Purim is a fun holiday in the Jewish community. Children get to dress up in inventive costumes while listening as the evil Haman gets his well-deserved end. Many adults take this time to celebrate with their kids by baking delicious pastries called hamantaschen. The cookies are usually made from shortbread dough filled with fruit preserves, poppy seeds or marmalade.
Jews around the world will eat them on March 23rd and 24th this year as we celebrate Purim. Hamantaschen literally means “Haman’s pockets." Many theories have been proposed about what these tasty cookies represent. Some people say they're supposed to Haman's hat or his ears, while others suggest the pastry is mimicking his pockets overflowing with evil bribe money.
Make Your Own Hamantaschen
While you can buy fabulous hamantaschen from PaNosh, you can also make your own at home! The trick is to start with a good dough.
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 4 c. flour
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
Mix up 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder with 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of flour. Add in 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar to an electric mixer set on medium. Gently add in 3 eggs until the dough forms. Chill your dough for at least two hours.
While your dough is chilling, you can start to think about what to use to fill up your triangles. Once they're filled, you simply pinch the edges together, add a light egg wash and bake for 20 minutes.
Traditional Hamantaschen Fillings
The filling is the fun part. Traditional hamantaschen fillings include apricot jelly and a fruit butter called lekvar that you can often find in your local grocery store. Other kinds of standard hamantaschen fillings include poppy seeds and figs.
A dollop of the filling can be placed in the dough and then baked. Such classic fillings for hamantaschen have been part of Purim celebrations for many centuries.
Creative Hamantaschen Fillings
One of the best parts about baking hamantaschen is getting creative with the fillings and customizing them. Use leftover thin mints from your last batch of Girl Scout cookies. Place a Butterfinger bar in the middle. Celebrate the arrival of spring with filling made from Cadbury eggs, a brightly colored group of peeps or jellybeans.
Have your kids think about their favorite flavors and how to use them in their hamantaschen. The child who loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will love PB&J filled hamantaschen.
Surprise grandma with hamantaschen made from flavors she likes, like her favorite lemon candies, or hamantaschen that draw inspiration from the delicious sweet potato pies she makes each year for your Thanksgiving feast.
Join us at PaNosh this holiday season. If you don't have time to bake your hamantaschen, let us do the baking for you! Try one of our many tempting hamantaschen varieties for the perfect Purim.