Hamantaschen are triangular shaped filled pastries that are baked and eaten for the celebration of Purim. The word Hamantaschen means “Haman’s pockets” Haman was the corrupt villain of the Book of Esther, and the triangular pastries are said to resemble his three cornered hat. Another explanation for the three corners are the three Israelite patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
These pastries can best be described to those who have not tried one as a scone with a fruity filling. The dough is a bit dry, but the fruity filling fixes that. Skeptics who try them are instantly smitten – I promise. Several years ago, I baked a batch and brought them to work. I am now asked regularly when I am making them. Some of my colleagues have even gone to the trouble of looking up when the holiday is!
Now, if you haven’t tried a homemade one yet… and you happen to be strolling the supermarket and come across a package… DON’T BUY THEM! Most store bought or mass produced Hamantaschen taste like saw dust or cardboard… so please just don’t do it. Instead try a homemade one…..
Growing up I loved when the holiday came around. My mother baked hundreds of these (and still does today) She often made the traditional apricot or prune fillings, but very often experimented with peanut butter and chocolate.
Each year I make a few hundred of these little treats with my kids. This year I made (with the help of my lovely daughter) Apricot Coconut, Cinnamon Prune Apple, Raspberry, Nutella, and Salted Caramel Apple Fillings.
Here is the recipe for the dough
¾ cup oil 5 1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar 2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice 3 tsps orange zest
How to: PREHEAT oven to 375
- Combine oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add eggs beating one at a time, beat until light and frothy.
- Stir in orange juice and orange zest.
- Mix together flour, baking powder and salt; beat into egg mixture.
- If too crumbly – slowly add a bit more orange jiuce
- Divide dough in half and roll out on lightly floured surface about 1/8 inch thick.
- Cut dough into circles appx 3 inches.
- Place a teaspoonful of filling (see links to recipes above) in the center of each circle.
- Pinch edges of circle together forming a triangle.
- Place on greased baking sheet and bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned.