Hamentashen are triangle fruit cookies served and eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim which falls this year on March 20th for two days. They are recognizable for their three-cornered shape, a symbol of “Hamen”, a villain in the Purim story (who always wore a three cornered hat). The story of Hamen and Purim appears in the Biblical book of Esther. Purim is often celebrated by attending children’s carnival celebrations as well as the giving of food gifts to friends (including Hamentashen) and gifts to charity. The Hamentaschen shape is achieved by folding the sides of a circular piece of dough with a filling of apricot, prune, poppyseed strawberry, blackberry and even chocolate filled in the center. This recipe is wonderful, and kids love making and eating them.
Note: This recipe was given to me from a friend which she found on Allrecipes.
11/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
41/2 cups all-purpose flour
Various jams such as apricot, blackberry, strawberry or prune or chocolate filling
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible.
Note: The cookies may be frozen on the cookie sheets if desired to help retain their shape while cooking.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. These are best undercooked slightly. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.