Growing up, my mom never really made a big deal about the more minor holidays of Judaism. We always talked about Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur since they have always been the most important, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I really learned more about the minor holidays and how much fun they can be. One of those holidays is Purim, which starts tonight.
The story of Purim is an inspiring one – one where a strong woman saves her people. This site can explain the story much better than I can. It’s a fun holiday. People dress up in costumes, party, and eat celebratory foods – including one of my favorite cookies – hamantaschen.
If you’ve never had them, hamantaschen are a simple filled cookie. My favorite have always been the ones with poppyseed filling, but you can make them in any combination you can imagine. Traditional ones have jam or poppyseed filling, but you could also do chocolate, peanut butter, nutella, nuts – like I said, any combination.
I first made hamantaschen my freshman year of college, and I’ve never forgotten the experience. So many holidays we experience through food, and I want to make sure Abbie has memories of these foods and celebrating whenever we can.
This is the recipe I typically use to make them. It originally comes from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer. It’s a simple recipe that actually uses no butter and comes together quickly. I filled some of them with a simple store-bought jam, and the rest with chocolate chips, and they were delicious! I hope you enjoy them – they may be a traditional Jewish cookie, but there’s no reason you can’t make them for other holidays too!
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil (I think you could also use melted coconut oil, although I didn't try it)
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Paste (You could also use extract, but I love the little flecks of vanilla you get in the paste and it's easier than a vanilla bean!)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to roll out the dough
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt (maybe 1/8 tsp)
- 1 cup filling of your choice - jam, chocolate chips, etc
- In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients - eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla paste, and almond extract until thoroughly combined.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Flouring your surface and rolling pin well (the dough absorbs a lot of flour as you roll it), roll the dough to about 1/4" thick.
- Using a glass or a round cookie cutter about 2-3" wide, cut the dough into circles.
- Place the circles on the cookie sheet, then place about 1/2-1 tsp of desired filling in the center.
- Fold and pinch up the edges of the cookies around the filling to form into triangle shapes.
- Bake for about 14-16 minutes - mine ended up needing about 15. The tops will be light, but cooked through.
- Remove the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!