Posted by: 4whateveritsworth | February 21, 2012

It’s Almost Purim. The Smell of Freshly Baked Hamentashen Will Soon Be Wafting From the Kitchen

I am a traditionalist. There is always at least one recipe that I have to make for each holiday, season or celebration.  The Jewish holiday of Purim is just a few weeks away (March 7th this year), so it’s time to pull out the recipe for hamentashen to be sure we have all the ingredients.

Hamentashen bring me back to my childhood, but probably even more so to when my children were growing up.  We always baked batches of these delicious, triangularly shaped, fruit or poppy seed filled cookies, to share with friends and family. We often invited friends to bake with us. This is a recipe with a number of steps, so we generally created an assembly line. Nowadays, as empty nesters, my husband and I have become a team of two, but we have managed to streamline the process.

We fill our hamentashen with apricot, cherry, prune, chocolate chips, poppy seed, etc. Anything goes.  (Today I read about someone who uses Nutella as a filling. That sounds amazing. Possibly add in some chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.) I usually make my own apricot and prune filling by heating them on the stove, covered with water, until the water is absorbed and the fruit mixture resembles jam. The clear favorites, by far, with family and friends, are the poppy seed hamentashen; we never have enough.

And, by the way, these freeze beautifully.

Feeling ambitious? Give these a try.  If not, you’re bound to see them in the bakeries this time of year.

Hamentashen (triangularly shaped cookies)

4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3 t.. baking powder
¼ t. salt
4 eggs (blended)
2/3 c. oil
¼ c. orange juice
1 t. lemon extract
Fillings (Please note: While you can easily make fillings from scratch, to cut down on the prep time, you may choose to purchase cans of ready made poppy seed, apricot, cherry, prune, etc in the baking aisle.)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth and fully incorporated.

Form four balls. Roll out one ball of dough at a time on a lightly floured board until about 1/8 inch thickness. If the dough becomes too soft, store remaining balls in the fridge to firm up. Cut into 3 inch circles using a cup or pastry cutter with a 3 inch diameter. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch 3 edges of dough together resulting in the shape of a triangle. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

You’ll be hooked, once you give these a try.

Until my next post, 4 whatever it’s worth…..

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