Hamentaschen for Purim

8 Mar
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“Hamentaschen, Hamentaschen,
You’re my favorite Purim treat,
One filled with prunes and
Two filled with cherries
Three filled with poppy seeds
I will eat, I will eat, I will eat”
I used to sing this song every year in elementary school. We would also host a big carnival on the Jewish holiday, Purim. Dunk tank, goldfish, snacks, spin art, the whole shebang…
So, what exactly is the story of Purim? It involves kings and queens, good guys and bad guys, banquets and drinking, and, well, drinking. Purim celebrates Queen Esther of Persia foiling the evil vizier Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. This holiday is very joyous and celebratory, and possibly akin to a Jewish Mardi Gras. You get to dress up, drink, party, and just have fun.On Purim, it is traditional to make these triangle cookies filled with either jam or chocolate or poppy seeds etc. Hamentaschen are named for Haman, the villan of Purim. Some call these cookies Oznei Haman or “Haman’s ears.” Haman was also known for his triangular hat, and thus we now make triangular cookies to uh…eat the bad guy? The name “Hamentaschen” could also be a corruption of the Yiddish word montashn or the German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches (from Wikipedia).

The pouches that I made this year did not have poppy seeds in them. Instead I filled some with homemade lime curd, some with homemade (by my buddy Tim) ginger and pear jam, and some with Nutella. Pretty freaking delicious if I say so myself.

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So this year I made two versions: one was vegan and one was not vegan. I liked them both so much, in fact I could not decide which I liked better. I guess I will just have one of each. Enjoy and Happy Belated Purim!

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The vegan Hamentaschen, with ginger and pear jam
Vegan Hamentaschen Dough
Recipe from Emily Weingarten

I really enjoyed the subtle flavor of the brown sugar in this dough. Really great vegan recipe!

2 cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable oil spread (such as Earth Balance)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soymilk

Your choice of filling. Suggestions include: any flavor fruit preserves or butter, chocolate, poppyseed filling…

  1. Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the vegetable oil spread, brown sugar and soymilk. Mix in the dry ingredients. Chill dough for 6 hours or overnight (I just chilled for a few hours and my dough was A-okay).
  3. On a floured surface, roll dough ¼ inch thick. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut circles in the dough. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch three corners of the dough to form a triangular-shaped cookie with a small hole in the center.
  4. Bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

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Jean’s Award-Winning Hamentaschen Dough Recipe

Recipe adapted from Jean, a family friend/winner of the synagogue’s Hamentaschen baking challenge

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour

Filling of your choice

1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add the egg. Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
2. Combine salt, baking powder, and flour. Add this to the butter mixture.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour.
4. Roll out your dough, cut into circles, fill the circles, pinch your edges to look like a triangle (make sure you pinch your ends together tightly otherwise they will open in the oven).
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
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