Filled cookies and pastries echo one of Purim’s “hidden” threads. See our previous post about the Purim story and the goodies basket here. As Queen Esther concealed her Jewish origins until the time was right, Jews created delicacies that conceal a sweet surprise inside their pastry shells. Hamentaschen is the Yiddish name for a cookie that translated into Oznei Haman in Israel, where Jews of every ethnic origin enjoy them on Purim.
This year, why not walk right past the boxes of bakery cookies full of artificial colors and too much sugar? Try baking your own, where you control the ingredients. You’ll present these home-made Hamentaschen with pride.
Yield: about 24 Hamentaschen
Ingredients for dough:
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (can be whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 egg, beaten
2-3 tablespoons water
Grated rind of 1 orange
Filling: Any firm jam.
Sift sugar, flour,baking powder and salt into mixing bowl.
Add butter or shortening and mix in till you have fine crumbs.
Stir in the egg and water. If using whole wheat flour, you will need the larger amount of water.
Add the grated rind and stir well.
Knead lightly for a few seconds to obtain a smooth dough.
Wrap the dough in a clean, re-used plastic bag and put in the refrigerator to chill 1 hour.
Dust your working surface with flour and roll the dough out on it. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter or a large glass. If the dough is difficult to work with, sprinkle more flour on it and on the working surface.
Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of each round and bring the edges up to make a triangle that reveals the filling. Pinch the edges shut.
Bake at 350°F – 190°C for 10 minutes. The cookies should be a golden brown. If still pale, bake another 2 minutes.
Other delicious pastries to include in your Purim basket from Green Prophet:
Photo of hamentaschen by Nate Steiner via Flickr.