My last post was about needing to lose my winter weight, so it may seem odd for the following post to be about sweets. But it is time for Purim, and that means hamentaschen! Luckily, one of the traditions of Purim is to give gifts of food, so pretty much all that we bake will be given away (except for what my husband will insist I keep for him – he loves hamentaschen).
I usually make hamentaschen with prune, apricot preserves, and strawberry preserves. This year I wanted to try my hand at some home-made fillings. So I made homemade apricot and a date-walnut-peach fillings. I have been won over, I am never going back to pre-made fillings.
If you have never had hamentaschen, let me explain. Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the triumph of Queen Esther of Persia over the evil Haman, a king’s advisor who planned to have all the Jews killed. It was thought that Haman wore a tri-cornered hat, so, as part of the tradition, we eat cookies shaped like his hat: hamentaschen = Haman’s hat.
The dough is wonderfully flavored with orange juice. This recipe is one I have been using since I was a child and first made them with my sister-in-law Ginny.
4 cups flour
4 eggs (locally raised)
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp orange juice
Apricot Filling (see below)
Date-Walnut-Peach Filling (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the first seven ingredients in a large bowl.
Roll out to 1/8” thick. Using a glass, cut as many circles as you can in the dough.
Place a small spoonful of filling in each circle.
Pinch up three sides to form a “tri-cornered hat”. Repeat the process of rolling out the dough and making “hats” until all the dough is used.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Makes at least 5 dozen Hamenstaschen.
Adapted from JoyofKosher.com
12 ounces dried apricots, chopped
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Place apricots in a saucepan. Add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and just enough water to cover the fruit.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until liquid is reduced and fruit is thick, 15 – 20 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor and pusle 3 to 4 times until desired consistency is reached (I wanted to keep mine with a little texture to it).
12 ounces dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
3 Tbsp peach preserves
~1/4 cup water, if needed
Chop the dates in a food processor.
Add nuts and peach preserves and process more.
Depending upon your nuts, you may need to add water to get the desired consistency.