Friday Recipe: Hamantaschen

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

It's that time of the year again....Purim starts Saturday night. Purim (literally, "lots") commemorates the events of the book of Esther and involves all sorts of celebratory activities involving noise, costumes, drinking, and food. Though I think Purim is supposed to be one of those holidays everyone loves (see: noise, costumes, drinking, and food), I can't say it's up there with my favorites (see: noise).

To be honest, however, I'm not sold on the book of Esther. I think Vashti (the deposed queen) is much maligned for totally reasonable and even responsible behavior. She rejects the King's advances to promenade in front of his court, or in modern lingo, his frat. While this helps set up the annointing of Esther as queen and then savior of the Persian Jews of yore, I find it a highly problematic nonetheless.

But this textual issue notwithstanding, there are some lovely aspects of the holiday. In particular, the tradition of mishloach manot, or the sending of gifts, is fun. Basically, you make packages of food and drink and deliver them to friends. I haven't quite figured out why raisins and twizzlers appear so often in these gift bags and baskets (I get that they're sold in individual packaging, but still....), but hamantaschen always make the rounds. Hamantaschen, which represent Haman's ears or hat or anything else related to the misanthropic character, are triangular stuffed cookies. Traditional fillings include prunes, poppyseed, apricots, dates, and cherries. I'm more a of modernist, however, and use chocolate and strawberry jam.

I wrote my recipe on an index card at some point, and I don't know its original source, though I imagine most hamanraschen recipes are somewhat similar.

Friday Recipe: Hamantaschen
~ 30

2/3 cup butter (or margarine if making them pareve)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
Filling of your choice (chocolate chips, nutella, jam, etc)

1. Cream butter with sugar.

2. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

3. Add in dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Cover and chill for ~ 1hour.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degreed.

6. Take a chunk of dough and roll it out, about 1/8 inch thick.

9. Use a cookie cutter (or pint glass!) to cut out circle shapes.


10. Place a small amount of the filling in the center of the circle. Pinch the sides together to create a triangle (a little water often helps hold the pinched points together.  Place of greased baking sheet.

11.  Bake on 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. 

12. Enjoy!


*I've forgotten the baking powder and salt and they still turn out fine.
*One year I had no chocolate chips, so I used Hershey's Kisses. I think some of their newfangled filled ones (e.g., caramel) could be excellent in hamantaschen.
*Be careful with jam. Sometimes it leaks and/or bubbles out of the dough and creates a mess.

A few friends came over on Wednesday night to help bake hamantaschen and make mishloach manot. The bag decorating (which I only watched) was pretty hilarious.

For those who celebrate it, Chag Purim Sameach!


Unknown February 26, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

I may try this recipe out Sat after I get my cleaning done. It sounds delicious! Of course anything with chocolate chip is going to be tasty.

Arnden February 26, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

In German the word 'taschen' means pocket and your little snacks look a bit like a pocket as well. Not sure if they are related, but they sure look yummy!

Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

Chag Purim Sameach to you! So do you fancy your hamentaschen as hamans hats or as "Esther's Ateret Tiferet"...they are rather subversive as a symbol of the virgin esther's nether regions- lol

either way enjoy!


Micki February 28, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

My mom used to make these. I will try this recipe and Happy Purim!

sews1128 March 3, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Your chocolate chips Hamentashen sure look tasty! I made only fruit ones this year. An easy fruit filling consists of soakimg dried apricots and white raisins overnight, then chopping them after they have absorbed the water. I tried using a hand blender to smush them but the fruit kept getting caught in the blades, a bit of a pain. They were, however, quite tasty. Mom

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