Purim Treats

When I bake, I mostly, make one-big-piece desserts. Purim is the exception. Somehow, I can’t imagine the holiday without the little hat-like triangle hamentashen, the tastiest cookies with the variety of fillings.

Mine are quite a bit of work, but the effort is certainly well worth it.

You can use any filling, even a store bought container of apple butter, prune jam, chocolate, or really anything else.

I make my own filling by combining all or any of the following ingredients with no particular proportion. it really depends on your pantry and your fantasy:

Poppy seeds

Lemon peel (I think I gave out this trick before – just cut the peels of any citrus, add sugar and store in a glass jar in the freezer until you need some)

Etrog preserve

Apples, peeled and cut up into small pieces

Chopped nuts

Silan

Put all the chosen ingredients in a small pot and bring to a very low simmer. Keep it this way for a few minutes stirring constantly.

IMG_3901.JPGFor the dough:

4 cups flour. I used a combination of white, oat and almond meal. You can easily use just white, or any flour combination you like. You might need a bit more for dusting the board.

1 tbsp. baking powder

a dash of salt

3 jumbo eggs

1/2 cup sugar (this depends on the filling. The sweeter the filling the less sugar here)

1 cup of oil or butter. I used a combination of butter, smart balance, and coconut oil.

A bit of vanilla extract

1/4 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange or lemon

In a bowl combine your dry ingredients except for sugar.

IMG_3903.JPG

Cream the butter and sugar using a mixer or by hand. Add eggs and mix well. Add all other wet ingredients. Add the flour mixture gradually mixing well. Once the dough starts shaping just a bit, dump it to a floured board.

Knead the dough incorporating as little additional flour as you can until it shapes up.IMG_3904.JPG

Flour it just a tiny bit more and wrap in plastic. Let the dough refrigerate for an hour or even overnight if you have the luxury of using the next morning for baking.

While the dough refrigerates, do yourself a favor, read up on Megilat Esther.

Esther is one of the most controversial books of the Tanach. The only book that is not found in the caves of Qumran. The only book, where the name of Gd is not mentioned. First religious persecution story of the ancient world.

Adar_Esther.jpg

Esther, the unlikely heroine growing in front of our eyes from a simple, shy young lady into a powerful, determined queen ready do make her own decisions for the benefit of her people even by sacrificing herself.

The reason the word “G-d” is never mentioned in the Megilat Esther is that we, as people need to understand that until we act righteously ourselves before G-d, behind the scene He acts on our behalf.

So, the dough might be cool by now.IMG_3905.JPG

The beauty and the pain of it is that this dough is very soft. You need to work in batches, cutting a piece, rolling it, filling it, putting in the oven, and only then making a new batch.

I use a tiny rolling pin that I got from my niece from Germany. Comes very handy for this type of work. The trick is to roll the dough as thin as you can without adding too much flour.

Put a bit of filling in each of the rounds and shape the little “hats”. Mine don’t really look like hats, but everyone is ok with it.

Place the cookies on a sheet covered with parchment and sprayed with oil. Bake at 350-360F depending on your oven.

And, there you have them – tiny little bundles of joy really worth slaving for:

IMG_3914.JPG

If like me, you have no time to make these just before Purim, bake them, let them cool, layer them in an airtight container on a paper towel with towels in between rows to absorb the moisture. IMG_3913.JPG

This way you will be able to store them in the refrigerator and warm them up quickly at 400F just for 1-3 minutes. They will be delicious!

 

Hag Purim Sameach!

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yay! Excited to make these. Love how you said Esther grew and empowered herself into a queen who makes good decisions, and how you mentioned the word “G-d” was never explicitly written, which shows that we make our own decisions with good intentions in mind, hopefully moving us in a positive way through the world. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s