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.