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Hamantashen: A Purim Treat

March 5, 2012

Purim, one of the most loved Jewish holidays for kids, is coming up March 23. Purim tells the story of the courageous Queen Esther who saves the Jewish people from the evil King Haman. Jewish communities hold Purim carnivals where kids and adults dress-up, usually in crowns, costumes and jewelry. Groggers (noise makers), masks and hamantashen are also part of the occasion.

Hamantashen are triangle-shaped cookies filled most commonly with fruit and poppy seed jam and chocolate. The cookies represent King Haman’s three-cornered hat. Sophie and I baked our own Hamantashen cookies this weekend to prepare for Purim. They are a bit of work (I consider dough-rolling work), but it’s once a year and it was a fun activity.

Classic Hamantashen (adapted from The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook)

3 cups flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3/4 cup butter (slightly softened)

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs (plus one more for egg wash)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir together the flour and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/sugar mix. Once combined, add the eggs and vanilla. Refrigerate, wrapped, for at least two hours.

2. Preheat over to 350-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. When the dough is ready, roll it on a floured surface to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 3″ circles (or larger if you want big Hamantashen). We used a combination of large and small sizes. Place 1 tsp. of your favorite filling in the middle (apricot jam, poppy seed jam, chocolate chips).

4. Lightly moisten the sides of the cut-out circle with the egg mixture. Then fold edges of dough up to center in triangle shape; pinch corners but do not close tops completely. Brush again with egg mixture and place on prepared sheets.

5. Bake 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool 1 to 2 minutes, and transfer to wire racks.

I have no idea why Sophie is wearing a pumpkin beanie.

Sophie was responsible for all the chocolate chip Hamantashen.

I hoped to get a photo of Sophie eating her Hamantashen. But she said she was too tired to be photographed after baking all afternoon.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2012 3:13 am

    Looks delicious! And that’s about the cutest pumpkin hat (and girl IN a pumpkin hat), ever! 🙂

    • March 8, 2012 12:04 am

      She’s a cute cookie, isn’t she? Thanks, Julia!

  2. March 5, 2012 3:34 am

    I make them with canned poppy seed and they disappear fast. I use a recipe that calls for oil instead of butter- this way they’re parve. Happy Purim!

    • March 8, 2012 12:04 am

      I like that idea of using the oil. Will have to try that next year.

  3. March 5, 2012 5:48 am

    They look SO good! Love the photos of your daughter baking. I am doing a Bible study on Esther right now. I am also invited to a Purim celebration next weekend, but I don’t think my schedule is going to allow me to go. I’m sad about it. I think it would so much fun.

    • March 8, 2012 12:03 am

      That’s so cool about your Bible study on Esther. She’s a great character!

  4. March 5, 2012 6:29 am

    Chocolate Hamantashen?! I have never had that which is why I have avoided them because I don’t really care for fruit-filled treats. I have a renewed sense of love for Purim 😉

    • March 8, 2012 12:03 am

      Caryn, you have been missing out! I’d send you some, but Bryan and Sophie have already eaten all the chocolate ones.

  5. March 5, 2012 8:16 am

    Wonderful Leah. Thanks for sharing the ritual with all of us!

  6. March 5, 2012 11:14 am

    Why is Sophie wearing the beanie? Because she can!!! Trust me, I can do a whole blog post on children and their cold heads, it simply means Sophie’s a normal child. The cookies look delicious, and the importance of passing on traditions like this are priceless. Well done ladies!

    • March 8, 2012 12:02 am

      Exactly! And thank you. Perhaps Sophie is also thinking of clearing her hair from the cooking. Smart “cookie.”

  7. March 6, 2012 8:52 am

    They look amazing! Made some last year, and they are so yummy. Thanks for sharing your sweet time together.
    Anna

    • March 8, 2012 12:02 am

      Aren’t they tasty? I’m not sick of them yet. We’ve been eating them all week.

  8. March 6, 2012 3:20 pm

    How cute. Pumpkin beanies work for every holiday.

  9. March 6, 2012 6:46 pm

    I love reading your blog, Leah, because I always feel like I learn so much–plus Sophie alway looks so cute working on her projects!

    • March 8, 2012 12:01 am

      Thanks, Jolina. That means a lot! I can’t believing you’re commenting after just having a baby. You are good!

  10. March 7, 2012 4:28 am

    What a fun tradition. Sophie is quite the little chef, I love her toboggan it’s so cute. 🙂

    • March 8, 2012 12:00 am

      Thanks. She did a nice job with those cookies.

  11. March 7, 2012 7:54 pm

    She did a GREAT job!

  12. March 9, 2012 7:17 am

    I love Sophie’s concentration while scooping out the baking powder. And that she was too tired to be photographed. LOL. Shoo paparazzi!

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