Hamantaschen, Anyone?

Yesterday was all about cookie dough. I dusted off my mother’s old sisterhood cookbook and got started creaming butter, sugar, and orange zest. Forty minutes later, I was wiping down floury counters as a bowl of dough chilled in the fridge.

Today, my daughter and I re-floured, rolled, cut, filled and folded five and a half dozen Hamantaschen, the official cookies of the Jewish festival of Purim. 
What is Purim and what are Hamantaschen, you ask? My short and irreverent version:
  • A Persian king had an advisor, Haman who wanted to kill all the Jews and wore triangular hats.
  • The king’s uber-hot and secretly Jewish wife, Esther, and her uncle, Mordecai, foiled Haman’s plans.
  • Now we eat cookies shaped like Haman’s hat. (haman = Haman; taschen = hats) *
The secret to good Hamantaschen–the kind that are so good kids don’t discard the corners after they’ve nibbled the fillings–is starting with an excellent dough. I found the recipe I use in an old temple sisterhood cookbook my mother gave me. I could eat the dough by itself.

For fillings, Lekvar (prune) is the most traditional, but nobody in my family is really a fan, so for traditional Hamantaschen, we stuck to apricot, poppyseed, and almond fillings. We also made my kids’ favorite: chocolate chips. Yum.

        Dough, waiting.                          Hamantaschen in progress.

Gift tin.

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