When I sat down at the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would keep up with the blog better and then I blinked and it was March. Well I am sorry, but I will try to do better. Just like this blog getting away from me, Purim has snuck-up on me. For those who are not familiar with the holiday of Purim, the crass way that I describe it is that it’s like a Jewish Halloween where you get to dress up and drink a lot. I can feel my mom cringing at the lack of mention of the heroine of the story, Queen Ester, or any of the other symbols of the holiday, but as my friends out here in Seattle know it, this is the holiday that I make the little triangle cookies.
I may have a lot of favorite holidays, but like most of the Jewish holidays, Purim has a very special place in my heart. Any holiday that I got to spend hours and hours in the kitchen with my mom, obviously leaves some very fond memories. Hamentaschen, like most things, I have a very strong opinion on what I like and what I don’t. Basically, if it isn’t the recipe that I grew up on, it is sub-par. Yes, I know that makes me a monster, but I like what I like :). Over the past few years, I have done some experimenting with flavors. I haven’t dared mess with the dough recipe that has been passed down for many generations in my family, but I feel that I could have some free reign with the fillings. My first year in Seattle I used apple butter as the filling, which made me chuckle to myself because Washington is the apple state, but I stuck to my Georgia roots and added some ground up pecans to thicken it. As a first time making them by myself, I did really enjoy them. Last year, I made my families traditional filling which is prunes and apricots (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it) and a halvah filling that I am still not positive I loved, but it was for sure memorable.
This year, after working in a bakery for almost a full year now (I literally can’t believe it) I want to go big. I want to try lots of different types of fillings and even make a chocolate dough! Look at me setting lofty goals! *I will admit that this year I did attempt to make a chocolate dough, and I had a big ole kitchen fail* I think this holiday is all about having fun and even being a little silly so why not add some creativity to my hamentaschen this year?
Now here is the important and fiercely debated issue (I kid, I don’t think there is actually any debate over this) on how to correctly fold hamentaschen. I grew up folding a certain way and then once I moved out of the house, my mom starting using the other folding method. I like tradition, also that’s how my fingers are wired to fold, but I will let you judge which folding method you like better.
The Nosher does a great illustration of the pinching method (which is how I make mine) or the newly popular folding method. I am curious to hear which one you like best! The recipe below is my family’s recipe which has been past down for at least 3 generations, maybe 4.
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cream margarine with orange rind and sugar.
- Add in egg and orange juice.
- Fold in dry ingredients until incorporated.
- Form dough into a disk, dust with flour, and chill for 1 hour.
- Roll the dough on a floured surface to between 1/8th and 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut out circles with either the top of a drinking glass or a round cookie cutter.
- Fill with a small amount of filling then fold edges to form the traditional triangle shape, using which ever method you like.
- Bake at 375 º for 12 minutes until lightly browned.
- Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
I would love to see pictures of you and your families hamentaschen and hear all about fun flavor combinations. Chag Purim Sameach everyone!!