Hamentaschen

Hamentaschen are triangular-shaped pastries that are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. I remember from my childhood my Mom and my Grandmom baking these delicious cookies for Purim. Since then I made them with my Mom many times. Hope you enjoy this family recipe.

The Origin of Hamantaschen

“Hamantaschen” is a Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” Haman is the villain in the Purim story, which appears in the Biblical Book of Esther. “Hamantaschen” is a Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” Haman is the villain in the Purim story, which appears in the Biblical Book of Esther. In the story, Haman is the Grand Vizier of Persia and a rabid anti-Semite. When Mordechai, a Jewish member of the king’s court and relative of Queen Esther, refuses to bow down to Haman, the Grand Vizier plots to have all the Jews in the kingdom massacred. However, Queen Esther and Mordechai discover Haman’s plot and are able to foil it. In the end, Haman is executed on the gallows he planned to use on Mordechai.

Information and photo credit

Jews eat hamantaschen on Purim as part of the celebration of the holiday, which commemorates how Jews escaped Haman’s dastardly plans.

One explanation for the triangular shape of these pastries is that Haman wore a three-cornered hat. Another explanation is that the three corners represent Queen Esther’s strength and the founders of Judaism: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Popular fillings for hamantaschen are fruit marmalade, cheese or poppy seeds. The poppy seeds are sometimes said to represent all the bribe money Haman collected.

Hamantaschen are also called “oznay Haman,” which means “Haman’s ears” in Hebrew.

For the dough:

  • 200 gm cold unsalted butter
  • 150 gm sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 gm sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Godiva chocolate liquor (or cognac, other liquor or vodka)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • flour – as much as needed to make the soft dough

 

For the filling:

  •  1/2 lemon finely grated zest
  • 1 lb jam of your choice (peach, plum, apricot, cherry)
  • 1 lb nuts of your choice (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or more depending on the sweetness of the jam you are using

Optional: Confectioners sugar for dusting

How to make Hamentaschen:

1. In a large bowl add some flour – about 2 cups and grate the butter, mix periodically as you grate the butter to make the base.

2. Add all other ingredients, mix all with a wooden spoon.

3. Add more flour as needed to make the soft dough. It is even easier to use the standing mixer to make the dough.

4. Form the dough into 4 balls, cover with plastic wrap and place in a fridge for at least an hour.

5. Roll out the dough into circles (not too thin)

6. Using a round cookie cutter or a glass cut out circles. In the middle of each circle place about 1 teaspoon of mixture and shape into hamentaschen.

7. Place hamentaschen on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven to 350F  for 25-30 minutes or till slightly golden. Baking time will vary on the oven.

8. Cool completely on a wire rack and dust generously with confectioners sugar.

Enjoy!

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Hamentaschen
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Hamentaschen cookies for Purim
Author:
Recipe type: Desert
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 35
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 200 gm cold unsalted butter
  • 150 gm sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 gm sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Godiva chocolate liquor (or cognac, other liquor or vodka)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • flour - as much as needed to make the soft dough
  • For the filling:
  • ½ lemon finely grated zest
  • 1 lb jam of your choice (peach, plum, apricot, cherry)
  • 1 lb nuts of your choice (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or more depending on the sweetness of the jam you are using
  • Optional: Confectioners sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add some flour - about 2 cups and grate the butter, mix periodically as you grate the butter to make the base.
  2. Add all other ingredients, mix all with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add more flour as needed to make the soft dough. It is even easier to use the standing mixer to make the dough.
  4. Form the dough into 4 balls, cover with plastic wrap and place in a fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough into circles (not too thin)
  6. Using a round cookie cutter or a glass cut out circles. In the middle of each circle place about 1 teaspoon of mixture and shape into hamentaschen.
  7. Place hamentaschen on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven to 350F for 25-30 minutes or till slightly golden. Baking time will vary on the oven.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack and dust generously with confectioners sugar.

 

 

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