Last Updated on March 18, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Hamentaschen are traditional cookies made to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Both the Jewish holiday of Purim and the Indian holiday of Holi are starting on Monday (2020).
So what are you going to learn about today?
Purim is Halloween for Jewish kids! It is children’s favorite holiday, as part of Purim celebrations are dressing up in costumes and receiving lots of sweets, especially Hamentaschen cookies, which are generally only available at this time.
However, the holiday also has important religious significance as it commemorates the day when Esther saved the Jews from being annihilated by Haman, who was planning on killing all of the Jews in the Persian Empire.
Esther and Mordecai ruined his plans and today Purim is an activity of rejoicing and celebration!
In my opinion, food is a great conduit to discussion and breaking down biases. One thing I love about the multi-culturalism that is NYC is that I can celebrate Purim, Ramadan, Diwali and Christmas with friends. Learning about the religious and cultural history of different people encourages dialogue between different groups and breaks down biases that are often created by a sometimes partial media.
The most traditional fillings for Hamentaschen are poppy, prune and apricot. However, I have also made a version using freshly made Pumpkin Jam. Check out the Pumpkin Jam Hamentaschen Recipe!
Whether you celebrate Purim or not, these are just delicious cookies that make a great snack for any time!
For parties, you can make them with a variety of fillings like Pumpkin or Cranberry Hamentaschen. There are no rules that say you have to stick with the traditional flavors!
Before we get to today’s recipe, how about exploring some more Jewish cusine!
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Apricot preserves
- Using an electric mixer, blend sugar and butter until very creamy. Add egg and blend until thoroughly combined.
- Combine flours, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to batter, a little at a time, until thoroughly combined.
- This makes a dense shortbread dough.
- Place in refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- On a lightly floured board, roll out dough.
- Roll out dough as thin as possible. Using a round cutter, cut out circles (you can use whatever size you prefer). Place about a teaspoon of the preserves in the center.
- Fold in the sides to make a triangle.
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
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