Out of the literally dozens of Jewish holidays, Purim has always been my favorite. Why? Two words: Jewish Halloween. I am a HUGE fan of secular Halloween, so why celebrate only once a year? What’s my best costume you ask? Good question. It would have to be a three-way tie between Leonardo of Ninja Turtle fame, Blaze of the original American Gladiators and She-Ra (please tell me you know who She-Ra is so I don’t feel so old). And no I will not post photos- I keep those puppies safe on secure websites. Like Facebook.
Anyhoo, if I had to sum up the majority of Jew holidays, it would go something like this. Someone tries to wipe us out, by some ridiculous miracle we triumph, despite lack in numbers and stature, so we rejoice by eating and drinking. And repeat. Purim is no different. Esther, a sassy young Jew living in Persia, saves all the Jews from the King’s evil adviser Haman’s devious plans of extermination. So we rejoice with tons of rowdy parties, costumes and hedonism. Hence why Purim is known as the Jewish Mardi Gras or Halloween. Sign me up! To celebrate, we make tasty triangular cookies called hamantaschen filled with goodness to represent the fashionable three-cornered hat Haman was known to sport. Poppy seeds and prunes are the most common fillings, but I got a little feisty and went with the priciest jam I could find at Whole Foods. And then I dipped them in chocolate. Just because I can.
Here is all you need for your very own hamataschen. I used a fancy schmancy Stonewall Kitchen jam as my filling, but feel free to go wild with anything from peanut butter chips to coconut to nutella!
First, combine all the dry ingredients.
Next, add in your liquids and mix up with your (clean) hands!
Then, roll out your dough and cut into rounds with a cookie cutter. A wine glass works just as well!
Add filling of your choice, and pinch in three corners to make a triangle.
Ta da! My cookies spread a little, as the filling as a little thin. Either way, they taste fantastic! Especially when dipped in melted chocolate. Yum!
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg plus 1 for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Combine dry ingredients: sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add wet ingredients (butter, vanilla, 1 egg and orange juice) to dry ingredients and mix with fingers.
- Combine and form dough into a ball.
- Chill for 1-2 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll dough out, and cut into circles with cookie cutter or wine glass.
- Add in filling of choice and pinch three corners to form a triangle making sure to secure.
- Wash with egg wash.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool and enjoy!