It's the time of year again - Purim! Ok, so it's not a big holiday to most. Even I rarely know what day Purim is, and when a co-worker asked me what it was I said something along the lines of "there's Queen Esther (she's pretty) and Hamen (we don't like him) and then Vashti and King Ahashverosh...ummm....and they all did something...." For the record, according to Jewfaq.org, Purim commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination
Growing up, I remember making hamentashen with my mom every year for Purim. These are the delicious triangle cookies (symbolizing Hamen's hat) that are filled with yumminess (aka pie fillings or chocolate).
I was going to a party last weekend, and decided to try my hand at baking hamentashen for the first time in years. I went classic with most of my fillings and bought Solo Pie Fillings in apricot, raspberry, prune, and poppy. I'm not a huge poppy fan, but those are the most traditional and my father and husband both love it.
I went a little more creative with my chocolate ones. Originally I put in chocolate chips, as I had done as a child. They weren't melting well and the cookies were actually spreading out, so I started using a single rectangle from a Hershey bar and folding the dough around it into the triangle. Then for this one, I brushed the dough with egg white and sprinkled cinnamon sugar over it. It came out super yummy!
A few opened up and didn't keep the triangle shape, but it seemed to work better if I didn't just pinch the corners, but also folded the sides in a bit.
Hamentashan (my family's recipe with a few adjustments)
3/4 c sugar
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c margarine
2-3 tbsp water (I used 2 1/2 tbsps)
Various fillings- you can get cans of apricot, raspberry, prune, poppy seed, etc. in the baking aisle by the pie fillings. You can also use any jam or jelly that you like. Or chocolate! Be creative!
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix well, counting 35-40 strokes to blend thoroughly. (I just mixed it in my Kitchenaid)
-Cut the margarine into little pieces and add to the bowl.
- Mix until you have an evenly crumbly mixture. Be patient- it'll take a few minutes.
- Add the egg and water. Mix until the dough sticks together in a ball.
- Sprinkle flour on your board or wax paper (or countertop).
- Pinch off a piece of dough and roll it between your hands into a 1 1/2 inch ball.
- Sprinkle a little extra flour onto the ball and roll it flat with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thickness. Or you can roll out the dough and use a glass to cut the circles if you wish.
- Take a teaspoon of filling and put it in the middle of the circle.
- Fold up three edges and pinch together to make a triangle.
- Put it on the cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.