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Hello ladies and gentlemen guess what we have coming up. That’s right it is Purim time, so you know that that means, delicious triangle cookies with a yummy jammy fruit center A.K.A Hamentashen. Hamentashen is Yiddish for “Haman’s Hats” who happens to be the antagonist in the story of Purim. For those of you who do not know, Haman the king happened to be an anti-semite and tried to get Mordechai to bow down to him and when Mordechai refused he exiled him. Haman so enraged wanted t try and kill all the jewish people. But Queen Esther, being related to Mordechai did not like this plan and shared it so they could stop Haman. Haman was then executed, that happens to be a short version because I want to get to these delicious cookies, but it is definitely a good story to read. When I remember Purim as a child I remember going to my local JCC and trying to win a goldfish and devouring these cookies. These cookies happen to not be round but in a very classy triangle. There are some speculations why, one of the is to represent Haman’s hat which was said to have three sides. Or there is the idea that it represents Queen Esther’s strength and the founders of Judaism (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Hamentashen can be filled with many things other than fruit jams, cheese works, and poppy seeds happens to be one of the original ways to make these cookies. As I have been researching I’ve noticed no one fully knows where exactly hametashen originated, or how it was happened into creation. If you have any information about hamentashen please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! What I do know and is my favorite part of hamentashen is ther reason why we eat. Yes, it is to symboilize the defeat of Haman, but also it is to sympolize the defeat of our enemies. Why this resides with me? Because what is a better way to celebrate defeating your own antagonists then with a delicious cookie.
• 4 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
• 1 cup sugar
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 orange
• 2 tablespoons brandy
• Raspberry or apricot preserves, or Poppy Seed Filling, recipe follows, for filling
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, zest, both juices and brandy until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until a sticky dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and chill overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Working with about one quarter of the dough at a time and leaving the remaining in the refrigerator, roll on lightly floured surface a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Cut circles (or other fun shapes) using cookie cutters 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Place a spoonful of filling in center (about 1 teaspoon per cookie) and then pinch one side up. Turn and pinch second and then third to make a triangular shape. Leave a little bit of the filling showing at the top. For non-traditional shapes, use your imagination: tubular, squares, bite-size or even some flat cookies depressed in the center with a bit of filling there.
Place cookies on parchment paper on cookie sheet, brush with a little beaten egg for sheen and bake until nicely browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep room temp in airtight container but consume within 3 to 4 days, tops.
Cook’s Notes: Other types of fillings may be used such as apricot, raspberry, prune mixed with chopped nuts, etc. Personally, I’m going to use some Robertson’s English Mincemeat in my next batch and drizzle with rum or hard sauce. Not traditional, but might be a fun way to introduce them to non-Jews.
Poppy Seed Filling:
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 3/4 cup fresh poppy seeds
• 1/2 cup milk
• 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch salt
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1/2 teaspoon of the juice
• 1 slightly beaten egg
Cook’s Note: poppy seeds go rancid quickly after opening.
Combine everything except the lemon zest and juice and the beaten egg into a saucepan and cook over moderate heat until thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often. Add zest and juice. Take a bit of the filling and mix it into the beaten egg. Repeat, then mix the egg mixture into the pot of filling. Cool overnight. Makes enough to fill 2 1/2 dozen Hamentashen.