With the Jewish Holiday of Purim only a week away, it seems like now is a great time to make Hamentashen with my cousins.
What the heck is Purim, you might ask…
Purim is a holiday celebrated to remember the salvation of the Jewish people of Persiain the 4th Century BCE. (thank you google) In America, the holiday is celebrated in Hebrew School and other Jewish schools but was never really considered “important” at least at my synagogue.
However, in Israel, Purim is celebrated how America celebrates Mardi Gras! People dress up in costumes, go out, party, and have fun! Unfortunately, Dave and I missed the Purim celebration by just a few days when we were in Israel, but our friend Adam will be there for it this year on March 7th. I’m so jealous! I guess that’s why Purim was on my mind, which led to the Hamentashen baking.
Okay, so now what the heck is a Hamentashen? Hamentashen are triangle-shaped cookies with fruit filling that are made during Purim time. The cookies get their name from Haman- the villain of Purim who tried to exterminate the Jewish people. They are delicious and so fun to make.
Dave and I headed over to Aunt Lyn’s to meet my grandparents there this past Sunday to teach the kiddies how to make these delicious fruit-filled cookies. Lyn took out my Great-Grandmother’s recipes, finding almost TEN Hamentashen recipes… and all were different. The recipes were in her handwriting which was amazing. Let me also mention how the ingredient “1 glass of oil” was often mentioned … and other phrases we had to decipher. How cute.
After combining a few of the recipes, we made our own dough and let Aidan start to roll it flat. In our assembly line, Lyn was next, cutting circles in the dough with a giant coffee mug. My job was to spoon the filling into the cookies and shape them into triangles. Dave, my Mommom and Poppop, and baby cousin Dani kept us company too. We had so much fun!
¼ cup Canola Oil
½ cup Apple Sauce
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 cup Sugar
4 ½ – 5 cups Flour
¼ cup warm Water or OJ
1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Filling: Your choice of any pie filling!
1. Mix all ingredients in a mixer, putting the flour in one cup at a time until it is well combined.
2. Quarter the dough and roll out until it is about ¼ inch thick.
3. Using a cup or a cookie cutter, press it down on the dough and cut circles out. Add scrap dough to the rest and repeat with the remaining ¾ of the dough.
4. Fill each circle with about 1 Tablespoon of filling. Pinch dough into a triangle, sealing in the filling.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees on a foil and cooking spray covered cookie sheet, for about 15-20 minutes or until it starts to turn lightly brown. L’Chaim!
Here is a recipe for Hamentashen from the Food Network’s own token Jew, Duff Goldman! It sounds a little more complicated but really good. Try one of them out and celebrate Purim this year!