29 March 2016

Early Spring Food

I keep adding new things to eat during early spring after living in different places.  We've had laghman on Nooruz for years.  Hamantaschen is always good and I found the perfect filling this year (not that this is really a spring food- and most years it's really early spring).  And I made empanadas this year for Holy Week because Mexico.


This calls for a lot of poppy seeds- more than a whole grocery store jar- so it's worth getting it in bulk somewhere.  Or just buy the jar and do your best.

Coconut poppyseed filling

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sugar (the original calls for 6, but I think you could do less than 3)
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup poppy seeds

Melt the butter in a small pot and whisk in the coconut milk, honey, and sugar.  Simmer over lowish heat till the sugar dissolves.  Slowly add half of the hot mixture to the egg, whisking constantly.  Pour the egg into the pot, still whisking constantly.  Simmer a bit longer till the mixture thickens.  Whisk in the poppy seeds, let cool, and refrigerate a bit. I made the filling a few hours in advance, but I think an hour should be enough, or even less if you're in a rush.


1/4 cup softened butter (or oil)
1/4 cup sugar (the original calls for 1/2 if you want more sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350/175. Cream the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the flour and baking powder to make a soft dough.  You can add a little more flour if you need to.  I used whole wheat flour and didn't need to add more.  Roll the dough out, cut into circles (a large glass was just right for this), put 1 tsp of filling in the middle and pinch the edges closed to make a triangle.  You can make neat triangles or have little wings on the points (wings are easier in my opinion).  Pinch them tightly so they don't flop open.

Bake for about 12 minutes. This should make around 20, depending on how thin you roll the cookies.  If you overfill the first ones and run out of filling, you can use jam if you like.

Semana Santa Empanadas:

These are really easy.  Use either store-bought or homemade puff pastry (it's not hard to make, although easy puff pastry isn't all that puffy, especially whole wheat, but it is tender) and whatever filling floats your boat.  I used slightly sweetened coconut milk because I loved the coconut empanadas in Mexico.  Roll out the pastry, cut into circles or squares, plop on some filling, pinch closed, and bake till golden.  Easy as can be.

Filling ideas: Any kind of jam, any kind of fruit (you can cook it and sweeten it if you like), sweetened crema/creme fraiche, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, tuna fish, and so much more.  Really, you can put just about anything in these and they're really easy.

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