Hamantaschen cookie recipe
When our children were young, one of their most favorite holidays was Purim. Now they are in college, but they have fond memories of dressing up, acting out a purimspiel, making & eating hamantaschen, and spinning groggers. You can see them dressed up in this featured photo, which was taken back at the Jewish Community Center in New York City when we lived there.
Purim is a minor Jewish festival and we can read about in the Book of Esther in the Bible. A major duty for Jewish people is to read through the book of Esther at this time. We also perform a purimspiel, or a play, based on the events in Esther. Children of all ages get dressed up as Mordecai or Haman or Esther and we recount the narrative of the book in the form of a silly performance. You know the main characters. There is Haman, the bad guy. Whenever we say his name, everyone shouts “boo!”. There is Mordecai, a good guy and kind relative of Queen Esther. Esther is, of course, the heroine. We also have supporting characters, like the great Persian king Ahashuerus. A fun project for you to do when your children are small is to make groggers or noise makers and act out the play.
We also enjoy some great food — just like most Jewish holidays. Hamantaschen is best known and it is also called Haman’s ear or hat. These yummy buttery cookies look like little triangles and are filled with prunes or poppy seeds, cherry, or apricot. The recipe below is for our favorite filling, but you can modify it to fill the cookies with your favorite! They’re made with lots of butter and they’re very delicious. Enjoy trying our tried & true favorite family recipe:
3/4 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shelled walnuts
1/4 apple with peel
juice & rind of lemon
2 T sugar
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 t baking powder
dash of salt
NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH FOR 2-3 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT FOR BEST RESULTS.
- FILLING: simmer prunes and raisins in water, covered, for 15 minutes or until soft.
- Place into food processor: apple peel, lemon juice & rind, sugar, nuts + prune mixture. Set aside or refrigerate until dough is ready.
- DOUGH: cream the butter and sugar with hand mixture. Then add egg and vanilla and blend until smooth.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt. Process until a ball of dough is formed.
- CHILL DOUGH FOR 2-3 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT.
- Take 1/4 dough, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch circles. With your finger, brush water around the rim of the circle. Drop 1 teaspoon of filing into center. Then bring the dough around the filling and press 3 ends together.
- Bake in preheated 375 degree oven on a well-greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes or until tips are golden.
- Cool & enjoy!