It all began with the bounce house–well, for me it did. We set up a bounce house in town square, there was a parade and people were dressed in costumes. I was excited… and hungry. (The bounce house set up is pretty labor intensive.)
A cookie was thrust into my hand that was shaped like a triangle with fruit preserves in the middle. Without thinking I took a bite, and it was DELICIOUS.
“What is this?” I asked
“Hamantaschen” I was told. “Haman-what? What is going on right now?”
What is Purim!? What are these triangle cookies, how do I make them and why are we celebrating? Scroll down for a mouth-watering hamantaschen recipe and keep reading for a (very) abbreviated version of the story behind this festive holiday.
The King banished his queen Vashti and was on the search for a new wife. He came across Esther, a young Jewish woman, and picked her as his next queen unaware of her Jewish heritage. Things were going well until Haman, the Prime Minister, ordered all of the Jews in the kingdom to be killed. Enter Mordechai, who is Esther’s cousin and leader of the Jews. He convinced Esther to help her people and tell the King and Haman who she really was.
She invited the King and Haman to a series of banquets where she told them she was Jewish and asked for her and her people to be spared. The King said “sure,” Haman was hanged and Mordechai was named the new Prime Minister. In the end, there was celebration! To read more about the holiday and the dramatic story that accompanies it, click here!
Today, the tradition is carried on as Purim, a celebration of perseverance, devotion, courage and loyalty. I cannot wait for Purim this year, and to share hamantaschen with my co-workers with a better understanding of what Purim is all about. A recipe is below and I encourage you to give these bad boys a try.
Chag Purim Sameach! Happy Purim!
How to Make Hamantaschen:
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup fruit preserves, any flavor
Makes approximately 24 cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the oil, vanilla and orange juice (I used fresh squeezed OJ thanks to the tree in my backyard!) Combine the flour and baking powder. Stir into the batter to form a stiff dough. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Spoon about 2 teaspoons of preserves into the center of each one. Pinch the edges to form three corners.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!
Find the full recipe and nutrition facts here.