by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence
Adapted from: “Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking" Marcy Goldman
Makes about 40 cookies
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup unsalted margarine, or butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, or milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 jar chocolate hazelnut spread, (such as Nutella)
1 large egg white, beaten
1/2-cup coarse sugar, optional
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles, optional
1. Dough: In a large bowl cream together the shortening, the butter or margarine, and sugar. Add the eggs and blend until smooth. Add the soy milk or milk and the vanilla. (If the mixture seems curdled, add a bit of flour to bind it).
2. Fold in the dry ingredients. Mix to make a firm but soft dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to form a large, smooth ball. Divide the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic, chill for 10-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut 3.5" rounds with a cookie cutter and brush the rounds with the beaten egg white. Fill each round with a generous teaspoonful of chocolate hazelnut Spread or another filling (apricot or cherry work well). Fold in the edges of the circle to form a triangle of pastry encasing the filling. Brush the pastry again with the beaten egg white and, if desired, sprinkle with the sugar or chocolate sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
4. Bake until golden Brown (18-22 minutes). If you prefer, this dough can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen for a couple of months. Allow the dough to warm up before rolling it out.