough sheet.
  • Transfer the pastries to the parchment-lined baking sheets and freeze 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the topping by melting the butter and stirring in the honey, salt, and cinnamon. Let cool slightly. It is ideal for the mixture to be a little thick, but if too thick to spread, microwave a few seconds.
  • Remove the hamantaschen from the freezer and brush all over with the honey butter, dabbing an extra thick layer on top of the exposed filling. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until just lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack. If you like, dust lightly with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Notes

To toast pine nuts, place them in a single layer in a skillet over medium-low heat. Turn frequently until starting to show color, then stir constantly until lightly browned, about 5 minutes total. Remove from heat and let cool before using in the recipe.
Keyword Marzipan, pine nuts, purim