Salted Bourbon Caramel Hamantashen
Tender bourbon-scented pastry dough gives way to a creamy caramel center in this grown-up hamantashen. Homemade caramel sauce (adapted from a recipe by Samin Nosrat in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat) tastes best, but store-bought works in a pinch. Plan to make the dough and caramel sauce the night before baking. For drizzle topping, use the bourbon glaze or caramel sauce.
- Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/8–¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk (reserve and refrigerate egg white for forming pastries)
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup salted caramel bourbon sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1–1½ tablespoons bourbon
- Bourbon Sauce: Melt the butter in a large and deep heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and increase heat slightly. Stir until the mixture boils, then let the mixture bubble, without stirring, but gently swirling the pan every 30 seconds or so, until it turns a deep brown color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in cream (it will bubble up furiously so be careful). Let cool 10 minutes; then stir in the vanilla, bourbon and salt. Cool completely and cover and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
- Hamantashen: Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until smooth (about 30 seconds). Add the egg, egg yolk, bourbon and vanilla and beat to combine. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt, adding more flour as needed to form a ball. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thick between two sheets of wax paper. Wrap tightly and chill 4 hours or overnight.
- To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let dough rest at room temperature about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly beat the reserved egg white with a pinch of salt, and prepare the filling by combining cream cheese, caramel sauce, cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar.
- Use a 3-inch glass or cutter to cut rounds of dough. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of caramel filling in center and apply a thin film of beaten egg white around outside edge. Fold in 3 edges and firmly pinch together to form a triangle. Freeze for 20 minutes. Remove and brush the pastries with beaten egg white.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops and edges are just starting to brown.
- Glaze: When hamantashen are cool, make the glaze by adding bourbon to the sugar until smooth enough to drizzle in a loose pattern over top. Or, if you prefer, drizzle on room-temperature caramel sauce.
- Serve within a few hours. Promptly freeze leftovers.