As I mentioned below, I was going to make challah. I took out my mixer and found that I was out of yeast! Since the urge to bake was very strong, I had to come up with something else to put in the oven. It only took me a moment before I remembered that while out to dinner last night, my friend Stephanie told me I should make some hamentaschen for her. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I looked up a few recipes for the dough, and added a few things to make the recipe below.
These imperfect little triangle pastries are a traditional food for the Jewish holiday of Purim (and apparently one of Stephanie’s favorite Jewish treats).
Wikipedia defines it very well:
The name hamantash (המן־טאַש), is commonly known as a reference to Haman, the villain of Purim, as described in the Book of Esther. A more likely source of the name is a corruption of the Yiddish word מאן־טאשן (montashn) or the German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches. Over time, this name was transformed to Hamantaschen, likely by association with Haman. In Israel, they are called Oznei Haman (Hebrew: אוזני המן), Hebrew for “Haman’s ears” where children are jokingly told these tasty pastries are the ears of Haman.
I remember being in Hebrew school (with Stephanie) and singing this purim song while munching on our Hamentaschen:
- My hat it has three corners.
- Three corners has my hat.
- And had it not three corners,
- It wouldn’t be my hat.
The traditional filling for Hamentaschen is mohn or poppy seed (my mom’s favorite), while I’m partial to fruit-filled ones like lemon and apple. I didn’t have any of the necessary pie fillings to make some of the traditional flavors, but I improvised and used some sugar free red raspberry preserves that I had in my fridge.
Even though Purim was just a month or so ago, I’m already looking forward to making LOTS of flavors next year.
Based on this recipe, but with a few changes.
4-5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup honey (I put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make it easier to work with. Any longer and it burns.
Any pie filling or preserves will do.
1. Sift together 4 cups of flour with salt and baking powder in to a large bowl. Make a well in the center (as if you were making pasta).
2. In the well, place the eggs, shortening, and honey. Work all ingredients together by hand until a (very) sticky dough starts to form, gradually adding in more flour until you can actually shape the dough in to a ball.
3. Roll out dough on a floured counter until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cup or biscuit cutter (I used a martini glass for the large ones, a wine glass for the smaller Hamentaschen) cut out dough.
4. Arrange dough on to a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper (trust me, this is a must if using a filling like preserves).
5. Spoon filling in to the center of each circle -0ne tbsp for the small circles, two for the larger. Spread filling within 1/2 inch from the edge.
6. fold up the bottom edge of the circle, then the top two sides so that it forms a triangle shape. Pinch where the dough comes together (sometimes a little water while you’re pinching helps it to stay).
7. Bake in a 350 Degree oven for about 15-18 minutes or until the Hamentaschen are brown. Let cool.
This recipe made a LOT of dough, and I didn’t have much preserves to work with, so stay tuned to find out what I used some extra dough for!