Sunday, February 24, 2013

Homemade Hamantaschen

Happy Purim, everyone! I am technically not Jewish, but I absolutely love celebrating Jewish food holidays because, honestly, no other culture parties & eats even half as good! I luckily have a good friend, Rebecca, who teaches me a lot about the Jewish culture. Rebecca held a Hamantaschen Baking Party this weekend and it was just so much fun and so delicious. Below is the recipe that we used (modeled closely to this recipe she found online) and some photos of our adventure. One batch made about 20-30 cookies (this will vary slightly depending on the sizes in which you choose to cut them out). Oh, and if you're interested in learning the story behind Purim and the origin of Hamantaschen, click here!

Prep Time (per batch): 20 minutes
Cook Time (per batch): 20 minutes

Our lovely hostess, Rebecca!

Four (4) cups of all-purpose flour
Three (3) eggs
One (1) cup of sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
One (1) lemon, zested
One (1) orange, zested
Two (2) teaspoons of baking powder
for egg wash
One (1) egg
One (1) tablespoon of water

Just some of the fillings we used!
Filling for the hamantaschen -- This can include the traditional take, which is usually fruit jam. We also incorporated cheeses, almond butter, chocolate, marshmallows, honey, and special jams, like spicy pepper jelly and tomato jam.

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk your eggs, sugar, lemon & orange zests, and oil together.
In a separate large mixing bowl, sift your flour and baking powder together (if you don't own a sifter, you can just whisk the flour to make if fluffier).
Mix the egg mixture into the flour mixture. You can do this with your hands or a standing mixer (we did both, actually).

 Once it starts to come together as dough, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/8".
Cut using circular cookie cutters (we used 3" and 5" cutters) and place on a foiled baking sheet.
Spoon your fillings of choice onto the dough and then pinch or fold the sides (we did both for this, also, as we have some pinch-experts and some fold-experts).

Rebecca models how to pinch
the hamantaschen correctly

Mix your egg and water together for the egg wash and brush each cookie lightly with this before it goes into the oven. This will help the corners stick together and will also provide some light brown color to the cookies.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy Purim!