JDate’s Jewish holiday Hamentaschen recipe
Yield: 48 cookies (1 per serving)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prune, Apricot or Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling
Directions: Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs.
Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.)
Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
*Prepare desired filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level teaspoon filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Prune Filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Apricot or Plum Filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.
Poppy Seed Filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.
*Filling options: Prune Filling
- 1 (12 ounce) package pitted prunes
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Apricot or Plum Filling
- 1 1/2 cups apricot or plum jam
- 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (about)
Poppy Seed Filling
- 1 cup poppy seed
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 egg white
NOTE: To speed up the making of these Jewish holiday cookies, use canned apricot or poppy seed filling.
Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.
Party Purim style!
Over this Jewish holiday, celebrants are commanded to eat, drink and be merry! According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai” and if you’ve read the story that’s a big leap. At JDate they celebrate Purim every year by throwing nationwide Jewish holiday parties across the U.S. and Canada where we invite all JDaters to imbibe ‘til they can’t tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.
Note: One should not drink so much that they violate other commandments or become ill. Also if you’re a recovering alcoholic or can have adverse health risks due to alcohol, you’ll have to sit out this part of the Jewish holiday.
Dressing up for Purim
One thing that perfectly complements the drinking commandment of the Jewish holiday is the carnival atmosphere that often accompanies a Purim celebration! It’s said that Purim has Mardi Gras meets Halloween feel and many parties encourage participants to masquerade as their favorite characters in the Purim story or any other fun outfit befitting the Jewish holiday. Costumes are used for participants to hide themselves, much like Esther hid her Judaism from King Ahasuerus, Mordechai hid his knowledge of foreign languages to uncover the plot on King Ahasuerus’ life or when Haman was once mistaken for Mordechai in the streets in Sushan by Haman’s sister. But the one who is truly hidden behind the events of the Purim story is G-d. Many believe that the miraculous events of the Purim story stem from divine intervention and although there is no mention of G-d in the Book of Esther, Jewish philosophy believes that the reason for His omission is to emphasize the very point that G-d remained hidden, but was nonetheless present and played the largest part in the Jewish holiday story.
Tracey R. Rich Teaches Jewish Culture with her Website
Here is an excerpt from the Judaism 101 website:
Significance: Remembers the defeat of a plot to exterminate the Jews
Observances: Public reading of the book of Esther while “blotting out” the villain’s name
Length: 1 day
Customs: Costume parties; drinking; eating fruit-filled triangular cookies
Purim begins at Sunset on March 23, 2016
The story of Purim is told in the Biblical book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.
The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people.
Here’s Tracey R. Rich‘s Recipe for Hamentaschen
Hamentaschen (lit. Haman’s pockets): These triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman’s three-cornered hat.
Yield: Approx. 20 – 24 cookies
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup orange juice (the smooth kind, not the pulpy)
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup wheat flour (DO NOT substitute white flour! The wheat flour is necessary to achieve the right texture!)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Various preserves, fruit butters and/or pie fillings.
Directions: Blend butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Add orange juice and blend thoroughly. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly between each. Add the baking powder and cinnamon with the last half cup of flour. Refrigerate batter overnight or at least a few hours. Roll as thin as you can without getting holes in the batter (roll it between two sheets of wax paper lightly dusted with flour for best results). Cut out 3 or 4 inch circles.
Put a dollop of filling in the middle of each circle. Fold up the sides to make a triangle, folding the last corner under the starting point, so that each side has corner that folds over and a corner that folds under (see picture). Folding in this “pinwheel” style will reduce the likelihood that the last side will fall open while cooking, spilling out the filling. It also tends to make a better triangle shape.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown but before the filling boils over!
Traditional fillings are poppy seed and prune. (Apricot is Tracey R. Rich’s favorite) Apple butter, pineapple preserves, and cherry pie filling all work quite well.
On her website, Judaism101 Rich writes, “I usually use Pathmark grocery store brand fruit preserves, and of course the traditional Simon Fischer brand prune lekvar. I have also made some with Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread); I find it a bit dry that way, but some people like it.”
The number of cookies this recipe makes depends on the size of the cutting tool and the thickness. Rich use sa 4-1/4 inch cutting tool and roll to a medium thickness, and gets 20-24 cookies out of this recipe.
Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Variation
If on a wheat-free diet for wheat allergies or a gluten-free diet for celiac-sprue, substitute 2 cups of buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup of milled flax seed for the white and wheat flour. Reduce the baking powder to 1 tsp. The resulting hamentaschen will have an unusual pumpernickel color, but taste great.
Make sure the buckwheat flour you use is wheat-free/gluten-free. Sometimes buckwheat flour is mixed with white or wheat flour. The Hodgson Mill buckwheat and flax are gluten-free and have reliable kosher certification.
Find more information about Purim at the Judaism 101 website. © Copyright 5756-5771 (1995-2011), Tracey R Rich
Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.