This year, for the first time ever, we were prepared for Purim. And by we, I mean I. Each year I say I’ll make Hamentaschen or that we’ll deliver Purim baskets, but every year we instead eat someone else’s Hamnentaschen and forget about the baskets until it is too late. Why is this year different from all other years? The Purim Surprise.
This book, a gift from the PJ Library, is a favorite of The Spitfire and puts heavy emphasis on the gift baskets, AKA “Shalach Manot” (and variations thereof). Last month she started saving her candies from doctor visits, birthday parties and her wonderful piano teacher, for the shalach manot gifts she planned to give her friends. With that kind of advanced planning, I needed to be a little more on the ball, too. So, I bought some pastel chocolate rocks and went on a hunt for the perfect Hamentaschen recipe. I tried a few that literally fell flat until I remembered that several year ago the PJ library had sent our family Joan Nathan’s Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen, a wonderful family cookbook with specific instructions on cooking and baking with kids. We put a few of the cookies in the gift bags, and took the rest to the Energizer Bunny’s pre-K class.
These are so easy, and so delicious. Don’t wait for next Purim to make them. These can be adapted to be kosher, as below.
Joan Nathan’s Hamentaschen
For the dough:
2/3C (1+1/3 sticks) pareve margarine or butter
½ C sugar
3T milk or water
½ t vanilla
2 ½ -3 C sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
Any kind of fruit preserves
You can do each step by hand, but I use the food processor to make the dough.
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add egg and continue creaming until smooth.
- Add milk or water and vanilla and mix.
- Sift flour and mix with rest of dough until a ball of dough is formed.
- Divide into 2 cylinders about 3 inches in diameter. Wrap each cylinder in cling wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Using one cylinder at a time (keeping the rest in the fridge until needed) cut 1/8-inch slices and roll them out with a rolling pin.
- Place 1t filling in the center of each circle.
- Draw the edges up at 3 points to form a triangle around the filling and pinch together carefully.
- Place triangles on ungreased baking sheets (I used parchment paper—the filing tends to run) and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool on a rack.