The Jewish faith is rich in rituals. We cannot relate religious significance to food, but there are certain days which are underlined by fasting, others which are exalted by feasting. Purim is a holiday which reminds the Jewish people of how one extraordinary girl, Esther, saved her people from total annihilation at the hands of an evil man named Haman. Below are some variations of recipes for making the traditional cookies known as "Hamantaschen" (Haman's Hats) made during this time.

 

 

Recipes

 

Cookie Dough Hamentaschen

 

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla

1 1/3 cup shortening
6 Tablespoons water
4 cups sifted flour


Cream together sugar and shortening. Add eggs and continue creaming until smooth. Stir in water and vanilla. Add sifted flour, mixing until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Pinch off pieces of dough to form balls the size of a very small apple. Roll out or pat out each piece on waxed paper to form a circle ¼ inch thick. Place a portion of filling in the center of each round, (prune, poppy seed, cheese, or fruit) Bring three sides of the circle together at the center to form a triangle. Pinch the edges together to form a slight seam or ridge. Bake on a greased baking tin at 375 degrees until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Makes 24.

 

 

Hamentashen with Yeast Dough

 

1 package (2-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 -teaspoon salt
1-cup warm water
1 large egg
1/3-cup sugar
4 cups flour
1/3-cup vegetable oil

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1-tablespoon water

Filling:
Purchased filling of your choice!


Combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together all liquid ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to the liquid to form a dough. Knead dough for 5 - 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Spray a large mixing bowl with Pam and place dough inside. Spray Pam on dough and cover loosely with a towel until dough doubles in size. Punch down dough. Divide into thirds on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each piece until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut out 3 -inch rounds. Re-roll scraps. Place filling in the center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center. Place Hamantashen 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Cover again and let rise, at room temperature until nearly double, about one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops of the Hamantashen with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

 

Hamentashen with Chocolate Cookie Dough

 

1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 -teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Suggested fillings:
One small Reese's peanut butter cup (dairy)
One-tablespoon marshmallow fluff (non-dairy)
One large Hershey's kiss (dairy)
Several chocolate or butterscotch chips (non-dairy)
Chocolate spread (non-dairy)


In a large mixer combine margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add to mixer and mix briefly to blend. Chill for 1 hour. Divide dough into quarters. Roll into 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut out 3-inch rounds. Re-roll scraps. Place filling in the center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

 

More Traditional Hamentashen

  3 eggs
1-cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup margarine or shortening
3 cups flour
1-cup oil
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 -teaspoon baking powder

 

Filling Suggestion 1:
1 jar lekvar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup currants
Mix in saucepan over low until combined.

Filling Suggestion 2:
1 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup honey
1 dash cinnamon
orange water to taste
Mix in saucepan over medium until blended.


In a large mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Add baking powder and flour until you get a workable dough. If dough is too wet, add more flour. Divide dough into quarters. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Re-roll scraps. Place filling in center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with egg wash if desired (see yeast dough recipe). Bake for 15 - 17 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

 

Hamentashen with Tofutti Cream Cheese

 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
Filling of your choice

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla


In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, margarine and cream cheese until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir together egg yolk and vanilla and add to mixture in processor (with a few short pulses). Flatten dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Divide dough in half. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured board. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Re-roll scraps. Place filling in center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake Hamentashen for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool briefly on cookie sheets, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

 

 

H A P P Y     P U R I M !