Monday, March 24, 2008

Hamantashen Recipe

I am two days late posting this Hamantashen recipe for Purim, but you can make these filled cookies anytime.

Purim celebrates one of my favorite stories: Queen Esther bravely acknowledging to her Persian husband, King Xerxes, that she is Jewish, in order to save her people threatened by the king's evil adviser Haman.

There are many versions of three-cornered Hamantashen, which means "Haman's Hat." The dough is similar to the SOS cookies my Sicilian grandmother made. Mediterranean and Arab cooking gets all mixed up in that part of the world.

Traditional Hamantashen

3 eggs
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour

Prune, poppyseed, or apricot preserves are traditional fillings, that are easiest to buy prepared.
Or prepare:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Stir in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is melted.

1. Beat together the eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.
2. Mix baking powder and flour separately. Add to egg mix gradually. If dough is too wet, add more flour.
3. Divide dough into quarters.
4. Roll dough as thin as you can, on a lightly floured surface.
5. Cut out 3-inch circles.
6. Place filling in center of each circle.
7. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling showing in the center.
8. Bake on cookie sheets in 350 degrees oven, for 15 - 17 minutes or until tops start to brown.

[diagram from Judaism 101, which is also where the link to Purim will take you]

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