Recipe: Hamantaschen

>> Thursday, February 21, 2013

Purim is upon us, or will be Saturday night. It's loud, brash, costumed, and carnivalesque. Merriment comes in many forms, including baking, so for those looking to make some traingle-filled-deliciousness, here you go:


1/2 lb. butter (1 cup/2 sticks/16 tbsp*)
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour + more to roll out dough
1 tsp. baking powder

{Be wild! The options are infinite.} Last night I used:
Raspberry Preserves
Blackberry-Pomegranate Jam
Apricot Jelly
{Basically, you want the filling to be thick so it doesn't run. Mohn (poppyseed) is traditional though, truth be told, not my favorite, no matter what the Slate wizards claim.}

1. Combine butter, eggs, and sugar. Mix well.
2. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well. Add more flour as necessary. The dough should be just a slight touch sticky.
3. Place dough in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350.
5. Roll out dough about 1/8" thick. Cut out circles. (I use a pint glass as a cookie cutter.)
6. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center. Make triangles -- I find this pinwheel technique (as shown at the bottom of the link) the best for creating secure triangles.
7. Bake for about 13 minutes at 350.
8. Eat, share, enjoy!

*Last night, we decided to make a third batch with 1.75 sticks of butter remaining. They turned out fine, so you can reduce the butter if you so please with little, if any, consequence.


Into the Emerald Woods

>> Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Way back when, in the fall, when there were still yellow leaves dancing in the trees and fluttering on the ground, I had this idea for a quilt series: monochromatic, two-tone, shape-focused quilts. I made one, pulled the fabric for a second, and got stymied for time. But perhaps it will be a series developed over many months, a yearly touchstone of Two Hippos designs. Or it will stay in my head. Which is fine too.

The front yard is currently brown with specks of old snow, maybe even a few remnant piles of white glory. But every fall it gets coated in brilliant yellow, providing the perfect backdrop for a very green quilt (pre-washing -- had to take advantage of the color). For the record, I made this before Pantone selected Emerald as the color of the year, but obviously they read my mind. The particular greens came from my unlabeled stash which means I cannot tell you where to find them. I sort of think one of them was from P&B textiles, but that's all I got. The binding was Moda Orange, I know that.

It started with the medium chevrons, pieced from 5" squares turned into HSTS sewn together into chevrons. At one point, it was all chevrons plus negative space. I liked it but didn't love it. Also, it was a touch small and I was out of the darker green fabric (a regular issue when one quilts from stash and does not plan ahead of time -- it's more fun this way, I promise).

In a quest for movement, I added the line (cue first week of 9th grade geometry and lessons on points and lines. I mostly remember the teacher talking about dots as points and points as lines, beyond that I much preferred algebra to geometry). I considered upping the green quotient with some bright lime, but I held tight to my two-toned vision.

Until the binding, when I auditioned several more greens and, on a lark, some orange. It needed orange. But before I bound, I quilted, in irregularly spaced curvy lines. It's one of my favorite quilting methods (imprecise, fast, crinkle-inducing, and echoed the Mendocino backing fabric -- super soft stuff, that Mendocino line). It was tempting to keep this one, but it was too small for me to use (at about 36"x45") and too large to hang. Instead, it made its way to Chicago and the hands of the young Judah Oliver, whose parents, I happen to know, also adore green.


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