Intense Baking: Hamantashen Edition

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OOOOK, so for all you gentiles and not-knowing Jews,

Hamentaschen are triangular-shaped pastries that are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim.

The Origin of Hamantaschen

“Hamantaschen” is a Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” Haman is the villain in the Purim story, which appears in the Biblical Book of Esther. In the story, Haman is the Grand Vizier of Persia and a rabid anti-Semite. When Mordechai, a Jewish member of the king’s court and relative of Queen Esther, refuses to bow down to Haman, the Grand Vizier plots to have all the Jews in the kingdom massacred. However, Queen Esther and Mordechai discover Haman’s plot and are able to foil it. In the end, Haman is executed on the gallows he planned to use on Mordechai.

Jews eat hamantaschen on Purim as part of the celebration of the holiday, which commemorates how Jews escaped Haman’s dastardly plans. One explanation for the triangular shape of these pastries is that Haman wore a three-cornered hat. Another explanation is that the three corners represent Queen Esther’s strength and the founders of Judaism: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (source)

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They are filled with all sorts of things including fruit (jelly-like) and chocolate.  I decided to make these babies w Zach as he LOVES to bake/cook with me and was excited to “pinch pinch pinch the corners.”  So, we made them!  We used this recipe (modifications noted):

 

 

½ pound unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 cup sugar (I put in a bit more for “good measure”)

3 eggs

3.5 cups flour

1.5 tsp baking powder (didn’t have; used baking soda)

0.5 tsp salt (forgot ooops)

1 tsp vanilla (also forgot but instead used 1tsp ORANGE ZEST- GREAT addition)

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Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and blend thoroughly. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well. Divide in to three parts, wrap each in waxed paper and chill briefly in refrigerator. Take 1/3 at a time, flour a board and roll as if for a pie. Use a glass or biscuit cutter to cut circles. Fill with no more than 1 tsp of fruit or chocolate (otherwise it will overflow). Fold in triangle and pinch edges. Bake on slightly greased cookie sheet 20-25 minutes.  20 min was perfect for me.

Look, NOT an easy recipe as the excessive rolling and cutting, filling and pinching can be a bit intense 🙂  BUT they were DELICIOUS!  We made ours with cherry, apricot and Nutella filling.  I just LOVE cooking/baking with my littles.  Enjoy!

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