Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ethnic Flavor: When you go to the store to buy a cookie...

Happy Purim! Today is the Jewish holiday of, duh, Purim, on which we celebrate someone trying to kill us and failing. As usual. The man who tried to kill us this time was named Haman, and he wore a three-cornered hat. So in a very ancient, holy and mystical tradition, we bake three-cornered cookies called "hamentaschen" so as to eat Haman's hat hat hat. That showed him.

I picked a British hamentaschen recipe so I wouldn't have to deal with the whole unit conversion thing. It was, shall we say, thoroughly O.K. Nothing special, and the dough was actually a lot tastier than the finished product, as is so often the case with cookies. But except for the fact that they took on a decidedly non-triangular shape in the oven (and that was only because I was too pressed for time to re-freeze the dough after shaping them), they were very serviceable hamentaschen. I imagine they would be even better if one didn't accidentally substitute baking soda for baking powder. I am a moron. Happy Purim!

Hamentaschen Recipe
From AllRecipes UK

340g butter or margarine, softened
200g caster sugar (Blogger's note: This is very fine sugar that they only really have in the UK. To achieve the same effect, buy superfine sugar or run granulated sugar through a food processor for a couple of minutes.)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
560g plain flour
1 (390g) tin fruit filling of your choice (Blogger's note: I used raspberry jam)

Preparation method

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. I like to do mine overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Grease baking trays.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 6mm thickness. Cut into 7cm circles using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared baking trays. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the centre of each circle. (Any more and it will ooze out) Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible. The biscuits may be frozen on the trays if desired to help retain their shape while cooking.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. These are best undercooked slightly. Cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


  1. I went to my first purim service with my boyfriend's family and it was so much fun! I love hamantashen!!!

  2. I love Hamentaschen! The LA Times had one filled with Nutella! I like the apricot ones, but the Nutella sounds good too.

    And thanks for stopping by my blog about the NY Times article. Glad that jello love is making its way around town. :) - take care, mary the food librarian

  3. Teanna -- hope you had fun at Purim. it is one of our more fun (and delicious) holidays.

    Mary -- Nutella sounds awesome. One of my students made one filled with chocolate cheesecake -mmmm.


Related Posts with Thumbnails