Cooking Through A Cookbook

Rubarb Hamentashen Review

Recipe 68 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


WW Note: These are 3 points a piece which makes for a nice treat! Enjoy them because I don’t know many baking modifications to offer!


This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” or :

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The Smitten Kitchen (different version)


Rhubarb! The thing that grew in my neighbors yard growing up….or the thing my mom told me she used to eat with salt as a kid. But rhubarb is not something I’ve ever tried! Until now.

This recipe taught me a lot actually. I make a lot of jam and Deb taught me her trick for a simple jam type recipe that doesn’t require pectin and I’m so excited!

She learned this technique from Good to the Grain written by Kim Boyce. It is a baking book Deb says is the best she’s bought in this decade . I ended up making more jam after, combining the remaining rhubarb I didn’t use in this recipe to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! It was so easy and so tasty! I will be using this gem again in the future to make jams and pie fillings!

That was a win, but the hard part for me was the dough. I could not get it right and what’s maddening is that I don’t know what I did wrong. I confess I blamed Deb first because anything of hers that has included dough I have messed up. Every single one…. minus Pizza Dough….that went better. But dang it…another fail. I took pictures of the good ones but there were A LOT of weird looking cookies.

I think because I went with ground almonds and not almond meal that may have something to do with it….so that’s something I would try differently next time.

Anyway, how pretty is this jam! It really was the easiest way to do it and I think my days of using pectin have come to an end! Fruit has natural pectin so this draws it out! It ends up being a very spreadable consistency and we were loving it on toast for a few weeks!

I’m greatful for my manual food processor but there’s no way around needing a good processor for a recipe like this. Mine isn’t great but it does the job.

Here it appears my dough is cooperating but in reality it’s no good and dough like but definitely not very friendly. I have struggled with pie dough before doing something similar but how I’ve fixed it probably wouldn’t work for the dough here. It was a mess all on it’s own!

My Bakers Roller is finally getting some use after having it for far too long and failing to use it! This dessert chapter will likely see quit a bit of it!

I really need to grab the Biscuit Cutter Set one of these days because I improvise all the time and while a glass works just fine, the cutters give you the edges you need for your biscuits or in this case cookies!

Because the dough was really thick I had really tough time pulling the dough around the filling. and this picture I had way too much selling on the day. Deb says to use a teaspoon of filling. I read that and I was confused because that seems like too little but when I started to try to fold the cookies I realized what she was talking about was important. With that teaspoon of filling the cookie dough probably would have pinched together a lot better. Half way through my batch of cookies I realized the instruction and changed how I was doing things. The dough didn’t get any easier to handle but at least it came together better.

I had a couple rough goes at trying to figure out how to get the shape she showed in the picture in her cookbook. And you really should go get her cookbook and see the picture because you’ll laugh when you see how mine turned out compared to what they’re supposed to look like.

A tip for these: make sure you have small half size baking sheets. You have to freeze the cookies before you bake them which means you need pans small enough to fit in your freezer. If you have a large freezer then a normal sheet pan will be fine but mine’s narrow which means the shelves don’t give me much room to work with so my small cookie sheets were really helpful for this.

well they didn’t look quite right and I think I’m okay with that because they tasted delicious :-) even though the dough was rough work with it came out tasting really really good and the cookies different shapes made for some interesting conversation with my in-laws as they were tasting them! I think these be really fun to make with other kinds of fruit for each season. Right now peaches are in season and I think peaches would taste really well with these along with any strawberry or blueberry mixture you came up with.

Have fun with these! Happy rhubarb picking!

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