Purim

Hamentashchen

February 19, 2009

Hamantaschen (literally, “Haman’s Pockets”) are an age-old pastry that remind us of the Purim miracle. Sara’s family makes this recipe year after year on Purim and it consistently yields fantastic results.

1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour (part whole wheat flour may be used)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt

Cream together margarine, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in eggs. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide dough in half and place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for a few hours. When ready to bake, roll each half of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. With a 3-inch cookie cutter, or the rim of a water glass, cut out circles of dough. Alternatively, cut into 2½ inch squares. Place a teaspoonful of filling in center of each circle. Pinch the edges tightly together, forming a triangle. Leave a little of the filling showing in the center. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: about 2 dozen Hamantaschen.

POPPY SEED FILLING
1 cup ground poppy seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup raisins
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon oil
Combine all ingredients and spoon onto dough circles.

DATE FILLING
1/4 cup margarine or oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cups chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
grated rind of 1 lemon

Melt margarine over a low flame (or heat oil) and stir in sugar and dates. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cinnamon, ginger, and grated lemon rind and mix well. Spoon onto dough circles.